In 2010, the Road Map Project began its community-wide effort aimed at improving education to drive dramatic improvement in student achievement in education from cradle to college and career in South King County and South Seattle. This project takes a collective impact approach to make large scale change, providing common goals and shared vision in order to bring about coordinated action.
The RTT-D grant included two intensive community-school partnership projects located in White Center and Kent-East Hill. These projects of regional significance focus on improving outcomes for students attending high poverty schools in specific neighborhoods. In order to build on the success of these intensive school-community partnership projects called “Deep Dives,” an investment fund was included in the grant to provide funding for additional partnership projects.
Since 2013, our region has gathered a rich array of learning within the Deep Dive School-Community Partnership Projects in the Kent East Hill (Deep Dive 1) and White Center (Deep Dive 2) communities, as well as the Deep Dive 3 Investment Fund process and projects. These projects integrate education supports, health services, and family engagement strategies–extending learning time beyond the school day to attend to the academic and social and emotional well-being of the students. By utilizing a 24/7 approach focused on the needs of students in the opportunity gap, Deep Dive 3 projects provide invaluable examples how best to partner for strong student success.
Learning how to operationalize school-community partnerships while engaging in practices that promote equity and authentic relationship-building takes time, patience, the ability to persist and stay open through crucial conversations as well as a commitment to continuous improvement. It is critical to leverage our learning, continue to grow and replicate successful practices and partnerships to foster a long-term legacy of community-school partnerships in our region.