Aligning resources benefits both schools and partners
Contributed by Melissa Jaggers, Associate Executive Director of Alignment Nashville
Many schools are unaware of all of the resources that exist in the community, and many partners don’t have the capacity to develop relationships or deliver services to all of the schools. The Alignment toolset – Principles, Process, Structure, and Technology – have been described as an “easy button” to help schools and partners learn about each other and use resources as strategically and effectively as possible, especially by uncovering “unusual suspects” in the community and finding new, creative ways to partner.
For example, the High School Alignment Team is currently developing an Invitation to Participate ™ (ITP ™) to align resources in support of Advisory in MNPS high schools. MNPS has developed a framework that outlines topics to be covered in Advisory periods for grades 9-12, including topics such as Social-Emotional Learning, Financial Literacy, Study Skills, College & Career Exploration and Preparation, and more. The High School A-Team is using the ITP ™ process to align existing resources for teachers to access online (ie., videos, documents for download, online resources, etc.) to support their efforts to personalize learning for all students.
During a recent High School A-Team meeting, where the group was putting the finishing touches on its Tactical Plan for supporting Advisory, A-Team member Samantha Andrews, Educator for Experiential Learning at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, had this to say about how resource alignment helps her use her resources more strategically and effectively:
"This is solving a problem for us that we have been wrestling with for a while. We can't always send our staff out to individual schools, so we have tried to figure out a way to provide educational resources online and create “virtual experiences” for students across Nashville. This Advisory initiative would provide the perfect platform for us to do just that - instead of working with each individual school to provide these resources, we will be able to upload it centrally and know that it is easily accessible for all high school teachers in the district."
It’s also solving a problem for school personnel, especially teachers, who often don’t have much time to prepare for Advisory and don’t know where to look for quality resources. High School A-Team Chair Aimee Wyatt, Executive Lead Principal for High Schools, said, “It inspires me because of the amount of resources that are out there that as a classroom teacher I wondered how to get – and now we have them at our fingertips and are able to connect quickly. There’s all this stuff out there that I didn’t know was out there before!”
For more information about the Alignment toolset, please visit www.alignmentnashville.org.