L.A. Compact's Workgroup and Collaborative updates for the months of May and June 2018
L.A. Compact Stewardship Group, convened by UNITE-LA: In April, the L.A. Compact Stewardship Group discussed adoption of a new goal related to school readiness and the revision of the Compact’s existing college access goal to focus more on postsecondary completion. The goal changes are part of a larger “Compact 3.0” revision to the partner agreement that will be proposed to the signing agencies by the end of 2018. The Stewardship Group also began generating ideas for a new slate of Priority Strategies that will guide the Compact’s collaborative work over the next two years.
At its June meeting, the L.A. Compact Stewardship Group was joined by LAUSD Deputy Superintendent Vivien Ekchian and several members of the LAUSD Community Schools Implementation Team to provide feedback on a draft implementation plan for a comprehensive community school framework in the district. L.A. Compact partners expressed strong support for engaging in the expansion of community schools in LAUSD as a new Compact priority and identified several ways the Compact could contribute.
Community schooling is an evidence-based school improvement framework. According to the Learning Policy Institute, a successful, high quality community school will demonstrate four key characteristics: integrated student supports, expanded learning time and opportunities, strong family and community engagement, and collaborative leadership and practice.
Joint Advocacy Workgroup, convened by the L.A. Area Chamber: The Joint Advocacy Workgroup will be relaunching this summer after a year hiatus following several staff departures at partner institutions. The L.A. Chamber has increased its capacity to staff the workgroup and plans to reconvene partners well before the new administration begins its work in Sacramento to redefine its goals and principles and set the foundation for policies and investments supporting L.A.’s youth.
Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) Collaborative, convened by UNITE-LA: In May, the IHE Collaborative worked to update descriptor language for the new L.A. Compact goal that “All students complete postsecondary education.” The descriptor language will provide context for this goal and highlight key principles shared by the higher education institutions, such as the need to advance equitable student outcomes. The Collaborative also provided feedback on revisions to the IHE’s commitments to the Compact agreement.
- L.A. College Promise, convened by the L.A. Mayor’s Office: On June 6, the L.A. College Promise partners joined the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) Foundation in presenting the LACCD with a check for $536,000. The funds, raised primarily by the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, cover first semester tuition and fees for the first College Promise cohort. LACCD continues its collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District to recruit, enroll, and support the second L.A. College Promise cohort in 2018-2019, in partnership with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office and UNITE-LA.
- Los Angeles Educator Pathways Partnership (LAEPP),convened by UNITE-LA: LAEPP recently received a grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to support its collaborative work to improve teacher preparation pathways. The grant will allow the LAEPP partners to conduct joint research on the effectiveness of local STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) teacher preparation programs and identify opportunities for continuous improvement.
- Student Success Workgroup,convened by UNITE-LA: The Student Success Workgroup partners remain very focused on identifying strategies to align transfer pathways in the region. CSUN and the three LACCD colleges participating in CSUN Connections--L.A. Mission College, L.A. Pierce College, and L.A. Valley College--made steady progress in finalizing the launch of the program, in which transfer students who stopped out of CSUN and first-time freshmen who were academically dismissed will be contacted and informed of how the initiative can help them earn an associate degree. The group also finalized a concept paper for how to work with ring community colleges and four regional CSUs (LA, Northridge, Dominguez Hills, & Pomona) to develop greater alignment around the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) pathways. Finally, Student Success Workgroup members participated in a third-party evaluation conducted by Harder + Company to evaluate workgroup processes and UNITE-LA’s role as a convener. The Student Success Workgroup will next convene on July 10 to debrief the past academic year and set priorities for the 2018-19 academic year.
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 and participate in the quarterly So Cal EDI Learning Exchange. Communities and school districts have also begun stakeholder engagement and planning sessions to determine how to utilize the results of the EDI to advocate for local policy and systems change. Results of the EDI will be available later this summer and school districts will analyze the data and host a series of teacher articulation meetings and parent meetings etc.
First 5 L.A. is in the midst of district recruitment for future participation in the KRA grant. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have connections at a specific school district that would like to participate.
Healthcare Collaborative,convened by the L.A. Area Chamber: In May, the Chamber in partnership with the Center for a Competitive Workforce (CCW) released Health Care Services in the Los Angeles Basin. The report forecasts job opportunities, analyzes changing skills requirements and illuminates career education pathways for the local-serving health care industry in the greater L.A. Basin. The Chamber in partnership with its health care partners held a convening with nearly 200 industry, higher education and workforce development leaders to highlight the report findings; led a discussion with employers on the health care workforce skills gaps; and provided an overview of exemplary health care training and industry-partnerships and why attracting students from underserved communities to health careers is vital to the region’s success. READ THE REPORT.
L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative (OYC), convened by the Alliance for Children’s Rights: The OYC, in collaboration with John Burton Advocates for Youth and the L.A. Chamber, is beginning to plan a higher education conference in November 2018 to build partnerships between college campus support programs for foster youth, public workforce development programs, and DCFS. In addition the OYC, in partnership with DCFS and Los Angeles County Workforce Development Aging and Community Services (WDACS), is exploring a one-day conference at the California Endowment in spring 2019 focused on transition-age foster youth self-sufficiency.
- OYC Stewardship Group:An executive advisory of the stewardship group has been created to lead the development of a new OYC strategic plan. The invited members are eight high level leaders who will guide a longer view of the OYC’s sustainability. There are promising initiatives now being built and led by public systems, and the OYC strategic planning process will examine how to deepen the connections of partners to these initiatives, imbed the prioritization of foster youth as an institutional priority population, and lift the bleak outcomes for foster youth in our county.
- OYC Foster Youth College Advancement Program (FYCAP),convened by John Burton Advocates for Youth and UNITE-LA: FYCAP partners have continued their work to improve postsecondary outcomes for L.A. County foster youth. JBAY and UNITE-LA have already started working with the Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program at the L.A. County Office of Education, the Children’s Law Center, and the Office of L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger to brainstorm ideas for next year’s FAFSA Challenge, which will set a financial aid completion goal for the region and coordinate service providers to offer targeted assistance to youth.
JBAY and UNITE-LA have also continued to work closely with the DCFS Regional Offices in Lancaster and Palmdale to develop a full calendar of social worker trainings and youth activities for the upcoming 2018-19 school year. These efforts are part of College Bound Antelope Valley, a pilot initiative that is integrating college planning activities into core social work practices in order to help middle and high school youth in the Antelope Valley prepare for college. In addition, FYCAP is working closely with DCFS and the Foster and Kinship Care Education programs at the California Community Colleges to develop a 2-hour training that will empower caregivers to support foster youth with college and financial aid planning.
FYCAP partners remain focused on state-wide policy change and county-level systems coordination. Their advocacy for SB 940 was successful--leading to the inclusion of $5.3 million in the 2018-19 state budget, which will expand Cal Grant eligibility requirements so that youth can better access aid. JBAY and UNITE-LA also worked with staff from the 10 state-funded foster youth campus support programs in L.A. County to facilitate action planning with K-12 and child welfare partners, in order to identify and enroll more youth into community college programs. The FYCAP partners will next reconvene on July 26.
- Fostering Careers L.A.,convened by the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Alliance for Children’s Rights: The OYC in partnership with the L.A. Chamber of Commerce, L.A. County DCFS, and the region’s workforce development agencies in May and June to design a new coordinated referral process to connect foster youth with paid work experiences and job training. The partners developed a common referral form to be used by DCFS social workers and ILP Coordinators and formalized a referral and tracking process between DCFS and the seven regional workforce agencies in L.A. County. The OYC plans to launch the coordinated referral process in early July in time for the kickoff of the County’s Youth@Work program, which provides up to 120 hours of paid work experience and training.
In addition to the coordinated referral process, DCFS and 11 workforce programs will be piloting the use of Career Hub, a web-based texting platform, to improve outreach and enrollment of foster youth in workforce programs.
- L.A. 100k Coalition, convened by the Alliance for Children’s Rights, iFoster, and the L.A. Area Chamber:
Engagement and Recruitment: The OYC is scheduling presentations with DCFS regional offices and other partners to promote the two upcoming iFoster Jobs Program Cohorts which are planned for August in Service Planning Area 6 and October for Service Planning Area 3. In addition, the OYC and LA Chamber will be hiring a Youth Outreach and Engagement Fellow (shared 1FTE). The fellow will have lived experience of the foster care system, and we believe this young person can be a role model to young people to help connect and engage them in services. The youth fellow is expected to be on-boarded by the end of July.
Employer Engagement: iFoster has engaged six employers of the 100k initiative: CVS, Chipotle, Marriott, Hilton, Nordstrom, HMS Host (via partnership with RightWay Foundation), and they are developing a relationship with PetCo, as youth have reported being interesting in working with animals.
Workforce Development, Assessment, & Job Matching: From Sept. 2017 to present, 199 youth have been referred to the iFoster Jobs Program, 66 completed training & assessment, and 3 went directly to assessment day. As the OYC Fostering Careers L.A. project aims to boost the number of foster youth entering into the public workforce systems, the OYC is advocating to develop a conversion strategy to transition youth from short-term paid work experiences to either WIOA supports or competitive employment via the iFoster Jobs Program.
Leverage Public Dollars/Systems Change: OYC partner, the LA TAY Collaborative, has trained six of the seven workforce development boards and most of their contractors on a work readiness curriculum designed to help youth develop the soft skills needed to gain and retain employment. In addition, the pubic workforce development system was trained on trauma informed care and DCFS 101--to gain understanding of working with foster youth.
Los Angeles Performance Partnership Pilot (LA P3), convened by L.A. City EWDD and L.A. County WDACS: Over 75 partners attended the LA P3 quarterly meeting in May to learn about current efforts related to probation youth in Los Angeles and the dramatic reduction of institutional care. LAUSD presented on their partnerships with the Probation Department to support the educational success of justice-involved youth while in care and also upon reentry. Download LAUSD’s presentation here. Click here to see the L.A. County Probation Department’s presentation on their efforts to reduce juvenile incarceration through community partnerships.
The RELAY (Reconnecting LA’s Youth) Institute finalized a charter agreement to formally launch the 5-CSU campus initiative which will support the LA P3 effort by providing a research and professional development hub to advance the region’s strategies serving disconnected youth. P3 partners met in May to provide feedback on a branding and marketing campaign for the RELAY Institute.