On October 30, many attendees of the Strengthening Partnerships in Health and Education: Delaware and the Nation conference participated in an Idea Exchange. These small group, informal conversations each brought together up to 10 participants to explore a topic of their choice in health and education, including carrying out the recommendations of Student Success 2025.

These Idea Exchanges provided participants a chance to draw connections between these two “silos,” share and learn collaboratively from others, receive answers to their questions, find ways to get involved, connect work underway, and identify opportunities to make progress. Each group was asked to identify one “Big Idea” —the greatest opportunity for Delaware to make progress over the next decade within their topic.

These Big Ideas, listed below, are meant to help guide the work of the stakeholders involved in these discussions, and will also guide the work of the Vision Coalition and University of Delaware Community Engagement Initiative. Common themes included collaboration and coordination of efforts and resources across sectors and institutions, using data and evaluation to inform effective practices, and engagement with families and communities to support children from early childhood education through adulthood.

Big Idea Wordle

Idea Exchange Topic Big Idea
Civic Engagement/ Social Capital Delaware Cooperative Funding Task Force to increase our collective capacity to bring in more federal resources to the state
Crossing Organizational Boundaries to Strengthen Education We need education equality through data transparency, sharing, and aligned goals for learners
Neighborhood & Built Environment Select one Blueprint community and “go all in” for a number of years (ex. coalesce all existing resources, different agencies come together to transform one community based on their Blueprint. Help make their plan real and evaluate that and move on to the next community
Poverty, Financial Well-being, and Security
  • Public health strategies similar to anti-smoking campaigns to address 1) hyper-consumerism and increase consumer savviness on media, messaging and marketing techniques, 2) remove stigma of financial insecurity
  • Peer coaching as a way to scale up a financial coaching model
  • Adapt best practices from around the world to local culture
Racism and Other Forms of Discrimination/Bias
  • Transparent conversations and accountability about structural racism, structural violence and/or white supremacy
  • Create real platforms for people with less power to speak with and engage with people with more power
Food Security & Nutrition Waiver to maximize the education and healthfulness of SNAP in Delaware

  • Emphasize success of program
  • Limit products to healthier items
  • Form coalition of retailers, American Heart Association, healthcare, Food Bank of Delaware, etc.
Developing the Future of College and Career Advising Anchor standards for college and career preparation curriculum integrated into core graduation curriculum (vs. a one-and-done method each year. Need system to gather skills and experience kids have acquired and match them to careers or how those skills can translate into employment, rather than vice versa).
Supporting Early Childhood Professionals The need for recognition that early learning is integral to the infrastructure of our state. We need data and research to support the increased investment to show outcomes for children, their families, and the early learning workforce.
Partnerships to Develop Student Employability Skills Establish a statewide work-based learning steering committee to identify long-term systemic opportunities and to recommend policies and procedures to all stakeholders.
Resiliency and Trauma-Informed Practice
  • Brain science-informed policies
  • Education and awareness of ACES, resiliency (stigma)
  • Mindfulness in all schools
  • Invest early to see results later
  • Safety plan (what want people to know)
Meeting the Needs of At-Risk Students Create a collaboration focused on after-school programs to elevate program structure from recreational/childcare-only to instructional-based (i.e. RTI w/ARTS).
Fostering Student Ownership
  • Student and school choice in academics, etc. (students to own that learning process and teachers/schools to assess students where they are at vs. being arbitrary
  • Personalized, relevant education (what are the skills they really need to be successful? Figure out what their skills are and nurture that)
Two-Generation Strategies to Support Families Collaborative Care Coordination with information sharing and data agreements between education, social services, early learning, and health. Integrated data system across birth-5 and unique identifiers for children in order to increase effective and efficient care coordination and partnering with families
Coordinating a Multi-Tiered System of Support for the Whole Child
  • We need coordinated community efforts to strengthen families and MTSS within the school community
  • Utilize existing safe spaces and community resources
  • Schools to have a living, breathing asset map in/about school through multiple voices. Someone at each school to tend to it and monitor/update it.
Housing as a Determinant of Health
  • School nurse staffing matched to the needs of the school to manage chronic conditions
  • Assessment of housing instability
Self-Care Strategies for Building Resilience Over the next 10 years, we recommend advocating for a thriving educational workforce that is prepared to serve the needs of children and youth by:

  • Developing pre-service training programs that address the impact of trauma, toxic stress, and self-care promotion on learning
  • Require annual, on-line trainings for all educators in Delaware
  • Commitments from state, district, school leaders through training on impact of trauma, toxic stress, self-care for teachers on school climate, academic seat time, and school discipline as well as learning
Facilitating Diverse Communities
  • Truth and reconciliation
  • Advocate for arts in school
  • Storytelling to dismantle boundaries (ex. Health Care Theatre)
  • Values and principles of real diversity come from knowledge, so must: Educate; Enable Dialogue; Be Present
  • Intimate 1:1
Connecting, Creating, and Enhancing Economic Opportunity One-stop approach and commitment for 16-24 year olds
Community Solutions to Improve Literacy Connect organizations to work together to align resources to better serve children and families to improve literacy
Removing Barriers to College Access Analyze student data to identify opportunity gaps in meeting 11th grade state standards and provide interventions to keep students opportunity open
Linking Community Development and Health Network of anchor institutions working together, with strong community input and control
Valuing Student Diversity through Cultural Competence Embed cultural competence in teacher preparation at the undergrad level making it a part of the certification requirements
Building Effective Family-School-Community Partnerships Creating a vision for a Community Engagement Center that will support stakeholder partnerships to benefit all students
Policy, Law, Funding and Structure Update school unit funding formula for education to include funding for health issues, poverty and other social determinants of health, moving from equal to equitable