Scaling Student Success

Is designed as a California partnership among local educators, state agencies, support providers, policymakers, researchers, funders, and others – all focused on assuring that CA youth are prepared for success in college, career, and civic engagement. We help establish and maintain the local and state conditions to unify the field around a singular, student-centered goal that promotes equitable opportunities for CA youth and strengthens the CA economy.

Community of Practice

Our Community of Practice consists of 200+ educators and community partners from the school districts and county offices listed below in Cohorts 1 and 2. Because there is no one right way to operationalize a Graduate Profile, the participating districts are organized into strands designed to align with current efforts and respond to emerging needs. Each strand convenes regularly through the year to share promising practices and lessons learned, test ideas and assumptions, assure equitable implementation, benefit from partner expertise, push each other’s thinking, and promote continuous improvement. Each strand is co-designed and co-facilitated by our expert practice partners.

STRANDS

Description

If your Graduate Profile serves as a North Star to guide outcomes for all students, it’s worth getting it right. This strand is premised on the expectation that your Graduate Profile must accurately reflect the values of the broader community and be consistent with student readiness for future success. Whether creating a new Graduate Profile or refreshing an outdated one, you will be supported through a proven process to assure lasting power, not only for a student profile, but also both adult and system profiles that reinforce educator capacity and assure an enabling culture and conditions.

Driving Questions

What processes assure that our Graduate Profile will be endorsed and embraced by all stakeholders? What educator / adult capacities will facilitate Profile-aligned learning experiences for students? What conditions and organizational culture enable adults and students to progress toward the Graduate Profile outcomes? How shall we assure that our Graduate Profile addresses systemic inequities and promotes an equitable learning environment for each and every student?

Partners

This strand is co-designed and co-facilitated by Prospect Studio, Envision Learning Partners, and Sonoma County Office of Education

Description

The current pandemic has refocused the educational community on the power of young people to articulate their learning needs and inform a reimagined system of education that is more equitable, student-centered, and competency-based. This strand is premised on the belief that only when students have voice, choice, and agency can they build a strong sense of self-awareness and self-advocacy — all of which is facilitated when their learning is self-directed, learner-centered, and competency-based. This strand will help promote relationship-centered schools, build the capacity of adults to respond to the needs of young people, and prioritize student voice.

Driving Questions

How can we center students, particularly those furthest from opportunity, as we operationalize our Graduate Profile? How can we leverage student voice, build student agency, and prioritize student-directed learning to breathe life into our Graduate Profile? How can we recognize student social-emotional and academic needs, affirm their lived experiences, empower them to work with others as a team or community to advocate for student-centered needs?

Partners

This strand is co-designed and co-facilitated by YouthTruth, Envision Learning Partners, and potentially others

Description

In order to move “from poster to practice,” adults throughout the system must embrace, model, and actively promote the Graduate Profile outcomes that they foster in their students (symmetric learning). This strand is premised on the acknowledgement that operationalizing the Graduate Profile is complex and requires more than routine expertise from teachers and leaders. To realize the promised outcomes, systems must address the social and emotional competencies that are assumed in collaborative professional learning. Practitioners must cultivate safe and supportive environments, strengthen relationships, and build adaptive expertise and mindsets through continuous learning from collaboratively reflecting on what’s happening for students in their classrooms. When educators practice public learning, grapple with uncertainty, question assumptions and implicit biases, and co-learn with their students, all learners are more likely to develop and demonstrate Graduate Profile outcomes.

Driving Questions

How can we create the conditions for adult learning so that educators publicly and routinely display the mindsets and practices articulated in our Graduate Profile? How can we leverage practitioner agency, curiosity, experimentation, and build capacity around facilitating deeper learning to promote Graduate Profile outcomes among students?

Partners

This strand is co-designed and co-facilitated by Mills Teacher Scholars, PBL Works, and Turnaround for Children

Description

The current pandemic has elevated the role of families and communities in sharing responsibility for educating our young people. This strand is premised on the reality that developing and demonstrating Graduate Profile outcomes cannot be limited to the boundaries of classroom (school space), calendar (school year), and clock (school day). Students must have opportunities to engage in real-world learning anywhere, any time. Family and community partners play a central role in providing those learning experiences, and must share accountability for demonstrating student results.

Driving Questions

How can educators activate families and community partners to identify and provide multiple opportunities for each and every student to practice and demonstrate Graduate Profile outcomes through real-world learning? How can we leverage civic learning and action, work-based learning, service learning, and expanded learning to more holistically and equitably prepare young people for future success?

Partners

This strand is co-designed and co-facilitated by Partnership for Children & Youth, with support from other potential partners

Description

Graduate Profiles are built around the knowledge, skills, competencies, and mindsets community stakeholders believe young people need for future success in college, career, and civic life. This strand is premised on the recognition that many Graduate Profile efforts in CA were born out of a Linked Learning (or similar) strategy, blending academic and career technical content, promoting work-based, civic/community, and other forms of experiential learning, and integrating student supports. This strand may be preferred for participating districts wanting to evolve these efforts; incorporate new educational approaches, civic learning/action, workforce trends, and/or recommit to continuous improvement and shared accountability.

Driving Questions

How can we adapt, strengthen and scale college and career pathways to grant access to Graduate Profile outcomes for all students? How can we integrate civic learning into college and career preparation? How can K-8 feeder programs promote Graduate Profile outcomes while preparing students for a pathway experience?

Partners

This strand is co-designed and co-facilitated by ConnectED: The National Center for College & Career, with potential support from other partners.

Description

Graduate Profiles encompass both academic and non-academic outcomes that are typically not well measured using traditional assessments. This strand will delve into performance assessment, instructionally-embedded sources of evidence, student and family surveys, digital badging, and other ways to assess student progress, including non-academic and SEL outcomes, while supporting districts in determining the measures and sources of evidence about student progress that make most sense for their unique context. Participating districts will leave with a comprehensive strategy and plan for assessing student progress and reporting on Graduate Profile outcomes.

Driving Questions

What should we assess? Why? How can we gather actionable evidence and use it for surfacing inequities and promoting continuous improvement? How can we embed formative assessment, a culture of revision, working toward high standards of practice? How can we report out on student progress in a way that demonstrates our shared accountability for both traditional measures and Graduate Profile outcomes?

Partners

This strand is co-designed and co-facilitated by Envision Learning Partners and YouthTruth, with other potential partners.

NOTE: This strand is intended to combine with another strand as a chosen change strategy.

Description

All change is difficult. When compounded by recent events, change becomes ever more complex. This strand is premised on the recognition that leading change effectively is a must in the 21st century, and now more than ever given the uncertain and dynamic social, economic, and political environment in which schools and districts are situated. Our desire to use the Graduate Profile as a North Star as we navigate the recovery process will only galvanize the need for effective change management. In this effort, all district leaders can use support as we collectively learn together what we need to know and be able to do as leaders of complex change efforts. Research, theory, and experience will help participating teams stay grounded in organizational values and beliefs, leverage existing assets, develop new leadership stances and approaches, and benefit from proven change strategies.

Driving Questions

How can we resist the forces of inertia and old leadership and organizational paradigms that may cause us to regress to the norm (pre-COVID)? How can we learn from one another to inform an effective change management process that results in a healthy organizational learning and improvement culture and the conditions that assure the benefits of offering a whole child education? How can we build alignment and coherence around the Graduate Profile as our North Star?

Partners

This strand is co-designed and co-facilitated by the Deeper Learning Dozen and PBL Works.

COHORT 1 (2019-20)

Prior to the launch of Scaling Student Success, the eight (8) pioneering school districts in Cohort 1 had already created their respective Graduate Profiles and were taking steps toward operationalization. We are eager to support their efforts, embrace their lessons learned, and build on their success.

See their respective Graduate Profiles by clicking on the district names to the right.

Scaling Student Success a California Partnership - Image Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

COHORT 1 (2019-20)

Scaling Student Success a California Partnership - Image Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

Prior to the launch of Scaling Student Success, the eight (8) pioneering school districts in Cohort 1 had already created their respective Graduate Profiles and were taking steps toward operationalization. We are eager to support their efforts, embrace their lessons learned, and build on their success.

See their respective Graduate Profiles by clicking on the district names to the right.

COHORT 2 (2020-21)

Scaling Student Success a California Partnership - Image Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

We enthusiastically welcome members of Cohort 2 to the Scaling Student Success Community of Practice (CoP) in 2020-21.

For those that already have Graduate Profiles, you may view the profiles by clicking on the district name.

Testimonials

“The opportunity to gather with like-minded California district leaders to rally around engaging students to their fullest has the potential to shift teaching and learning in our state. There is true power to a collective effort such as ours.”

Dan Deguara, Assistant Superintendent, Evergreen ESD

“The Scaling Student Success Community of Practice is critical for districts. By building deeper relationships, they will be able to share resources, viable solutions, and build a more coherent approach to meeting the skills set forth in their Graduate Profiles.”

Brandon Wiley, Chief Program Officer, PBL Works

“I enjoyed the atmosphere of trust and sharing. It was inspiring to be part of a team of educators and professionals who are at the core of a movement to change how we measure what students know and are able to do.”

Betsy McKinstry, Director, Career Technical Education, Antelope Valley UHSD

Scaling Student Success is a collaboration among organizations with varied expertise, each well-positioned to play a critical role in advancing the common agenda. We’ve started by growing our team of practice partners, expert in providing technical assistance with every aspect of creating and operationalizing a Graduate Profile. Additional partners, spanning research, policy, data, and more will be added as the partnership evolves.

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Practice Partners

Practice Partners

Expertise in all stages of operationalizing a Graduate Profile, including those with demonstrated success in building capacity of teachers and coaching leaders

Altitude Learning

Altitude Learning

Altitude Learning promotes Graduate Profile outcomes by putting students at the center of their learning, allowing them to be active co-creators of their experience, empowering them with voice and choice to drive their learning with intention and confidence, enabling them to own a meaningful and authentic learning journey, and seeing themselves as full of possibility.

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ConnectED: The National Center for College and Career

ConnectED: The National Center for College and Career

Over the past decade, ConnectED has led the field by supporting dozens of school districts to create a Graduate Profile as a student-centered, outcome-based, and locally-derived definition of college and career readiness. ConnectED supports district implementation of Linked Learning to inspire and better equip students to succeed in college, career, and civic life.

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Envision Learning Partners

Envision Learning Partners

Envision Learning Partners is known in CA and nationally as the leader in supporting schools and districts to establish systems of performance assessment, the most popular research-based strategy for measuring student progress on essential Graduate Profile skills, like collaboration and teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving, creativity and innovation, and communication.

Mills Teacher Scholars

Mills Teacher Scholars

By partnering with schools and districts, Mills Teacher Scholars design professional learning cultures that are based on profound respect and trust for educator knowledge and capacity to improve their practice together. They do so by building the mindsets and practices for adult learning in service of equity, such as using data to make learners’ experience visible and practicing public learning.

National Equity Project - Scaling Student Success a California Partnership
National Equity Project

National Equity Project

Scaling Student Success is dedicated to assuring equity-based whole child education. The National Equity Project helps hold our feet to the fire as a partnership, and supports and advises other practice partners and school districts participating in our Community of Practice to assure that efforts to operationalize the Graduate Profiles are grounded in equity-based practice and purpose.

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New Tech Network

New Tech Network

New Tech Network (NTN) is a leading design partner for school change, working with districts and schools to create innovative learning environments. Through a proven school model, project-based learning platform, and powerful professional development, NTN coaches schools toward lasting change, developing students who can think critically, manage their own learning, collaborate and communicate effectively.

Partnership for Children & Youth Logo - Scaling Student Success a California Partnership
Partnership for Children and Youth

Partnership for Children and Youth

The outcomes articulated on a Graduate Profile cannot realistically be achieved in 180 days per year, from 8:00am to 3:00pm. The Partnership for Children & Youth (PCY) is an advocacy and capacity-building organization championing high-quality learning opportunities for underserved youth in California, with an emphasis on after school, summer learning, and community schools.

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PBL Works

PBL Works (formerly Buck Instutute for Education)

Students have an opportunity to practice and demonstrate Graduate Profile outcomes (i.e., collaboration, communication, problem-solving, initiative, etc.) when they are engaged in varied forms of experiential learning. PBL Works builds teacher capacity so that all students have access to high quality Project Based Learning to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life.

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Prospect Studio

Prospect Studio

Prospect Studio expertly guides districts and communities through a visioning process that results not only in a Graduate Profile for students, but also the adult/educator competencies necessary to foster the articulated outcomes in young people, and the system conditions and organizational culture that enables expected teacher and leader capacity and student progress toward Graduate Profile skills, competencies, and mindsets.

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Sonoma County Office of Education

Sonoma County Office of Education

In 2019, Sonoma COE engaged regional stakeholders, including representatives from each of 40 school districts to create a countywide Portrait of a Graduate. As a partner, SCOE will support other County Offices of Education interested either in developing a countywide Graduate Profile or supporting districts in their county to create and operationalize their own Profiles.

Turnaround for Children Logo - Scaling Student Success a California Partnership
Turnaround for Children

Turnaround for Children

Turnaround for Children equips teachers to cultivate calm, engaging learning environments that foster healthy student development and academic achievement. TfC knows that educating the whole child requires positive relationships, safe environments, and integrated supports that enable the intentional development of critical skills, mindsets and habits articulated on Graduate Profiles.

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YouthTruth

YouthTruth

Through their validated survey instruments and tailored advisory services, YouthTruth partners with schools and districts to enhance learning for all students. By knowing what students are experiencing in their school and classroom, YouthTruth helps link student perceptions to academic outcomes. Surveys are a viable way to assess student progress on hard-to-measure Graduate Profile outcomes.

Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board draws approximately one-third (1/3) of its membership from each of the following three groups:

Executive Directors

or designees from each of the Founding Partners

Superintendents

or cabinet-level designees from each of the Pioneering Districts

At-large members

who offer unique perspectives, needed expertise, and professional relationships

See Roster

Staff

Roman Stearns

FOUNDER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Roman operates from a deep conviction that our youth deserve an education that fosters the qualities and skills that futurists, scholars, and researchers contend are needed to advance us toward a sustainable future. Yet, he knows that getting there is a humbling, collaborative process that involves valuing local experimentation and taking risks, creating the right conditions for organizational change, building trusting relationships, shifting hearts and minds, making strategic decisions, and ultimately adopting or adapting sustainable systems. After 10 years serving as a public school teacher, augmented by site and district leadership responsibilities, Roman Stearns has spent the past 20+ years successfully directing large-scale multi-faceted projects and partnerships focused on systemic educational transformation in California. All of the projects had policy implications and required development and management of sustained partnerships bridging K-12 education with partners across all stakeholder groups.

Portrait of Roman Stearns Founder of Scaling Student Success a California Partnership

Professional Summary

Working at ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, Roman first served as Director for Policy, building a surprising coalition of partners to support Linked Learning (which evolved into the Linked Learning Alliance), and then, beginning 2008, served as Director for Leadership Development, directing the CA Linked Learning District Initiative – a large-scale, 7-year, $30M proof of concept demonstration with 9 medium and large school districts (942,000 students) to pilot and expand Linked Learning across California.
Working at the UC Office of the President, Roman first directed the statewide “a-g Guide Project” aimed at better aligning university eligibility and admissions with high school reform efforts. For the latter part of his tenure, he served as the Special Assistant to the Statewide Director of Undergraduate Admissions, still overseeing the project, but taking on broader responsibilities aimed at shifting university admissions practices and policies to more equitably serve the current and future needs of CA youth, particularly those who had chosen non-traditional paths to the university (i.e., middle/early college HS, online course-taking options, home schooling, independent study, career pathways, Big Picture schools, etc.).
Working at the Alameda County Office of Education, Roman served first as associate director and then director of EASTBAY Learns, one of the largest school-to-career partnerships in California. With a $5M federal grant, he directed systemic shifts to better align education with workforce development in an expansive effort that included 20+ school districts in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, along with 10 community colleges, Cal State East Bay, and EASTBAY Works (a network of 10 one-stop career centers).

Transform education to bolster student success

Raise the aspirations of our education system and the expectations and capacity of local communities to prepare all young people, no matter their background, for future success in college, career, and civic engagement.

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Scaling Student Success a California Partnership - Image Courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

Scaling Student Success is a project of Community Partners, a nonprofit charity exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. Checks should be made payable to: Community Partners for Scaling Student Success. Your donation is only tax deductible if made to Community Partners, our fiscal sponsor and the tax-exempt entity.