SESEC’s FY15-16 Accomplishments
In January 2015, SESEC held a SE Seattle Community Summit on Education at which participants identified key strategic priorities for SESEC to adopt. The following identifies SESEC’s accomplishments within each of the community-driven priorities.
Priority #1: Promote high quality early learning
- Co-chaired the City of Seattle’s Mayoral Task Force to develop recommendations on the City’s implementation of its pre-school plan.
- Held an integral role in coordinating advocacy efforts resulting in Seattle Public Schools approval of four pre-K classes for the academic school year 2016-17.
- In August 2015, hosted Kindergarten Kick-off Event to facilitate enrollment of children in Kindergarten. Enrolled 25 children into school and Jump Start (1/2 day Kindergarten before the start of school). In August 2016, in collaboration with the Rainier Beach Action Coalition’s Back2School Bash, SESEC hosted its 2nd Annual Kindergarten Kick-off with over 1,000 children, parents and guardian participating.
- Hosted Facebook chat with City of Seattle’s Department of Education and Early Learning on the Seattle Preschool Program. The goal was to get information out about the Seattle Preschool Program, dispel myths, garner community support, and ultimately enroll more SE children into preschool. Reached ~500 Facebook accounts.
Priority #2: Change school culture through policy change and authentic parent/caregiver engagement
- In partnership with the University of Washington’s College of Education, sponsored a community survey on parent/family engagement. Through the participation of three schools and three community non-profits, SESEC received over 650 responses from parents and caregivers on their experiences with school staff and their relationships with teachers, the principals and other parents at their children’s schools. The results were shared at the community level as well as with Seattle Public School leadership. As a result of the survey, changes in the ways schools interact with parents/guardians are being implemented.
- Hosted, in February 21016, a community summit to share the results of the survey (see above). Attendees identified key family engagement priorities that will be shared with community non-profits providing parent engagement training to their constituents.
- In partnership with OneAmerica, SESEC was a pilot site for the Home Language Campaign to promote the importance of preserving a child’s home language. We provided mini-grants, presentations, and shared information about the World Language Credits program.
Priority #3: Cultivate and grow personal relationships with CBOs who are trusted advocates, and families and schools
- On an ongoing basis, SESEC hosts monthly and ad hoc meetings of its membership. Through discussions and ongoing interactions, stronger and more honest relationships are developed that have led to more collaborative projects among SE Seattle non-profits organizations.
- Provided grant writing services to SE Seattle CBOs and schools to increase investments in SE Seattle. Continue to research funding opportunities for CBOs and schools.
Priority #4: Strengthen community involvement and voices heard by policymakers
- Served on Seattle Public Schools Bell Time task force to evaluate and make recommendations for changing school start and end times. Helped to ensure a racial equity agenda and community engagement were infused in the conversation.
- Launched SESEC’s Advocacy and Policy Cohort (APC) to train community leaders and parents of color on educational policy development, effective advocacy and leadership skills.
- Two participants from SESEC’s Advocacy and Policy Cohort were accepted on Seattle Public Schools’ Family Engagement Committee.
- Appointed to the City of Seattle’s Families in Education Levy Oversight Committee.
- Co-Hosted with Rainer Valley Corps a Grant maker-Grantee Exchange for SESEC partners and other community members.
- Received 2016 Community Recognition Award for “Outstanding Community Leadership and Service to Education and the Students of Washington State” by the Seattle School District at the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA), May 20, 2016.