Culver Compact Gets Reinforcement – Geoff Maleman

crm-successEight months after community leaders representing a wide array of Culver City organizations banded together to sign The Culver City Compact, those same leaders got together to assess exactly how the effort is progressing and how to continue the joint commitment to improve the lives of Culver City’s students.

“After our first meeting convening the original signers of the Culver City Compact, it is clear that powerful opportunities to harness the goodwill, talent and resources of our community are abundant,” said Board of Education President Laura Chardiet. “The potential to collectively transform the lives of our children and families is awesome.”

Culver City Councilman Jim Clarke, echoed those sentiments.

“The collaborative nature of the Culver City Compact provides an opportunity to utilize the talents and experiences of the Compact members to address substantive and multi-faceted issues that extend beyond the scope and expertise of any one member,” he said. “The Compact provides for a coordinated approach to problem solving and the opportunity to leverage local resources and funding with federal, state or foundation funding to maximize results. The Compact provides a way to collect and analyze data to ensure that performance measures are being met and improved upon. It is a Compact for impact that takes all for the success of all.”

Signed in March, the Compact seeks to achieve three primary goals:

GOAL ONE – All students graduate from high school
GOAL TWO – All students graduate high school with the skills, passion, and sense of purpose to succeed in higher learning
GOAL THREE – All students have access to and experience in pathways to relevant, sustainable jobs and careers

CCUSD Superintendent Dave LaRose called the group’s first meeting a success, saying that organizations from the Culver City Chamber of Commerce to Sony Pictures Entertainment and from the Fineshriber Family Foundation to the District itself are working shoulder-to-shoulder to share information, pursue grants, engage the community and advocate policy reform that will transform educational outcomes in Culver City from cradle to grave.

“These are tremendously committed, thoughtful and innovative people who recognize that by banding together we can become even more powerful advocates for our children,” LaRose said. “I think them for their inspiration and their hard work, but most of all I think them for embracing the vision that we have a shared responsibility for ensuring the success of our students – Success for All, absolutely Takes us All!”

The Culver City Compact (attached) includes a wide range of signatories, including LaRose and CCUSD Board of Education President Laura Chardiet, representing the entire board. Other signatories include: Jeff Cooper Mayor, City of Culver City; Steven J. Rose, President/CEO, Culver City Chamber of Commerce; John Nachbar, City Manager, City of Culver City; Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh, President, West Los Angeles College; Shane P. Martin, Ph.D., Dean of Loyola Marymount University’s School of Education; Janice Pober, Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Social Responsibility, Sony Pictures Entertainment; Marcia Shulman President, Culver City Education Foundation Board of Trustees; Jody Reichel, President, Culver City Council PTA; Audrey Stephens, Director, Culver City Office of Child Development; Veronica Montes, Principal, Culver City Adult School and Culver Park Continuation High School; Debbie Hamme, President, Culver City Association of Classified Employees; David Mielke, President, Culver City Federation of Teachers; and Marcia Antopol, Executive Director, Fineshriber Family Foundation.

“I am honored to be part of this group of educators, community members and elected officials that have such a strong commitment to our young people,” said Debbie Hamme, president of the Association of Classified Employees – Culver City. “What an extraordinary experience it is to work with other individuals that share a passion and commitment to the whole child – with the focus of not only increasing their academic success, but their quality of life. I am looking forward to the work ahead!”

“There’s an old African proverb that says, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’” said Judy Blake, president of the Culver City Education Foundation. “The Culver Compact enables our village to help raise the quality of every student’s education and life.”

The Culver City Compact outlines 10 specific strategies for working collaboratively among CCUSD, the city, the business community and throughout the community:

1. Build Collaborative Leadership Capacity
2. Share Data
3. Map Community Resources
4. Identify, Celebrate and Expand Successful Practices
5. Invest in, Develop and Reinforce High-Quality Teaching and Learning in All Classrooms
6. Develop Inter-Agency Professional Learning Communities Focused on Student Learning
7. Engage in a Purposeful Evaluation and Assessment of Current Practices
8. Coordinate Advocacy for Educational Policy and Funding Issues
9. Partner, Create and Enhance Student Pathways for Workforce and Career
10. Ensure Support Services for All Students and Families

“The first 20 years of a child’s life are spent in the creation of a child’s first ‘sense of self,’” said Audrey L. Stephens, Program Director of CCUSD’s Office of Child Development. “Being part of a Compact with a focus on building a strong educational system that takes students from cradle to career will ensure that no child is lost during this time of self-discovery. I am honored to be part of a this dedicated group of collaborators, whose mission is to ensure all children succeed.”

LaRose said the group will continue to meet to share collaborative strategies, identify issues of concern, strengthen partnerships.

“In order for us to put the words of this document into action, we will need additional support and expanded leaders from throughout our Culver City community,” he said.

If you are interested in learning more and/or possibly “signing on” to support The Culver City Compact, you can email Dave LaRose directly at [email protected].

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