Pre-K: Tulsa’s Important Role

by Diane M. Horm, Ph.D., and Sherri Castle, M.S., Early Childhood Education Institute (ECEI) at OU-Tulsa   Currently, 42 states, including Oklahoma, invest state funds to offer pre-K to 4-year-olds as a strategy to enhance young children’s school readiness and success.  Pre-K enrollments have grown dramatically over the past 20 years from virtually 0% to approximately 32% of the country’s 4-year-olds in 2016.   Oklahoma has been a pioneer and leader in pre-K programing and research.  Oklahoma was one of the first states to offer pre-K programs and is currently one...

Uncovering What Works

by Heidi Black, Senior Manager, Innovation at StriveTogether   What does it take for a community to achieve better results for every child, birth to career?   This is a question that I grapple with every day in my role as Senior Manager, Innovation at StriveTogether. One way that we have helped collective impact partnerships, like ImpactTulsa, answer this question is by launching impact and improvement networks.   Created to provide professional development in the use of continuous improvement, an impact and improvement network helps partners from multiple organizations align their...

I Know A Lot About FAFSA

by Kuma Roberts   If you know a student graduating from high school, you have probably heard about FAFSA.  I know a lot about FAFSA. I know a lot about it because it is my job to help strengthen Tulsa’s education and workforce pipeline.   As a 42 year old program manager for education at a local Chamber of Commerce, I know about it through our initiatives intent on increasing graduation rates, the annual college and career fair we host and our laser focus on ensuring more students...

Empowering the Community

by Mayor GT Bynum   The failure of State Question 779 leaves many across our state asking the question "What is our next option for properlyfunding education in Oklahoma?" And while much of the discussion rightly focuses on the state government, an important potential partner remains on the sidelines. Local communities across the state ought to be empowered to call operational funding initiatives for education in their jurisdiction without being penalized by the state government.   As a mayor, I don't pretend to be an expert on education policy...

Being Thankful: A Teacher’s Perspective

By Stephenie Sivadon Title 1 K-5th Teacher   With the negative climate that is present in the education world today, what do I, as a teacher, have to be thankful for?  College students are not lining up to major in education, our Oklahoma teachers are leaving the state to find better paying positions, our state legislature does not fund or support us, the media regularly portrays us in a negative light.  What do I have to be thankful for as a teacher?   I am blessed to work with children...

New Opportunity – Impact and Improvement Networks Launching in February 2017!

On behalf of the Tulsa Strategy and ImpactTulsa, thank you for participating in the recent Results Based Leadership (RBL) Invitational. Moving forward, we are committed to helping organizations build capacity to dramatically improve outcomes for every child in our community, from birth to career.   Building on lessons learned from across the country with the goal of supporting and accelerating progress, we are launching Impact and Improvement Networks that focus on our collective community level outcomes. Over the course of 15 months, the Impact and Improvement Networks...

Educating the Whole Child

By: Kathy Seibold, Ed.D. ImpactTulsa Executive Director   If I were to poll parents and teachers, I am sure most would say it is equally important for kids to be prepared for life both academically and socially—that developing kind and caring citizens is a critical part of the educational process. But, when Harvard put this question to youth in a national survey, the results show a surprising gap in their perceptions of adult attitudes. In the survey “about 80 percent of the kids reported that they believed their parents...

ImpactTulsa Early Learning Data Link Proof of Concept

By Monroe Nichols, ImpactTulsa COO In our 2015 Community Impact Report, improving data access and quality was identified as “The Next Big Step.” The need to link academic and non-academic data across the entire education pipeline is critical to dramatically improving student outcomes. To that end, the ImpactTulsa team along with UPD Consulting and six community partners launched an innovative proof of concept project looking at early learning and access in our urban core.   This project featured 10 years of longitudinal data and nearly 50,000 de-identified student...

ImpactTulsa Names Executive Director

Tulsa, Okla. — ImpactTulsa announced today the hiring of educator and nonprofit administrator Kathy Seibold, Ed.D. as Executive Director. ImpactTulsa aligns community partners and 15 school districts across the Tulsa area to work collectively on improving outcomes to ensure a high-quality education for all students. Currently, ImpactTulsa initiatives range from early childhood to college enrollment with initiatives to expand pre-k enrollment, encourage FAFSA completion, and identify and spread best practices in schools.   “The search committee is very grateful that ImpactTulsa was able to attract such a strong pool...

Summer Internship with ImpactTulsa

By: Langley Dunn   The first thing I see when I walk into my summer internship at ImpactTulsa each morning is the message “Welcome, Langley!” on my office’s whiteboard, written there on my first day by the ImpactTulsa staff. The enthusiastic positivity and conscientious inclusivity of those words have marked every part of my experience working with ImpactTulsa since that first day, from the staff to the mission of the organization itself.   It's been an invaluable experience for me personally, as a college student searching frantically for what...