As school districts and communities prepare for the new resources available to them through the Student Success Act, they are being asked to put community voice in the center of their processes to determine how the new dollars will be spent.
There are multiple, concurrent processes happening through the Oregon Department of Education and the Early Learning Division, with each school district and region making decisions about how to do outreach to their communities. It can feel a bit overwhelming from the outside to understand the processes and how to engage.
Here are some ways to stay informed and get involved:
Through Early Learning Multnomah: As we mentioned last month, Early Learning Multnomah is facilitating the Early Care and Education Sector Plan creation, with deliverables due to the Early Learning Division by December 13. These deliverables include an analysis of priority populations for preschool expansion, a description of the current service array and a depiction of related expansion efforts underway in the county. Fortunately for Multnomah County, these deliverables connect smoothly with the recommendations from the Preschool For All Taskforce, which were based on hundreds of hours of data analysis, community engagement and provider and parent input over the past year. Early Learning Multnomah is now in the process of collecting and organizing program information to shed light on the array of early learning services in the community.
If you would like to share more about your program or if you would like more detailed information about the Early Care and Education Sector Plan, please contact Molly Day
Through your local school district: Each school district is required to engage their community in planning for their Student Investment Account application, one part of the Student Success Act. In particular, districts will need to hear from the families of: students of color; students with disabilities; emerging bilingual students; and students navigating poverty, homelessness, and foster care.
If you aren’t seeing opportunities to engage with your district, you could call or email the district office and ask the following questions:
-How do you plan to engage the priority populations in the Student Investment Account?
-What will your process be for using the input from the community to make decisions about how to invest the Student Investment Account resources?
Some districts have begun to post materials on their websites. For example, Portland Public Schools has put out a report on their initial engagement.
Through a nonprofit organization: A number of nonprofits are working hard to share information about the Student Success Act and support those doing the engagement work.
The Children’s Institute has a number of informative resources on their website.
The Student Success Act can only meet its potential if it is driven by community needs and opportunities.