Circles of Support: 2012 Evaluation Report

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1 Circles of Support: 2012 Evaluation Report Prepared For: University of New Mexico s Family Development Program Prepared By: Dr. Michelle Bloodworth, Lead Evaluator Catherine Bornhorst, Evaluator

2 Circles of Support 2012 Evaluation Report 1 Contents Introduction and Context... 2 Purpose of Evaluation... 4 Evaluation Findings... 5 Emerging Themes Challenges and Solutions Conclusion... 14

3 Introduction and Context Circles of Support 2012 Evaluation Report Circles of Support is a capacity- building initiative of the Family Development Program (FDP) designed to build a strong foundation for early childhood education within and around a community school, aimed at promoting school readiness and academic success. Core components include: v Comprehensive professional development for Mind in the Making, the science of early learning, through integration of Seven Essential Skills (7ES) v Early Childhood Leadership Teams (ECLT) at each school seek to develop leadership capacity and build authentic relationships among parents, grandparents, early learning programs, schools, and community members to support young children s learning v Systems- wide collaborations around shared understanding of the science of early learning and alignment around a set of shared outcomes for young children 2 Circles of Support Place- based Engagement: The Communities The four Circles of Support school communities are located in very different areas of Albuquerque. To the far east of Albuquerque, Manzano Mesa Elementary School is a new school located in a mixed income community, whose families come from several different countries and backgrounds. Centrally located, La Mesa Elementary School is well established within its community and welcomes a large and diverse student population. To the far south is Pajarito Elementary School located in a semi- rural area with a deep cultural history. Located on the far west, Helen Cordero Elementary School is in a newer community with many recent immigrant, Spanish- speaking families. As diverse as these communities are, they do share important challenges related to poverty, with all four schools qualifying for Title I funding. FDP is a community- based outreach program of the University of New Mexico s College of Education. FDP was awarded the Circles of Support planning grant in July of FDP was then awarded an 18- month Phase I implementation grant for Circles of Support in January FDP works closely with the Early Childhood Accountability Partnership (ECAP), a convening group of early childhood leaders who represent multiple disciplines and programs serving Bernalillo County, who together are developing collective impact strategies to align investments for underserved children and their families. FDP has also continued close engagement with ABC Community Schools Partnership (ABC). Key FDP staff committed time and work to ABC s Systems and Early Childhood Workgroups. The work of the Systems Workgroup contributed to the successful initiation of STRIVE - a cradle to career initiative for collective impact being led by the Central New Mexico United Way. The ABC Early Childhood Workgroup brought together early childhood

4 professionals from multiple systems to develop a framework for creating a strong foundation for young children s learning at community schools. As partners with ABC, local school leadership, and ECAP, FDP is helping to focus attention on a continuum of early learning, birth into elementary school. 3 The ECLTs represent an important evolution of the Circles of Support model. Through the work of the previous planning grant, FDP came to envision a way of bringing various individuals, organizations, and initiatives together by connecting planning conversations at the systems- level to the work on the ground. This approach brings the community around a school, including families, teachers, and partners, together to envision and take action toward creating a community that supports young children s learning. FDP staff serve as connectors between these place- based ECLTs and system- level initiatives to allow the work of each to inform and be supported by each other. The ECLT Tool Kit adapts training resources for New Mexico s health councils and various tribal leadership development initiatives to be used for early childhood engagement. In addition to the ECLTs, Circles of Support is providing community selected workshops, as well as professional development series, to families, teachers, educational assistants, and community members in the four places. All of these programs are provided in Spanish and English. FDP staff are working closely with the local school planning teams to identify early learning providers in the surrounding neighborhoods, encouraging school staff to include them in training opportunities when appropriate. At all sites, a menu of possible offerings was put forth to the families and school staff and they ranked their interest in the various topics. Based on this information, FDP co- designed an educational plan with partners to meet the specific goals and needs of the families and teachers. A lead FDP staff member was identified for each site and is a member of the school s ECLT and also attends other school planning team meetings to facilitate communication and relationship development. In addition to the programs and services being delivered at the four school sites, Circles of Support works with the entire staff of the City Of Albuquerque s 22 Child Development Centers. This key partnership is the result of FDP s and the City s shared long- term investment in innovation and professional development in early childhood. The City s program only serves low- income children who qualify for free and reduced lunch, and cuts across all four places identified by Circles of Support. Aside from the City of Albuquerque s Child Development

5 Centers, FDP regularly engages with the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). WIC is an ideal partner for FDP as it is an additional opportunity to engage with families of non- school age children. While WIC is typically a supplemental food program that also offers participants nutrition education, information on breastfeeding, and referrals to health and social programs, the partnership with FDP increases participant awareness and understanding of the science of early learning through Watch Me Play, Watch Me Learn trainings. 4 Circles of Support is also working at the systems- level to support Albuquerque s home visitation professionals around the science of early learning. FDP provided training in the 7ES at the Home Visitation Retreat in June 2012 as a priority identified by the coalition. Over 50 home visitation professionals from eight different home visiting programs were provided with training and tailored materials for infants and toddlers. There was also a follow- up session in partnership with the Native American Parent Professional Resources (NAPPR). FDP and NAPPR have subsequently co- written a grant to the McCune Foundation for embedding support for 7ES in NAPPR s home visitors work. Purpose of Evaluation This evaluation was commissioned by FDP through Circles of Support to focus on program improvement. Throughout 2012, the evaluators have assumed several roles in deep partnership with FDP including: v Providing training to FDP on utilization of evaluation data for planning and decision- making v Collecting and interpreting Circles of Support project data v Improving organizational processes v Providing technical assistance in developing a data management system v Supporting programmatic reflection in providing different perspectives Apex Education aided in the development of program and project goals and continues to identify successes and barriers, provide ongoing assessment for midcourse adjustments, and measure overall program effectiveness. The purpose of this evaluation report is two- fold: v Inform ongoing work by providing useful and empirically- driven feedback v Assess progress toward achievement of short and long term goals This report focuses on key partnerships, as well as the participants involved in Circles of Support activities and workshops, examining participant reactions, changes in participant knowledge, attitude, skills, and aspirations, and overall participant change in practice.

6 Circles of Support 2012 Evaluation Report 5 Evaluation Methods This evaluation report employs both qualitative and quantitative methods, including observation, interviews (individual and group), FDP staff reflections, surveys, document reviews, workshop evaluations and evaluator participation in Circles of Support activities. Participation in project activities allowed the evaluators to better understand goals and processes. This evaluation report is informed by: v 13 large group observations v 6 interviews v 3 focus groups v 194 ipad entries v 955 participant evaluations/surveys Circles of Support ipad Application Details of Circles of Supports place- based work is documented by program staff in an electronic format using an ipad application (app) developed specifically for Circles of Support. This app allows FDP staff to document trainings and meetings in real- time while in the community. The Circles of Support ipad app captures FDP engagement with various Albuquerque communities and partners, as well as alignment to program goals. v 4 document reviews including action plans, quarterly reports, and collaborative artifacts Evaluation Findings The evaluation findings are organized around the four objective areas for Circles of Support. Developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) and Seven Essential Skills (7ES) are integrated into the approaches of teachers, families, and early childhood programs that support children s learning. With Circles of Support, FDP formally engaged various early childhood stakeholders over 950 times. These individuals were predominantly parents, teachers, teacher assistants, and administrators, but also included parents, various early childhood providers, and numerous partners in their work. These individuals serve students across Albuquerque, and through Circles of Support, FDP has interacted with individuals that serve over 29,950 New Mexican children. Additionally, FDP, through Circles of Support, engaged as a participant or collaborator a reported 135 times. These Type of Participant in Workshops Parents Teachers Teacher Assistants Administrators Others Early Childhood Teacher (P- k and below) 5% Number of Times Engaged Par<cipants from ipad Data Administrator 19% Other 15% Parent/Family Member without children in school 11% Teacher (K- 12) 12% EA 11% Parent/Family Member with children in school 27%

7 events involved collaboration of early childhood partners that are mutually invested in supporting children s learning at both systems- level and place- based settings. Circles of Support is committed to providing outreach services at both of these levels to address inequities for children and their families that compromise children s success in school. The ipad data reveals that FDP appropriately focuses their attention and efforts at both systems and placed- based levels, with the latter focusing on the Helen Cordero, La Mesa, Manzano Mesa, and Pajarito communities. Type of Engagement 6 Focused largely on increased valuing of early childhood knowledge, experience, and potential for all children, FDP engaged teachers, teacher assistants, and school administrators 500 times. These interactions were deeply embedded in early childhood foundations and included trainings and workshops on 7ES and developmentally appropriate practices. According to FDP workshop evaluations, 93% of teachers, teacher assistants, and school administrators expressed that Systems Level 48% Circles of Support workshops will positively impact their practice in early childhood. Place- based 52% Workshop Participant Comments Thank you for having the passion to change what we do to better the foundation of child development. The info was so valuable. It validated what we see as we are working with children. Also thanks for the brain food. In interviews, school administrators involved in Circles of Support also expressed their increased valuing of early childhood knowledge, experience, and potential for all children. The administrators previously regarded early childhood as important, but through being part of Circles of Support and collaborating with FDP, all four principals emphasized that they now see supporting early childhood programs as integral to the success of their students and communities. It was evident from the interviews that school administrators believe that Circles of Support s focus on early childhood development strengthens the schools and families. As one principal described, Early childhood is becoming more and more a part of our culture. School leaders also noted the importance of engaging family with young children before they become formal students. One principal noted, I think about [engaging families with non- school age children] from a self- serving point of view. These are the kids that will eventually be in my school. All of the school administrators reported that Mind in the Making has positively impacted the practices of teachers and teacher assistants in their schools. Two principals invested in purchasing Mind in the Making: Seven Essential Skills books for their entire staff. One principal particularly expressed the relevance and significance of trainings in the Mind in the Making Modules at the school. All of the school s teacher assistants were trained in the Mind in the Making Child Development Modules, and as a culminating project, presented their insights, discoveries, and applications of the newly acquired information to the certified teachers. The principal remarked that the certified teachers left the presentation with increased knowledge

8 and awareness of early childhood development and best practices. The teachers were eager to know more about Seven Essential Skills, and were immediately equipped with strategies they could use in their classroom. Reflecting on the teacher assistants reactions, the principal expressed, [The training] turned over a leaf for some of our teacher assistants. They thought, I really can make a difference in a kid s life. Currently, the teacher assistants are engaged in another eight professional development sessions regarding Seven Essential Skills. 7 Perhaps one of the most innovative workshops provided through Circles of Support was the linking of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Seven Essential Skills (7ES). Co- lead by FDP and the New Mexico School Leadership Institute, kindergarten teachers and administrators convened to show how 7ES are embedded in CCSS. CCSS demand critical thinking and engagement in learning, and 7ES are foundational to future student success and active engagement in the curriculum and across the learning continuum. One participant remarked, We often forget to recognize actual development struggles that don t allow students to receive the content. We are too focused on the content, even in Kindergarten. It gets worse as we go up [in grade level]. The evaluations from this workshop showed that all participants believed practical skills and techniques were shared and that the workshop will contribute to a positive change in practice. Encouraged and supported by FDP, one community school site has developed and is in the process of formally forming a Preschool Co- op, that is owned, controlled, and utilized by school parents. FDP recognized this initiative as an opportunity to again emphasize the value of early childhood development and train parents in the Mind in the Making Modules in order to further increase the integration of 7ES and developmentally appropriate practices with young children. Preschool Co- op parents have engaged in several trainings which integrate 7ES as preparation for their work in the Co- op. In an interview with one of the co- op parents, she indicated the importance of 7ES in both her practices with her own children and the functioning of the co- op: Because of the training, we are a team, we are one. It empowered the parents, and it is important too for children to see their parents educated. I know I use the skills at home, and I know other parents use the skills, too. (Translated from Spanish) In three separate interviews with parents in Circles of Support communities, all three reported a change in practice after received 7ES trainings. Inspired by her involvement with her neighborhood school and interaction with Circles of Support project activities, one mother has started a registered childcare center at her house and serves five non- school age children within her school community. Circles of Support activities and workshops continue to inform her practices as a childcare provider and mother. Finally, when reflecting on the impact of 7ES on parents, one principal shared, I have heard from a parent who participated in trainings over the summer relating to the communication skills that they now have quit watching TV and are using that time to read with her children.

9 8 Actions by families and community leaders strengthen an early learning continuum (ages 0 6). Perhaps one of the largest and most intentional Circles of Support activities is the Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA). The NLA is designed to engage developing leaders in Albuquerque communities in collaboration with their community schools. The NLA strengthens community- based leadership for early childhood systems, and provides continued support to each community s Early Childhood Leadership Teams (ECLT) throughout the school year. Each ECLT works with families, schools, and key community parents to build foundations for early childhood (birth to age 8) and strengthen partnership amongst families, neighborhoods, and schools as well. June NLA Participant Comment My ideas are clear, and I really know what working for a community means. In a very positive way, I know how to plan strategies to achieve a goal. I learned to get organized, create a plan, and follow the right steps to achieve the plan. - Spanish speaking participant (translated) As part of the NLA, Circles of Support hosted its second 3- day Neighborhood Leadership Institute in June 2012, which included over 40 participants, and reconvened participants for a follow- up session in October with 41 individuals in attendance. The Institute is intentionally structured for participants to develop greater personal capacities as leaders in their communities in early childhood foundations. After the June Institute, 79% (n=30) of survey respondents indicated that their participation will enable their ECLT to make a positive change in their communities. Additionally, a thematic analysis was used on survey responses that revealed that ECLT members overwhelmingly have a vision and goals concerning how to make their communities better for their children. To further support ECLTs in their work with families and community partners to build a strong foundation for early learning in their community, FDP provided mini- grants to the four community school sites. In a review of their action plans, all four sites have documented their plans to intentionally identify and build relationships with families of non- school age children (birth to age 3) through various activities, including Early Childhood Fun Fairs, interactive literacy classes focused on infants and toddlers, and resource rooms focused on the science of early learning. ECLT action plans reflect the increased knowledge of ECLTs regarding the importance of early learning and their commitment to addressing Outreach to early learning services 8% ECLT Mee<ng Focus Community conversahons in the neighborhood 21% Development of community school with a strong EC foundahon 35% Outreach to families 36%

10 needs of families raising young children in their communities. Circles of Support 2012 Evaluation Report 9 FDPs ipad data further substantiates the ECLTs commitment to strengthening the early learning continuum and addressing the needs of young families in their communities. As reported by FDP staff, ECLTs spend most of their time (36%) on outreach to families. These efforts are strongly tied to another goal of ECLTs, developing a community school with a strong early childhood foundation (35%). Additionally, ECLTs consist of teachers, teacher assistants, parents, grandparents, community early childcare providers, and community members to help align community resources and reinforce the early learning continuum. While ipad data and action plans describe progress in strengthening the early learning continuum, ECLT focus groups and individual interviews with ECLT members also provided insights regarding broader community improvement and individual benefits. ECLT meeting observations reflected the commitments of NLA participants and ECLT action plans. Most of the discussions were dedicated toward educational outreach, maintaining existing early childhood activities, and planning future events such as nutrition classes for babies and toddlers. In one observation, ECLT members engaged in a craft as a team building exercise and to help parents feel part of the school. Another ECLT discussed the barriers to promoting family friendly schools as many communities are hesitant to volunteer because of required background checks. All ECLTs mentioned the importance of increasing community involvement in their schools to support the needs of their children. One participant explains, It important that everyone, not one people [sic] work together. Everyone is important, no one group, we are all for the child. In individual interviews with ECLT members, individuals did not emanate the broad impact of the ECLT as observed in meetings and focus groups. Rather, ECLT members explained the impact of their participation as it relates to their own families and their transition as leaders in the community. One ECLT member noted that after being part of the NLA Institute in June, she feels as though she can speak for herself. Two of the ECLT members also mentioned the use of 7ES and increasing their practices with their own children. It is unclear from the interviews if ECLT members have applied additional Circles of Support trainings to their various roles, or if the mission and purpose of the ECLT is unclear to them. Early childhood systems align around a set of shared outcomes for young children and their families (collective impact). FDP serves as a connector bringing various people, organizations, and initiatives together by connecting system- level conversations to the work on the ground - helping to design more thoughtful ways to bring the early childhood perspective to the work. FDP and Circles of Support have contributed to the alignment of early childhood systems and shared outcomes for young children and their families. Circles of Support has made significant contributions to collective impact strategies including the engagement of ABC Partnership and

11 the Early Childhood Accountability Partnership. In 2012, Circles of Support formally engaged with ABC Community Schools Partnership 19 times and was the major convener for ECAP on a reported 37 occasions. In major collaboration with FDP, ECAP has adopted the mission that: All Bernalillo County children will be ready for and succeed in school. Through FDP s significant role in ECAP and ABC, Circles of Support has helped ensure that early childhood remains a focus in Bernalillo County. 10 FDP has also developed a strong partnership with the New Mexico School Leadership Institute (NMSLI) and together they are sharing how 7ES can create a strong foundation for Common Core State Standards (CCSS). This work is place- based and has system- wide implications, and as described earlier, they provided a two- session pilot with kindergarten teachers who had previously participated in four sessions on 7ES. This work was presented by Ellen Galinsky, Linda Paul, and FDP s Lois Vermilya at this year s National Association for the Education for Young Children conference and was well received by a large audience. In the South Valley, FPD is partnering with the New Mexico Association for the Education of Young Children, Shared Resources and the Partnership for Community Action. Together, they hosted a launching event as a fun and interactive event to bring people in the community together to focus on young children s learning and the importance of play. FDP provided training workshops for parent leaders engaged through the Partnership for Community Action s Abriendo Puertas. Also in the South Valley, FDP has partnered with the Center for Development and Disability to begin exploring the integration of inclusion and 7ES Skills. This work is currently being piloted at Pajarito Elementary School with the hired expertise of Betty Lansdowne, a licensed Mind in the Making and special education certified professional. FDP staff members and Betty have been meeting regularly at Pajarito since Fall 2012 (a documented 8 times according to ipad data) and began an eight part training series of 7ES and CCSS for all educational assistants (), many of whom work with special needs students. Much of FDP s success in aligning early childhood initiatives is attributed to their flexibility. Schools expressed an appreciation for FDPs willingness to adapt their approach to align to or be incorporated into each school s existing structures and programs. Some of the principals saw this as a welcome change from earlier in the partnership when some activities through Circles of Support felt like, One more thing to do. One example of this is where an ECLT in one of the four communities has been rolled into the school s community school council. There is awareness of not wanting to create more silos, where work around early childhood might begin to be seen as the work of only one group. One resource coordinator said, We don t want it to be where you re in charge of that, and you re in charge of this. We all want to be at the same table. Building upon existing structures is also recognized as an opportunity to engage more families and not overwhelm school staff.

12 11 Demonstrate how community schools are an ideal context for early childhood with Mind in the Making (MITM) as a foundation. According to ipad data, Circles of Support staff engages in Mind in the Making (MITM) and Seven Essential Skills (7ES) 72% when delivering direct services. This data reveals that MITM is foundational to their work. All four sister schools have included MITM as part of their professional development, and with two schools investing in books for all staff, FDP is progressing in their efforts to use MITM as an early childhood foundation for community schools. As revealed in principal interviews, teachers and staff have heavily invested time and professional studies to further their practice of MITM and 7ES. One principal reported that an early childhood teacher s professional development plan centers on the use of 7ES and the dissemination of her findings to both parents and colleagues. In addition to Circles of Support s influence on early childhood professionals practices, FDP has acted as a convener for the APS Sister Schools, including the administration and school coordinators from each project school. In 2012, these four meetings allowed FDP to make midcourse adjustments based on intentional dialogue with Sister School leaders. These meetings are also an opportunity for FDP to inquire and emphasize how early childhood can continue to be a foundation in the community schools. School leaders and staff all expressed appreciation for FDP s willingness to be partners in supporting a school s vision and mission. One principal explained, I know their vision and mission and reason for their work is early childhood. When I first started the work with them, they were only talking about 0 to age 8. When they started working in our world, which is K- 5, they were open to that. Now it is our work and their work meshing together. It is not their work and our work, we work together to support the kids. Emerging Themes The following narrative summarizes emerging themes to date that are based on interviews with partners, ECLT members, program staff; observations of meetings with program staff and partners; feedback from workshop and training participants; review of documents; and observations of programs. v Impacts on Teachers and Families: Families and teachers who participated in the programs offered by FDP positively expressed a number of ways in which they perceive that the trainings have impacted their interactions with the children in their lives, including their own families. Principals especially recognize the impact of Circles of Support trainings and workshop on their teachers, staff, parents, and overall school climate.

13 Circles of Support 2012 Evaluation Report v FDP Partnership Supports the School Vision: School leaders and staff all expressed appreciation for FDP s willingness to be partners in supporting a school s vision and mission. FDP has become a key partner in the four community schools planning processes. FDP takes part in staff meetings and collaboration groups at each of the schools. Schools appreciate the perspective they bring and their desire to support the school. 12 v FDP as a Connector: FDP often facilitates the role of connector as they bring together various people, organization, and initiatives that support early childhood development and success. FDP serves as a connector among the four Sister Community Schools, hosting regular meetings where all of the sites come together to talk about strategies, challenges and solutions. FDP also helps connect the schools to the systems work of ABC Partnership, keeping the schools informed of the broader systems- level community school work. v Developing Relationships and Changing Culture Take Time: Reflecting on their relationship with FDP, principals at the Circles of Support schools revealed how the relationships and the work continue to deepen. Some principals also noted that they felt that awareness of the importance of early childhood was increasing in their schools. Time is essential in building relationships and changing culture, and engaging the community in this work takes a long- term commitment from individuals. v Family Engagement: FDP sponsored workshops, events, and spaces for supporting young children s learning also serve to connect families with young children and engage them more deeply in the school. School staff noted that families are building support with each other through FDP workshops. Families learn that other parents are going through similar issues and they gain confidence together. v Community Schools as a Resource for Young Children Not Yet in School: School leaders all expressed awareness of the need for supporting young children s learning in their community and the benefit the school receives when children come to school ready to learn. Developing a culture of a school to incorporate young children not yet in school and their families takes focus and time. School leaders and staff expressed that their partnership with FDP helps to remind them of the importance of the youngest members of their community. v Linking to What Schools are Already Doing: Schools appreciate FDPs willingness to adapt their approach to align to or be incorporated into existing structures and programs. Building upon what the school is already doing is viewed as a strategy to engage more families around early childhood and avoid overwhelming school staff. v Relationship Building with Families and Schools: FDP promotes a philosophy of school and family partnership rooted in relationships. FDP has developed collaborative

14 13 relationships with community partners, engaging local planning teams to design goals and plans for the yearlong professional development. FDP demonstrates a capacity to build respectful relationships, and interviews revealed that participants feel FDP takes adequate time for listening and learning with partners and the community. Challenges and Solutions While the ECLT component represents an important deepening of the place- based work of Circles of Support, it has also presented new challenges. Sustaining commitment and engagement among members of the ECLT has been a challenge at some schools. The Summer Institute for the ECLTs was a clear success with sustained energy and engagement throughout the three days. Continuing to keep individuals engaged and participating in the ECLT throughout the subsequent school year proved difficult. One principal expressed a desire for more collaboration with FDP to improve this component and thus its potential impact. I would like to have more conversations from FDP about why they are doing the ECLT, strategic alignment with the goals and objectives of the school, and how they are doing their recruiting. An ongoing challenge for Circles of Support has been connecting with informal care and learning programs in the community. Schools who have been focusing on these connections longer, seem to be having some success and are sharing their strategies with the other schools through FDP. Schools all feel they are making progress but slowly. Some believe that these programs may not want people to know about them for legal reasons. Families with young children not yet in school, however, are starting to reach out to the schools because those in the community know they can trust schools not to rat them out. Some of the principals expressed a desire for the professional development for the science of early learning to go deeper in order to truly change classroom instruction. They shared their belief that for the practices of 7ES to become embedded behaviors, the teachers will need to be engaged from a teaching perspective for this implementation. Some also felt that such initiatives need to be mandated school- wide to be fully implemented and sustained. One suggestion for helping to deepen the professional development that came up a couple times was to have FDP staff present at the school more often and available for classroom observation and coaching. It was also suggested to develop a rubric that could be used to assess implementation of practices thus making the objectives of the trainings explicit. With relationships serving as the cornerstone for their work, FDP has overcome the significant challenge of shifting school leadership. Over the past two school years, three of the four community schools changed principals, causing FDP to adapt to new leadership styles and vision for their schools. FDP also had to forge new trusting relationships, which often demanded more time. This trust was critical to develop before moving forward with Circles of Support initiatives. Just as the schools witnessed change in leadership, serious FDP staff illness also required unplanned staff hiring. Like the principals, FDP took time to build new internal relationships and

15 trust, and the new staff members, including two Spanish speakers have proven extremely effective in a very short ramp- up time. 14 Conclusion Implementation of Circles of Support is progressing as anticipated, with participants and partners expressing praise for FDP s work. Program activities are being implemented in collaboration with the four school sites and the systems- level activities are progressing well. Where challenges have arisen, FDP, schools and community members are working together to develop and implement solutions. Participants in the programs offered through Circles of Support give high praises for the innovative series of professional development and share examples of the impact their participation has had on their interactions with the children in their lives. FDP partners, especially the principals at the four sites, see them as key allies in their shared work and say FDP has emerged as a leader in the collaborative investment strategy they are engaged in together. The success thus far of the Circles of Support bodes well for this first 18- month phase of implementation (which will conclude June 2013) and for achieving stated objectives. The evaluation will continue to collect and share data over the remaining six months of this phase of Circles of Support to inform improvement and to assess progress toward stated objectives.

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