Submitted by: Centralia Community Foundation
We believe supporting education is the most important work we can focus on because it will have the most positive impact on our community. In 2018, together with the Centralia School District, we announced the launch of the Schools of Excellence Initiative to help create pathways to career readiness for Centralia graduates. By improving the effectiveness of education in every single classroom, we believe that our students will be better prepared for college and careers.
The Schools of Excellence work so far:
As the first full year of our partnership with the Centralia School District comes to a close, the work that is underway has been foundational and important. We began by investing in the BERC Group to assess and to establish an improved and effective path forward for teachers and administration. We also funded the addition of two new career and college counselors in the district; Lisa Wilson at Centralia High School and Amy Hendrickson at the Centralia Middle School. The addition of these two counselors has helped to free up the existing counselors for their work on other issues besides college or career guidance. Next, the Centralia Community Foundation provided the Centralia School District with funding for Naviance, a college and career readiness software, along with purchasing 225 new Chrome Books to help implement the usage of the software by students.
Together with The BERC Group, the Centralia Community Foundation continues to partner with the Centralia School District to provide support and a clear vision for post-high school options (careers and college). Over the last year we have helped the district solidify a Theory of Action that guides their career and college readiness work, we have begun building internal capacity and external support for the Schools of Excellence Initiative, and we have helped establish a guiding committee (Career and College Readiness Committee) with representatives from all schools in the district.
The CCRC is intended to serve as a research and development group for the district and plays a vital role in the initiative’s success. In addition, the Career & College Readiness Counselors have begun administering student interest surveys and developing career pathway curriculums through the new Naviance system and have continued to build relationships with Centralia College that will help better serve our students.
We have also supported the focus on rigorous instruction (The 4 Habits of Powerful Teaching and Learning). Almost all elementary teachers and leadership teams at the middle school and high school were introduced to the training this year and have a strong foundation for developing more teacher leadership in Year 2.
Finally, there are three pillars in the Theory of Action: Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships. Through the initial Needs Assessment and the work of the CCRC, we have developed an initial list of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will be used to measure and guide program success and development around the three pillars over time.
Enhancing career training opportunities and providing more access to apprenticeships is an important part of our goals with educational support. We are working with the school district and Centralia College to develop clear pathways to careers, to provide summer enhancement programs, and to assist the transition of Centralia High School students to college.
We are not only supporting the development of a vision after high school; we are also helping develop community vision for before elementary school. We are committed to supporting early childhood education that will align with the admission needs of the area school districts, and to that end, we are exploring opportunities and partnerships.
We aspire to be the hub of the Hub City
We’re constantly looking for the partnerships and alliances that will help to bring more opportunities to others in the area. There are so many other great organizations that are also focused on the greater good. We are working diligently at connecting with them to learn and support a focused way forward to achieving all our goals. More on this later as we learn more.
Help spread the word
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It’s amazing what happens when we all share a vision for what Centralia can be!
The desire and energy exists within our citizens, our teachers, and our administrators. Supporting education will benefit the whole community because highly ranked schools will attract people and businesses to move here. This combination provides better employment opportunities and a quality of life that everyone can enjoy.
We hope that the community shares our vision and will support the Foundation so we can continue to help lead the way forward. We all love this place. This is our home and we take pride in being from here. It will take all of us to make significant changes that will benefit our community.
Consider making a positive impact in Centralia. Help us help our community and make a secure one-time donation or a recurring monthly donation on our site today at https://centraliacf.org/donate
Thank you for your support.