Developing Innovative Partnerships and Approaches to Support Educational Success in Communities

Commitments of High-Impact Nonprofit Organizations

  • Partnering with Purpose
  • Co-Creating with Community
  • Engaging All Voices

North Star Recommendations

  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Capacity for Innovation

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified disparities in education, and community-based organizations are uniquely positioned to address those disparities. In this four-session learning series, learn how community-based organizations and schools are achieving shared goals for student success by strengthening their relationships, leveraging their unique expertise, and developing innovative approaches within the education system in their communities. 

A key takeaway is that there is no cookie-cutter recipe. However, as you engage with each speaker and fellow participants, you will be able to identify the commonalities across all approaches—engaging all voices, gathering data, and letting the community needs guide decision making. Throughout this course, you will identify some key steps and actions that you can apply immediately to your organization to start exploring the unique possibilities in your community.

Sessions and Networking Opportunities

All sessions will be recorded and available for on-demand viewing through Dec. 22, 2020 for paid registrants. Included in registration is an exclusive networking event for participants.

Networking: Education Policy Coffee Hour

Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 10-11 a.m.

Seeing the whole student within the context of their family, community, and the multiple systems they interact with, helps us understand what needs to happen at the practice, systems, and policy levels to enable all young people to succeed in education. This brief opening discussion will bring together education stakeholders to discuss how community-based organizations are uniquely positioned—now more than ever—to contribute to education reform efforts. 

Educational Success Opening Discussion and Coffee Chat

Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 10-10:45 a.m. CT

This brief opening discussion will bring together education stakeholders to discuss how our sector is uniquely positioned - now more than ever - to contribute to education reform efforts.  


  • Kelly Martin, director of educational success, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Session 1: Head Start to High School: A 2-Generation Community School Model

Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 11 a.m.-Noon CT

Children's Institute in Los Angeles will provide an overview of its innovative, two-generational, cross-system continuum of care model that supports student success from cradle to career. This collaborative, communitywide approach includes a feeder-school strategy that combines family engagement and wraparound supports beginning in early care and education and through elementary, middle, and high schools. Presenters will share insights about the strategy behind the new approach.


  • About the model and coordinating roles 
  • About the wraparound services and emerging outcomes
  • Policy and advocacy implications
  • About challenges, lessons learned, and pivots related to COVID-19 and racial equity


  • Virginia Lee, director of community engagement and partnerships, Partnership for Los Angeles Schools
  • Danette McBride, vice president of community innovations, Children’s Institute
  • Todd Sosna, chief program officer, Children’s Institute

Session 2: Transformation through an Equitable Trauma-Informed Lens: From Awareness to Schoolwide Practice

Monday, Nov. 2 from 1-2 p.m. CT

Many schools are aware of the impact of trauma and adversity on students, but many educators are unsure how to translate that awareness to action and classroom practice. Compounded with other challenges, schools are looking a universal, easy-to-implement strategy for improving student regulation and learning. However, this really requires applying a new perspective and lens to every aspect of the work, which can be complex and difficult to sustain.

Participants in this project-based workshop will learn about an approach to leading systemic change within a school using an equitable, trauma-informed lens. SaintA in Milwaukee will share hands-on tools to help leaders to integrate multiple school initiatives, critically evaluate current practice, and assess practice gaps. Participants will learn how to transform current policy and procedure in a way that is concrete and actionable.


  • A process to integrate current school initiatives to present a clear vision for educators
  • A process to critically evaluate and transform current practice using an equitable, trauma-informed lens.
  • Hands-on practice using these tools to apply to their own policy and practice


  • Sara Daniel, vice president of education, SaintA

Session 3: Building Capacity for SEL across a Large School District

Wednesday, Nov. 11 from 11 a.m.-Noon CT

Learn how a South Florida School system used its Title IV dollars to create and maintain the state’s first district social and emotional learning (SEL) department. They went on to establish SEL as a means for preventing mental health challenges in 40 schools at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Implementation emphasizes three prongs of explicit instruction, instructional integration and infusion into school climate and culture.


  • About St. Lucie Public Schools District’s work to establish SEL programs in all its schools
  • District-wide practices and impact
  • The three-prong approach to school-wide SEL implementation
  • How recent events have shifted priorities and perspective across the district related to SEL


  • Cassey Chang, SEL specialist, St Lucie Public Schools
  • Christina Coppola, SEL specialist, St Lucie Public Schools
  • Traci Wilke, director of SEL, St Lucie Public Schools

Session 4: Community Partnership Schools and Transformative Change

Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 10-11 a.m. CT

This session will provide attendees with an overview of Community Partnership Schools as a strategy to strengthen families and Communities. Community Partnership Schools are a unique community school initiative developed as a strategic collaboration between the University of Central Florida and Children’s Home Society of Florida. The presentation will provide an overview of the Community Partnership Schools™ model, cross-sector collaboration, coordination of services and impact.


  • About the Community Partnership School model
  • Key components of trust-building in the foundational, long-term partnerships 
  • Asset-based strategies for community school development and the coordination of services to build healthy communities
  • How to use distributive leadership to expand services and opportunities


  • Amy Ellis, director, University of Central Florida
  • Donnie Hale, assistant director, University of Central Florida
  • Tara Hormell, senior vice president, Children's Home Society of Florida
  • Jarvis Wheeler, statewide director, Children's Home Society of Florida

Learning Series Sponsor

We are here to help you.

Contact our Excelerator support team via email or by calling 800-221-3726, option 3 or 414-359-6578. Our hours of operation are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. CT.