Working Together for an
Equitable Return to School
Dear Partners,

As you move into the Fall with the joy and anxiety of a new school year and the uncertainty of these difficult times, Marin Promise Partnership’s Backbone Team wants to share some updates and information on what’s been happening across the Partnership to get ready for this new year.

It has taken amazing passion and persistence to get ready for school under such trying conditions, calling upon many of you to jump into new roles, re-design workflows, and lead in new ways. To help you navigate these turbulent waters and align with each other’s efforts, we will be sending out more regular Partnership emails and posting more regular updates to both the “News & Resources” section of our website and our social media channels.
Here is what we are hearing from the Partnership:
Back to School Plans: All schools have developed and implemented plans with small learning cohorts and schedules that will allow them to move forward and backward along the Distance Learning ← → Hybrid ← → In-Person learning continuum as our county’s COVID-19 context evolves. [Learn More]
TK-6 School Waivers to Return to In-person Instruction: While the county is on the State Watch List and schools are required to remain in a Distance Learning mode, the state is allowing County Public Health departments to work with schools to submit waiver applications to re-open TK-6th grade instruction on a full-time, in-person basis. [Learn More]
Pods, Learning Hubs and Distance Learning supports: For schools and families who can’t afford the space, equipment, or supervision needed to meet either the State’s in-person school waiver provisions or private Learning Pod tutoring, community Partners are stepping in to make sure that learning gaps and inequities aren’t exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. [Learn More].
Digital Divide Update: 1250 Hotspots have been purchased and distributed by the Marin County Free Library and School Districts (900 in SRCS). San Rafael is also close to launching a mesh network in the Canal neighborhood and conversations are underway about setting one up in Marin City. The Partnership has designated closing the digital divide as a priority and The Backbone team will continue to monitor progress and post updates on the Partnership’s Digital Divide webpage.
From Equity to Antiracism: In July, the Leadership Team of the Partnership Council approved shifting towards an Antiracist approach to Educational Equity. As part of this commitment they will be engaging in another round of Cultural Responsiveness Self Assessments to update the baseline data collected 2 years ago and will be working to actively take a stance on Antiracist education throughout the county.
The Partnership’s New Operating Framework and 2020-21 Priorities: After seven years of growth and change, the Partnership has launched its own independent nonprofit organization to manage and sustain the Backbone services that support all of the Partners’ collaborative action. Learn more about the roles of the Board, Partnership Council, Leadership Team, and Backbone Staff as well as the 2020-21 Action Agenda Priorities. [Learn More]
StriveTogether Convening: Every year, StriveTogether brings together the power of its national movement for an event dedicated to connecting, learning and creating change. This year’s virtual event format is designed to engage, energize and recharge — including powerful keynotes from Geoffrey Canada and Nikole Hannah-Jones, with space for critical conversations and reflection. Strive has opened up FREE registration to all our Partners but you must register by this Friday. [Learn More]
New California Cradle-to-Career Legislative Advocacy Coalition: Marin Promise Partnership, 5 other StriveTogether communities, and 6 Promise Neighborhood sites in California have come together as a new California Cradle to Career Coalition to advance a statewide educational equity policy advocacy agenda. Under a two year grant from the StriveTogether Network, the Coalition will establish a formal partnership with GRACE End Child Poverty Institute to hire a Sacramento-based Policy Director and facilitate the development of its community of practice. Any Partner organization interested in participating, please contact Ann Mathieson.
Marin League of Women Voters School Board Candidate Forums: As with last year, Marin Promise Partnership is an outreach sponsor for the League’s School Board Candidate Forums which will begin on September 24th and run through October. We will publish the League’s flyer and Forum schedule as soon as it comes out (later this week). In the meantime, here is a list of all of the candidates.
Your work is vitally important and cannot be done alone. We, the Backbone Team, are proud and humbled by your resilience and dedication to students. We look forward to starting this school year focused on justice and equity in Marin's education system.

In solidarity,

The Backbone Team
Marin Promise Partnership |