4-Hers tackle tough topic, touch community

Depression and suicide can be delicate subjects, sometimes discussed in the shadows at the edges of people’s lives. A group of 4-H youth recently had the confidence to bring the topic into the open. With intentional support from skilled and passionate adults, they crafted an event with impacts rippling across northern Minnesota communities. The recent spike in suicides and attempts, [...]

By |September 9th, 2015|Youth Voice|

Youth lead the way in building strong communities

As community groups work with the Youth Voices survey results, we’ve learned from young people and those who work with young people that 9th grade is a crucial transition year.  Across the region, youth report decreasing participation in out-of-school time activities and report feeling less connected to their communities. In the Mind/Shift blog  Why 9th grade is the pivotal year for dropping out of [...]

By |July 7th, 2015|Spark|

Itasca Community College Developing a new 21st Century Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Technician Program

Bart Johnson, Dean of Academic Affairs at Itasca Community College is a member of the governance council for the initiative.  In this post, he reports on an effort led by Itasca Community college in the development of an advanced industrial technical program.   Itasca Community College (ICC) is developing a new advanced industrial technical program to respond to the changing needs [...]

Serving their community — Grand Rapids High School Interact club find ways to work together in community

Jayden Gerak & Katherine Roy from the Grand Rapids Rotary Interact Club summarized their experience working with the Youth Voice Survey results in this blog post.  The club members focused on two elements of the pathway when reviewing survey data:  "Every student will have access to meaningful connections to the community" and "Every student will feel accepted".  Rotary Interact members brainstorm [...]

By |June 16th, 2015|Youth Voice|

Youth Sports Gets the Ball Rolling

Isaac Meyer is the Community Engagement Manager for KOOTASCA Community Action. He is currently working with Grand Rapids Area Leaders to start a Boys and Girls Club in the area. Itasca area student success work marked a milestone in May: for the first time ever, coaches and organizers of youth sports met to discuss their work. Over the [...]

Using Youth Voices in Social Studies Classrooms

A group of Itasca Area Social studies teachers gathered today in a retreat to discover ways to use the Youth Voices survey in social studies curriculum. They started their morning in a workshop lead by the Search Institute and spent much of the day developing curriculum so their students can work with the survey results in their classroom.       [...]

By |June 2nd, 2015|The School Years, Youth Voice|

Local action + strengthened relationships = collective change

Since the Youth Voices Convening, much of the Student Success initiative work has is happening in our local communities. Teams of people have seen and absorbed the Youth Voice survey data. They’ve identified gaps and are taking action. In doing so, relationships are strengthening, new relationships are beginning, and the Itasca area is moving closer to its aspiration that all [...]

By |May 8th, 2015|Spark|

The measure of a student

Data driven decision-making is a guiding principle of the Itasca Area Initiative for Student Success and for similar large-scale initiatives that are members of the Strive National Network. With the tsunami of data out there, the challenge becomes identifying which data to use, and for what purpose. The Student Success data team has wrestled with this, particularly with how to [...]

Meet the Spark Council: Kelly Chandler

The IAISS governance council began its work in early 2015, bringing together just over a dozen community members to guide work on the Pathway to Student Success. Periodically, council members will be featured here on the blog – beginning with Kelly Chandler, division manager of public health for Itasca County.  Kelly Chandler serves the Itasca Area Initiative for Student [...]

By |April 23rd, 2015|Spark|