Public/Private Partnerships for Deeper Impact

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As the national conversation turns toward students' recovery from the COVID pandemic, many schools and districts are looking for ways to best support kids and families. Students have not only lost academic ground, but many are facing social, emotional, and mental health challenges as well, and experts recognize that the traditional school calendar will not be enough to help students recover. Plus, the effects of the pandemic have not been equal, and barriers to learning have disproportionately affected under-resourced communities.

Now is the time to partner with high-quality out-of-school time organizations to impact students' recovery.

To encourage independent schools to step into this crucial moment in education and help close opportunity gaps exacerbated by the pandemic, several Heads of School (HOS) who partner with Horizons and Breakthrough participated in a pre-recorded webinar panel at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Conference titled, "Achieving Deeper Impact in the Broader Community Through Public/Private Partnerships."

Kevin Glass, HOS, Atlanta International School (Horizons Atlanta); Mike Davis, HOS, Colorado Academy (Horizons at CA); and Marjo Talbott, HOS, Maret School (Horizons Greater Washington) joined Breakthrough Collaborative partner Penny Townsend, HOS of Ransom Everglades School (Miami, FL) to share how partnering with established education nonprofits has deepened their schools' impact in their communities. They discussed how these programs build bridges across public and private education systems, creating a permanent learning environment where youth from under-resourced communities can thrive in the summer and after school.

Panelists also shared how partnership with a national organization not only lends credibility to their programs, but also ensures that their institutions have the necessary resources to sustain a robust and impactful learning community. Resources like teacher training, national convenings, and ongoing peer-to-peer collaboration help program staff plan and execute without requiring additional resources from the school itself. Panelists also talked about how these partnerships have opened doors in their independent school communities, bringing new, diverse perspectives to their schools, providing opportunities for student volunteerism, and creating new channels of funding. And, of course, independent school communities embracing the program as their own is at the core of its success:

It's all about the kids, right? And there's this much-used phrase, 'it takes a village.' And so what we have done with our Horizons program here at Atlanta International School is massively expand our village. We have folks now part of our community, and enriching our community - young people, teachers that work with us from public schools across metro Atlanta, and of course the families of the Horizons scholars themselves, are all part of our Atlanta International School greater village.

- Kevin Glass, HOS, Atlanta International School

As more schools and districts look to support students' COVID recovery, out-of-school programs like Horizons and Breakthrough are high-quality, long-term, community solutions. Check out our partnership guide to learn more about bringing Horizons to your institution. And, watch the full panel here.

From top left: Kevin Glass, Marjo Talbott, Penny Townsend, and Mike Davis

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