Workgroup Update | April 2018



Follow our Workgroup and Collaborative updates for the months of March and April 2018

Current list and description of L.A. Compact collaborative initiatives>>




LAUSD Engagement: L.A. Compact staff participated in a day-long convening on March 9th with LAUSD’s Community Schools Implementation Team to identify critical components of a successful community school model; roles of district, school and community partners; and to create a roadmap for expanding community school transformation across the district. The task force launched last fall following an LAUSD Board Motion that endorsed community schools as an innovative and holistic approach to student success. 

Stewardship Group: The L.A. Compact Stewardship Group convened in February to begin discussing new collaborative priorities and heard directly from Interim Superintendent Vivian Ekchian on some of LAUSD’s current priorities, including chronic absenteeism, early education, facilities, joint advocacy, and student mental health. 

L.A. Regional STEM Hub: The L.A. Regional STEM Hub participated in hosting an Amgen Biotechnology Experience, Greater Los Angeles (ABE-LA) booth at the Ventura County STEM Expo held at California Lutheran University on March 23. ABE-LA is an innovative, science education program that introduces secondary school students to the excitement of scientific discovery by bringing real-world science labs into the classroom. The Expo was designed to give middle school and high school students exposure to different areas of STEM. Student volunteers of ABE-LA taught the attendees how to properly use a P20 micropipette, practice aspirating and dispensing various volumes of a red practice dye on a template, and practice "loading" a mock electrophoresis gel. Approximately 500 students attended the expo. Additionally, the STEM Hub led efforts on a joint presentation entitled “Breaking Barriers in Science: Real Students, Real Science, Real Skills” with the DC STEM Hub during the National Community of Practice Convening, April 4-6th in Washington DC showcasing the value of business education partnerships, utilizing the Amgen Biotech Experience as an example. Finally, on Saturday, April 14th the STEM Hub hosted a Teacher Appreciation Lunch in partnership with the Amgen Foundation. The event was an opportunity to express gratitude to the 270 teachers who participate in ABE-LA and make science relevant and exciting for thousands of students across Los Angeles. The event brought together more than 90 dedicated teachers and partners for a morning of panel discussions with biotech professionals, knowledge sharing and networking. Attendees were inspired by teacher innovation and commitment to ensuring the success of our future scientists. 

Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) Collaborative: The IHE Collaborative met on March 29th to review and approve revisions to the L.A. Compact’s goal “All students have access to and are prepared for success in college.” The revised goal shifts the focus from college access to completion, now reading: “All students complete postsecondary education.” This shift is in line with the many activities that each institution is undertaking on their respective campuses, and with the Collaborative’s newly relaunched Student Success Workgroup, which focuses on increasing postsecondary attainment in the region. 

L.A. College Promise: Announced by Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2016, the L.A. College Promise achieved several successes in its first year of implementation. The Promise provided tuition fee waivers to nearly 4,000 LAUSD graduates who enrolled across the nine Los Angeles Community College District campuses, increasing LAUSD attendance by 14%. In addition, the percentage of LAUSD students attending on a full-time basis increased by 40%, making these students more likely to graduate according to a growing body of research. With the passage of Assembly Bill 19 (Santiago), the L.A. College promise will receive additional resources to support these efforts. This past quarter, the partners launched the 2018 L.A. College Promise Works! campaign to provide summer jobs and internship to current program participants. 

Los Angeles Educator Pathways Partnership (LAEPP): LAEPP finalized their first set of bi-lateral data exchanges in 2017, matching student records from six regional colleges of education with Los Angeles Unified School District employee records. With the support of a second grant from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the LAEPP partners have been working with Education Analytics to develop a series of data analysis tools to help teacher preparation administrators answer key research questions about regional teacher preparation. In quarter one, the partners received their customized data dashboards which will help the partners identify ways to strengthen the teacher preparation pipeline. 

Student Success Workgroup: In February and March, CSUN, L.A. Valley College, L.A. Mission College, and L.A. Pierce College developed a joint branding concept for their new reverse transfer partnership. “CSUN Connections” will inform eligible CSUN transfer students about the benefits of an associate degree, provide customized information about their degree status, and will streamline communication with participating community college partners. The campuses have already developed a database of eligible students and have conducted preliminary degree audits to support the launch of the CSUN Connections reverse transfer initiative. CSUN Connections is supported by the Student Success Workgroup. 

L.A. Compact Data Workgroup: The L.A. Compact Data Workgroup convened in early April to learn about the L.A. Compact’s new goals (ECE, higher education and whole child). The Workgroup conducted a deep dive into the whole child goal adopted by the Stewardship Group and proposed revisions to the draft description to further clarify the goal and promote accurate measurement. The Data Workgroup also refined the set of proposed K-12 and Higher Education metrics in accordance with changes in data availability and in preparation for the submission of our proposed indicators to the L.A. Compact Stewardship Group. Finally, the Workgroup discussed the process for garnering commitments from our Compact institutions on retrieving and sharing data that captures regional progress in ECE, K-12, Higher Education, and Workforce. 

Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Project, convened by First 5 L.A.: Five School Districts including LAUSD South, Pomona Unified School District, El Monte City School District, Rosemead School District, and Mountain View School District have completed their Early Development Instrument (EDI) data collection. This represents approximately 6% of the kindergarten children in Los Angeles County. In order to analyze their data and plan for further community engagement, UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities launched a learning exchange on April 17th to bring together over 10 communities in L.A. and Orange County who are implementing the EDI. The So Cal EDI Learning Exchange is supported by First 5 Los Angeles as part of their 2015-2020 Strategic Plan to advance a common Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) for Los Angeles County to help inform and drive improved early childhood services, systems and polices. The So Cal EDI Learning Exchange will meet quarterly so that communities can share lessons learned and best practices in utilizing their EDI results. 

District recruitment for participation in First 5 LA’s KRA grant will begin this Spring. Five new school districts will have the opportunity to receive funding and collect EDI data in FY 18-19. Please reach out to Avery Seretan at [email protected] if you have connections at a specific school district that would like to participate. 

L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative (OYC), convened by the Alliance for Children’s Rights: 

OYC Stewardship Committee: The OYC Stewardship Committee is comprised of sixteen high level leaders in education, child welfare, housing and business. The group most recently convened on April 11th to vet the CEO’s TAY Assistant framework hub. The committee engaged in a conversation with the CEO about the framework hub and provided input about the proposed technology and service delivery model. The committee posed various questions around implementation that were unable to be answered at this time. The Stewardship Committee will be convened again this summer to discuss the OYC strategic planning. 

OYC Quarterly Meeting: The last OYC Quarterly Meeting was held on March 12th at The California Endowment with “Steps to Collaboration” as the meeting theme. The packed agenda featured speakers from California Youth Connection (CYC), John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY), L.A. City Economic Workforce Development Department (L.A. City EWDD), Youth Development Services, and the OYC. To kick of the meeting, CYC provided an overview of their organization and the increased efforts towards youth engagement. Referring to the Youth Engagement Self-Assessment Rubric provided by the Silicon Valley Children’s Fund, CYC shared how they increase youth engagement in their organization. Youth sit on advisory boards as well as actively participate in chapters around the state. Then JBAY shared information on the FAFSA Challenge and SB 940: legislation to help improve access to the Cal Grant. 

Afterwards, Robert Sainz from the L.A. City EWDD spoke to attendees on removing Ego from collaboration, stressing the importance of always asking “Are we serving the youth and their interests first or are we serving to get the credit and points first?” In this line of work, partners need to ask how we can collaboratively make it easier for youth to navigate the system. With the Los Angeles Performance Partnership Pilot Initiative (LA P3), EWDD also presented on the regional meetings held in various SPA’s around L.A. County each week and the need to get agencies in the room to participate. A typical meeting will allow attendees to get familiar with the agencies in the room, discuss a case to solve, and allows participants to work together in connecting the youth in the case example to resources, highlighting how collaborating on resources improves youth outcomes. The advantage of participating in P3 regional meetings is to improve communication and strengthen relationships to better coordinate services for youth. Then Robbie Odom of Youth Development Services (YDS) provided a brief outlook on what he would like to accomplish at the helm of YDS focusing on strengthening public/ private partnerships, increasing funding for scholarships and fighting for foster youth legislation. 

Thomas Lee of the OYC presented research highlighting networks that build slower and deeper connections help create thriving communities. These healthy thriving communities create stronger collaboration and strengthen connections to other networks. Applying this to the collaborative work in L.A. County, it’s important to have networks that develop and sustain cooperation and coordination. Finally, the new OYC Director, Lauri Collier closed the meeting by asking attendees to locate the LA P3 Regional Collaborative meeting in their service area (posted around the room). These groups were then asked to have attendees introduce themselves and hold each other accountable to attend the next P3 regional meeting in their SPA. 

OYC Young Leaders: The OYC Young Leaders are positioned to be the go-to resource for public and private agencies looking to gain better insights on the needs of foster youth. Since our last report, Young Leaders have been an instrumental part of revising the Foster Youth Bill of Rights. In addition, a young leader recently testified at a board of supervisors meeting, and the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion aimed at preventing foster youth from becoming entangled in the juvenile justice system, and ensuring supportive care for those are. Read more here

  • Led workshops in Sacramento, CA for the TAY Conference (Feb 2018) 
  • Testified to the Board of Supervisors on the Dual Status Motion (March 2018) 
  • Co-led workshops at the Education Summit in Pomona, CA (April 2018) 

The OYC was asked by the L.A. County CEO to convene two Youth Forums, on April 7th and 21st, in partnership with California Youth Connection to gain youth input about the TAY Assistant. These forums are a great opportunity for youth to hear about the central entry HUB framework for TAY, as well as for caregivers and social workers to identify all available services and supports (L.A. County departmental and community provided). The CEO is soliciting feedback from youth about the proposed HUB framework, recommendations, service gaps, incentives and the peer navigator concept. 

OYC Foster Youth College Advancement Program (FYCAP), convened by John Burton Advocates for Youth and UNITE-LA: Between January to March 2018, OYC FYCAP focused on financial aid access for foster youth. UNITE-LA partnered with John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY) to host a step-by-step FAFSA assistance webinar training for 400+ providers statewide, and facilitated in-person trainings for 150+ LAUSD foster youth and special education counselors. The partners also worked with LACOE and the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to find a baseline FAFSA completion rate of 37% for L.A. County foster youth high school seniors. This rate is below the County-wide financial aid completion rate for all high school seniors, pointing to the need for sustained efforts targeting financial aid completion among foster youth. 

FYCAP co-conveners, the L.A. Chamber/ UNITE-LA and JBAY are co-sponsoring Senate Bill 940, authored by Senator Jim Beall, to remove eligibility barriers and extend strict deadlines that often prevent foster youth from accessing Cal Grant financial aid they need to succeed in college. On March 8th, the Chamber testified before the CSAC, along with two former foster youth students, encouraging the Commission to support the bill. During the Spring legislative recess, the Chamber and JBAY brought local foster youth to meet with lawmakers to share how their foster care experiences made their path to college more difficult and how provisions of SB 940 could help them access the financial aid they need to get to and stay in college. 

iFoster Jobs Program: The iFoster Jobs Program continues to grow with each cohort and expands the number of older foster youth in private sector jobs. On March 13th approximately 35 youth were assessed and celebrated for completing 30 hours of work readiness trainings. Congressperson Karen Bass kicked off the event by pointing out the increasing need for public-private partnerships to ensure that foster youth get the support they need. She also endorsed a bill before Congress that would offer tax credits to employers who hire foster youth up through age 26. The iFoster team is working with these youth by matching them to employers with job opportunities near where the youth live, mentoring them through the application and interview process and providing post-employment supports. At the same time, 40 additional foster youth began training at Pasadena City College and Mt. San Antonio College and will be assessed on May 5th. 

Fostering Careers L.A., convened by the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Alliance for Children’s Rights: In February and March, staff from the L.A. Chamber, the Alliance for Children’s Rights, and L.A. County DCFS conducted a regional listening tour with all seven workforce development boards in L.A. County to understand their challenges and best practices in connecting transition-age foster youth with work experiences and job training. The listening tour will inform the development of a streamlined referral process between DCFS and regional workforce programs that will be piloted this summer as the 2018 subsidized jobs program kicks off. Each year L.A. County designates approximately 500 subsidized job slots just for foster youth. The OYC is working to ensure that foster youth can easily enroll in the program to benefit from this vital early work experience. 

L.A. 100k Coalition, convened by the Alliance for Children’s Rights, iFoster, and the L.A. Area Chamber: The L.A. 100K Coalition continues to advance on 3 main objectives: 1) leverage and engage new 100k employers, 2) workforce development assessment and job matching, and 3) leverage public dollars and advocate for systems change. At the meeting on February 14th, advances in each of these objectives were reviewed with particular attention focused on establishing a standard for work ready youth under objective 2 and developing branding/ marketing material to reinforce message with public entities and stakeholders under objective 3. Additional employer engagement meetings were also held to advance objective 1. The last Coalition meeting on April 19th focused on developing L.A. 100K Coalition marketing material, specifically a Business Case to use when engaging employers in hiring opportunity youth. 

Los Angeles Performance Partnership Pilot (LA P3), convened by L.A. City EWDD and L.A. County WDACS: Thanks to a recent decision by the U.S. Department of Labor to grant an eligibility waiver for WIOA Youth programs it will be easier for all seven workforce development boards in L.A. County to serve foster youth. A key component of the P3 designation is to grant communities waivers from certain federal program eligibility, accountability, and reporting requirements in order to streamline service delivery and improve outcomes for disconnected youth. In 2015, the LA City and County workforce boards requested a waiver to count all foster youth as “out-of-school” in determining their eligibility for youth workforce services, even if they are enrolled in high school or postsecondary education. Now this waiver has been extended to all 7 workforce boards in L.A. County. The waiver is significant because under WIOA, only 25% of youth funds can be spent on in-school youth. Some local workforce boards have decided to direct 100% of their WIOA youth funding on out-of-school youth. Though foster youth experience disproportionately worse education and employment outcomes than their peers, most foster youth are actually enrolled in school as a condition of continuing extended foster care services in California. The L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative and the L.A. Compact advocated strongly for this waiver expansion to all regions of L.A. County. 

L.A. P3 held its Quarterly Meeting on February 22nd focused on aligning systems and services for homeless youth to meet the need of 17,000 homeless K-12 students in LAUSD and 77,000 in LA County. The meeting also featured the lived experiences of a panel of formerly homeless young people. The next Quarterly Meeting in May will focus on aligning systems and services for justice involved youth. 

L.A. Regional Workforce Systems Collaborative: The Regional Workforce Systems Collaborative kicked off its workgroup relaunch on April 10th with a convening that discussed Skills Guarantee Principles for California, L.A. Workforce Development Regional Landscape White Paper and proposed partnership goals. While currently in working draft form, the final versions will be shared via updates and highlighted in the Compact Connection newsletter. The group agreed to meet on a bi-monthly basis for the duration of 2018. 

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