Operating under the overall PHENND network, the K-16 Partnerships Network brings together higher ed faculty and staff who manage partnerships with public schools. The focus is two-fold: learn from each other about best practices and models for K-16 partnerships in general and as appropriate, work with the School District of Philadelphia to help improve and expand K-16 partnerships in Philadelphia.

Read the latest bi-monthly K-16 Newsletter here.

The K-16 Partnerships Network is staffed by Caitlin Fritz. Caitlin coordinates meetings of interested parties and publishes a monthly K-16 Partnerships Newsletter. Part of this effort also entails building a knowledge base of existing partnerships. To learn more and sign up to receive the monthly newsletter, click here. You will be asked for your basic contact information and if you manage a K-16 Partnership, you can also submit information about that activity.

History

PHENND’s K-16 Network was started in 2011 with the support of an independent donor, Dr. Phillip B. Lindy, to increase the collaboration between higher eds in order to enhance and align partnerships in schools. After visiting the school where he supported a tutoring program, Phil realized that there were multiple universities conducting similar programs in the same school without collaborating or communicating. He wanted to address this overlap on a city-wide scale that would bring together both higher eds and K-12 schools. PHENND was a natural fit to support this idea.

Operating under the overall PHENND network, the K-16 Partnership Network has brought together higher ed staff and faculty, non-profit professionals and K-12 teachers and administrators to discuss managing external partnerships. The focus is two-fold: learn from each other about best practices and models for K-16 partnerships in general and as appropriate, work with the School District of Philadelphia to help improve and expand K-16 partnerships in Philadelphia.

To meet this goal, the K-16 Network holds bi-monthly University Partners meetings which address key challenges faced by the School District of Philadelphia such as: school climate, early childhood literacy and community schools strategies. Each of these meetings feature an informative session by a School District representative as well as an expert in the field. The K-16 Network also holds an annual K-16 Partnerships Institute in June in collaboration with the School District. This day-long event leverages the energy and knowledge of the K-16 Partnerships Network for plan and map out goal for the upcoming year.

The K-16 Partnerships Network also hosts committees when appropriate and provides individual partnership support. From Spring 2011- Fall 2013, PHENND hosted three committees: college access, non-profit partnerships and service-learning. Each committee established their own goals around time-limited projects. For example, from 2011-2013, PHENND coordinated the Next Steps program, a collaboration between Philadelphia Academies, CORE Scholars, PhillyGoes2College and numerous colleges and universities to host college transition workshops for incoming freshman.

In 2013, PHENND was awarded a new AmeriCorps VISTA grant to begin a new K-16 Partnerships initiative. The Community Partnerships VISTA project employs AmeriCorps VISTAs as School Community Partnerships Coordinators within Philadelphia public schools and strategic offices within the School District of Philadelphia. This project was created in direct response to feedback from K-16 Partnerships meetings and the June Institute to address the need within schools to manage and support partnerships.

For more information, please contact Caitlin Fritz at caitlin@phennd.org.