Council Approves Nationally Recognized Partnerships

The June 17, 2021 meeting of the Learning Community Coordinating Council ended with strong votes to approve agreements with two nationally recognized partners, Buffett Early Childhood Institute and OneWorld Community Health Centers. However, the crowd that filled the meeting room had other topics in mind. Namely, voluntary anti-racism training for teachers and critical race theory.

A WELCOME CONVERSATION

Dr. Bradley Ekwerekwu, chief executive officer of the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties welcomed the community conversation and emphasized the Learning Community commitment to greater equity in education. He told the audience, “It’s time. I am so glad you are all here.”

“The status quo is no more. We must take the time to become more aware of the issues, educate ourselves with truths, and activate by taking strategic action steps.”
Dr. Bradley Ekwerekwu
Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties

VOLUNTARY ANTI-RACISM TRAINING FOR TEACHERS

After lengthy public comment and council discussion, the Buffett Early Childhood team shared a presentation on the voluntary, anti-racism training. The webinar series was developed at the request of teachers and administrators who completed a regional landscape assessment. The survey showed educators wanted better preparation to respond to students, especially in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder last summer in Minneapolis. Sam Meisels, BECI founding executive director, assured council members the training involved practical strategies for teachers.

Tyler Hottovy, a principal from Westside Community Schools described how guidance from Buffett Early Childhood Institute helped his staff create a more positive educational environment for students and families of color.

Tyler Hottovy, Westbrook Elementary Principal, Westside Community Schools
Tyler Hottovy, a school principal in Westside Community Schools describes implementation of the Superintendents' Early Childhood Plan in the Westbrook Elementary school community.
Large crowd, June 17, 2021 Learning Community Coordinating Council meeting
A large crowd turned out to share their views on anti-racism training, critical race theory and the educational needs of children.

APPROVED BY THE COORDINATING COUNCIL

  • 4-year agreement with Buffett Early Childhood Institute to manage and evaluate the Superintendents’ Early Childhood Plan
  • 3-year agreement with OneWorld Community Health Centers to operate the Learning Community Center of South Omaha
  • 2-year agreement with OneWorld Community Health Centers to operate a satellite location for the Learning Community Center of South Omaha

CLOSING THE OPPORTUNITY GAP

The Learning Community now moves forward with two nationally recognized partnerships.

ONEWORLD COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS

OneWorld Community Health Centers manages the Learning Community Center of South Omaha. It is the original site of the Learning Community’s two-generation model, offering a blend of economic and educational opportunities. Since 2012, children and families have demonstrated increasingly strong outcomes.

BUFFETT EARLY CHILDHOOD INSTITUTE

The Superintendents’ Early Childhood Plan is supported by all eleven Learning Community school districts. The pioneering initiative is focused on early learning from birth to grade three. For participating schools, equity is a core value within the “School as Hub” philosophy. In each community, principals take the lead in working with school staff to improve educational quality and close the opportunity gap.

Families support anti-racism training
A mom brought her children to the meeting so she could tell Council members about how much she has learned through the Superintendents' Early Childhood Plan.

About the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties
The Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties is an educational subdivision focused on outcomes and opportunities for children and families. It achieves impact through a collaborative network of metropolitan area school districts and community organizations. Independent evaluations demonstrate consistently strong results in early childhood education and family engagement. Recognized nationally for advancing a two-generation approach, the Learning Community creates opportunities to address the needs of children and families together. A 12-member Coordinating Council, elected by the public, guides policies to challenge the opportunity gap and strengthen our communities. Visit: LearningCommunityDS.org