The ACYI Gabbler   

October 2017   

In Case You Missed the News... 
ACYI Has a Refreshed Name & Logo  

The Adams County Youth Initiative, as it was formerly referred to, announced a new name and logo refresh last month at it's second Annual Catalyst for Change Breakfast on September 15, 2017. Moving forward, the organization will be called the YOUth Initiative of Adams County.
The YOUth Initiative of Adams County is a slight change from the former Adams County Youth Initiative. The name and logo update are intended to place focus and emphasis on 'you' and 'youth', the key components to the Partnership's work. READ MORE   
The Youth Initiative Institute
in·sti·tute /ˈinstəˌt(y)o͞ot/
verb : set in motion or establish (something); continuous learning to support our work on behalf of children and youth

The Youth Initiative of Adams County is dialing in its support to Partners through a newly launched Institute focused on training, coaching and support for outcomes based work happening on behalf of children and youth, specifically related to moving the needle in identified Cradle to Career priorities. READ MORE

We recently hosted our first CI 101 training and have several upcoming opportunities for you to get involved.
Adams County Student Survey 

The voice of a student is one of the most powerful, but often one of the least heard. We want and need to hear what youth in our community are saying in order to work together towards real systems change.  
At the Youth Initiative of Adams County, we are consistently working to do just that, and one of our main tools in garnering student voice and perspective is our annual Adams County Student Survey (ACSS).
The ACSS gives our Partnership a chance to hear what our youth are thinking, feeling, and saying about issues they face ranging from school safety, health & substance abuse to attitudes on educational success and social emotional factors. This information helps us recognize the themes of the experiences of our youth and directs us to where to ask more questions and where to ask our youth for more details, so that we can support our partnership in focusing on what matters, to youth, and to the larger community.  READ MORE
Please check out the blog below to see how the ACSS has been a valuable tool for Vikan Middle School in School District 27J...
The Power of Student Voice at Vikan Middle School 


When asked, I am confident that few adults would choose to go back and re-live their young adolescent, middle school years. This is an awkward time, to say the least - a time where every insecurity feels insurmountable, where middle school students feel like all eyes are on them or the blemish on their chins. When in fact each student is focused on his or her self - his or her feelings, his or her issues, his or her worries and joys. 

For the past two years, Vikan Middle School's Unified
Trina Norris-Buck
Principal Vikan Middle School
School District 27J
Improvement Plan's major improvement strategies are engaging and empowering our students in their learning and fostering an inclusive learning environment where students feel safe to take risks. These goals are interconnected so deeply that they are not mutually exclusive. Instead, each goal is dependent on the other to create an environment that enables our students to be able to fully show up and participate in their education. If our students don't feel that safety of community in their school, they may not be able to fully do what it takes to be vulnerable in stating their idea regardless of it being "right" or "wrong". 

Collaborative Action Network (CAN) Updates

Collaborative Action Networks or CANs are the "guts" of the Youth Initiative of Adams County. Using the cradle to career outcomes to guide their work, CANs focus on a specific indicator as a collective force, applying their efforts in a collaborative and constructive way.  LEARN MORE  

Read below for updates on current CAN activity...

Middle Grade Math

A Steering Committee, lead by Nathan Montgomery, Math Coordinator for Adams 12 Five Star Schools, and comprised of representatives from Adams 12 Five Star Schools, School District 27J and Westminster Public Schools, has begun the process of looking at data on how students in Adams County are performing in middle grade math. The group is currently looking at data and determining where there are bright spots and areas of opportunity to focus the larger CAN efforts on.  LEARN MORE

ACYI's Community Leaders Council will review county-wide middle grade math scores in December and be charged with setting a target/goal for our Partnership to work towards accomplishing. 

Post-Secondary Success

Our Community Leaders Council recently reviewed post-secondary enrollment and completion data for Adams County Youth as it relates to Certifications, Associate's Degrees, Bachelor's Degrees, and Master's Degrees. Understanding that current data are limited to that which is available to us through the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) from the Student Unit Record Data System (SURDS) and the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), the CLC set a first target with the information it did have available. READ MORE

OUR TARGET: The ACYI Partnership will work to support Adams County Youth in meeting or exceeding the state in enrollment and completion rates by 2025.

The Steering Committee, lead by Chuck Gross and the Adams County Education Consortium, has been working on identifying the area to focus its efforts and is now slated to host its first full CAN Session on the morning of Wednesday, 11.1.7 to begin mapping out action the group will take to meet the overarching target.  READ MORE

For more information on the CAN Session, please contact Chuck Gross at

We Are a Proud Affiliate of a National Network
The 400-plus Partners from Across the Country committed to Being the Change.

ACYI is a proud member of the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network, a national network of 70 community partnerships in 32 states and Washington D.C. working to improve Cradle to Career success for every child by bringing together cross-sector partners around a common vision. Together, the Network impacts over 8.2 million children and youth nationwide.  READ MORE

Recently, the Youth Initiative staff had the opportunity to attend the eighth annual  StriveTogether  National Cradle to Career Network Convening . We were among 400-plus partners from across the country gathered in Phoenix, AZ for, "Be the Change: Getting Results for Every Child". 

  • We had the privilege of hearing from former Microsoft CEO and current Ballmer Group Co-Founder Steve Ballmer & PolicyLink President Michael McAfee who spoke about the, "importance of using local data to inform action, engage the community and improve equitable outcomes."
  • Focus on Equity - "We absolutely must be explicit about equity. We need to concentrate on helping children of color and low-income children - and to be clear in our communications that this is our focus. As Michael McAfee said during the closing plenary, 'Equity is not a side thing - it IS the work!'"

About ACYI

When Children and Youth Succeed, 

Our Community Succeeds.

The collective ACYI Partnership helps drive academic achievement, safety and well-being of children and youth from Cradle to Career  by leveraging data, community expertise and collaboration using the 'Continuous Improvement' practice to...
Our key indicators measure academic achievement, safety and well-being across our community. 

Identify practices that create an environmen t of success.

We work to help align community resource s to spread what works.

A National Movement to Improve Outcomes for Every Child, From Cradle to Career... ACYI is a proud member of the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network, a national network of 70 community partnerships in 32 states and Washington D.C. working to improve Cradle to Career success for every child by bringing together cross-sector partners around a common vision. Together, the Network impacts over 8.2 million children and youth nationwide.  READ MORE

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