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Focusing on Principal Wellness: 6 Questions for School Leaders19363GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​ <p>​For many, this year has been the start of a return to normalcy. But the overwhelming challenges facing schools, students and principals continue to evolve. According to <a href="https&#58;//survey.nassp.org/2022/?__hstc=180157371.bac77909d6215da4a21e8c328eb24c35.1664827493701.1665580618882.1665602121992.5&amp;__hssc=180157371.4.1665602121992&amp;__hsfp=3339776304#leaders" target="_blank">NASSP’s 2022 Survey of America’s School Leaders and High School Students</a>, one out of two school leaders say their stress level is so high, they are considering a career change or retirement, and three-quarters of school leaders report they needed help with their mental or emotional health last year. </p><p>That’s why the focus of this year’s <a href="https&#58;//www.principalsmonth.org/celebrate-your-principal/" target="_blank">National Principals Month</a> is on principal wellness. Celebrated every October, National Principals Month is an opportunity to honor school principals for their leadership and tireless dedication to their students and schools.</p><p>We spoke with four principals—who, together, have more than 30 years of experience as school leaders—about what inspired them to become principals, how they deal with burnout and the impact of the pandemic, among other topics. Their responses have been edited for length and clarity.</p><p> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/focusing-on-principal-wellness-6-questions-for-school-leaders/Kimberly_Greer_Photo.jpg" alt="Kimberly_Greer_Photo.jpg" class="wf-Image-Right" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;189px;height&#58;252px;" />​<em>Kimberly Greer started her fifth year as principal at Langley High School in McLean, Virginia, this year.</em></p><p> <em> </em></p><p> <strong>What inspired you to become a principal?</strong></p><div> <em>​</em>I have been inspired by the need to ensure success for all students. While it is easy to focus on the majority, we must make sure all students are seen, respected and their needs properly addressed. I feel it is my calling to ensure each student is valued and feels a part of their school community.</div><div> <strong><br></strong></div><div> <strong>Reflecting on the past two years, what are some of the biggest impacts that the pandemic has had on your job?</strong><br></div><div> <strong><br></strong></div><p>Being a principal has never been easy. However, since the pandemic, school leaders have had to work on supporting the emotional needs of stakeholders. In addition to meeting the needs of students, we’ve had to address the emotional wellness of staff members. Mental health challenges faced by students are greater. The biggest impact of the pandemic is it has provided opportunities to have conversations regarding mental health. We’ve used the pandemic as a chance to normalize these conversations and to remove the stigma associated with the topic. </p><p> <strong>There have been many articles circulating about principal burnout. Have you experienced this and if so, how have you dealt with it? </strong></p><p>I haven’t experienced burnout, but weariness has been felt at varying times over the past two years. I approach each day as a new opportunity. This has helped me to avoid burnout. Educational leadership isn’t easy. What keeps me going is the recognition that I have thousands of students and their families depending on me, as well as hundreds of staff members. I must provide support to all stakeholders so we are able to remain focused on students and their success.</p><p> <strong>What do principals need in order to feel supported?</strong></p><p>We need first and foremost for our humanity to be recognized. We are people who carry the weight of our schools, divisions and communities on our shoulders. We need people to check on us and make sure we're okay. Concern for our mental and physical wellness goes a long way. We are strong individuals, but we are human.<br></p><p> <strong>What advice do you have for aspiring principals?</strong></p><p>Build your network. Realize you can’t do it alone. Have fun. The job is tough, but find joy in the work. Young people are incredible, and we’re blessed to be a part of their journeys.</p><p> <strong>What is the best part about being a principal? What experience will stay with you long after you’ve retired?</strong></p><p>The best part is seeing your vision realized. It is incredible to consider that our decisions today will continue to impact our students long after they graduate. The experience that will stay with me is hearing seniors at last year’s graduation recite the sign-off I have used during the morning announcements since I became principal in 2018. This gesture meant they were listening and taking to heart the message I work daily to impart to students&#58; be kind-hearted human beings who take care of yourselves and one another.<br><br> </p><p> <em> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/focusing-on-principal-wellness-6-questions-for-school-leaders/Twainna_Fortner_Calhoun_photo.jpg" alt="Twainna_Fortner_Calhoun_photo.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;195px;height&#58;195px;" />Twainna Calhoun, principal at Good Hope Middle School in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, has been in school administration for 20 years and has been principal at her current school for 17 years. </em></p><p> <strong>What inspired you to become a principal?</strong></p><p>I think I've always had leadership in me. I have nine siblings, and I was led by awesome principals during my career. Every one of my principals saw something in me that they also thought would make a good leader. The legacy laid out in front of me inspired me to be a principal.</p><p> <strong>Reflecting on the past two years, what are some of the biggest impacts that the pandemic has had on your job? </strong></p><p>The isolation. The students, teachers and parents had been social distancing. And we’re finally getting back to where we were in March 2020. The isolation had a huge impact on my building and getting everyone motivated again. It seemed like the students post-pandemic lost motivation and had given up, but we just had to make it fun again. For instance, we started having pep rallies and spirit days again. The kids really enjoy that. That’s part of the school experience. The social aspect is important as well as the academics.</p><p> <strong>There have been many articles circulating about principal burnout. Have you experienced this and if so, how have you dealt with it? </strong></p><p>I have, definitely. As a matter of fact, this time last year I was job searching. I just thought I couldn’t do it anymore because one thing after another was compounding. But my principal colleagues—being a part of NASSP, being a part of the Louisiana Association of Principals—have helped me. Listening to their stories and knowing that I’m not alone helped me realize I can get through this. I’m not trying to be cliché, but the first day of school this year was probably the most excited I’ve been because I just put the spirit back into being a principal. I was born to do this. I came back and remembered my purpose. There are going to be roadblocks. My students, my staff and my own children are what inspired me to keep going. </p><p> <strong>What do principals need in order to feel supported?</strong></p><p>Districts can show support by attending our sporting events. It is helpful for district personnel to drop in and visit, not simply when there is a crisis. An &quot;atta girl&quot; goes a long way when you are a building leader. </p><p> <strong>What advice do you have for aspiring principals?</strong></p><p>Be confident. Because you are the building leader. You have to make decisions that are not popular, but you have to be confident in what you do. You have to be intentional, and be a good listener. Listening goes beyond paying attention when other people talk. It’s your response. You have to be a motivator. But I think the most important thing is being confident in what you do. You have to be prepared to be the decision maker. Take the bad and the good. You’re going to get the praise one day, and not so good feedback the next. Be organized. Be balanced, and be a visionary. You have to see beyond tomorrow.</p><p> <strong>What is the best part about being a principal? What experience will stay with you long after you’ve retired?</strong></p><p>The best part of being a principal is building relationships. I was born and raised here, and I’ve been in my building for 17 years. I’ve built relationships with teachers, and even after they’ve retired, I still communicate with them. One of my students is about to be my dentist now. Another student is now a teacher in our building, and he said I inspired him to become a teacher. I’ve actually had three students come back to teach. So just that experience of them coming back and wanting to be part of the process will stay with me long after I’ve retired.<br><br></p><p> <em><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/focusing-on-principal-wellness-6-questions-for-school-leaders/Aaron_Huff_Headshot.jpeg" alt="Aaron_Huff_Headshot.jpeg" class="wf-Image-Right" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;189px;height&#58;284px;" />Aaron Huff, principal at Benjamin Bosse High School in Evansville, Indiana, spent three years working as an assistant principal and has now been a principal for 11 years. </em></p><p> <strong>What inspired you to become a principal?</strong></p><p>I started working at the YMCA in youth outreach my senior year of high school and continued that work through college as an afterschool care supervisor while attending Ball State University. Upon graduation, I returned to my school district and started working as a site coordinator. During my time at BSU, my mother had become an assistant principal, and I watched her impact generations of children and families. She became a highly recognizable assistant principal and principal. One who garnered the respect of the whole community. People always spoke about the impact she had on their life. Little did I know that my becoming a principal would lead to me replacing my mother as the principal of Bosse High School. </p><p> <strong>Reflecting on the past two years, what are some of the biggest impacts that the pandemic has had on your job? </strong></p><p>I would say the biggest impacts the pandemic has had on the principalship relate to the mental health of students and staff. Also, I have seen an increase in student apathy. We are now experiencing the ripple effects of a prolonged pause in education. There are economic impacts and prolonged health impacts. The shortage of teachers and administration is a real challenge for the future of education.</p><p> <strong>There have been many articles circulating about principal burnout. Have you experienced this and if so, how have you dealt with it? </strong></p><p>I'd be lying if I said I hadn't. I am just fortunate to have a village around me that is extremely supportive and encouraging. I work with great individuals and students that keep me motivated. Burnout is experienced when I have to deal with the outside noise around education that prevents me from doing the things most important to our children and advancing our school. I also try to find the &quot;balance,&quot; literally and figuratively. I have taken up hot yoga, and that time on the mat is precious and is the opportunity for me to hit the reset button.</p><p> <strong>What do principals need in order to feel supported?</strong></p><p>I think principals need to be heard. Their voice then causes decision-makers to reevaluate, reconsider and adjust policy, practice and protocols that negatively impact the principalship. Acknowledge and support the work principals are doing to improve student educational outcomes.</p><p> <strong>What advice do you have for aspiring principals?</strong></p><p>Anyone can put time and energy into a position. As a principal, pour your heart into it, and keep students at the center. Organizations can't grow without great leaders willing to grow the people around them while they grow. Seek out various perspectives and schools of thought. Don't be consumed by maintaining day-to-day operations. Choose to think outside the box, and give permission to the people you lead to think outside the box. </p><p> <strong>What is the best part about being a principal? What experience will stay with you long after you’ve retired?</strong></p><p>The students, families, colleagues and friends you interact with daily. They become your family. I love the ability to alter a young person's life for the better.&#160; I value collaborative leadership and learning from others. Giving space for teachers to become leaders within the building. Creating an environment that students, families and community members love and want to be a part of. I cherish the connections with students and former students. Those are great memories. When you run into former students in the community, and they simply say thank you and share what they are doing now is what will stay with me.<br><br></p><p> <em><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/focusing-on-principal-wellness-6-questions-for-school-leaders/Lawson_Charles_Derrick__Headshot_2022.jpg" alt="Lawson_Charles_Derrick__Headshot_2022.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;159px;height&#58;239px;" />Derrick Lawson has been principal at Indio High School in Indio, California, for seven years and is in his 37th year of working in education. <strong></strong></em></p><p> <strong>What inspired you to become a principal?</strong></p><p>During my high school years, I was facing some significant personal life challenges. One of the assistant principals at my high school went the second, third and fourth mile to make a difference in my life and to ensure that the potential he saw in me would come to fruition. He and his wife both invested time and resources to help me stay connected to school and get through the circumstances that could have resulted in my going off in a direction that would have led me to become a very different person from who I am today. I want to do the same for others.</p><p> <strong>Reflecting on the past two years, what are some of the biggest impacts that the pandemic has had on your job? </strong></p><p>First, recalibrating the way I spend my time in order to address the needs of my staff. We’ve had to find a new balance to their own responses to trauma and new energy levels when they are taxed to the point of exhaustion trying to meet the needs of students in this new post-COVID paradigm. The second biggest impact is leading my school family in the reestablishment of our school culture. So many of our kids came back impacted by anxiety, fear and personal trauma, or they have returned with an exuberance and zeal for being back at school. There really is no middle ground and, in reality, only my seniors were truly a part of the school culture that existed prior to the pandemic. It is as if we are having to begin at “ground zero” once again. I am perpetually reminding everyone that we cannot take for granted that all of our staff and students fully remember, understand or embrace all of the traditions, expectations and experiences that make us who we are as a school.</p><p> <strong>There have been many articles circulating about principal burnout. Have you experienced this and if so, how have you dealt with it? </strong></p><p>While burnout has not been something I’ve experienced, I will say yes, I have experienced some exhausting times of stress and have had to take some specific actions to make sure that burnout does not become a potential on my horizon. I make it a point daily to take a break and find my point of joy. When I was an elementary school principal, that was visiting a kindergarten class full of kids hanging on my pant leg and wanting to hang all over me as I read a story to them. That was such a gratifying and fulfilling experience. In my high school, it may be shooting a few hoops at PE with some of my kids, going to the band room and having an impromptu performance on the piano during a practice piece or joining a science lab group as one of the students. My kids keep me level.<strong></strong></p><p> <strong>What do principals need in order to feel supported?</strong></p><p>From parents, principals need patience and grace. We care about their kids, too! But when we are juggling so many things at once, some days it is like drinking water from a firehose. I tell my parents, your issue or concern is not lost or ignored, we just may need time to be able to address it appropriately. From peers, we need one another’s empathy on those challenging days. Brilliance and expertise on days when we need to tap the skill set of others so that we can learn. Being the leader at the top can be a solitary place at times. From the district, we need flexibility in mandates and deadlines. Every day is different as we strive to uplift our staff and students and as we try to address the demands and pressures to provide a “return to normalcy” while also entertaining the changes of a whole new education paradigm. From students, we need their commitment to&#58; experience school—get involved in activities, clubs, sports and career tech pathways; Explore—new learning, stretch yourself, grow; and Exhibit—good character, acceptance of others, making good choices and being a member of our school family.</p><p> <strong>What advice do you have for aspiring principals?</strong></p><p>I feel strongly that as school site administrators, we have the potential to have the greatest impact on shaping the next generation. I recommend my own version of the ‘three R’s’&#58; relationships, reflection and renewal. It is important that we take the time to first build relationships with fellow site administrators and to provide mutual support and inspiration. Second, it is important to end each and every day with a moment of reflection. What would you do differently? Give yourself some kudos and reflect on something you did well or on how you made an impact, and let that be the last thing you think about when you go home for the evening. Make certain that it is not the challenges, but the successes that you bring home with you. Finally, take time for renewal. Refill your emotional bucket with some self-care. Refill your professional bucket by learning something new. And then include time for physical renewal with exercise, meditation, or something else that recharges your battery.</p><p> <strong>What is the best part about being a principal? What experience will stay with you long after you’ve retired?</strong></p><p>The best part about being a principal is the relationships that we build as we seek to guide and develop better talents for the futures of students and staff. I have a folder that I call my “blue folder”. Here I save every card, every story, every email—the smiles, the memories and the treasured moments where I was able to make a difference. While I may not be rich in dollars, I am one of the wealthiest people you will ever meet when it comes to memories and connections. I am blessed daily to cross paths with people who, over my years as a principal, stop to share a smile, a hug, a thank you or a treasured memory. That is pure gold.</p>Jenna Doleh912022-10-26T04:00:00ZFour principals reflect on their experiences and share how we can support them during National Principals Month—and throughout the year.10/26/2022 6:23:06 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Focusing on Principal Wellness: 6 Questions for School Leaders Four principals reflect on their experiences and share how 2573https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Exploring History and Culture with Arts Organizations of Color10216GP0|#a2eb43fb-abab-4f1c-ae41-72fd1022ddb0;L0|#0a2eb43fb-abab-4f1c-ae41-72fd1022ddb0|The Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Arts ​organizations founded by, with and for communities of color are relatively underrepresented in research, with limited&#160;information available about their founding histories and how these histories might shape an organization’s purpose, culture and work.&#160;That’s why, when we launched <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/arts-open-call-yields-250-submissions-from-organizations-of-color.aspx">o​ur latest arts initiative</a>&#160;beginning with&#160;18 organizations rooted in communities of color, we commissioned the <a href="https&#58;//www.ssrc.org/programs/arts-research-with-communities-of-color-program-arcc/" target="_blank">Social Science Research Council </a>(SSRC) to create a fellowship that could not only ​help document the organizations’ history and culture, but could also build research capacity in the field through the support of early career scholars​.</p><p>SSRC has now selected a group of research fellows, who will receive funding to conduct 12-month qualitative ethnographic studies in collaboration with the organizations in the initiative. The fellowship program seeks to support early career researchers who are deeply engaged with the arts organizations of color. The group will participate in conversations with one another and with the broader network of researchers and practitioners in the Wallace initiative. </p><p>Each research fellow will be paired with a specific organization to help explore its unique history, culture and context. The goal is to produce useful information for the organization itself and for other arts organizations of color. Collectively, through cross-cutting analyses, the fellows’ research could also contribute novel insights to the broader body of research and public policy. </p><p> <strong>Meet the first group of fellows&#58;</strong><br> </p><p style="text-align&#58;left;"> <strong> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/exploring-history-and-culture-with-arts-organizations-of-color/Monica-Barra2.jpg" alt="Monica-Barra2.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;165px;height&#58;220px;" />Monica Patrice Barra</strong> (she/her/hers) is a cultural anthropologist, ceramicist, and assistant professor at the University of South Carolina. Broadly, her research examines the relationship between race, inequality, and geography in the United States. She has explored these topics over the past decade in collaboration with visual and performing artists, policymakers, scientists, community based organizations, and fishermen. Her experience and research has been supported by a variety of institutions across the arts, sciences, and humanities, including&#58; The Princeton University Art Museum, the National Academies of Sciences, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Her writings on place-based arts, environmental change, and race have appeared in edited volumes and journals in the fields of anthropology, geography, and interdisciplinary humanities. Her first book, Good Sediment&#58; Race, Science, and the Politics of Restoration, is an ethnographic study of wetland loss, environmental restoration, and Black placemaking practices in south Louisiana. She is currently at work on a second ethnographic project on heirs’ property and Black land loss in the US South.</p><p> <em>Monica will be partnering with the <a href="https&#58;//www.ganttcenter.org/" target="_blank">Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture</a>.<br><br></em></p><p> <strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/exploring-history-and-culture-with-arts-organizations-of-color/Ying-Diao.jpeg" alt="Ying-Diao.jpeg" class="wf-Image-Right" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;159px;height&#58;253px;" />Ying Diao</strong> is an ethnomusicologist and cultural anthropologist with research expertise in relationships between cultural production, ethnicity, and politics, and in the anthropology of religion, voice, and mediation. Her work has focused on the musical dynamics of cross-border ethnoreligious development and resilience among upland communities in southwest China and mainland Southeast Asia. Supported by the SEM Deborah Wong Research &amp; Publication Award and AAS Publication Support Grant, her book project, Muted, Mediated, and Mobilized&#58; Faith by Aurality on the China-Myanmar Border, examines how transnational sound production, circulation, and consumption become integral to the Lisu perception and striving after Christian faith amidst constraints and uncertainties. She earned her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Maryland, College Park (2016). She was a Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany, from 2017-2019, and a lecturer at the University of Minnesota in Spring 2022.</p><p> <em>Ying will be partnering with <a href="https&#58;//www.ragamaladance.org/" target="_blank">Ragamala Dance Company</a>.<br><br></em></p><p> <strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/exploring-history-and-culture-with-arts-organizations-of-color/Timnet-Gedar.jpeg" alt="Timnet-Gedar.jpeg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;159px;height&#58;212px;" />Timnet Gedar</strong> is a historian with commitments to community engaged research and social justice. She holds an MSc in Social Development Practice, and graduate certificates in African Studies and Museum Studies. Her work includes research, teaching, and practice in intellectual history, political and social movements, Black print cultures, museums, education, and community engagement. She is a daughter of Eritrea and a proud Chicagoan.</p><p> <em>Timnet will be partnering with </em> <a href="https&#58;//chicagosinfonietta.org/" target="_blank"> <em>Chicago Sinfonietta</em></a>.​<br><br></p><p> <strong><strong style="color&#58;#555555;font-size&#58;14px;"><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/exploring-history-and-culture-with-arts-organizations-of-color/Nazanin-Ghaffari.jpg" alt="Nazanin-Ghaffari.jpg" class="wf-Image-Right" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;159px;" /></strong>Nazanin Ghaffari</strong> holds a Ph.D. in urban planning and public policy from the University of Texas&#160;at Arlington. She is interested in navigating disciplinary terrain in urban planning, public administration, feminist geography, and social anthropology to highlight the racialized, classed, gendered, and sexualized blind spots and biases found within conceptualizations of public spaces. Her research concerns inclusionary and/or exclusionary strategies incorporated by signature public spaces governance regimes through design, programming, policing, and management processes. She also investigates how design and planning empower historically marginalized communities through artistic interventions and bottom-up innovations to advance social, racial, and climate justice. Trained as an architect, urban designer, and urban planner, Nazanin has over a decade of professional experience with the United Nations Development Programme, UN-Habitat Mitigation Office, Asia-Pacific Slum Upgrading Working Group, Tehran Municipality Research Center, private design firms, grassroots and community organizations in the Middle East and North Texas.</p><p><em>Ghaffari will be partnering with <a href="https&#58;//www.rebuild-foundation.org/" target="_blank">Rebuild​</a></em>.</p>​ <p> <b>​</b></p><p> <strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/exploring-history-and-culture-with-arts-organizations-of-color/Davinia-Gregory-Kameka.JPG" alt="Davinia-Gregory-Kameka.JPG" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;164px;height&#58;179px;" />Davinia ​Gregory-</strong><strong>Kameka</strong>’s most recent research focuses on sociology of the role of arts organizations and their cultural policy landscape in sustaining or disrupting racial capitalism (Robinson, 1983). Her doctoral work (2015-20) was the first piece of research to fully document the closure, aftermath and legacy creation of a Black-led arts organization; the first empirical analysis of what happens at this point of stress. Such closures often happen quickly and are complex. They are sometimes documented after the fact using document analysis and archival material. However, this empirical, data-rich analysis of what happens in real time when an organization implodes is important because it bridges the gap between what policy documents say about the role and function of what policy calls “cultural diversity in the arts” and what happens (and is needed) on the ground. Among other things, her work asks, what is the importance of Black space in the arts in multiple locations across the Black Atlantic, and how is that space created, contested and supported in the pandemic age?</p><p> <em>Davinia will be partnering with <a href="https&#58;//www.blackstarfest.org/" target="_blank">BlackStar</a>.<br><br></em></p><p> <strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/exploring-history-and-culture-with-arts-organizations-of-color/Cameron-Herman.jpg" alt="Cameron-Herman.jpg" class="wf-Image-Right" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;165px;height&#58;228px;" />Dr. Cameron Herman</strong> is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and an affiliate faculty member in Africana Studies at Buffalo State College. His teaching and research broadly focuses on understanding the ways marginalized groups experience and navigate social inequalities in urban environments. Cameron has published solo and collaborative journal articles, chapters in edited volumes and online publications on a range of topics including Black artists’ response to gentrification, housing activism and neoliberal governance, Black masculinity in hip hop. In the wake of COVID-19’s onset, Cameron’s research agenda has expanded through collaborations with community partners and equity-minded scholars in the UB Food Systems and Healthy Communities lab to support community-based responses to inequitable food systems in Buffalo, NY. In his free time, Cameron enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, exploring neighborhoods on his bicycle and photographing everyday life.</p><p> <em>Cameron will be partnering with <a href="https&#58;//www.1hood.org/" target="_blank">1Hood Media</a>.<br><br></em></p><p> <strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/exploring-history-and-culture-with-arts-organizations-of-color/Raquel-Jimenez.jpg" alt="Raquel-Jimenez.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;164px;height&#58;246px;" />Raquel Jimenez</strong>’s research explores socially-engaged creative practices and the distinct place-based logics that guide community arts organizations. This interest is reflected in her dissertation, “Taking Up Space&#58; Youth Culture and Creative Resistance in a Gentrifying City,” an ethnographic study that examines how youth engage with public artmaking strategies to resist gentrification, while investigating how community arts education structures this process. Raquel teaches courses on art and culture at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and designs participatory community arts programs at the intersection of art, education, and cultural organizing. Her work has been supported by the Ford Foundation and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Apart from research and teaching, Raquel is a member of the Sirens Crew, an all-womxn public art collective working to feminize public space through a variety of visual intervention strategies.​</p><p> <em>Raquel will be partnering with <a href="https&#58;//pregonesprtt.org/" target="_blank">Pregones PRTT</a>.<br></em><br> </p><p> <strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/exploring-history-and-culture-with-arts-organizations-of-color/Asif-Majid.jpg" alt="Asif-Majid.jpg" class="wf-Image-Right" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;249px;height&#58;166px;" />Asif Majid</strong> is a scholar-artist-educator working at the intersection of racialized sociopolitical identities, multimedia, marginality, and new performance, particularly through devising community-based participatory theatre, making improvisational music, and addressing the nexus of Islam and performance. He has published in a range of academic and popular media outlets, and his performance credits include work with the Kennedy Center in the US and the Royal Exchange Theatre in the UK, among others. Asif was a Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow with the San Francisco Arts Commission and a Lab Fellow with The Laboratory for Global Performance and Performance. He earned his PhD in Anthropology, Media, and Performance from The University of Manchester. Currently, Asif is Assistant Professor of Theatre and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut, where he is at work on a book project titled Making Muslimness&#58; Race, Religion, and Performance in Contemporary Britain. Asif can be found online at <a href="http&#58;//www.asifmajid.com/" target="_blank">www.asifmajid.com</a>.</p><p> <em>Asif will be partnering with the <a href="https&#58;//arabamericanmuseum.org/" target="_blank">Arab American National Museum</a>.<br><br></em><u></u></p><p> <strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/exploring-history-and-culture-with-arts-organizations-of-color/Jason-J-Price.jpg" alt="Jason-J-Price.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;165px;height&#58;165px;" />Jason J. Price</strong> is an Arts Research with Communities of Color (ARCC) Fellow, working in collaboration with his matched organization to explore how social science research can contribute to a thriving and more equitable arts field. He earned a PhD in sociocultural anthropology from UC Berkeley and an Advanced Certificate in Culture &amp; Media from NYU. His dissertation research, funded by the Fulbright Program, focused on the cultivation of endurance in a Pentecostal ministry in Malawi. His documentary short, The Professor, a portrait of former Interim President of Liberia, David Kpormakpor, has screened at festivals worldwide. From 2018-2020, he was Postdoctoral Researcher at IUPUI’s Arts &amp; Humanities Institute, where he worked with equity-driven arts organizations to improve their reach and efficacy.</p><p> <em>Jason will be partnering with <a href="https&#58;//pillsburyhouseandtheatre.org/" target="_blank">Pillsbury House + Theater</a>.<br></em><br> </p><p> <strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/exploring-history-and-culture-with-arts-organizations-of-color/Jason-C-White.jpg" alt="Jason-C-White.jpg" class="wf-Image-Right" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;214px;height&#58;171px;" />Dr. Jason C. White</strong> is an Assistant Professor of Arts Administration in the Department of Art at Xavier University, where he prepares students for diverse careers in arts administration. An accomplished researcher, educator, author and theorist, White has published in Artivate&#58; A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society, Innovative Higher Education, and Arts Education Policy Review. White is also the author of Innovation in the Arts&#58; Concepts, Theories and Practices, a recent Routledge publication. White is one of the co-creators of the AAAE Undergraduate Standards for Arts Administration Education. Prior to receiving his PhD in Arts Administration, Education and Policy from The Ohio State University, White earned a BFA from California Institute of the Arts and attended The University of Akron; obtaining a Masters degree in Arts Administration and a Masters degree in Educational Assessment. Learn more about Dr. White at <a href="http&#58;//www.innovationinthearts.com/" target="_blank">www.innovationinthearts.com</a>.</p><p> <em>Jason will be partnering with <a href="https&#58;//www.u-ca.org/" target="_blank">The Union for Contemporary Art</a>.<br></em><a href="https&#58;//www.u-ca.org/"></a>​<br><br></p><p> <strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/exploring-history-and-culture-with-arts-organizations-of-color/DeRon-Williams.jpeg" alt="DeRon-Williams.jpeg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;164px;height&#58;291px;" />DeRon S. Williams</strong> is an Assistant Professor of Theatre in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Loyola University Chicago and a freelance director and dramaturg. He has published in The Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Continuum&#58; The Journal of African Diaspora Drama. His directing credits include Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brothers Size, Regina Taylor’s Crowns, Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park, and Africa to America&#58; A Celebration of Who We Are, an interdisciplinary performance written by Wendy R. Coleman. DeRon is also co-editor of the forthcoming edited volume titled Contemporary Black Theatre &amp; Performance&#58; Acts of Rebellion, Activism, and Solidarity, as a part of the Methuen Drama Agitations&#58; Politics, Text, Performance series.</p><p> <em>DeRon will be partnering with <a href="https&#58;//philadanco.org/" target="_blank">PHILADANCO!</a></em><a href="https&#58;//philadanco.org/"></a></p> ​<br>​<br><br>Wallace editorial team792022-10-11T04:00:00ZEleven fellows tapped by Social Science Research Council will work with organizations in Wallace’s art initiative11/3/2022 8:07:35 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Exploring History and Culture with Arts Organizations of Color Eleven fellows tapped by Social Science Research Council 1337https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Lessons from Six Communities Building Students’ SEL Skills2249GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​<p>​​​​​What can be learned when six communities bring together schools and out-of-school time (OST) partners to support students’ social and emotional learning (SEL)? A lot, apparently.<br></p><p><a href="/knowledge-center/pages/strengthening-students-social-and-emotional-skills-vol2-pt1.aspx">A new report from RAND</a> presents lessons culled from the six school districts that participated in Wallace’s social and emotional learning initiative. The multiyear effort, which concluded in 2021, explored whether and how children can benefit from partnerships between schools and out-of-school-time (OST) programs that were focused on building social and emotional skills.</p><p>The report synthesizes nine cross-cutting factors that facilitated these efforts, such as committed school and OST program leaders, building adults’ social and emotional skills, and establishing trusting relationships.</p><p>Along with the overarching report, RAND produced&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/district-partner-problem-solving-in-social-emotional-learning-efforts-series-vol2.aspx">six case studies</a>, each focused on one of the districts that participated in the initiative. Highlights from the case studies include&#58;</p><p></p><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">In&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/expanding-social-and-emotional-learning-boston-vol2-pt2.aspx?_ga=2.236588289.1269491334.1664803907-363535270.1663784266">Boston</a>, the partnership worked to expand students’ access to enrichment and linked the enrichment activities to the school-day curriculum through a shared focus on SEL.<br> </div><p></p><p></p><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">The&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/building-an-effective-social-and-emotional-learning-committe-dallas-vol2-pt3.aspx">Dallas</a> team focused on sustainable SEL practices and formed a steering committee to drive the work forward.</div><p></p><p></p><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">Through joint planning, collaboration and professional development, the partnership in&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/jointly-prioritizing-time-for-social-and-emotional-learning-in-denver-vol2-pt4.aspx?_ga=2.236588289.1269491334.1664803907-363535270.1663784266">Denver</a> prioritized SEL across in school and after school by making it a part of the daily routine.</div><p></p><p></p><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">In&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/engaging-teachers-staff-parents-social-and-emotional-learning-palm-beach-county-vol2-pt5.aspx">Palm Beach County, Fla.</a>, the team provided SEL training to non instructional school staff and families to help students have positive interactions not only in the classroom but in the cafeteria, on the bus and at home.</div><p></p><p></p><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">In&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/learning-to-focus-on-adult-sel-first-tulsa-vol2-pt7.aspx?_ga=2.236588289.1269491334.1664803907-363535270.1663784266">Tulsa</a>, the team recognized the need to help the adults working with students to&#160;develop their own social-emotional skills so they could support social and emotional learning for their students and model SEL competencies.</div><p></p><p></p><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet">And&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/prioritizing-racial-equity-within-social-and-emotional-learning-tacoma-vol2-pt6.aspx?_ga=2.236588289.1269491334.1664803907-363535270.1663784266">Tacoma</a> focused on integrating racial equity and restorative practices into its SEL approach.</div><p></p><p>You can read more about the Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/early-lessons-from-schools-and-out-of-school-time-programs-implementing-social-and-emotional-learning.aspx">here</a>. And listen to the stories of several practitioners from the initiative on our&#160;<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/podcast-the-partnerships-for-social-and-emotional-learning.aspx">Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Podcast</a>.</p>Andrea Ruggirello1142022-10-05T04:00:00ZStudies explore how schools and community partners collaborated to build children’s social-emotional skills10/5/2022 5:05:52 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Lessons from Six Communities Building Students’ SEL Skills Studies explore how schools and community partners collaborated 623https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Resources to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Program2852GP0|#ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13;L0|#0ff9563e3-b973-45a7-8ac3-c9f4122f9a13|Summer Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​​​​​The school bell may have stopped ringing, but summer is a great time for all kinds of learning opportunities for kids. In honor of this year’s National Summer Learning Week, here are some helpful reports, tools and articles to guide your summer program. And don’t forget to check out the <a href="https&#58;//www.summerlearning.org/summer-learning-week/" target="_blank">National Summer Learning Association</a> to discover summer programs, additional resources and more during this week-long celebration.<br><br> </p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/supporting-quality-in-summer-learning-how-districts-plan-develop-and-implement-programs.aspx?_ga=2.130479439.1378018415.1657643438-504352793.1654185536"> <strong> <img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-to-help-guide-your-summer-learning-program/supporting-quality-in-summer-learning-full-report-a.jpg" alt="supporting-quality-in-summer-learning-full-report-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;146px;height&#58;188px;" />Supporting Quality in Summer Learning&#58; How Districts Plan, Develop, and Implement Programs</strong></a><strong>&#160;</strong>School district-led summer programs play a critical role in supporting students academically and providing them with enriching experiences. Drawing on existing research and the perspectives of policymakers and field professionals, this recently released report looks at the policies, practices and resources that go into the planning, development and operation of these programs.​<br><br></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/summer-for-all-building-coordinated-networks-promote-access-to-quality-summer-learning-enrichment.aspx?_ga=2.130479439.1378018415.1657643438-504352793.1654185536"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-to-help-guide-your-summer-learning-program/summer-for-all-building-coordinated-networks-promote-summer-learning-a.jpg" alt="summer-for-all-building-coordinated-networks-promote-summer-learning-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;145px;height&#58;207px;" />Summer for All&#58; Building Coordinated Networks to Promote Access to Quality Summer Learning and Enrichment Opportunities Across a Community</strong></a><strong>&#160;</strong>This report looks at how schools, community-based organizations and other civic organizations in four cities formed coordinated networks to increase access to high-quality summer programming for young people.<br><br></p><p> <br> </p><p> <a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/two-summer-programs-inch-towards-normal-as-covid-subsides.aspx"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/blog-pandemic-summer-post-lg-feature.jpg" alt="blog-pandemic-summer-post-lg-feature.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;274px;height&#58;117px;" />Two Summer Programs Inch Towards Normal as Covid Subsides</strong></a>&#160;​Summer programs could be a key to addressing lost instructional and extracurricular time from COVID-19, and summer program leaders can learn a lot from the past two summers. Read about how two programs in New York and New Jersey have adapted to help young people through the pandemic, and how they’ve been preparing for this unpredictable summer.<br><br></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/getting-to-work-on-summer-learning-2nd-ed.aspx"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-to-help-guide-your-summer-learning-program/Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed-a.jpg" alt="Getting-to-Work-on-Summer-Learning-2nd-ed-a.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;144px;height&#58;206px;" />Getting to Work on Summer Learning&#58; Recommended Practices for Success, 2nd ed.</strong></a>&#160;This report addresses questions about how to implement a high-quality summer learning program and offers evidence-based recommendations on such topics as timing, hiring and training, and how to recruit students. It also discusses the costs associated with offering a voluntary summer program and provides suggestions for lowering them, such as working with community-based organizations and consolidating program sites into as few buildings as possible.​<br><br></p><p> <a href="/knowledge-center/summer-learning/toolkit/pages/default.aspx"><strong><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/resources-to-help-guide-your-summer-learning-program/blog-summer-learning-toolkit.jpg" alt="blog-summer-learning-toolkit.jpg" class="wf-Image-Left" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;180px;height&#58;110px;" />Summer Learning Toolkit</strong></a><strong>&#160;</strong>One of our most popular resources, the Summer Learning Toolkit consists of more than 50, evidence-based tools and resources drawn from the work of five urban school districts and their partners, and aligned with research from RAND. It might be a bit late to start planning this year, but it’s never too early to start the pre-planning for next summer!</p>​<br>Jenna Doleh912022-07-13T04:00:00ZFrom research reports and our popular hands-on toolkit to interviews with program staff and parents, these materials can help you plan a high-quality summer program.7/13/2022 1:00:21 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Resources to Help Guide Your Summer Learning Program From research reports and case studies to our popular hands-on toolkit 699https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Creating a More Equitable—and Welcoming—Afterschool Ecosystem2758GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​O​​​​​​​​ne of the best parts of my job as director of research at Wallace is to interact with some of the country’s leading scholars and researchers studying our areas of work&#58; the arts, education leadership and youth development. These folks are so committed to and insightful about their respective fields.&#160;It’s maybe no surprise that many of them worked as teachers, youth workers, artists and the like, before entering the research world, and that this is partly what drives their passion.<br></p><p>Since I joined the foundation in late 2019, we have awarded 36 research grants, large and small, to 33 researchers, 14 of whom were first-time Wallace grantees. I thought it would be interesting (and fun!) to start an occasional series of interviews with some of them, as we publish their findings on the Wallace website.&#160;Kicking off the series with me is ​Bianca Baldridge​​​,​ ​an ​associate professor of education at Harvard University. Bianca is <a href="https&#58;//www.gse.harvard.edu/faculty/bianca-baldridge" target="_blank">a national expert​</a> in out-of-school-time programming (OST), with a particular interest in the youth workforce. </p><p>In 2020-2021, we commissioned Bianca, along with a group of her colleagues, to produce a rapid evidence review intended to inform Wallace’s future work in youth development. High level takeaways from that study are summarized in this <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/from-access-to-equity-making-out-of-school-time-spaces-meaningful-for-teens-from-marginalized-communities.aspx?_ga=2.110720197.1937604982.1650308769-375849283.1649958955">research brief</a>. In addition to a lit review and interviews with experts, their study involved a YPAR (youth participatory action research) project, where a group of older students designed and conducted a research study of their peers involved in afterschool programs, that you can read about <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/youth-perspectives-on-designing-equitable-out-of-school-time-programs.aspx">here​</a>. This work also led to a series of podcasts, where youth researchers discuss key issues related to their experiences in afterschool programs and which will be released later this spring.</p><p>This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. </p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58; How did you come to focus on out-of-school-time?<br> </strong> <br> <strong>Bianca&#58;</strong>&#160; I came to this work because I was a participant in youth-work programs as a middle school student and started engaging in youth work as a staff member in high school.&#160; </p><p>As much as I loved these programs—as a participant and a staff member—and as&#160;important as&#160;they were in shaping my development, as a Black girl growing up in south-central Los Angeles, I was also troubled by the way programs were making assumptions about who I was. They tended to position themselves as saving me, and that kind of deficit positioning of me, which I consciously felt, was a problem. But I didn’t have the language to name it until I got to college and graduate school and began to study African American Studies and sociology. I started to see how my experiences, and the organizations themselves, had been shaped by the social and political context around them—the broader structures of power like race, class and social-economic policies.</p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58; Over the last several years the OST field has started to more explicitly name the “ecological dimensions” of learning and development—in other words, looking beyond the program to understand how it is situated within a broader context, and how that context shapes what is possible. But the social and political dimensions of that ecology are not often articulated. The focus is more on spaces and places and practices.<br></strong><br><strong>Bianca&#58;</strong> I’m glad you said that. Families matter, communities, neighborhoods, all of that matters.&#160; And if those things matter, then within that ecosystem what’s happening? How do we not name those things?&#160; </p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58; That attention to the broader structures of power that shape and constrain possibilities is what we call “a critical lens” in the research world. How do you bring that lens to the study of OST?<br></strong><br><strong>Bianca&#58;</strong> Afterschool spaces are important sites of learning and development, particularly for minoritized communities and communities that are multiply oppressed. My research agenda has been to think about how young people experience these programs&#58; Black and Latinx young people or racially minoritized people in general. To understand the role of relationships within the programs—among youth, youth workers and staff members. And to try to legitimize and create scholarship that highlights the pedagogy as well as the philosophies of youth workers, as legitimate pedagogues and educators within the educational landscape.&#160; </p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58; Can you say more about what you mean about youth worker pedagogy? <br></strong> <br> <strong>Bianca&#58;</strong> I find that youth workers often have a true pedagogy in the sense that they have a philosophical sort of understanding about teaching, about learning, about youth development, about engagement with young people, and you can see that in practice in how they actually engage. So how they teach, how they cultivate relationships and connect with young people and their families, how they spark interest and ideas and a love of learning that is not just about academics, but also just about the world in general. </p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58;&#160;</strong><strong>It sounds like you’ve seen them recognizing the totality of the young person? <br></strong> <br> <strong>Bianca&#58;</strong> Yes. Youth workers can support youth academically, emotionally, socially and politically. They are really significant to “whole child” development. Youth workers are often placed in the position where they are supporting young people through their lives in school, neighborhoods and their families. Young people’s identities are complex and youth workers can be instrumental in nurturing all of who a young person is and who they are becoming. </p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58;&#160;</strong><strong>There has been a lot of research on how social policies and structures affect teachers and schooling, but less on how they impact youth development or afterschool and summer programs. I know you’re currently writing a book about this.<br></strong><br><strong>Bianca&#58;</strong> Yes, my current research is thinking about how displacement and gentrification can lead to school closures or rezoning, which in turn can impact community organizations that have been committed to Black liberation or youth development within Black communities. Part of the premise for me is that community organizations in many ways can be the backbone of neighborhoods and communities, and I’m really struck with the question of what happens when afterschool programs can’t afford high rents. What happens when they’re moved out of neighborhoods, what happens to programming for young people? Where do they go? Where will they hang out, what will they do? </p><p>For youth organizations that are committed to sociopolitical development or critical consciousness, I’m really interested in what they do and how they’re making sense of these transitions and displacement, and how they’re able to maintain a social justice, youth development approach in their work through this change. My new book links Black youth workers to the legacy and traditions of organizers like Ella Baker or Septima Clark, and projects how youth workers approach preparing young people to make sense of the world around them and to navigate a racially hostile, anti-Black world. It also addresses how they navigate anti-Blackness within their profession. How are they simultaneously taking care of themselves and also helping young people to negotiate the same social and political forces?</p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58; Your work has made me think a lot about how much our vision of the best out-of-school-time programs depends on youth workers who are profoundly giving&#58; Giving love, giving respect, giving vision, giving support. But it’s not like there’s a bottomless well of giving if the system is not giving back to them. Your work highlights how the structures that suppress wages, limit benefits and sometimes tokenize youth workers can work to undermine the whole vision for what young people can gain from out of school time. <br></strong> <br> <strong> Bianca&#58; </strong>Yes. Because the burnout and the turnover are real. And youth workers are everywhere&#58;&#160; detention centers, museums, libraries, housing programs, afterschool organizations. I believe that programs and organizations, however they look, need to be able to meet the needs of the young people in their communities. But we need to think about the youth workers, or the people who care for young people, and find systems and structures that support them.&#160; </p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58; The research you and your colleagues did for Wallace, and the research of the youth themselves, really got to how essential building a positive and inclusive context is, and that job is ultimately left to youth workers to create those conditions.<br></strong><br><strong>Bianca&#58;</strong> What blew us away was hearing directly from the youth about how students feel in those programs. They talked about feeling like things were cliquish or tokenistic. This goes back to what do these programs look like, what do they feel like, how are they organized, how are they structured? Not just anybody can run an inclusive OST program, not just anybody <em>should</em> run a program. I think allowing young people to share their firsthand experiences is just always, always, always sobering.</p><p> <strong>Bronwyn&#58; I&#160;</strong><strong>totally agree. There’s been a lot of work done on the kinds of things you need to have in place for assessing or building towards quality programs, but it is outside-in, and not inside-out, in terms of what it actually feels like to be in that space.</strong>&#160; <br> <br> <strong>Bianca&#58;</strong> Yes. And I definitely want to be able to talk about the resistance and the triumphs and the celebrations, the ways in which organizations, youth workers and young people are able to navigate structures outside and inside of the programs. But I think it’s important to name those structures that can oppress and get in the way of the possible. We have to be able to name and understand them to be able to overcome them.<br>​<br><br></p>Bronwyn Bevan1002022-04-21T04:00:00ZExpert in afterschool programming ponders how we can better support youth workers and the young people they serve4/21/2022 3:01:25 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Creating a More Equitable—and Welcoming—Afterschool Ecosystem Expert in afterschool programming ponders how we can better 1617https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Making a Wise Investment—in Principal Pipelines43957GP0|#330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708;L0|#0330c9173-9d0f-423a-b58d-f88b8fb02708|School Leadership;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​ <p>​​​​​​An unprecedented level of federal financial support is flowing to schools as dollars from the COVID relief package known as the American Rescue Plan Act get distributed, along with education funding from conventional sources, such as the Title I program. So, here’s an idea for school district and state education officials. How about using some portion of&#160;the federal money for a too-often-overlooked factor in improving schools&#58; cultivating a corps of effective school principals?<br></p><p>That was one of the messages delivered by Patrick Rooney, director of school support and accountability programs for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, during a recent webinar. Rooney emphasized that Rescue Plan and other federal funding is available to support the development of effective principals, whose power to drive school improvement, he emphasized, has been confirmed by research.</p><p>“Principal pipelines and support for principals and leaders are certainly well within the realm of things you can spend your federal funds on,” Rooney said to an online audience of more than 400 education officials and others. “The research, again, is clear&#58; that having a strong and capable leader has a huge impact on how kids are doing in classrooms and how teachers are operating. </p><p>“It's a clear link to improving the performance of the school. So it is a clear opportunity for those of you who want to think about how your American Rescue Plan funds—and, then, moving forward in your Title I and Title II funds—can all be tailored together to meet this particular need.”</p><p>The webinar, <em></em> <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpHP4usFD_8"> <em>Paying for Principal Pipelines&#58; Tapping Federal Funds to Support Principals and Raise Student Achievement</em></a>,&#160; marked the launch of <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/strong-pipelines-strong-principals-a-guide-for-leveraging-federal-sources-to-fund-principal-pipelines.aspx">a guide</a> to inform school district and state education officials about the numerous sources of federal funding—both longstanding and new—for boosting school leadership. You can find a few expert tips from the new guide at the end of this post. </p><p>One approach districts are taking using to develop leaders is to build what Wallace has come to refer to as “comprehensive, aligned&quot; principal pipelines. These pipelines are “comprehensive” because they consist of key components (such as leader standards and strong on-the-job evaluation and support for principals) that together span the range of district talent management activities, and they are “aligned” because these policies and procedures reinforce one another. Jody Spiro, director of education leadership at Wallace, described the components and presented the results of a<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/principal-pipelines-a-feasible,-affordable,-and-effective-way-for-districts-to-improve-schools.aspx"> 2019 study</a> of six districts that had put them into place&#58; Students at the elementary, middle and high school levels outperformed students in comparison districts in math. Students at the elementary and middle school levels also outperformed their peers in reading. Moreover, these improvements kicked in only two years after the pipelines were built.<br></p><p>​​<img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Making-a-Wise-Investment-in-Principal-Pipelines/ARPA-Federal-Funding-5-key-points.jpg" alt="ARPA-Federal-Funding-5-key-points.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> <br>Education officials interested in building such pipelines for their districts or states might assume, in error, that they will have to do so absent federal help. “Oftentimes, what we see is that districts use the funds for the same program from one year to the next because they know that they won’t get audited if they spend their money in this way or ‘this is how we spent it, so this is how we will continue to spend it,’” Rooney said. “But that doesn’t need to be the case. And you, actually, at the local level have a tremendous amount of flexibility with how you use your federal funds.”<br></p><p>Rooney also stressed the role of principals in recovery from the pandemic. “We are in a critical moment in time after the past year and a half of COVID,” he told listeners, noting that earlier in the day, he had attended a different webinar and heard about the impact on school districts in one state of the learning loss students have experienced as a result of the health crisis. “It just hit home how important it is to have strong and capable leaders to meet this moment in time,” he said.</p><p>Paul Katnik, assistant commissioner at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, talked about the benefits of—and funding for—that state’s effort to develop effective principals. The Missouri Leadership Development System, which covers the gamut of principal development from aspiring to veteran school leaders, provides education and support to more than 1,000 principals in urban and rural districts, charter schools included. The effort is paying off, Katnik said, in, among other things, lowering principal churn. The retention rate for system principals is 10 percent higher or more, depending on the region, than for other principals in the state. How is this work paid for? Through about $4 million a year in federal Title I, Title IIa, American Rescue Plan, grant, and state funds, according to Katnik. “If you’re going to create a state system that functions at a high level in all different types of school communities, it takes a significant investment,” he said.&#160; </p><p>Michael Thomas, superintendent of Colorado Springs School District 11, concurred with Katnik’s overall point about the value of funding for efforts to promote principal effectiveness. “There’s never been a successful turnaround story without a strong leader at the helm,” he said. “And coming into District 11, it was very clear to me that, if we were going to really improve the district over time, we needed to make sure that we were bringing significant investment into our leadership.” Thomas, who oversees a district of about 24,000 students and 55 schools an hour south of Denver, spoke of using federal money not only to aid teachers facing unprecedented demands during the pandemic, but also to support new and aspiring principals. School leaders on the job from one to three years receive executive coaching from an outside vendor, and the district is cultivating an “Aspire to Lead cohort” of potential principals ready to step in when vacancies occur. “We want to make sure we’re holding [our leaders] <em>‘able,</em>’” he said. “That’s accountability with support.”</p><p>Beverly Hutton, senior advisor and consultant to the CEO at the National Association of Secondary School Principals, which represents more than 18,000 school leaders across the country, said she was heartened by state and district efforts to support principals. “The complexities of the job…have increased exponentially over the past decade,” she said. “And then the pandemic exacerbated that and highlighted those complexities in ways we had not imagined.” Hutton underscored the role of principal development work in promoting equity in education. “It is extremely important that ongoing training and investments need to focus on ensuring principals are equipped to address the systems and processes that need to change in order to honor the lived experiences of each student,” she said.</p><p>State and district leaders looking to follow the example of Missouri and Colorado Springs may need help figuring out where their principal pipeline work fits into today’s uncharted funding landscape. That’s where the new guide comes in. Prepared by EducationCounsel, a mission-based education consulting firm, and the research firm Policy Studies Associates,<em> </em> <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/strong-pipelines-strong-principals-a-guide-for-leveraging-federal-sources-to-fund-principal-pipelines.aspx"> <em>Strong Principals, Strong Pipelines&#58; A Guide for Leveraging Federal Sources to Fund Principal Pipelines</em></a> is designed to help districts ask good questions and test their assumptions about federal funding for principal pipelines.</p><p>Sean Worley, senior policy associate at EducationCounsel, walked webinar participants through the features of the guide. For each of seven key components of a strong principal pipeline, the guide specifies relevant activities and the federal funding sources that may be the best match for each. Funding information for activities in all seven categories is also compiled into a single “at-a-glance” table. Part 2 of the guide provides details about each relevant funding stream, including its purpose and allowable uses; how it is allocated (e.g., by formula or in the form of competitive or discretionary grants); and the primary recipients.​<br></p> <p>Worley’s colleague Scott Palmer, EducationCounsel’s managing partner and co-founder, left state and district leaders with five “big points”&#160; to chew on&#58;</p><ol><li>&#160;“There’s a lot of money on the table that can support principal leadership and principal pipelines,” he said. “I say that notwithstanding the unbelievable challenges we have and the needs that are existing right now.” The sources include stimulus funds and ongoing federal program funds.<br><br></li><li>“These funds are available over a period of years.” Palmer pointed out that American Rescue Plan Act funds are available at least through the 2024 school year. Districts and states are allowed to review and improve their initial plans to ensure funding is having the intended effect.<br><br></li><li>“Blending and braiding” funds is possible, and even encouraged. “If you find yourself in a place where dollars are siloed, staff are siloed,” Palmer said, “please try to…pull those funding streams together.”<br><br></li><li>“There may well be more funding coming.” Palmer noted that Congressional appropriations for the next fiscal year are likely to include significant increases in allocations to core programs like Title I, and the Build Back Better Act includes direct investments in principal development activities. “We may have to come out with a new version [of the guide] with yet another column [in the table],” he quipped. “So, stay tuned.”<br><br></li><li>Palmer’s fifth point regarded thinking beyond the immediate crisis. He urged state and district officials to work strategically and consider how federal funding could support improvements that can be sustained over time. Palmer acknowledged that this isn’t easy because education officials are focused on meeting urgent needs and want to avoid falling off a “funding cliff” when federal support ends. Still, he said, he is seeing places that are taking a longer-term approach—one that can “not just really fill those important holes but do it in a way that plants seeds for future change.”</li></ol>​<br>Wallace editorial team792022-01-11T05:00:00ZYour source for research and ideas to expand high quality learning and enrichment opportunities. Supporting: School Leadership, After School, Summer and Extended Learning Time, Arts Education and Building Audiences for the Arts.1/12/2022 4:37:39 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Making a Wise Investment—in Principal Pipelines New guide and webinar explain federal funding opportunities for principal 596https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
What Wallace’s Top 10 Stories Say about Trends in Education and the Arts18219GP0|#b68a91d0-1c13-4d82-b12d-2b08588c04d7;L0|#0b68a91d0-1c13-4d82-b12d-2b08588c04d7|News;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​December is a great time to look back and reflect on the year’s work, both to get a sense of what we’re learning—and what is resonating with you, dear reader. The more than 40 posts we published in 2021 on The Wallace Blog&#160; explore a variety of hot topics for our audience, such as why principals <em>really</em> matter; why arts organizations of color are often overlooked and underfunded; and why young people need access to high-quality afterschool programs and arts education programs now more than ever. Just to name a few. </p><p>Moreover, the stories in our Top 10 List this year (measured by number of page views) give a good sense of the breadth of the&#160;​research and projects currently under way at Wallace. They also highlight some of the people involved and their unique perspectives on the work. We hope you enjoy reading (or revisiting) some of the posts now. </p><p><strong>10. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/more-kids-than-ever-are-missing-out-on-afterschool-programs.aspx"><strong>Why Are So Many Kids Missing Out on Afterschool?</strong></a><strong> </strong>A <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/america-after-3pm-demand-grows-opportunity-shrinks.aspx">study </a>released earlier this year by the Afterschool Alliance identifies trends in afterschool program offerings well as overall parent perceptions of afterschool programs. In this post, we interview Jennifer Rinehart, senior VP, strategy &amp;&#160;programs,&#160;at the Afterschool Alliance, to discuss the implications of the study, which was based on a large survey of families,​&#160;and what they might mean for a post-pandemic world.<br></p><p><strong>9. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/what-can-we-learn-from-high-performing-arts-organizations-of-color.aspx"><strong>What Can We Learn from High-Performing Arts Organizations of Color?</strong></a><strong> </strong>The <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/reimagining-the-future-of-the-arts-a-webinar-series-from-the-wallace-foundation-session-5.aspx">fifth conversation</a> in our Reimagining the Future of the Arts series examines what leaders of arts organizations with deep roots in communities of color see as the keys to their success, as well as what they have learned while navigating crises. Read highlights of the conversation between leaders from SMU Data Arts, Sones de Mexico Ensemble, Chicago Sinfonietta and Theater Mu in this blog post.</p><p><strong>8. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/decade-long-effort-to-expand-arts-education-in-boston-pays-off.aspx"><strong>Decade-long Effort to Expand Arts Education in Boston Pays Off</strong></a><strong> </strong>A longitudinal <a href="https&#58;//www.edvestors.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/The-Arts-Advantage-Impacts-of-Arts-Education-on-Boston-Students_Brief-FINAL.pdf">study </a>released this year&#160;found that arts education can positively affect​&#160;student engagement, attendance rates and parent engagement with schools. Read more about the findings and about Boston Public Schools' successful systems approach to arts learning, including insights from a researcher, a district leader and the president and CEO of EdVestors, a school improvement nonprofit in Boston. </p><p><strong>7. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/how-can-teachers-support-students-social-and-emotional-learning.aspx"><strong>How Can Teachers Support Students’ Social and Emotional Learning?</strong></a><strong> </strong>Concern about student well-being has been at the forefront of many conversations this year as schools have reopened, so it comes as little&#160;surprise that this post made our list. Here, RAND researchers Laura Hamilton and Christopher Doss speak with us about their <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/supports-social-and-emotional-learning-american-schools-classrooms.aspx">study,</a> which found that while teachers felt confident in their ability to improve students’ social and emotional skills, they said they needed more supports, tools and professional development in this area, especially these days. </p><p><strong>6. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/how-do-arts-organizations-of-color-sustain-their-relevance-and-resilience.aspx"><strong>$53 Million Initiative Offers Much-Needed Support for Arts Organizations of Color</strong></a> In this post, Wallace’s director of the arts, Bahia Ramos, introduces our new initiative focused on arts organizations of color, which historically “have been underfunded and often overlooked, despite their rich histories, high-quality work and deep roots in their communities.” The&#160;effort will&#160;involve&#160;work with a variety of organizations to explore this paradox and much more. </p><p><strong>5. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/five-lessons-in-problem-solving-for-school-leaders.aspx"><strong>Five Lessons in Problem Solving for School Leaders</strong></a><strong> </strong>This post by Rochelle Herring, one of Wallace’s senior program officers in school leadership, gives an inside look at how California’s Long Beach school district transformed its learning and improvement at every level of the system. It also offers lessons that practitioners in other districts can apply to their own context.&#160; </p><p><strong>4. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/american-rescue-plan-five-things-state-and-district-leaders-need-to-know-now.aspx"><strong>American Rescue Plan&#58; Five Things State and District Leaders Need to Know Now</strong></a><strong> </strong>EducationCounsel, a mission-based education organization and law firm, analyzed the text of the&#160;American Rescue Plan Act, which provides more than $126 billion for K-12 schools and additional funding for early childhood and higher education. In this post, EducationCounsel’s Sean Worley and Scott Palmer examine this historic level of federal&#160; funding for public school education and offer guidance that states and districts might consider when seeking Rescue Plan dollars.&#160; </p><p><strong>3. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/why-young-people-need-access-to-high-quality-arts-education.aspx"><strong>Why Young People Need Access to High-Quality Arts Education</strong></a> Studies confirm that&#160; sustained engagement with the arts—and, especially, with​​ making art—can help young people gain new perspectives, deepen empathy, picture what is possible, collaborate and even fuel civic engagement. In short, all children deserve access to high-quality arts education, writes Wallace’s director of arts, Bahia Ramos, who was initially approached to draft a shorter version of this piece for <em>Time </em>magazine’s <a href="https&#58;//time.com/collection/visions-of-equity/6046015/equity-agenda/">Visions of Equity </a>project. </p><p><strong>2. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/districts-that-succeed-what-are-they-doing-right.aspx"><strong>Districts That Succeed&#58; What Are They Doing Right?</strong></a> In her new book, Karin Chenoweth, writer-in-residence at The Education Trust,uses new research on district performance as well as in-depth reporting to profile five districts that have successfully broken the correlation between race, poverty and achievement. We spoke with Chenoweth about what she learned from her research and what she hopes readers will take away from the book.</p><p><strong>1. </strong><a href="/News-and-Media/Blog/pages/yes-principals-are-that-important.aspx"><strong>Yes, Principals Are That Important</strong></a><strong> </strong>It seems that many&#160;of our readers found the headline to this blog post worthy of their attention,&#160;considering that the item is&#160;in the number one spot on our list this year. Here, education experts weigh in on findings from <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/how-principals-affect-students-and-schools-a-systematic-synthesis-of-two-decades-of-research.aspx">groundbreaking research</a> released earlier in the year on the impact an effective principal can have on both students and schools—and the implications for policy and practice. </p><br>Jenna Doleh912021-12-07T05:00:00ZA look back at your favorite reads this year—from supporting students’ well-being during COVID-19 to learning from arts organizations of color12/6/2021 8:52:46 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / What Wallace’s Top 10 Stories Say about Trends in Education and the Arts A look back at your favorite reads this year—from 747https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Helping Children Feel Safe, Understood and Supported32086GP0|#890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667;L0|#0890cbc1f-f78a-45e7-9bf2-a5986c564667|Social and Emotional Learning;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61<p>​​​Unpredictable. </p><p>This is how I would describe the last two school years. But there is one thing I would predict about the year that’s just beginning&#58; it will be just as turbulent, if not more so. </p><p>As adults debate or even fight over whether to wear masks, get vaccinated or even have our kids go in to school at all, we are creating an atmosphere of instability and worry around our children. Neither are conducive to learning, as safety and predictability are prerequisites to academic progress. Forget catching up on learning loss—unless we can create a secure, predictable atmosphere in our homes and schools, we’ll continue to short-change our children and we won’t see the progress we are hoping for.</p><p>So, what can teachers and parents do to help children feel stable, safe and ready to learn? My counsel is to return to social and emotional learning (SEL) fundamentals, processes that develop an array of skills and competencies that students need in order to set goals, manage behavior, build relationships and process and remember information, but that also help them manage and respond to stress and trauma. <br> <br>Here are my four recommendations for approaches that will help children feel understood, express themselves and flourish during this school year. All of these ideas come directly from the foundational practices that can be found in evidence-based social and emotional learning programs designed for schools and other settings. A comprehensive review of these approaches and their specific practices can be found <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/navigating-social-and-emotional-learning-from-the-inside-out.aspx">here</a> in a new guide recently published by the Wallace Foundation.&#160;&#160; </p><strong style="font-size&#58;20px;">1.&#160;Ask Questions and Listen Actively in the Classroom and at Home<br></strong><br><p>Children are feeling intense pressure this year from parents and teachers. Both feel the need for their children to catch up after a year of online, hybrid or just unpredictable learning. In addition, many kids (especially older students) lost out on meaningful rituals—homecoming, prom, graduations and sports events—indeed most lost out on everything extra-curricular. These are the things that make school fun, meaningful and exciting for students. Many also experienced the trauma of losing a family member to Covid or witnessing a parent or grandparent fight the illness. Indeed, educators experienced many of these stressors themselves.<br> This disappointment and trauma will show up in the classroom and in the home, and everyone needs space and time to process what is happening, and what has happened. </p><p>So, what can we do? It helps to take time to check in with children and ensure their feelings are heard. Questions such as “tell me how you’re feeling” and “what is that like for you?” as well as repeating back what is heard, are important. A conversation with a teenager might go like this&#58;</p><p>Adult&#58; “Hey, I see you are upset (or especially quiet, or something) today. Is something going on that you’d like to talk about?”</p><p>Student&#58; “I’m not sure, I just don’t feel like myself and everything has me worried.”</p><p>Adult&#58; “I hear you; everything really can feel out of control right now. I’m here for you, you can talk with me any time, and I’ll do my best to listen.”</p><strong style="font-size&#58;20px;">2.&#160;Let Your Children Know What’s Going to Happen and Establish Clear and Predictable Expectations<br></strong><br><p>Last year was uncertain and chaotic, with policymakers, districts and schools unsure of what would happen from one week to the next. Unfortunately, this year is shaping up to be similar, if not more so. With disruption all around them, children need as much routine and stability as adults can provide. </p><p>So, what can be done? It helps to overcommunicate with students about schedules and expectations both at home and in class and establish concrete procedures when possible. Predictability is the name of the game—students of all ages will thrive when they feel safe, and safety means knowing what’s coming next. If students are slow to fall into step, give them more space, slow things down and exhale. Children often need time to learn what’s expected and practice it. In unpredictable times, even routines require flexibility. </p><p>Adults at home can try to do the same. Keeping wake-up time, meals and bedtimes as similar as possible. Consistency makes a difference, and establishing rituals and routines for these everyday activities adds an opportunity for connection. You might ask, “what was the hardest and easiest for you today” or “what are you grateful for today” and share your own experience too.</p><strong style="font-size&#58;20px;">3.&#160;Provide Extra Social and Emotional Time, Not Less<br></strong><br><p>Some simple foundational SEL strategies for the classroom (and in many cases, at home) are&#58; </p><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet"><strong>Use Journaling&#58;</strong> encourage children to express their feelings on paper.</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet"><strong>Do Daily Greetings&#58;</strong> smile warmly and greet each other by preferred name; use whole group greeting activities.</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet"><strong>Hold Class/Family Meetings&#58;</strong> to foster camaraderie and group behavior norms.</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet"><strong>Incorporate Art&#58;</strong> use visual arts to document and express feelings.</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet"><strong>Talk About Managing Emotions&#58; </strong>engage in a group discussion about emotions and effective and safe ways to express them in class.</div><div class="wf-Element-BlueBullet"><strong>Employ Optimistic Closings&#58;</strong> “what I learned today is …” “I am looking forward to tomorrow because …” “What I might do differently is…” are some examples. </div><p>If children are to thrive in the current climate, incorporating these tools and practices into both the classroom and at home is essential. Clearly, the exact approach will differ for younger and older students, but both do best in respectful, open and accepting learning environments. </p><strong style="font-size&#58;20px;">4.&#160;Parents&#58; Step Back, Connect and Listen<br></strong><br><p>While many place the burden on teachers to get back up to speed, it shouldn’t all be on them. Parents play a uniquely valuable role in providing children with feelings of stability and comfort. I’m the mother of first year college and high school students and I’ve learned the importance of having conversations (when possible—we all know our teenagers can be hard to communicate with) about what’s going on for them. </p><p>Mealtimes are a great time to have family meetings. As the adult, share what’s hard for you about the current situation—model vulnerability with your kids. Then, sit back and actively listen. Let your kids of all ages know they’ve been heard (“I hear you, it’s really hard when you can’t spend time with your friends”) and validate their feelings (“I understand it must be tough being a new student right now with everyone wearing masks. I feel the same way trying to make connections with my new students.”). </p><p>Most of all, I don’t think parents need to double down immediately with academic pressure—when children feel safe and comfortable back at school will they be able to fully focus on their work. </p><p>With the education system focusing heavily on addressing learning loss at the start of this school year, it’s tempting to pull back on the important social and emotional components that my research has demonstrated are crucial for student success. It’s important to remember that academic and social and emotional learning are deeply intertwined; they are complements to each other, not in competition with each other, and now more than ever, we should take advantage of that. </p><p>When students feel safe, listened to and supported by adults in their life, they can fully engage in academic work and everything else they do. And this applies both in the family home and in the classroom.</p><p><em>A version of this piece first appeared in </em>Education Week<em> as </em><a href="https&#58;//www.edweek.org/leadership/opinion-4-social-emotional-practices-to-help-students-flourish-now/2021/09"><em>“4 Social-Emotional Practices to Help Students Flourish Now</em></a><a href="https&#58;//www.edweek.org/leadership/opinion-4-social-emotional-practices-to-help-students-flourish-now/2021/09"><em>”</em></a><em> on September 28, 2021. This version is being reissued with permission from the author.</em><br></p>Stephanie Jones1212021-10-20T04:00:00ZAuthor of popular guide to social & emotional learning offers tips for educators—and parents!—in these trying times10/20/2021 1:26:45 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Helping Children Feel Safe, Understood and Supported Author of popular guide to social & emotional learning offers tips for 2278https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Arts Open Call Yields 250 Submissions from Organizations of Color22905GP0|#8056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be;L0|#08056f3bc-89c1-4297-814a-3e71542163be|Building Audiences for the Arts;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​<p>​​​​​​​​​​The Wallace Foundation’s arts team recently completed <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/arts-initiative-open-call.aspx">an open call</a> for proposals to participate in a major new initiative focusing on arts organizations of color. The initiative seeks to fund several such organizations and study their efforts to help answer one central question&#58; How do arts organizations of color use their community orientation to increase resilience, sustain relevance and overcome major strategic challenges?</p><p>It was our first open call in more than a decade. We generally commission surveys of eligible organizations, shortlist those that we think will fit in the initiative and ask them to submit proposals. We know of no reliable way to survey the plethora of arts organizations of color throughout the country, so we began this initiative by asking all who are interested to submit a letter of interest for further consideration. </p><p>The call resulted in 250 submissions from organizations after a call across the United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guåhan (Guam). They gave us much insight into a new area for us, and we had much to read about and digest. While we determine the best paths ahead, we thought we'd share three things we learned from the open call thus far. </p><ol start="1" type="1"><li>We learned a bit about the landscape of the field. Our usual process of inviting a small number of organizations to submit proposals often leads us to large, well-known organizations our staffers or peer foundations already know. With the open call, however, we received letters of interest from many organizations we'd never heard of before. Most were, as we had assumed, clustered around the coasts and in large cities such as Chicago. But we were delighted to hear from organizations in other, sometimes overlooked, parts of the country that are doing fascinating work from which we can learn. <br> <br> More than a third of letters of interest came from organizations focused on African American arts or communities. We hope our ultimate cohort will be reflective of arts organizations from all communities and traditions, and the apparent underrepresentation of other communities suggests that we must work harder to make sure future opportunities are more widely shared and our invitation feels inclusive of and responsive to the work others are doing.<br><br>Conversations with leaders in the field also helped us realize that our definition of &quot;arts organizations&quot; may be too narrow. Some indigenous and native culture organizations, for example, told us what they do may not be called “art” by some, but it is about preserving and promoting a cultural heritage. Conversely, there were a few visual arts organizations that defined themselves primarily as community based organizations. They exist not just for their art, but to use their art to benefit their communities. The ways in which organizations define and categorize themselves differ from assumptions we made about who they are to their communities. It is important that we keep such nuances in mind as we develop our new initiative.<br><br>We are now working to learn more about interested organizations and exploring ways to design an initiative that can benefit not just participating organizations, but also the field at large. Our aim is to select the best cohort of organizations, not necessarily the strongest organizations or the newest ideas. For example, some projects we read about are quite innovative, but they are very specific to their organizations' situations and not as relevant to the broader field. Such projects are certainly worthy of support, but may not be the right fit for our upcoming initiative.<br><br><img src="/News-and-Media/Blog/PublishingImages/Pages/Arts-Open-Call-Yields-250-Submissions-from-Organizations-of-Color/Breakdown-Organization-Type-Geography-Identity.jpg" alt="Breakdown-Organization-Type-Geography-Identity.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br><br></li></ol><ol start="2" type="1"><li>We read three main themes in the submissions we received&#58;<br> <br> <ol type="a"><li>Communities are changing. Many organizations are grappling with shifts in the communities they were created to serve. Gentrification or immigration is changing the nature of many communities, while shifts in economies and societies are changing these communities' needs. How do organizations founded by and for a particular community use their community orientation to navigate such changes?<br> <br> </li><li>Organizations are changing. Several organizations expressed the need to change long-established structures and practices. Many have to consider new strategic directions, plan for expansion, change staffing structures and recruit new leaders as long-serving founders and directors begin to step down. How do organizations use their community orientation to smooth such fundamental transitions?<br> <br> </li><li>Artistic preferences are changing. Audiences learn about and consume arts and culture much differently than they did a few decades ago, when many arts organizations of color got their start. How do organizations founded to support and maintain particular art forms and communities of artistic practice use their community orientation to adapt to new cultural environments?</li></ol></li></ol><ol start="3" type="1"><li>Lastly, we learned that we must keep learning. During our open call, we heard from so many arts organizations of color, whether through our one-on-one consultations (we hosted over 100 of them!), our email inboxes, social media or the service organizations with whom we work. Some of the feedback was critical and frank—a helpful reminder that we must tread carefully and respectfully when venturing into new areas where&#160; organizations such as ours have sometimes done harm. Sometimes we heard—more powerfully in the organizations' words than what we would have read in a research report—what these organizations are experiencing and trying to do for their communities. We listened to all of it, considered it and are redesigning and refining our initiative to respond to what we heard. </li></ol><p>And so, I’d like to express my gratitude to those who showed up and contributed to an honest and vulnerable exchange with us. I look forward to staying in conversation with you and sharing more about what we learn along the way. </p>Bahia Ramos842021-10-14T04:00:00ZAs we continue the grantee-selection process, Wallace's arts director reflects on what we've learned so far.10/14/2021 2:08:38 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Arts Open Call Yields 250 Submissions from Organizations of Color As we continue the grantee-selection process, Wallace's 722https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx
Getting the Most Out of Data Collection for Out-of-School-Time Systems10974GP0|#b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211;L0|#0b804f37e-c5dd-4433-a644-37b51bb2e211|Afterschool;GTSet|#a1e8653d-64cb-48e0-8015-b5826f8c5b61​<p>​​Collect reliable data, mine it for insights and act wisely on the information&#58; That’s a recipe for continuous improvement for any organization. Out-of-school-time intermediaries, the organizations that oversee communitywide systems of afterschool, summer and other out-of-school-time (OST) programs, recognize the value of effective data analysis. But deciding what data to collect, how to collect it and, most importantly, how to use it to drive improvement can be overwhelming. </p><p>A new tool—<a href="/knowledge-center/pages/framework-for-measurement-continuous-improvement-and-equitable-systems.aspx"><em>Putting Data to Work for Young People&#58; A Framework for Measurement, Continuous Improvement, and Equitable Systems</em></a><em>—</em>aims to help. The tool updates an earlier version from 2014 and was developed by <a href="https&#58;//www.everyhourcounts.org/" target="_blank">Every Hour Counts</a>, a national coalition of citywide OST organizations that seeks to increase access to high-quality learning opportunities, particularly for underserved students. The framework itself consists of 11 desired outcomes for an OST system at the systemic, programatic and youth level. Each outcome features a set of indicators to measure progress toward it and the types of data to collect along the way. The data-collection efforts of three OST intermediaries—<a href="https&#58;//www.bostonbeyond.org/" target="_blank">Boston After School &amp; Beyond</a>, <a href="https&#58;//www.mypasa.org/" target="_blank">Providence After School Alliance</a>, and <a href="https&#58;//www.sprocketssaintpaul.org/" target="_blank">Sprockets in St. Paul</a>&#160;—informed the updated tool, as well as an accompanying guide written by RAND Corp. researchers Jennifer Sloan McCombs and Anamarie A. Whitaker, who led an evaluation of how the intermediaries used the framework. </p><p>Recently The Wallace Blog spoke with McCombs and Jessica Donner, executive director of Every Hour Counts, about the framework and the experiences of the intermediaries. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.<br> </p><p><strong>How did you determine the updated framework’s 11 outcomes and the related data indicators?<br> <br> Donner&#58;</strong> The selection of outcomes was driven by the on-the-ground experiences of the three intermediaries, the Every Hour Counts network, the knowledge brought to bear on the project by research partners and the existing literature on effective practice. The data indicators were developed by RAND based on their research expertise, the experience of the three intermediaries and RAND’s criteria to minimize burden on providers, intermediaries, staff and students, and efficiency for data collection and utility. This framework builds on prior iterations, specifically one developed with American Institutes for Research in 2014.<br> </p><p><strong>What did you learn from the three intermediaries as they used the 2014 framework?<br> <br> Donner&#58; </strong>We worked with these intermediaries because they had the bandwidth and expertise to hit the ground running with the framework. What we learned is that even highly accomplished intermediaries face tremendous challenges with data collection and use—staff capacity, research expertise, how to narrow down a host of outcomes and indicators to measure those outcomes. Where did they start? We had this framework, but the process was very overwhelming.<br> </p><p>We undertook the framework update and intentionally designed a tool that would make the data collection and use process more digestible, such as tips for staging the work and previewing a menu of options. We also infused racial equity questions throughout the framework. These questions are especially critical now as communities grapple with missed learning opportunities, particularly for students of color. The updated tool helps communities be efficient, effective and strategic with data, all in the service of high-quality programs for young people, particularly those who lack access due to structural inequities. That’s what we’ve always been about—recognizing inequities in opportunities and forwarding that agenda.<br> </p><p><strong>What did the intermediaries find were the framework’s key benefits?</strong><br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> The core benefit was that the framework focused system leaders on data use, not just data collection. It really provides a roadmap to assess and align the goals and activities of an OST system and how to measure the outputs of those activities—not just for the sake of measuring progress toward goals, but also to drive systems improvement.<br> </p><p>Systems are constantly evolving. Very often, they get bogged down collecting data that once had a clear purpose but is now no longer utilized. In some cases, using the framework led the intermediaries to measure less but utilize more. It’s a bit like cleaning out your closet. Letting go of something you haven’t worn in a long time makes room for something else. Not using data that’s collected is a waste of resources and an opportunity cost for other activities. There’s also the burden of data collection on programs and youth. It’s very important that everything that systems ask of programs and youth has value that can be communicated back to them. <br> </p><p><strong>What are the toughest challenges for effective data collection and analysis?</strong><br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> One challenge for OST systems leaders is the development of data systems and protocols that allow for the collection and safe storage of accurate data. This is easily forgotten by people who don’t have a background in research or data science. It’s not intuitive. To help system leaders overcome this, we wrote <a href="/knowledge-center/pages/putting-data-to-work-for-young-people.aspx"><em>Putting Data to Work for Young People&#58; A Ten-Step Guide for Expanded Learning Intermediaries</em></a> in 2019.<br> </p><p>OST systems also don’t tend to be robustly funded. System leaders have to make choices on a continuous basis about where to invest monetary and human capital resources. And that leads to difficult decisions. I don’t know any OST system that’s able to do everything it wants.&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; <br> </p><p><strong>In addition to using surveys and management information systems, the framework suggests low-budget options for gathering data, such as interviews with program leaders and youth representatives. Was this deliberate?</strong><br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> It was an intentional choice. The goal of the framework is for systems to collect data that they can use to inform decision making. Some indicators are very expensive and time-consuming to measure well. But systems don’t have to measure everything that they do. There are other mechanisms that give people an opportunity to reflect on their work in a way that can drive future activities. System leaders can use touchpoints with community stakeholders to learn the extent to which their work is meeting the intended objectives. Some activities, like talking with youth council representatives, have benefits beyond measuring progress toward a particular goal. They build voices into the system and improve equity. <br> </p><p><strong>Donner&#58;</strong> When Jennifer and the team at RAND worked with the three intermediaries, they steered them toward open-source, free and accessible data-collection tools so they wouldn’t face a funding cliff later. They were realistic with their recommendations so systems would not need a massive grant to sustain their data collection work. <br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> Because we’re researchers, I think people expected that we would push them to measure more and at the highest level of rigor for everything. That was not our approach. We really wanted to help them build processes that were sustainable and that they could implement themselves over time.<br> </p><p><strong>The</strong> <strong>sample worksheets in the guide suggest that OST intermediaries don’t need to measure everything to track progress and make informed decisions. How can they make smart choices about the data they do collect and analyze?</strong><br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> It's far better to measure three things reliably and use it to drive improvement, than to measure 10 things not particularly well and not have the capacity to use any of it. As system leaders go through the framework and want to measure this and this and this, they should really think about where they can derive the greatest value and what they have the capacity to accomplish well. What pieces of data are highest leverage? How can they make the most out of every data point so that stakeholders can make decisions that advance goals and continuous improvement processes? We encourage system leaders to ask themselves&#58; what do you have the capacity to collect, store, analyze and use right now?​<br> </p><p><strong>How did the framework help the three intermediaries improve their data efforts? And how will it continue to be used in the field?</strong><br> </p><p><strong>McCombs&#58;</strong> Intermediaries in the study used the framework in many different ways.&#160;As small examples, Sprockets [in St. Paul] used data to more explicitly communicate with various stakeholders, including community members, funders, and policymakers.​ For Boston After School &amp; Beyond, the framework propelled how it communicates data with programs in its network, and therefore, how programs utilize data themselves for their own improvement. Providence Afterschool Alliance really took stock of the data they needed, the data they didn’t, and how to share&#160;data back to providers.<br> </p><p><strong>Donner&#58;</strong> Every Hour Counts is forming a learning community with a cohort of city organizations who will work intentionally with the tool over the next year to use data to drive improvement. Intermediaries come in many shapes and sizes, but there is a common through line of the importance of system indicators, program indicators and youth indicators, which all intersect with each other. The framework is designed to meet communities wherever they are in the process. We’re eager to see how it helps them move from point A to B.&#160; </p>Jennifer Gill832021-10-06T04:00:00Zafterschool systems; cities; citywide systems; research; education research; OST10/7/2021 7:42:38 PMThe Wallace Foundation / News and Media / Wallace Blog / Getting the Most Out of Data Collection for Out-of-School-Time Systems Developers of OST assessment tools discuss how to 769https://www.wallacefoundation.org/News-and-Media/Blog/Pages/Forms/AllItems.aspxhtmlFalseaspx

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