MN Comeback leads a coalition of schools, community members and funders coordinating around K-12 systems change. We’re initially focused on the 30,000 Minneapolis students who experience poverty so they, too, have access to rigorous and relevant schools.
Applying a school-centered approach, and leveraging several years of community interviews and movement building, our coalition co-designs solutions that foster schools’ success: increasing the number of extraordinary leaders and teachers working in our community, fostering deep community and parent engagement, advocating for supportive public policy, and helping schools access quality facilities.
We carry out work, together, with communities. Below, learn about our volunteer Teams’ approach to implementation, from pilot work to open RFPs.
Great MN Schools
Great MN Schools – a partner organization to MN Comeback – makes strategic investments in high-performing and high-potential schools, providing the expert guidance, funding and resources needed to create a community of great schools. They empower district, charter and independent schools with the resources they need to provide an exceptional education to more Minneapolis kids. Their long-term vision: By the year 2025, a community of great schools to serve the 30,000 Minneapolis students most in-need.
Great MN Schools coordinates closely with all school sectors and funding is by invitation only. (Read about initial grants in our April 2016 news release and November 2016 news release.) For more information, email Morgan Brown at Great MN Schools.
The Talent Team at MN Comeback identified the following goals: By 2025, our community supports high-performing, high-potential schools in the retention and development of 2,000 educators across the continuum of the teaching profession from recruitment, training, hiring, and onboarding to leadership development with 50 percent of new hires identifying as people of color.
Following a RFP in fall 2016, the Talent Team announced in February 2017 grants totaling $568,500 to execute strategies to support the retention of great teachers and increase the diversity of our teacher workforce. The Talent Team looks to advance these outcomes:
1. Increased instructional rigor and relevant socio-emotional support in classrooms
2. Continuous professional growth and increased retention of effective teachers and school leadership teams
3. Hiring and development of strongly prepared teachers in licensure shortage areas, such as special education, math, science, ESL and Spanish
4. Dramatically increased numbers of people of color and native peoples who are teachers and school leadership team members
The Talent Team identifies objectives and strategies, and makes funding recommendations to MN Comeback staff. A group of educator reviewers – teachers and school leaders, across every school sector – vetted all proposals submitted in the fall 2016-winter 2017 grant cycle.
For more information, contact Cay Kimbrell, MN Comeback’s director of talent.
Community Engagement Team
The Community Engagement Team at MN Comeback is driven to support parent leadership and agency, and help students most in-need access rigorous and relevant schools.
The Team announced its first RFP for grant proposals on March 2, 2017, to advance the following objectives:
1. Organize parents and families via authentic community engagement to increase parent agency and capacity to mobilize around education;
2. Mobilize parents and families via authentic community engagement to advocate for rigorous and relevant schools, and support education policies and/or policymakers; and/or
3. Equip parents and families with objective tools and information to impact long-term educational outcomes via parent/family agency and advocacy.
MN Comeback’s Policy Team seeks an environment that supports and sustains changing-the-odds schools for traditionally marginalized student populations. The Team engages teachers, community leaders and advocates to develop solutions specific to talent, funding, autonomy and accountability policies.
MN Comeback announced initial Policy Team funding recommendations in November 2016, with additional grants slated for yet this 2016-17 school year.
With the exception of supporting the creation of the Facilities & Real Estate Office in Minneapolis, as announced in April 2016, the Facilities Team at MN Comeback has focused its time and energy on designing a roadmap to ensure high-performing and high-potential schools in Minneapolis are able to operate in quality facilities that support their educational goals.
Look for further grants and initiatives to support changing-the-odds schools in 2017.
Relevance Working Group
The Relevance Working Group of MN Comeback aims to advance schools that are highly relevant for students, teachers and parents. In 2017, it will release a draft framework and indicators for community feedback. Following a fall 2016 request for proposals, the group has entered into contract with The Culture Piece to develop this draft framework and indicators.
MN Comeback and the Relevance Working Group will welcome the participation of more partners to help engage broad, diverse communities in dialoguing around and giving feedback to the draft framework and indicators.