Shining a Light on School Success

Posted on December 28, 2017 in CEO Updates

December 28, 2017

Dear Friends –

This time of year provides an opportunity to reflect. Over the past year we have sharpened our focus and rolled up our sleeves to partner more deeply with 21 school community sites across Multnomah County.

One of those school communities is Gresham-Barlow’s Hall Elementary School, where for the past year-and-a-half we have been on the ground with a team to design, implement and measure practices aimed at reducing suspensions and expulsions, especially for students of color who have historically been disciplined at higher rates.

Principal Heidi Lasher is a leader in this work and a champion for improving outcomes for all children. Hall serves 452 students: 84% are low-income, 61% are of color and 25% are English Language Learners.

According to Principal Lasher, “Working with All Hands Raised gave us the opportunity and tools to think differently about how we could make progress addressing the complicated issue of disproportionate discipline. They supported us in developing a team that includes teachers and community partners.”

The Hall team began this year by looking at discipline data that revealed playground times as having the most concentrated incidents of behavior issues. As a result, we are increasing structured recess activities–already playground referrals dropped from an average of 4.8 per week to 0.2 per week.

It is this kind of improvement that keeps us inspired and humbled as we work to increase educational improvements in 2018 and beyond. To all of you engaged in the work–thank you. And to those of you pondering what more you can do, a year-end gift to All Hands Raised will sustain the services we provide to schools like Hall Elementary throughout Multnomah County.

On behalf of all of us at All Hands Raised, all the best for a happy, healthy and joyful 2018.