Catalyzing School Working with
Schools, Families and
Improvement in Michigan Communities
A Planning Grant Sponsored
by the Kellogg Foundation
What is the Catalyzing School Improvement in Michigan Project? What are the Main Objectives of the Planning Grant?
This innovative demonstration project aims to improve the educational outcomes of vulnerable children in Michigan • Choose partners (University and • Develop a strategy for • Ground our work in the
by working in cooperative partnership with communities and leveraging the many resources available at the community) that have both the community-based educational best research and practical
University of Michigan. interest and capacity to succeed in improvement that is both knowledge about how to
the work. general enough to be enacted in improve the educational
The Education Leadership Center (ELC) at the University’s School of Education will develop this initiative by
multiple community settings, yet outcomes of vulnerable children.
bringing together select academic and research units within the University including the School of Social Work, • Select evidence-based initiatives specific enough to address the
Institute of Social Research, the Ross School of Business, the School of Public Health, the School of Engineering, which help improve student unique needs and capacities of
which span the wide array of disciplines relevant to a child’s academic, emotional and physical readiness to learn. The achievement in schools; combine diverse communities.
ELC will then join those resources with key policy actors in the state, leaders from selected Michigan school districts, them with family and community
and the grass-roots and community organizations in these districts. initiatives which help send • Develop management
children to school ready to learn – structures that assure successful
Our work will be guided by the belief that children’s academic success results from the positive actions of many
in so doing, seek a multiplicative completion of planned activities
different groups and agencies within a community - not only schools, but also parents, before- and after-school
impact on student achievement. in a short time frame.
providers, physical and mental health and social service providers, and many other community-based child and
Why Should We Participate?
This is a unique opportunity to work Supporting Pathways to 1. Children’s success in school
with key community stakeholders and Assure Ready Kids (SPARK)
leading experts in many fields, united
is a program developed by the 2. Welcoming atmosphere
by a common goal of addressing the
Kellogg Foundation, the sponsor
many unmet needs of vulnerable school 3. Strong leadership
children. Michigan’s economic challenges of this planning grant, to foster
are forcing many local communities to ready schools. The action plans 4. Connection to early care
seek innovative strategies for addressing created under this planning
the needs of vulnerable children. At the grant will be grounded in these 5. Cultural and linguistic connectedness
same time, the University of Michigan has nine characteristics of
a deep commitment to securing a diverse What are the a ready school:
6. Parental involvement
student body, and already has in place
more than 130 outreach programs to local
SPARK Initiative’s 7. Community partnerships
schools and school systems. This initiative Nine Pathways to 8. Usable assessment results
is needed in Michigan and has a strong
chance of meeting with success. Ready Schools?
9. Constant improvement
How Will the Planning Grant Work Be Conducted?
The Kellogg Foundation has awarded the ELC with a planning grant to tie together evidence-based programs that work in schools,
families and communities to enhance student achievement. We will work at the ground level with local school districts and their
community partners in at least three demonstration sites to create a concrete action plan of activities, including timelines and
benchmarks to progress.
The planning grant has three phases:
Phase 1. Provide districts with information and requirements regarding the program, then recruit and select three demonstration
sites. Within the University, meet with various schools, colleges and academic departments to explore involvement in the
program, and then formalize partner relationships and responsibilities with deans of participating schools and colleges.
Phase 2. Develop an action plan with core partners for community-based school improvement which is grounded in the nine
pathways to ready schools outlined in the SPARK initiative. Establish timelines and benchmarks of success for the
Phase 3. Write a grant application for the initial phase of demonstration work, providing opportunity for input from the team as a
whole. Propose a scope of work that can be implemented in three-year funding cycles, renewable only if established and
measurable benchmarks of progress have been achieved to the Foundation’s satisfaction.
What is the Long-term Goal of the Project?
Ultimately, our goal is to improve the educational outcomes of vulnerable
children by transforming both formal and informal social structures in Michigan
communities and statewide.
• Kenneth Burnley, PhD firstname.lastname@example.org
• Brian Rowan, PhD email@example.com
A Program in the Education Leadership Center, U-M School of Education
Regents of the University
Julia Donovan Darlow, Ann Arbor; Laurence B. Deitch, Bingham Farms; Olivia P. Maynard, Goodrich; Rebecca McGowan, Ann Arbor;
Andrea Fischer Newman, Ann Arbor; Andrew C. Richner, Grosse Pointe Park; S. Martin Taylor, Grosse Pointe Farms; Katherine E. White,
Ann Arbor; Mary Sue Coleman, ex officio
The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws
regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons
regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender
expression, disability, or Vietnam-era veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. Inquiries or
complaints may be addressed to the Senior Director for Institutional Equity and Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator, Office of Institutional
Equity, 2072 Administrative Services Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1432, 734-763-0235, TTY 734-647-1388.
For other University of Michigan information call 734-764-1817.