Working Together for Educational Equity
Partnership Update - February 2021
Dear Partners,

Along with rain and cold weather, the winter has brought both new challenges and, like the winter solstice, a glimmer of hope for brighter days. As with the change in seasons, there is a familiar pattern to what we anticipate experiencing in the coming Spring. Yet no two Springs are alike, and we never “go back” but always move forward. The future of our coming “Spring” is both of our making and out of our control and it will be both familiar and foreign.

That is exactly the moment we find ourselves in today with the education landscape. While we may, in some sense, desperately want school to “go back” to normal, in another sense, this is an unprecedented moment to address the systemic barriers and inequities that have made the past “normal'' unacceptable to many BIPOC students, families and their allies.

As we navigate this moment of uncertainty and confusion together, we must figure out how we can work together to both address the immediate needs of students and families struggling through the “Winter” of COVID-19 while simultaneously laying the foundation to “build back better” down the road for this Summer and into the following school year.

Here are some signposts of what’s emerging across the county and the Partnership to guide us along the way:
Leadership Team, Partnership Council, & Youth & Family Council

  • The Leadership Team welcomed Terena Mares, Deputy Superintendent at the Marin County Office of Education, as its newest member, and discussed the need for a comprehensive, collaborative plan to provide expanded learning opportunities for focus students county-wide.
  • The Partnership Council reviewed progress from Action Teams and county-wide Initiatives, and launched the second round of the Organizational Self-Assessment Related to Racial Equity, to assess each organization’s Cultural Responsiveness. Partnership Council Members are asked to complete the online Self-Assessment HERE by Wednesday, March 31. Please reach out to Juliet Schiller if you have any questions.
  • The Youth & Family Council launched in December with a convening of 18 members including high school students, Transitional Age Youth, educators, and parents. The council serves as the third leg of the Partnership’s shared governance structure, and shared their first round of recommendations during the Leadership Team meeting on January 22. Please contact Marjorie Delgadillo for more information.
Kindergarten Readiness & Early Grade Literacy

  • Preschool+District Partnerships - A Task Force, with funding from the West Marin Fund, is conducting a feasibility analysis for a District run preschool at the West Marin school. Contact Maria Niggle for more information.

  • Leyendo Juntos - Virtually (Virtual Literacy Pods): There is a 2nd Grade Cohort at Loma Verde and a 1st Grade Cohort at San Pedro. Action Team Partners including Dominican University, Parent Services Project, and the Marin County FreeLibrary, as well as ELM at San Pedro, are sharing data and coordinating academic support for virtual reading buddies, access to bi-lingual books, and parent engagement. Contact Juliet Schiller for more information.
Middle Grade Math through College Enrollment

  • Strategy & Action Team Alignment - The Backbone Staff have been working with the various Action Teams focused on College & Career Readiness, Enrollment, and Completion (4 Year Plan Team, Success Networks, Keeping Every Door Open (KEDO), Enrollment, and Completion) to coordinate and align meetings and collaborative action strategies. Contact Elizabeth Cooper for more information.
  • Success Network Expansion - Success Networks are starting up at Redwood and Tomales High and are in planning stages for SRCS for next year. TUHSD is planning to fund a Success Transition Coordinator to support middle to high school transitions for incoming Success Students (this is an evolution of the work started by the Middle Grade Math Team that is transitioning the curricular focus of its work to staff from Willow Creek and Bayside MLK). Contact Elizabeth Cooper for more information.
  • KEDO Policy Approvals - SRCS Board of Trustees has approved the district's Blueprint Equity Plan and will be implementing the recommendations as part of its LCAP. Contact Elizabeth Cooper for more information.
  • Financial Aid County-wide Campaign - To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on college enrollment (see new Data HERE), 10KD is leading a communication and outreach effort to boost completion of FAFSA/Dream Act forms between now and March 2nd. 10KD will be launching a Financial Aid information portal and Partners are asked to pitch in to help Phone Bank. Contact Shelley Hamilton for more information.
  • Bridging & Belonging to Increase Completion - The Completion team is strategically focusing just on year one retention rates by increasing Latinx enrollment in pre-college experiences, like COM’s SummerBridge (and SummerBridge ESL), and connecting freshman to peer and mentoring support groups. Contact Shelley Hamilton for more information.
Cross-milestone & COVID-19 Related

  • Marin Educators for Equity - Partners are creating a shared data system for recruitment, aligning efforts on affordable teacher housing and recruitment policies, and collectively funding E3’s affinity group and Backbone Staff’s support services. Contact Robin Pendoley for more information.
  • Digital Divide - Funding was acquired to hire an Education Pioneers COVID Fellow (Abbie Ridenour) who will be working with the Library to organize Hotspot inventory data and optimize future device usage. She will also be developing a needs analysis and landscape assessment of Marin’s Digital Divide regarding devices, connectivity, technical support and digital literacy and helping the Partnership connect with the larger Digital Marin initiative. Contact Robin Pendoley for more information.
  • Learning Hubs - Backbone Staff have partnered with MCOE to track and communicate information among Learning Hub Partners. An information portal has been published with data, Hub stories, and spotlights on funding and PR. Hub operators have been meeting to discuss how the data and communication linkages that have been developed could serve as the foundation for the kind of School+CBO cross-sector infrastructure that will be needed to implement other COVID-19 mitigation strategies such as expanded summer learning supports and an integrated community schools network. Contact Shelley Hamilton for more information.
Tips & Tricks to Make the Most of Meetings

  • Closed Captions- In an effort to make meetings more accessible, the Backbone Team will be enabling Closed Captioning in all Partnership meetings & convenings moving forward, and encourage partners to do the same. Instructions for how to enable & use Closed Captions on various platforms can be found below: 
  • Zoom
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Hangouts
  • Partnership Event Calendar - Find up-to-date information on Action Team and Initiative Meetings by checking the online Partnership Calendar.
Please reach out to Jacqui Esquivel Vasquez if you have any questions or would like additional support.
As always, we, the Backbone Team, are inspired by your innovative collaboration and dedication to students, and believe that by centering the Partnership’s values of Equity, Justice, Integrity, and Compassion, partners can collaboratively develop a roadmap to a more just & equitable future in our county. Thank you for all that you do.

In solidarity,

Marin Promise Partnership Backbone Team
Marin Promise Partnership |