Newsletter | May 2019
Don't Miss Out on ACYI's Updates
This issue of our newsletter is bursting at the seams with updates on things happening throughout the ACYI Partnership. Unfortunately, some email platforms tend to clip lengthier content.   If your email becomes clipped at the bottom, you can navigate to the top of this email and click the blue link to view the full newsletter.

Power in Numbers

Kania and Kramer (2011), ' Collective Impact ,'
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Communities cannot thrive with individual entities working in silos, and the power in numbers becomes even stronger when cross-sector entities are working collectively to make major change .

Creating systems-level change in our community requires cross-sector collective work, led by community leaders and informed by those this work impacts the most: youth, families, and the communityIt is for this reason that the ACYI Partnership brings together school districts, city and county governments, non-profits, community members, and additional entities from across sectors to determine how to best meet the needs of youth in our community.

However, this Partnership does not exist to create  more work for any of its partners; improving outcomes for youth is already your work. The only differentiation is that we are now all working together to consolidate the resources, time, and energy of everyone involved so that we are able to make an even larger impact on Adams County youth. 

To create this change, our small ACYI 'Backbone' team exists to support you and the rest of the Partnership to continue this work on behalf of youth, through the utilization of an outcomes-focused framework and our collective impact approach.
Champions of this Work

In recent months, six community leaders, who serve on ACYI's Community Leaders Councilhave stepped up to serve as champions, providing  leadership and accountability to one Collaborative Action Network (CAN)  each

CLC Champions empower the CANs to be change agents, work with CAN Conveners to hold these groups accountable for moving outcomes for youth, to lead courageously and break down barriers, to serve as the high-level beacon for the CANs, and to share the passion for ensuring the CANs turn the curve in key Cradle to Career Outcome areas.
Middle Grade Math
Dr. Chris Fiedler, Superintendent, 27J Schools

"I stepped up into the Champion role because I believe educational improvements happen through collective work. 

With four school districts represented on the Middle Grade Math CAN, the group has identified process and system improvements to raise eighth grade math scores across the county.

27J Schools is committed to improving outcomes for all students, and the ACYI Partnership is working to ensure that all students are successful on their Cradle to Career Journeys."

Success in Eighth Grade Math performance has become an important milestone for future success. Yet, today, the mean scale score in math for eighth graders in the ACYI Partnership is 727.This means that eighth graders in our community, on average, are performing at level 3 (approaching expectations).

Essentially, this means that roughly 3,000 students, around 6 out of 10 of our community's eighth graders, are NOT meeting expectations in eighth grade math.

This group is championed by Dr. Fiedler, and convened by Dr. Richard Patterson (Director of Student Achievement of 27J Schools).

Juvenile Justice
Brian McBroom, City Manager, City of Commerce City

  "I was honored to be asked to serve as the Champion of the Juvenile Justice CAN.  Reducing the number of children from our community in the juvenile justice system is critical to their individual success and to the success of our community as a whole. 

Our City Council is 100% committed to creating a Quality Community for a Lifetime and better support and options for children and families in crisis is a major priority for the City of Commerce City.  

I've also been truly inspired by the other community leaders that serve on the Community Leaders Council - these leaders make me better every day!"

Not only does Juvenile Justice involvement have future consequences on a young person's college and career choices, there is a correlation between juvenile justice involvement and substance use, gang involvement, and sexual behavior. 

These issues impact community safety and result in large amounts of public resources spent on school safety and law enforcement.

Post-Secondary Enrollment
Chris Gdowski, Superintendent, Adams 12 Five Star Schools

"I stepped up in the champion role because post-secondary enrollment is a key next step for our students. As a K-12 leader, I have the opportunity to ensure our students continue on the path to success as they leave us."

Post-secondary enrollment marks one of the critical transitions in the cradle to career pipeline where students, particularly low-income and students of color, are less likely to pursue education beyond high school.  Today, only 46% of high school graduates in the ACYI Partnership enroll in a post-secondary program.

This important phase, necessary to help a student progress from high school graduation to post-secondary credential attainment, is now more exigent than ever.

Knowing that both post-secondary enrollment and post-secondary attainment are key areas for work, the ACYI Partnership has opted to split the Post-Secondary Success CAN into two: Post-Secondary Enrollment and Post-Secondary Attainment. Splitting the CAN allows partners to focus more effectively on both enrollment and credential attainment without siloing efforts that are focused on one or the other.

This group is championed by Chris, and convened by Chuck Gross (Executive Director of Adams County Education Consortium).

Post-Secondary Attainment
Cathy Pellish, Vice President - Westminster Campus, Front Range Community College

  "I stepped up into the Champion role because the work of the Post-Secondary Attainment CAN is central to the work of the community college and essential for the future of Adams County. 

I know we can improve outcomes through collective impact and the support of the ACYI backbone."

By 2020, nearly three in four jobs in Colorado will require some education beyond high school, which includes a credential, certificate, two-year or four-year degree. Yet, today, only 39% of youth in the ACYI Partnership, who enroll in a post-secondary program, complete their program within 6 years, if at all.

Essentially, this means that about only 20% of our community's high school graduates are receiving the credentials they need to secure employment that pays a self-sufficient wage.

Knowing that both post-secondary enrollment and post-secondary attainment are key areas for work, the ACYI Partnership has opted to split the Post-Secondary Success CAN into two: Post-Secondary Enrollment and Post-Secondary Attainment. Splitting the CAN allows partners to focus more effectively on both enrollment and credential attainment without siloing efforts that are focused on one or the other.

This group is championed by Cathy, and conveners are in the process of being identified.

Youth Employment (Adams County)
Gregg Moss, President & CEO, Metro North Chamber of Commerce

"I stepped up into the Champion role because national and local research indicates that when youth are hitting targets in key Cradle-to-Career Outcome Areas, their potential for long-term success greatly increases

This work is important to me because workforce development is one of THE most critical issues facing the Metro North regional business community today. The stakeholders we're gathering together must lead the conversation on workforce development."

Currently, only 70% of Adams County residents ages 16 and up (approximately 300,000 out of 430,000) are employed at a wage at the self-sufficiency standard. This equates to approximately 130,000 Adams County residents who are not making a wage that allows them to afford their basic needs.

This rate is lower for young people ages 18-24 in Adams County, with only 64% (approximately 27,700 of 43,000 youth) making a wage at the self-sufficiency standard. This equates to approximately 15,000 youth who are not making a wage that allows them to afford their basic needs.

This group is championed by Gregg, and convened by Jodie Kammerzell (Administrator of the Adams County Workforce and Business Center).

Community Voice
Dr. James Duffy, Chief Operating Officer, Westminster Public Schools

"The Community Voice Steering Committee was put in place to ensure that young people in Adams County are kept at the center of the work of our educators and decision makers. 

I stepped up into this role because I believe in the ability of youth voice to drive this work. 

If we are able to focus on what is working for youth, we will better be able to support them along their Cradle to Career journeys."

ACYI is responsible for developing and strengthening the collective efforts of Partners to dramatically improve key cradle to career outcomes on behalf of youth, with a specific focus on closing opportunity and achievement gaps. T o accomplish this, ACYI has adopted a collective impact and outcomes focused framework that was developed through our national affiliate, StriveTogether

Garnering perspective from key stakeholders, including youth and parents, is at the center of this framework.  To support this, ACYI is has developed ways to access authentic input from these priority populations, and utilizes two key strategies accomplish this: Technology Enabled Girl Ambassadors (TEGA) and the Adams County Student Survey (ACSS).

'Catalyst for Change' Breakfast
RSVP Today

YOU'RE INVITED!... Join us, along with over 300 anticipated guests from the business, public, education, faith, and non-profit sectors, and help us as we work to improve academic achievement and the safety and well-being of ALL children and youth here in our county. LEARN MORE

Ongoing Learning Opportunities
To Support Outcomes Focused Work

Through our Institute, we provide training, coaching, and support for outcomes focused work happening on behalf of children and youth, specifically related to moving the needle in identified Cradle to Career priorities in Adams County. LEARN MORE

For a list of current opportunities available, visit us online at
The Cradle to Career Experience

What is the cradle to career experience like for a young person in Adams County? How can I support youth on this journey?

Assume the identity of a young person or adult advocate and experience the Cradle to Career journey of Adams County youth through an interactive simulation. 
  • June 5, 2019 | 8:00 AM | LEARN MORE
  • July 17, 2019 | 3:00 PM | LEARN MORE
  • Request the simulator for your organization HERE
Orientation to the ACYI Partnership and Collective Impact

Who is ACYI, and how does the ACYI Partnership work to improve Cradle to Career Outcomes for Adams County youth?

Learn more about the ACYI Partnership, its collective impact approach, and the work ACYI supports. This workshop is a prerequisite for all other Institute workshops.
The ACYI Theory of Action

Take a Deep Dive into our Outcomes Focused Framework

Gain a better understanding of how our Outcomes Focused framework is used to affect systems change in improving outcomes for young people, and how far the ACYI Partnership is in its implementation.
Intro to Continuous Improvement

What is Continuous Improvement and how can this process help me improve outcomes on behalf of children and youth?

Learn about the Continuous Improvement process and receive an introduction to basic tools that are key to the practice.

Join Our Team!
AmeriCorps Vista Placement Available

Here at ACYI, we know two things to be true:
  1. Together We CAN Do More
  2. Outcomes Focused Practice is How We CAN do It
If you believe this too, check out current opportunities below to join the ACYI Backbone Team.

ACYI works to MOBILIZE and SUPPORT a collective partnership of stakeholders focused on improving educational outcomes by leveraging student-level data, community expertise, and continuous improvement best practices to...