The North Harris County Education Association (NHCEA) is proudly watching its two Collaborative Action Networks (CANs) create initiatives to move area kids along their cradle-to-career path. One CAN is set to launch its first strategies, while the other is busy sharpening its focus.
The North Harris Math CAN is charged by the Council "to increase the percentage of students graduating high school with proficiency in math." This CAN, comprising business, education, and community members, spent nine months reviewing data and research, interviewing practitioners, and studying intervention models used around the country. They decided that their districts and community college had reasonable strategies in place, but they all wanted better results. One strategy tried several years back had documented success but needed sustained support – like the NHCEA could bring to it. So the NHCEA Math CAN brought it forward to the Leadership Council which approved its implementation: a “Summer Bridge Program” to get high school students over the barrier that otherwise would keep them from taking math courses for credit this fall.
Considerable financial support is coming from Aldine ISD, Lone Star College –NH, with supplementary contributions from the United Way, All Kids Alliance, Southwest Shipyards, and American Industrial Services Corporation. A representative from Southwest Shipyards has brought the business perspective to the Math CAN all year long. The Summer Bridge Program will allow a pilot group of 60 students with different career paths requiring different math courses to take one of three math classes over a six-week period. Their courses will be team-taught by LSC-NH and Aldine ISD math instructors. Proven methodologies, books and calculators that are loaned, peer tutoring, scholarship support and breakfast will all be part of the program. Results will be carefully monitored and compared to the performance of similar students not in the pilot. Most important: lessons learned will be transferred both into the AISD high school curriculum and into the ongoing LSC-NH developmental math curriculum.
The North Harris Ready-for-School CAN is charged by the Council "to increase the percentage of children participating in quality pre-school programs." For the past eight months, its members have heard presentations on a variety of early childhood developmental needs and available services, including what "quality childcare" looks like. They learned that more than 11,000 children, age 0-3, in the NHCEA region are not enrolled in either public or private early childhood programs. Because of the NHCEA’s interest in improving access to early childhood education, the premier Houston organization in this field – the Collaborative for Children -- chose to participate on the CAN. It also began an independent initiative to train staff in several childcare centers in the Aldine area. The North Harris Ready-for-School CAN is now refining its target strategies, moving in the direction of helping families identify and access early childhood resources in a way that contributes to the work of the Collaborative for Children. Stay tuned for future updates on how this CAN is moving into action!