Management: Strategic Planning: Braving the Journey (Part 1)


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Two NPEA member programs, Aim High and Buffalo Prep, shared their successes and challenges with strategic planning.

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  • When Demarcus came to live with his aunt and uncle at the age of 10, he could barely read, had no confidence in school, and often said "I don't like to use my brain." By the end of his first summer at Aim High, Demarcus was leading class discussions in every subject. Aim High introduced Demarcus to his love of math and gave him the opportunity to explore his Latino heritage, a side of his identity he knew little about. Now a sophomore at Wallenberg High School, Demarcus maintains a B average and hopes to play basketball in college. He returned to his Aim High campus as a Teaching Assistant in Summer 2009 and is considering a career in social work.
  • Ventura, a graduate of the prestigious New Leaders for New Schools program and the founder of St. Hope Leadership Academy Charter School in Harlem, New York City, had his first taste of educational leadership when he served as an Aim High Site Director. “When I think of myself as a leader running a school,” Ventura says, “I think back to Aim High, my first experience with a staff, leading a team.” One thing Aim High does powerfully is create a school environment where kids like to be there and adults feel that they are growing and having fun… In education there are a lot of fads, but Aim High has been a constant. Aim High figured out what kind of support is critical for kids and stuck with it.
  • In 2009, 40% of California school districts cut back or completely eliminated their summer programs. This trend is expected to continue into 2010 at an even higher rate. Already, SFUSD has announced that only middle schoolers designated as “special need” will be eligible for summer school in 2010 1, 2
  • “ [Middle School is] the point at which children begin to make pivotal decisions regarding their academic and career choices-precisely at a time when they may be distracted or turned off by academic endeavors.” - Supporting Students in their Transition to Middle School (2002). 8th grade academic commitment and achievement outweigh high-school-level performance as an indicator of being on target for college and career readiness. - ACT (2008). The Forgotten Middle. “ Students will be most likely to continue in school and engage fully in learning if they have confidence in their ability to do well and place high value on doing well in school.” Eccles, Jacquelynne S. (2008). Can Middle School Reform Increase High School Graduation Rates? Defined: Youth Development is the acquisition of attitudes, competencies, values, and social skills that will carry youth forward into successful adulthood."  -National Research Council “ The transition from middle school to high school is an early indicator of whether students even apply to college, so a bridge program to high school, with a focus on students who are often overlooked, can increase the population of students who find high school success and go on to college. Paek, P.L. (2008, January). Step Up to High School: Chicago Public Schools. “ About 2/3 of the ninth grade achievement gap between lower and higher income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities… As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.” Alexander, K. Entwisle, D., and Olson, L. (2007). Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap.
  • Viviana grew up in San Francisco’s Mission District after her parents emigrated there from El Salvador. She credits Aim High role models with teaching her confidence and respect, and with opening her eyes to new opportunities. “I visited my first college, analyzed my first book, saw my first live band, and performed my first dissection at Aim High.” The first in her family to complete high school, Viviana is now on the path to earning her Doctorate in Education.
  • Management: Strategic Planning: Braving the Journey (Part 1)

    1. 1. VISION 2015
    2. 2. Mission of Aim High <ul><li>The mission of Aim High is to inspire a life-long love of learning and instill a sense of community, opportunity, and respect so that students are prepared for success in school and life. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Overview of Vision 2015 <ul><li>Our Story </li></ul><ul><li>Our Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Our Challenge </li></ul>
    4. 4. Aim High’s 24-Year History 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 4 4 4 4 5 6 4 5 6 6 7 7 7 9 11 12 11 <ul><li>Number of Students Served </li></ul><ul><li>Number of Sites </li></ul>
    5. 5. Inspired to Learn and Lead: One Grad’s Story Demarcus Cottonham Graduate, 2007 Teaching Assistant, 2009 “ Kids who have been through what I’ve been through – I’d like to be a role model for them, trying to help them if they have questions about how to make school or life easier.”
    6. 6. Cultivating Education Leaders: One Teacher’s Story Ventura Rodriguez Master Teacher, 1999 Site Director, 2000-2002 “ When I think of myself as a leader running a school,” Ventura says, “I think back to Aim High, my first experience with a staff, leading a team.”
    7. 7. Our vision Growth Serve 1,450 under-resourced middle schoolers by expanding to reach more high need communities spanning 4 Bay Area regions Quality Make targeted investments in professional development, curriculum, and retention of teachers and students to maximize impact Measurement & evaluation Assess our long- and short-term impact on students and share best practices with partners
    8. 8. Challenges Facing our Students h 2005-2006 Academic Year Dropouts in California (percent) 12th 27 Dropouts occuring in 6 th -9 th grade * <ul><li>Elimination of district summer school </li></ul><ul><li>Few quality summer options for low-income youth </li></ul><ul><li>Summer learning loss exacerbates achievement gap </li></ul><ul><li>High school dropout danger: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 in 4 SFUSD students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 in 2 Oakland Unified students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 in 8 San Mateo County students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 in 9 students from Marin’s San Rafael & Shoreline school districts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>27% of dropouts occur during middle school/high school transition </li></ul></ul>10 th 11 th
    9. 9. More Kids Need Aim High Eligible vs. Actual beneficiaries Ravenswood & Redwood City Elementary 3780 128 Oakland Unified 9724 243 SF Unified 8716 0 Marin City & San Rafael Elementary Current Aim High students 5 th -8 th graders Eligible for free/ reduced lunch In target district 836
    10. 10. What We Know Summer Learning 2/3 of achievement gap attributable to unequal summer learning opportunities Youth Development Academic confidence and values are key to academic achievement Middle School Adolescence: difficult time, pivotal choices On target for college: middle school achievement better predictor than high school achievement The High School Transition Successful transition to high school predicts matriculation to college
    11. 11. Our Strategy Bold text = priority measurement Multi-year summer program focused on academic enrichment for under-resourced middle school youth What We Do <ul><li>Learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rigorous, interactive, & relevant curriculum emphasizing project-based learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enriching activities & out-of-classroom learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small & diverse learning communities that foster a culture of respect, opportunity, & high expectation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Team teaching model </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Teachers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Diverse, passionate, & skilled instructors & leaders </li></ul></ul>Our Goals Positive attitude towards learning Confident, motivated & engaged students with strong learning skills & habits Sense of community belonging & healthy, valued relationships with peers & adults Successful transition to high school and on-time graduation Increased understanding of the path to college How We Gauge Success Positive attitude towards learning (90%) GPA improvement or maintaining at least a 3.0 in middle school (70%) Developed/strengthened academic skills (90%) Students are prepared for the school year (90%) Student retention (80% 2+ yrs) Students are part of a community where they feel safe and respected (90%) 1+ young adult role model who sets an example for being college-bound (90%) 1+ adult who cares about their wellbeing (90%) Strong 9th grade year (high attendance, appropriate grade-level course enrollment, high homework completion rate) On-time high school graduation rate for each ethnic group is at least 5% higher than their district's rate Alums credit Aim High with contributing to their on-time graduation from high school (75%) Better understand path to college (90%) Impact on Kids Positioned for success in school and life: Love of learning Sense of community & opportunity Success in high school On track for college What Research Says Middle school is a pivotal time Students’ social & emotional well-being supports learning Summer learning is critical Strong transition to high school combats dropout and is essential to being college-bound
    12. 12. Aim High’s Broader Impacts Out-of-School Learning Field Impact the out-of-school learning field <ul><li>Strengthen evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Share best practices </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in education networks </li></ul>Bay Area Communities <ul><li>Serve high-need neighborhoods </li></ul><ul><li>establish presence in local education community </li></ul><ul><li>Target student recruiting </li></ul><ul><li>Build strong partnerships </li></ul>Teachers Inspire and train educators <ul><li>Offer: </li></ul><ul><li>Professional development </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership/innovation opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>youth employment (HS/college) </li></ul>Students Prepare students for success Provide multi-year summer program
    13. 13. Performance Scorecard Student outcomes Financials ’ 09 Benchmark: 65% ’ 15 Goal: 80% 80% Student retention ’ 09 Benchmark: 92% ’ 15 Goal: 90% 90%+ Positive attitude towards learning Strong 9th grade year ’ 09 Benchmark: 66.5% ’ 15 Goal: 70% 70% GPA improvement or maintaining at least a 3.0 in middle school ’ 09 Benchmark: None ’ 15 Goal: 5% higher +5% On-time high school graduation rate for each ethnic group is higher than their district's rate ’ 09 Benchmark: 83% ’ 15 Goal: 90% 90% Better understand path to college ’ 09 Benchmark: None ’ 15 Goal: ?? +?% Fundraising $ Millions $3.2 M
    14. 14. What Success Looks Like in 2015 <ul><ul><li>1,450 students, 14 sites, 4 Bay Area regions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>add 6th grade class @ 4 sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4 sites linked to target schools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High rate of student retention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students succeeding in middle school, prepared for high school, & on-track for college </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hiring & retaining experienced teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training & inspiring future teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic partnerships with peer programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Longitudinal study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing best practices </li></ul></ul>Growth Quality Measurement & Evaluation
    15. 15. <ul><li>Raise $15 million to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expand reach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deepen quality of program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measure and evaluate impact </li></ul></ul>Our challenge
    16. 16. Financial Snapshot Financial budget (FY) $ Millions Summer program cost per student (dollars) 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2,151 2,228 2,179 2,118 2,214 2015 2,207 Students served 930 1,010 1,170 1,280 1,400 1,450 # of Sites 10 11 12 13 14 14 +9.9% +9.3% +0.5% CAGR CAGR = compound annual growth rate
    17. 17. Vision 2015 Fundraising Requirements Budget CAGR = 14.0% CAGR = 9.9% Forecast 2.17 Funds raised/ committed to date 0.12 Funding gap assumes $1.5 MM asset balance at F2015 exit $ Thousands, FY Funding Gap = $15 MM
    18. 18. A Lifetime of Impact: One Grad’s Story Viviana Montoya-Hernandez Graduate, 1996 Site Director, 2006-present “ Aim High taught me that I could be a leader and that I was good at it. I discovered that education is something I’m passionate about.”
    19. 19. Aim High Implementation Plan 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Summary Summer Program <ul><li>Site Performance Evaluation Tool </li></ul><ul><li>PD for Site Directors focused on site management & classroom instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Equal access to Environmental Programming </li></ul><ul><li>Focused student & teacher recruitment campaign in EB </li></ul><ul><li>Standards & expectations for afternoon activities </li></ul><ul><li>Focused student & teacher recruitment in SB </li></ul><ul><li>Targeted teacher & student recruitment to fit needs of each region </li></ul><ul><li>Tools to access site performance and gauge quality </li></ul><ul><li>Action plans to ensure high quality programming and progress towards measurement goals </li></ul><ul><li>Develop and implement site-specific quality assurance action plans </li></ul>Growth <ul><li>Marin Site #1 </li></ul><ul><li>Define linked-to-school model </li></ul><ul><li>Program Director, Full Time </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot linked to school site </li></ul><ul><li>Reopen O’Dowd Site </li></ul><ul><li>Marin or SB Site </li></ul><ul><li>Linked-to-school #2 </li></ul><ul><li>Linked-to-school #3 </li></ul><ul><li>Marin or SB Site </li></ul><ul><li>Linked-to-school #4 </li></ul><ul><li>14 Sites / 1400 students </li></ul><ul><li>4 Linked-to-school Sites </li></ul><ul><li>7 Sites R6-R9 graders </li></ul>Teaching & Learning <ul><li>Define “High Quality Program” standards & framework </li></ul><ul><li>Refine & strengthen PD at all levels </li></ul><ul><li>Formal “teacher exchange” with select Bay Area teacher credentialing programs </li></ul><ul><li>Online teacher training modules </li></ul><ul><li>High quality training & PD </li></ul><ul><li>Formal Teacher Pipeline; minting new teachers & education leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Standardized learning expectations (by grade & class); supported by quality curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Standardized T&L protocol </li></ul><ul><li>Continue growing curricular resources </li></ul>Evaluation <ul><li>Redesign database </li></ul><ul><li>Redesign data collection methods & introduce student tracking systems </li></ul><ul><li>Investigate, design & vet longitudinal study model </li></ul><ul><li>Longitudinal Study of Impact </li></ul><ul><li>Standardize long-term tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Vet longitudinal study </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in longitudinal study </li></ul>Program Enhancement <ul><li>Pilot HS admissions workshop series in SF </li></ul><ul><li>Define standards & expectations for academic yr. Environmental Club </li></ul><ul><li>Exit tutoring program at weak sites </li></ul><ul><li>Expand HS admissions workshop series to EB/SB </li></ul><ul><li>Implement academic year programming @ new linked-to-school site </li></ul><ul><li>Expand HS admissions workshop series to Marin </li></ul><ul><li>High school admission support to 8 th grade cohorts across regions </li></ul><ul><li>Broaden & strengthen network of strategic partners </li></ul><ul><li>Possible year-round programming for students @ linked-to-school site [dependent on structure of model] </li></ul><ul><li>College Success Consortium </li></ul>Capacity & Infrastructure <ul><li>Develop replication formulas (grade, site, region) </li></ul><ul><li>Succession Plans </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity Protocol </li></ul><ul><li>Program Coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>Split (MR, SKL, DH) </li></ul><ul><li>Program Director </li></ul><ul><li>Finance Director (PT) </li></ul><ul><li>Director of Academics </li></ul><ul><li>T&L evaluation & content consultants </li></ul><ul><li>Assoc. Developmt. Director </li></ul><ul><li>Tech Coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>Dir. Of Evaluation or extended engagement of LFA </li></ul><ul><li>SPLIT (Program Coord) </li></ul><ul><li>Associate Program Dir. #1 </li></ul><ul><li>Office Manager </li></ul><ul><li>Associate Program Director #2 </li></ul><ul><li>Clear replication criteria and procedures & Opportunity Exploration Protocol </li></ul><ul><li>Dir. of Finance </li></ul><ul><li>2 Associate Program Directors </li></ul><ul><li>Tech Coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>Eval staff member/consultant </li></ul>