LAUNCH Flagstaff update for September

| September 5, 2018
Summer 2018 has drawn to an “official” close so this is a wonderful opportunity to recap the work the partners of LAUNCH have accomplished during the summer break.  I’ve recapped some of those highlight below.I’ve also included a guest article highlighting the volunteer efforts of the annual Flagstaff Community Grad Night.  While the new school year is just underway it won’t be long before students will don cap and gowns and another graduating class will be off into life and career.  Read more about the success of last year’s event and learn why you might get involved this year.

Finally, our current efforts in advocating for world-class education takes a political bend as the November general election campaigns ramp up.  You can stay informed about the issues on our advocacy page.

I urge you to stay informed and stay engaged.  Our children are counting on us.


Paul Kulpinski
Partnership Director

KDI TEAM MAKING PROGRESSThe multi-LEA (local education agency) that formed to pilot implementation of the Kindergarten Developmental Inventory (KDI) has made steady progress since being granted approval from the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to begin their work.

The team of local early childhood educators and administrators received training through out the spring of 2018 in use of the KDI from Teaching Strategies, the company contracted by the ADE for implementing the KDI.  Linda Harbottle, Literacy Coach with Flagstaff Unified School District and team lead for the implementation said that they have received good support from Teaching Strategies during this phase.

Full implementation of the KDI pilot will happen with the start of classes this month.

KINDERGARTEN READINESS CAN CHANGES NAMEAt it’s meeting on August 7, 2018, the Kindergarten Readiness Community Action Network (CAN) changed it’s name to better reflect a refined focus on the scope of work needed to make the impact the partners seek.

In July the CAN received a report from the LAUNCH Data Team on the results of its correlation study on the factors in early childhood that contribute to reading proficiency in 3rd grade.  The data confirms that language and literacy development in early childhood are fundamental to reading success in the early grades.

The CAN has chosen to make “literacy in language and mathematics” a primary focusof the early learning experience that we seek to influence in the 0-5 year age range.  However, this focus of literacy also extends beyond kindergarten and up through age 8.

This was fundamental to the CAN renaming itself the Early Learning CAN.

FINANCIAL LITERACY TEAM FORMEDOne of the greatest obstacles that hinder the transition from high school to post secondary training and education is a lack of financial literacy amongst students and their parents.  There is alack of quality financial literacy programs and awareness of the few programs that do exist is scant.This was one of the conclusions realized by members of the LAUNCH Flagstaff Post Secondary CAN in their effort to increase the number of high school students completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) during last school year.

Because of this lack of basic financial understanding, too many young adults and their parents make post secondary training and education decisions with little awareness of the future impact on their personal finances.

STUDENT INTERNSHIPS FOR ADVANCED MANUFACTURERSPartners in the economic development sector along with business leaders, K-12 and higher educators have been working through the summer to develop strategies to improve coordination between students seeking internship opportunities and local businesses who recognize their responsibility in being part of student’s transition to career exploration.

After some study of the local business sector, the Post-Secondary CAN Internship Team identified the advanced manufacturing sector as the most likely place for internship opportunities.  The team surveyed businesses in the advanced manufacturing sector to better understand their needs.

From this the team is first developing a single page guide to show how manufacturers can benefit from interns as well as guiding them through the process for contacting potential students.  Additionally, the team is planning a “Meet and Greet” event with prospective students and businesses for Manufacturing Month in October.

ECAP AND THE FAFSA FINISH LINEPartners in the Post-Secondary CAN by consensus committed to using the FAFSA Finish Line tool this school year in an effort to improve the local FAFSA completion rate.  The FAFSA Finish Line is a tool of the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education (ACEP) and is available to every high school, teacher and counselor at no cost.

CAN partners also recognized the need to coordinate the various efforts in financial literacy, FAFSA, internships and dual enrollment into an overarching strategy that keeps these subgroups focused on the primary goal of increasing the number of high school students entering into post-secondary training, certification and education in the year following graduation.

The tool the CAN recognizes is the Education and Career Action Plan (ECAP).  LAUNCH Flagstaff recognizes that world-class education at its foundation is student focused and student led.  The ECAP is a tool that helps students define their passions and for parents, educators and community members to align resources to help those students launch their plan.

FLAGSTAFF COMMUNITY GRAD NIGHT SHINESSubmitted by Renee Henry, Flagstaff Community Grad Night volunteer organizerOn Friday, June 1, 2018, the Flagstaff community joined together in an amazing show of support at the 26th annual Flagstaff Community Grad Night. Local businesses, community members, volunteers, parents, and teachers hosted an exciting and engaging celebration for the high school graduates in Flagstaff.  Over 500 students from all of the local high schools and homeschoolsenjoyed casino games, henna tattoos, inflatables, live entertainment, dodge ball, music, food, prizes, and more.  The grand prizes included a custom longboard, $500 cash, a Rocky Mountain Fusion mountain bike, a Dell Inspiron laptop computer, and a 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid!! Throughout the evening, almost $20,000 dollars in prizes were given away to the graduates!!

Grad Night’s primary goal is to keep students safe on the night of graduation; while at the same time recognizing their desire to have a fun time with their friends. Many students feel that graduation should include parties involving alcohol, drugs, and risky behavior; but, Grad Night is committed to offering an attractive alternative.


Click on the Poster for registration information
Watch the trailer
Film Screening and Panel Discussion
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 5pm
McGee Auditorium
Click here to see the complete events calendar

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Category: Education

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