Why we do what we do: Increasing pre-K enrollment is a priority and here’s why

Having your 4-year-old attend pre-K will prepare him or her for their future. At ImpactTulsa, we strive to enroll every Tulsa-area child in pre-K because it builds a strong foundation for later academic success. Here’s why:   The research is clear. Children who attend pre-K outperform children who do not. Children who do not attend pre-K are less likely to have the skills they need to do well in kindergarten and beyond. In fact, Georgetown University tracked Tulsa students from pre-K to eighth grade and found positive...

Quality Early Learning Makes Tulsa a Great Place to Grow Up

By Tom Vander Ark   Tulsa is a great place to grow up, in part, because there is really good access to quality early learning. In 1998, Oklahoma passed a law providing for free access to prekindergarten. Families in Tulsa benefit from leading edge programs supported by the George Kaiser Family Foundation (@gkff) and the Schusterman Family Foundation. Improvement and talent development efforts are coordinated by ImpactTulsa (@ImpactTulsa) a regional nonprofit.   Dr. Kathy Seibold is Executive Director of ImpactTulsa, a collective impact organization that seeks to align regional efforts around key outcomes including a healthy start, kindergarten ready and...

Community Leader Spotlight: ImpactTulsa

By Lane Russell Director, Community Engagement | America's Promise Alliance   Alex Paschal, Manager of Community Engagement for ImpactTulsa, is “motivated by the vision of ensuring all students are guaranteed a high-quality education and a pathway to thrive.” That’s why Paschal and the team at ImpactTulsa are helping more students finish high school prepared with the resources they need for postsecondary success.   ImpactTulsa is an education partnership focused on measuring academic outcomes from kindergarten to postsecondary education. They do this by partnering with more than 300 organizations and they impact...

Union High: How a Big School Makes Learning Personal

By Tom Vander Ark   South of Tulsa are a couple high functioning one high school districts. Rapid growth and community interest in competitive sports resulted in super-sized high schools.   In some districts, big schools mean some young people, especially those that haven't been well served or supported, to feel disconnected and fall through the cracks. Superintendent Kirt Hartzler explains that Union High School bucks the trend with a commitment to 100% graduation and college and career readiness for all students. Union's graduation rate has gone up despite...

Expanding Access To Powerful Learning In Tulsa

By Getting Smart Staff   Deborah Gist grew up in Tulsa. She earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at the University of Oklahoma. After teaching and a couple of east coast masters degrees she ran Serve DC, an extension of the D.C. mayor’s office promoting service as an innovative, sustainable solution to pressing social challenges.   Gist went on to lead the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in DC. Three years later she was became chief in Rhode Island where she ran what Tom called the most innovative...

Why School Attendance Matters for Kids, Parents and Community

Students who miss 10 percent of school days are considered chronically absent. That is an average of two days a month or a total of 18 days over the school year. In Oklahoma, 11.7 percent of students are chronically absent. Developing good attendance habits early is important because chronic absenteeism goes up with age—from 9.5 percent in elementary school to 16.1 percent for high school students.   “Chronic absence is an early warning indicator for low achievement and high school dropout,” says Kathy Seibold, ImpactTulsa executive director....

Everything you need to know to enroll you child in Pre-K

Free Pre-K enrollment is now open throughout the Tulsa region for children who will be 4 by September 1. “The Tulsa area offers some of the best free pre-K programs in the country,” said Kathy Seibold, ImpactTulsa executive director. “The skills learned during the pre-K year are building blocks for children’s success in kindergarten and throughout their educational career.”   Enrollment for pre-K at Tulsa area schools has already begun. Here’s what you need to enroll your child at most schools:   Your child’s birth certificate Your child’s up-to-date...

Graduating Students Urged to Complete FAFSA 

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is now open for 2018 graduating students seeking continuing education after high school. The FAFSA provides free funding to eligible students and is not a student loan.    The FAFSA is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. However, only 50% of the class of 2017 completed a FAFSA form. Here is the Information you need to successfully complete the FAFSA form and gain access to funding:      A Federal Student Aid ID (you can easily get one at fsaid.ed.gov)  Social Security Number (Alien Registration Number, if you are not a U.S. Citizen)  Federal...

Center for Public Research and Leadership: Improvement as a Series of Learning Opportunities

By Kimberly Austin, Ph.D., CPRL Engagement Manager   At the Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) at Columbia University, we have observed a tendency in education, healthcare, and other sectors to view improvement as one of two extremes. On one hand, there is an attraction to each big idea that comes along. We are excited by results in one city or the program that seems to answer all the problems that keep us awake at night. On the other hand, there is an intense feeling of...

Why the Oklahoma Teacher Walkout Matters

by Kathy Seibold, Executive Director of ImpactTulsa   Today.   This very day.   Oklahoma sits at a crossroads.   Will Oklahoma make education funding a priority? The result of this historic teacher walkout will give us that answer.   First, some good steps: The Oklahoma Legislature created positive momentum this session with the teacher raise that was written into law. The Oklahoma State Department of Education took great and powerful measures in the spring of 2017 when it unveiled new standards and assessments linked to college and career readiness.   With these changes, we are now measuring...