Notes from March Meeting of the OSLN

On Thursday, March 8th, 2018 we had our third meeting of the Oakland Summer Learning Network (OSLN) for this school year. In the February meeting we reflected on the results of our community assessment, identified a number of potential goals and ideas for improvement, and then self-selected activities that were important to network members, viable in the next 18 months, and within our sphere of influence.

You can find the full agenda and all the relevant links online, but here’s a high level summary:

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Historical Review of OSLN
  • OSLN Action Plan Presentation (Shared Vision & Citywide Coordination Committee)
  • Committee Work Time
    • Purpose: Have an opportunity to support the mission of the OSLN
      • Goal Development (SMART), Who’s Missing & Recruitment
      • Action Plan
      • Schedule Next Meeting (if not done already)
  • Committee Report Out
  • Member Updates and Close
    • We closed our meeting with member updates and announcements, a participant evaluation.
    • Member Updates:
      • Rod from Inplay has contacted Family Liaisons at OUSD to do a presentation about how they can better connect families to programs. He’ll be sharing about the online resource guide hosted on Inplay.org, but he would also invite Lead Agencies to share any other recruitment specifics. They have offered to let us present March 27th, 12:30-3:30pm for the Family Engagement Learning Institute (FELI). The FELI is a shared learning space (professional development) for OUSD family engagement practitioners who coordinate family engagement activities and programs at the school site. They meet 5 times per year. The liaisons could share OSLN information with their families. Contact Rod Hsiao at rod@inplay.org if you would like to support the presentation.
      • After School and Summer Learning Program providers should register their program information as soon as possible on https://www.inplay.org/
      • The OSLN now has four active committees. For an overview of previous committee activities, visit our about page. Committee meetings will be supported by Daren and/or Bennie and can use the following zoom link to meet remotely: https://zoom.us/j/908329780
      • The Oakland Literacy Coalition team is growing! We are thrilled to be launching two positions that will bring exciting new talent and capacity to support our programs and network of partners. We encourage you to share these opportunities broadly.

Notes from February Meeting of the OSLN

On Thursday, February 15th, 2018 we had our second meeting of the Oakland Summer Learning Network (OSLN) for this school year. In the December meeting we conducted a community-wide self-assessment of summer learning systems in Oakland. In the February meeting we reflected on this data and formed several committees. You can find the full agenda and all the relevant links online, but here’s a high level summary:

  • Welcome and Introductions
    • We took time to get to know everyone in the room as we had some new participants.
  • Community Indicators Self-Assessment – Results & Reflection
  • OSLN Action Brainstorming
    • We identified a number of potential goals and ideas for improvement.
  • OSLN Committee Self-Organizing
    • We self-selected activities that were important to network members, viable in the next 18 months, and within our sphere of influence.
    • Four committees were formed:
      • Shared Vision and Citywide Coordination
      • Data Management System
      • Continuous Quality Improvement
      • Sustainable Resources
  • Member Updates and Close
    • We closed our meeting with member updates and announcements, a participant evaluation, and a reminder to attend the next meeting in March.
    • Member Updates:
      • Oakland Fund for Children and Youth (OFCY) will be holding three community brainstorm meetings. RSVP today.
      • The Youth Opportunity Scholarships (YOS) program provides funding to Bay Area middle school students to pursue inspiring extracurricular enrichment activities. Our goal is to provide opportunities for youth to pursue a passion of their choosing beyond the classroom. Learn more at https://www.youthopportunityscholarships.org/
      • Katie Brackenridge is transitioning from her role as Vice President of Programs at Partnership for Children and Youth (PCY) after 14 years of service. She’ll be joining the consulting community and serving as PCY’s SEL Advisor. Nazaneen Khalilnaji-Otto will absorb a number of Katie’s responsibilities as the Senior Director of Programs.
      • After School and Summer Learning Program providers should register their program information as soon as possible on https://www.inplay.org/
      • The OSLN now has four active committees. For an overview of previous committee activities, visit our about page. Committee meetings will be supported by Daren and/or Bennie and can use the following zoom link to meet remotely: https://zoom.us/j/908329780

Notes from December Meeting of the OSLN

On Monday, December 4th, 2017 we had our first meeting on the Oakland Summer Learning Network (OSLN) for this school year. We opted to cancel the October meeting due to a number of key staff transitions at OUSD, so we had a packed agenda. You can find the full agenda and all the relevant links online, but here’s a high level summary:

  • Welcome and Introductions
    • We took time to get to know everyone in the room as we had some new participants.
    • We also got to know our new meeting facilitator, Bennie Patterson. Bennie comes to us from Brothers on the Rise. He’s the facilitator of the Oakland Youth Ally Alliance (OYAA). Like the OSLN, the OYAA seeks to foster collaboration and support the work of Expanded Learning professionals in our city. It’s great to have the opportunity to coordinate our efforts with OYAA and the Oakland Literacy Coalition (OLC), which is another key member organization.
  • OSLN Committee Updates
    • We heard updates from all three of our previous committees (Data Management, Continuous Quality Improvement, and Marketing and Communications). These committees have all completed the tasks they set out to do, but there is more they could do, and we wanted to have a thoughtful and strategic approach to making those decisions, so we conducted a community assessment to guide our planning.
  • Network Member Roles and Opportunities
    • Before diving into our strategic planning, we paused to recognize the individual and organizational needs of the OSLN members with an activity called Give and Gets. You can find the notes from this activity here, but we asked members to reflect on the following:
      • Gives: What can I give to contribute to help this effort succeed?
      • Gets: What do I need to get to make this effort worth my time?
  • Annual Assessment
    • We then dove into our community assessment. This tool comes from our partners at the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA). In communities all over the country, networks and collaborative like ours are assessing the health of their collaboration with this tool. The data from this self-assessment will inform our strategic plan. We’ll begin work on the plan at our next meeting, February 4th, 2018, but you can read the assessment results here.
  • Member Updates and Close

Community System-Building for Summer Learning

A number of local organizations in Oakland, California are committed to building a system for summer learning in our city. This work is convened by Partnership for Children and Youth (PCY), but led through a collaboration with a number of local partners. This work is modeled on some of the system building work of The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), a partner organization that has built a field around this issue, recognizing and disseminating what works, convening key actors, and building capacity for quality practice in summer learning. For the last nine years, NSLA has worked with communities to assess and document the local summer learning landscape in a number of cities. These system-level collaborative efforts—often initiated by local funders seeking to build capacity and sustainability of summer programs—have led to more efficient coordination between multiple entities, resulting in a real impact on local families. Community-based organizations, schools, public housing authorities, public libraries, and other partners have increased the quality of programs and services offered and communication across community programs, and implemented more efficient systems and infrastructure within programs.

How Does Community System-Building for Summer Learning Work?

To bring summer learning to scale, funders, intermediaries, and programs need to know:

  • What’s working and what’s not: Community leaders and local funders are well positioned to encourage and facilitate evaluations that assess the impact and quality of programs in their community.
  • Who to engage: Community leaders can work together to identify stakeholders and engage them in change efforts.
  • How to facilitate and plan for a collaborative approach: Community leaders can work with programs to develop methods to collect and share program information to drive equity, planning, and help keep the work on course.
  • What quality looks like: Following system-level evaluation and resultant planning, local intermediaries can provide targeted training and professional development to impact specific youth outcomes.
  • How to understand impact: With a shared focus on the intended outcomes, funders and intermediaries can work with providers to create systems to track the skills youth are gaining within programs and across the community.

What are the roles of NSLA and PCY in this work?

NSLA has developed a three-phased approach to community system-building and collective impact to help communities reach more youth with summer learning opportunities. Fundamentally, this approach is about working in collaboration with local community organizations and institutions to coordinate key systems and leverage existing infrastructures to increase quality summer programming for those most in need. The three phases are: community assessment, community coordination and strategic planning, and capacity building.

As part of the process, we  worked to identify and support local agencies to serve as affiliates for community assessment, policy and program quality work, and system coordination. NSLA training and materials—including the comprehensive Community Indicators of Effective Summer Learning Systems—allow local intermediaries, like PCY, to facilitate these activities.

Impact: System-Building Case Studies

Baltimore: After conducting a community assessment with NSLA, two private foundations and one public funding intermediary developed a common summer grant application. This application has streamlined the funding process for local programs, and improved the ability of the participating funders to understand how their individual summer portfolios support access to programs across the city. As a result of this effort, four additional private foundations made grants to
programs that had used the common application.

Birmingham: NSLA developed an action plan based on the findings of a
community assessment. The result was an initial joint investment of $500,000 by six local foundations to expand the capacity of local summer learning providers to deliver high-quality programming. This has grown to 11 funders investing $850,000 in 2015.

Indianapolis: In 2015, the Summer Youth Program Fund (SYPF), a collaborative of ten local funders, made a joint investment of $2.4M in close to 200 summer programs serving 50,000 youth. Since 1995, SYPF has contributed more than $39 million dollars to Marion County organizations providing summer programs.

How to Contribute

To join the Oakland Summer Learning Network, contact us. To collaborate with work group members directly, see our full member listing.