A lot has been going on at Achieve Brown County this quarter! Below you will find updates from our End of Year 2017 Newsletter. If you have not already, make sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive our newsletters right to your email inbox!
From the Executive Director
Those of you who attended our recent Community Briefing heard me talk about how we’re in a time of great and rapid change here in our community. Our demographics, economic climate, workforce – all are transforming. The same is true for the system-building work we’re doing at Achieve Brown County, where we find ourselves at a critical inflection point. Healthcare, education, social services – all of these systems are working together more closely, intentionally, and effectively to support children and youth through the work of our Action Teams. Much of this has never been tried before, and wouldn’t be possible without the deep dedication of our partners.
We are seeing a similarly incredible sea change on the national stage where Strive Together, the collective impact model upon which ABC is based, has begun to collaborate with the Ballmer Group, a $2 billion national philanthropic fund run by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife Connie.
At a recent Strive Together convening, Ballmer gave a keynote address where he explained why he’s investing $96 million to increase staffing levels for Strive partners like Achieve Brown County. Not only will this increase the support the networks receive from Strive, but it will provide $10 million a year for the next six years for local partnerships to develop and grow. You can see an excerpt of Steve’s address below.
It’s an incredible time to live in this remarkable community. As always, if you want to learn more of the details about what’s happening with ABC, send us an email of give us a call and we’ll find time to sit down to talk.
Adam Hardy, Executive Director of Achieve Brown County
Fall has been a busy time for the Action Teams Continuous Improvement work. We are about to wrap-up the Current and Ideal State Process Mapping sessions for Action Team 2.1 (mentoring and school integration) and 3.1 (Academic Career Planning and business integration). The Process Mapping Retreats are a two-day event where ABC works with partner organizations to create process maps that capture the detail of the current process (Current State) and the desired or ideal (Ideal State). Capturing the process details will help Action Team 2.1 to collaborate in designing the Future State for referring students at risk of not graduating high school to mentoring programs within Brown County in the future.
Action Team 2.1
Action Team 2.1 consists of pilot organizations including three school districts (Denmark School District, Green Bay Area Public School District, and Howard-Suamico School District) and four youth mentoring organizations (Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Club, Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin, and Youth Enrichment Services). After the future state process map is completed in early 2018, we will be supporting the changes at each of the partner organizations and then working to spread the change across Brown County through an on-going collective impact model. These Action Team members are bringing their best work to this process and we are so excited to see this work move to the next phase where changes are integrated within each of the seven organizations.
Photos from Process Mapping Sessions
This year saw some minor changes in the percentage of Brown County 5-year-old students meeting literacy and numeracy benchmarks. These benchmarks are part of a new Brown County measure, as an alternative to PALS (Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening). Changes to the literacy and numeracy benchmark pass rates have been slight thus far and no conclusions can yet be drawn to their statistical significance with the insufficient historical data available at present.
Two important literacy benchmarks in the standard are Upper Case Letter ID, or how many upper-case letters can be identified, and Lower Case Letter ID, or how many lower-case letters can be identified. For Upper Case Letter ID, recognizing ten or more letters is considered passing and 5 or more letters need to be recognized to pass the Lower Case Letter ID benchmark. In the Fall of 2016, 90 and 94 percent of students passed the Upper and Lower Case Letter ID benchmarks respectively. By this Fall, these figures dropped slightly to 89 and 93 percent.
When it comes to numeracy, two important benchmarks are Counting and Number ID. The definition for Counting is how many numbers can be recited out loud in order. The definition of Number ID is how many numbers between one and ten can be identified. In order to pass counting, a student must be able to count to at least five, while to pass Number ID they must be able to identify at least five numbers between one and ten. In the fall of 2016, 99 and 96 percent of students passed the Counting and Number ID benchmarks respectively. By this Fall, the Counting pass rate had remained the same, while falling to 95% for Number ID.
2017 Community Briefing
Our Community Briefing was on November 7th at the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay. We hope you were one of the almost 160 attendees that joined us!
The presentation was an overview of the accomplishments we have made throughout 2017. Our current board president, Tim Weyenberg, announced that he would be stepping down as President, however, he will remain active on our board. Mark Kaiser, Lindquist Machine President/CEO, will take the presidential role for the next few years effective January 2018.
With the additions of the AmeriCorps VISTA Members earlier this year, we have launched Action Teams for Outcomes One, Two, Three and Four. Cristin Sullivan-Metzler, Director of Operations and Project Management, presented the progress these teams have made over the few short months they have been with us. We had many past Outcome Team members in attendance and appreciate their desire to stay involved in the progress of the work we are doing in the community. The website has been updated with information about each of the Action Teams and their focus.
Another area that has seen a lot of progress with the addition of the VISTA members, is our data work. Mary Klos, Director of Research and Data Management, gave an overview of the data our community members have provided to us and also unveiled the updated data pages on our website. Christine Gill, Community Information System Manager, provided an update on the Community Information System (CIS). In partnership with Brown County United Way, we are coordinating the collection and translation of de-identified, individual-level data into actionable, population-level information for Brown County leaders to act on. The presentation wrapped up with us looking forward with the encouraging announcement of a major investment in the StriveTogether Network, of which we are a sustaining partner. It was encouraging to hear that many who came to the event left with a better understanding of what Achieve Brown County is all about and what we are doing.
As we look back over this past year, it’s amazing to see the things that were accomplished. We look forward to this coming year and are excited for the possibilities of 2018!