Case Study: Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative Grant

SchoolWorks is a qualified Research Evaluation Consulting Services Vendor and Trainer and Consulting Vendor for the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). In FY2019 and 2020, SchoolWorks was contracted by EEC to provide technical assistance and strategic planning support to nine districts (or lead agencies) and their communities across Massachusetts as part of the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative (CPPI) Grant. Lead agencies included: Boston Public Schools, Holyoke Public Schools, Lawrence Public Schools, Lowell Public Schools, New Bedford Public Schools, North Adams Public Schools, Northampton Public Schools, Somerville Public Schools, and Springfield Public Schools.

The Challenge

Support efforts in each community to continue to expand access, align systems and improve the overall quality pre-kindergarten and/or preschool opportunities through partnerships between the local public school district and local EEC-licensed early education programs.

SchoolWorks Approach

In each community, SchoolWorks completed an overview of the public-school district preschool programs, the early learning partner programs, and services provided (e.g., special education supports and services, wraparound services, aftercare programs), producing three trend reports that summarized the programs and practices of CPPI grantees and their work with early learning partner organizations:

  • Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative (CPPI) Grantee Trend Report, June 2020
  • Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative (CPPI) Preschool Funding & Transportation Services Report, June 2020
  • Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative (CPPI) Special Education Supports and Services, June 2020

The second phase of the engagement was used to further align strategic planning, visioning and possible options for the future, while considering many of the complicated variables associated with educating the youngest learners in Massachusetts and nationwide. During this work, SchoolWorks consultants acted as a thought partner, engaging in conversations with school districts and their partner organizations regarding future opportunities for their communities based on their specific and individualized needs. Topics included, for example: services for students with disabilities, equitable service delivery, braiding funding streams, sustainable services across a mixed delivery system, development of longer term sustainability plans.

Stakeholders from district and partner organizations were also convened in a series of statewide meetings to foster communication and enable the sharing of strategies and ideas across the commonwealth.

SchoolWorks supported each community in establishing goals to address areas for future focus based on strategic priorities and then provided differentiated strategic planning support to the participating communities, simultaneously working closely with EEC to ensure alignment of supports and best practices.

The Results

As a result of this work, each of the nine communities produced an actionable plan for advancing equity, inclusion, and access to pre-school services.

"The strategic planning facilitated by Schoolworks was essential to communities’ abilities to effectively implement local efforts to expand preschool access by organizing around a shared vision."
- Jocelyn Bowne, Associate Commissioner for Research and Program Innovation, Department of Early Education and Care

    Dates: 2019-2021

    For more information on receiving technical assistance and strategic planning support for your district, feel free to contact us here.

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