LAUNCH Flagstaff update for Sept. 5

| September 6, 2017
The partners of LAUNCH Flagstaff have identified goals for improving five educational outcomes.  We have active Community Action Networks (CANs) that have formed around two of those goals:  Kindergarten Readiness and Post-Secondary Enrollment.  This month we take a moment to reflect on the progress of those two CANs as we move into the new school year.  Read more about our collective impact efforts below.

There are many components that factor into determining if a child is ready for kindergarten.  Most think of chronological age as the primary determinant, but this is far from the full picture.  This is why the Kindergarten Readiness CAN held thorough discussions over the early part of this year to define what it means for a young child to be ready for school.  We agree that kindergarten readiness encompasses holistic and developmentally appropriate skill sets, knowledge, mindset and supports necessary for optimal educational success.

In support of our shared goal that community-wide data will reflect evidence of continuous improvement annually in the percentage of children entering kindergarten ready for school – socially, behaviorally and academically, we have identified two contributing indicators that will help us in making progress toward that goal:

  1. Increasing the number of students in high quality pre-school environments
  2. Increasing the number of parents participating in parenting education programs and early childhood support

If you have an interest in early childhood education, please consider joining us for an upcoming CAN meeting.  Click here to see a calendar of upcoming events.  Also, check your LAUNCH Flagstaff subscription profile and make sure that you’ve indicated an interest in early childhood education by clicking here.  


The LAUNCH Flagstaff Post-Secondary CAN has made great strides in the past year as we focused on measurable benchmarks toward our goal of having ALL students engage in a post-secondary endeavor upon graduation.  The firstaction step of this “do” tank, was to clearly define what we meant by a post-secondary endeavor.  After hours of carefully thought, the Post-Secondary CAN defined this as attending a 4 or 2 year college or trade/technical college/training program, placement in military service, or being directly employed after high school.

In order to reach this goal, we identified the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) completion rates at our area schools.  Data shows that when a student completes a FAFSA application, he/she is more likely to enter and successfully complete a college education.  The Post-Secondary CAN is working to promote and leverage existing local college and career ready events that promote FAFSA completion. We are also working with NAU to provide on-site training to counselors, students and parents, to help increase FAFSA completion rates.  Lastly, we have requested that local high schools self-report FAFSA completion data to drive our continuous improvement process in the LAUNCH Flagstaff partnership.

Like FAFSA, local and national data shows that when students earn college credit, while in high school, they are more likely to transition into a post-secondary placement after high school graduation.  Thus, Dual Enrollment (DE) was the next logical contributing indicator in support of our goal.  Students that earn DE might enter a 4-year, 2-year, or certificate program based on their positive experiences with college prior to graduating from high school.  In fact, many recent high-school graduates in the Flagstaff area have entered their post-secondary educational experience with anywhere from 3-48 college credits.

The Post-Secondary CAN is facilitating collaborative dialogue between BASIS, Coconino Association for Vocations Industry and Technology, Coconino Community College, Flagstaff Unified School District, Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, and Northland Preparatory Academy in making a collective impact toward our goal.

If you have an interest in post-secondary education, please attend our next meeting on September 14th, 2017 @ 11am, at CCC’s Lone Tree Campus.  Click here to see the meeting agenda.   Also, check your LAUNCH Flagstaff subscription profile and make sure that you’ve indicated an interest in early childhood education by clicking here.  


LAUNCH Flagstaff uses a framework of collective impact not only locally, but also in relation to statewide organizations focused on improving educational outcomes.  The five educational outcomes that LAUNCH Flagstaff seeks to improveare rooted in the eight goals of the Arizona Education Progress Meter created by the Center for the Future of Arizona and Expect More Arizona.

In August, LAUNCH Flagstaff was highlighted at the League of Cities and Towns Education Pre-Conference in Tucson and another event here in Flagstaff as an example of how we are working to improve these educational outcomes locally, which will help drive statewide improvements.

We are pleased to support the Arizona Education Progress Meter.  Learn more about it and get a clearer understanding of the statewide goals at the Expect More Arizona website by clicking here.


On September 13, 2017, LAUNCH Flagstaff will convene the first meeting of our Community Leadership Council, a group of the highest level executives, policy makers and community leaders representing about fifty cross-sector organizations from Flagstaff.  Dr. Lattie Coor, President-Emeritus of Arizona State University and founding Chairman and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona will kick-off the breakfast meeting.

The outcome of this first meeting is to deepen the conversation about how to best leverage existing community assets to improve the five educational outcomes shared by the LAUNCH Flagstaff partnership.  Learn more about LAUNCH Flagstaff’s accountability structure here.  Look for more information about the meeting in next month’s newsletter.


  • September 5, 2017 – 3:30 pm: Kindergarten Readiness CAN @ FRC
  • September 8, 2017 – 6:30 pm: Beyond Measure @ FMC
  • September 14, 2017 – 11:00 am: Post-Secondary CAN @ CCC
  • September 15, 2017 – 6:30 pm: Paper Tigers @ FMC
  • September 19, 2017 – 4:30 pm: LAUNCH 101 @ UWNA
  • September 20, 2017 – 6:30 pm: Rise Above the Mark @ FMC
  • October 1, 2017 – 1:00 pm: Flagstaff Community Town Hall @ CCC
Click here to see the complete event calendar
Thank you for your commitment to creating a system of world-class education for every child in Flagstaff, from cradle through career.


Paul Kulpinski
Partnership Director, LAUNCH Flagstaff

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