December 2017 Collaborative Action Networks Update
Read Fort Worth’s four Collaborative Action Networks provided our 12-member Executive Council a first look at 2018 action plans in late November. The teams are at various stages of scoping work, creating plans and implementing strategies. Among the highlights:
The School Readiness CAN led by the Early Learning Alliance has launched a pilot project to implement the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, or CLASS, tool in select Tarrant County Pre-K classrooms, including two FWISD Pre-K centers with a total 16 classrooms. The CLASS instrument assesses the quality of teacher-child interactions in center-based preschool classrooms. ELA also is developing a new data dashboard that will allow early childhood program providers to upload data so that the early learning community can track progress toward the goal of increasing the number of quality-rated child care programs and increasing capacity in the quality child care system.
A separate task force led by Dr. Cheryl Mixon, FWISD’s executive director for Pre-K-2nd, and Kara Waddell, president and CEO of Child Care Associates, is mapping out a strategy to use a blended-funding model to expand quality early learning opportunity for 3-year-olds.
The Child Well-Being CAN, led by senior executives from Cook Children’s Health Care System and the JPS Health Network, has focused first on developing a pilot program to reduce abuse and neglect in a neighborhood with high rates of adverse childhood experiences. The team is organizing a providers’ summit meeting for early 2018 to be followed by community listening sessions. Following the pilot, the team plans to expand its focus to include improving access for children and families. to health and well-being services.
The Expanded Learning (Summer Learning) CAN is developing best practice guidelines for evidenced-based, summer literacy programs that serve young children and a potential 2018 cohort for programs that would agree to follow common practices and measure growth in participants’ reading skills with a common measurement tool. The team is beginning a planning process to expand its work in Fall 2018 to address grade-level reading for students ages 5-9 in after-school and other out-of-school-time programs, in addition to summer programs.
The Reading Resources CAN includes the Classroom Library Campaign Task Force and the Volunteer Reading Task Force. The Classroom Library Campaign has raised about $50,0000 in gifts and commitments to date toward its first-year goal of $250,000 to purchase 100 high-interest books for Pre-K to second grade classrooms in need as a ready resource to help teachers cultivate a love for reading among their students. Fort Worth ISD leaders have created protocols for how books will be purchased, distributed and integrated into teachers’ classrooms.
The Volunteer Reading Task Force is developing a “learning lab” with campus leaders and families at George C. Clarke Elementary in the South Hemphill Heights neighborhood. District and campus leaders plan to engage the school’s existing strong family and volunteer base to pair one-on-one reading mentors with children who teachers believe are most likely to benefit from additional support. An organizational session is being planned for January.