GradMinnesota communities are part of a statewide and national network working to improve high school graduation rates by focusing on the schools that are most in need of improvement.
But schools cannot do it alone. Communities — from neighborhoods to cities — are critical in developing local solutions to this national crisis. The GradMinnesota Initiative provides support and resources to communities that commit to finding comprehensive solutions to close the achievement and opportunity gaps.
Minnesota currently has three GradMinnesota Communities: Minneapolis, Duluth and St. Paul, and a soon-to-be, Northfield.
Minneapolis Sets Sights on Raising Grad Rates for ELL Students
The Minneapolis public school district is working on several fronts to make sure English-language learners (ELLs) feel that graduation and college are part of their futures. Roughly a fourth of the Minneapolis district’s students are ELLs. Most of these 9,000 students speak Spanish, followed by Somali and Hmong, a language spoken by an ethnic group from parts of China and Southeast Asia. Read more about Minneapolis’ work on the America’s Promise Alliance blog.
Duluth Becomes First GradMinnesota Community
Just as the GradMinnesota initiative is itself a collaborative effort, United Way Duluth has been facilitating linkages between business, education, nonprofit agencies, government and other key partners. The effort in Duluth tracks back to at least 2010, when United Way issued a Community Impact Report that highlighted the race and socio-economic aspects of the achievement gap. It, in turn, provided the impetus for creation of a community-wide leadership team: Delegation on Educational Outcomes. Learn more about the Delegration’s work HERE.
St. Paul collaborates to ensure youth success
St. Paul is the first of the Twin Cities to enlist as a GradMinnesota community, an outgrowth of the GradNation initiative of America’s Promise, dedicated to increasing the graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020. This is an ambitious undertaking given the current rate of just 66 percent graduating in four years. And the picture is worse when broken out by ethnicity; only about half of the city’s students of color are graduating on time. Read more about St. Paul’s commitment as a GradMinnesota Community HERE.
Northfield’s HEALTHY Community Initiative
Northfield offers award-winning integrated services for families and youth, fueled by its Healthy Community Initiative (HCI). The HCI focuses on every child, cradle to career, having the supports necessary for success. Read more about Northfield’s emerging status as the next GradMinnesota Community HERE.