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Biannual Newsletter from E3 Alliance | April 2020 | Volume 1 | Edition 1

The E3 Insider
     When we started writing a semiannual newsletter for our partners and friends, it was a totally different time. Our office was open. Our coaches were leading professional development with school leaders. We were hosting events. Our research team could access our protected data sets in a very small, locked, social-distancing-impossible room. In just a few weeks, our world is a very different place. 
     Now our school district partners are scrambling to host virtual learning while determining how to connect with students who lack online access or are simply too young for that medium. Oh, and at the same time delivering thousands of meals and struggling to help with the nonacademic needs of students and families. They are becoming logistics experts! 
     Our higher ed partners are also scrambling. They’re helping students find off campus housing, connectivity, and support, all while ramping up remote learning like never before. UT alone delivered 5.2 million minutes of online instruction on their first day back! And we’re all working to make emergency bridge funds more available than ever before to college students who will otherwise drop out if they can’t cover urgent financial needs.

     Our nonprofit community partners are running full speed trying to provide direct services in new ways and help support students when the funding environment is making their own organizations more precarious.  Some of them are not taking salaries or furloughing staff.
     At E3 Alliance, it seems we are busier than ever before, connecting resources and helping bridge gaps, learning to support our schools and partners in new ways. But our mission has not changed: We remain committed to leveraging data and collaboration to change education systems so all students succeed.  We cannot let short-term emergencies allow us to take our eyes off of fundamental systems change. In fact, we are looking for ways that this crisis may help us jump-start transformation that can benefit students for decades to come. 
     Below you will find some examples of systems change in process and hear stories of people positively impacted by those changes. Especially in this time of upheaval, we thank our partners and commit to you that we are working every day to help ALL students succeed.

Great photo of high school students: our future!E3 Alliance Awarded Multi-Year Grant to Transform Postsecondary Education in Central Texas

     E3 Alliance has been awarded a multi-year grant to begin scaling the work of the Austin College Attainment Network (ACAN) to increase the number of students completing a postsecondary credential in the Central Texas region. The $1.3 million “Intermediaries for Scale & Institutional Transformation” grant, provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will support E3 Alliance, ACAN, and regional IHE partners, as part of the foundation’s effort to improve postsecondary completion throughout the country. E3 Alliance and ACAN, with the support of the foundation, will work with Central Texas colleges and universities, as they build capacities and capabilities to better bolster many more students in the process to and through postsecondary education. Read more!
Info You Should Know on Math
Our monthly Info You Should Know provides data snapshots on important subjects about our
Central Texas students. To see other infographics, visit E3 Resources.
For more math data, visit our Central Texas Education Profile. Be sure to like us on
Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to view our most up-to-date postings.

Success Story: Three Middle School Sisters Tell Their Advanced Math Tale

The Jackson Sisters

     Meet Jasmine, Jania and Adriana Jackson, three sisters and students at Hernandez Middle School in Round Rock ISD. We tell their story in this poignant video about the girls’ advanced math journey that began in 6th grade as part of the Stony Point Learning Community. Educators learned from E3 Alliance that a student who takes two math courses beyond Algebra 2 in high school is three times as likely to advance into higher education and secure a credential within six years of high school graduation.
     Armed with this data, school administrators determined the pivotal transition occurred in the 5th to 6th grade time frame. They switched their accelerated middle school math pathway from an opt-in policy to an opt-out, an adjustment that they believed empowered students and their parents. Results are remarkable! All students met expectations and 75% mastered the Algebra 1 end-of-course STAAR exam. Click on these links for more details and be sure to share with parents and educators. 

Jackson story | Jackson story with Spanish subtitles
E3’s Pathways of Promise story
March Blog with the Jackson Family 
Math Matters collateral: English | Spanish | Korean | Vietnamese
Info You Should Know on Math
Math Pathways Data from E3 Alliance

Listen to administrators and staff talk about E3's School Culture service.

Training Lays the Groundwork for Strong School Culture

     With E3 School Culture training, district and campus teams adopt and design a foundational vision that sets the groundwork for long-term success. E3 conducts a workshop at your school or district that digs deep into tools and strategies. Through the day’s work, administrators and staff collaborate and evaluate their school's current culture that ultimately leads to clear action steps for improving the environment for educators and students alike.
     Dr. Lydia Bartlett, assistant superintendent in Gonzales ISD, explained, “Culture is the border that holds everything together. It’s the foundation for all of the initiatives, for student success, for teacher morale. It’s everything!”
     Our workshop and support services give leaders and teams the opportunity to:

  • Recognize the role of school culture in school improvement efforts
  • Learn the components of school culture
  • Develop clear campus beliefs, vision, mission, values, and commitments 
  • Complete a culture protocol to identify strengths and targeted improvements
  • Discover leadership tools for building positive school culture
  • Create an actionable, detailed campus plan to lead change
     Watch our School Culture video to hear from participants from Gonzales ISD. Download more details on School Culture or review E3s complete line of services. For more information, send an email to Lori Davis, Director of Strategic Partnerships.

Nearly 12,000 Students Vaccinated in 2019 Flu Campaign

     Based on findings from E3 Alliance’s groundbreaking Absence Reasons Study in 2015, we know that almost half of student absences in Central Texas are due to acute illness. Based on this study, E3 identified a parallel between spikes in incidents of school absences and spikes in county flu reports. To combat this situation, E3 has led a broad coalition to undertake the largest in-school, flu immunization campaign in the state of Texas since 2014.

              
     Today we continue to bring immunizations at no cost to families or school districts. During our fall 2019 campaign, 220 schools in 16 school districts and one charter across the region participated, vaccinating nearly 12,000 students from elementary through high school. Pamela Palmer, Health Services Coordinator in Pflugerville ISD, said, “We are extremely pleased with our experience in hosting flu shot clinics on a number of our campuses in PfISD. These clinics resulted in more than 1,900 students receiving the flu vaccine this year."
     For more information, please send an email to Thymai Dong, Community Solutions Director. 

Donor Spotlight: Greater Texas Foundation

     With the support from the Greater Texas Foundation over the past six years, E3 Alliance expanded our research agenda to better understand career and math pathways and how secondary math course taking best prepares all students for postsecondary success. We call this initiative Pathways of Promise (PoP), and we are deeply appreciative of Greater Texas Foundation’s investment in this important work.     

     When E3 first measured gaps in student course taking, we found that 43% of non-low-income students were completing Algebra I by 8th grade, but for low-income students that was only 17%. We are proud to report that through PoP efforts our most recent data indicates that low-income students taking Algebra I has more than doubled to 35%! And now, unlike five years ago, Central Texas students have the highest 8th grade, Algebra I course-taking rates in the state of Texas.  

     The Greater Texas Foundation strategically funds initiatives that drive postsecondary success, including student supports, transfer/transition advising, rural collaborations, and math for success. Their close alignment with E3’s mission and focus on data-driven change helps us to work together on developing models that can scale up and expand beyond the Central Texas region. PoP is one of many E3 initiatives designed with key partners who are committed to building equitable pathways for underserved students. PoP will continue to focus on fortifying math pathways and work to improve systems so that all students succeed.  

     With the passionate assistance of funders like Sue McMillin, Chief Executive Officer, and her Greater Texas Foundation team, including Leslie Gurrola, Director of Programs and Strategy; Carol Wright, Director of Grants Management; and Allison Pennington, Programs and Strategy Associate, E3 Alliance has made and will continue to make significant strides in achieving equity in our Central Texas schools. Without the help of the Greater Texas Foundation, E3's advancements in eliminating the equity gap for math pathways would simply not be possible. Thank you to this amazing organization! 

     If you would like to help E3 Alliance support success for ALL Central Texas students, please click here to donate today!

Where We've Been
E3 Alliance staff attends and presents at numerous conferences throughout the year. Check out where we've been! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin for our latest announcements. 
     January | Texas Association of Latin Administrators and Superintendents
     January | Texas Association of School Administrators Midwinter Conference
     February | Texas Alliance of Black School Educators
     February | The Texas Rural Schools Conference
     February | The Raise Your Hand Texas Symposium

Math Summit

November 1

Aligning math course-taking. Read more.

HB5

December 12

New Data Revealed. Read more.

HB5 & HB3

February 25

Presentation at the Capitol. Read more.
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