Funders Collaborative Principals’ Roundtable Discuss Challenges

Principals_Rountable_2.jpgDozens of principals from Newark Public Schools convened last month for the Newark Trust for Education's principals' roundtable. The event, sponsored by the Trust's Funders' Collaborative for High-Quality School Options, focused on many of the obstacles schools face each day that can take away from a principal's full vision of high-quality schools.

"How is the collaborative making an impact in your school?" asked Dale Anglin, Senior Program Officer with the Victoria Foundation. "We can only make an impact if we know what's going on, and these types of venues are immensely valuable in that regard," she added.

Principals_Rountable_3.jpgThe Funders' Collaborative is a network of local, regional, and national funders committed to providing high-quality public school options for all Newark students. In partnership with the governing body of the Education Subcommittee of the Newark Funders' Group, an extension of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, the Trust is responsible for managing and ensuring the success of the Collaborative. In 2011, a group of funders, listed here, decided they wanted to establish a pooled fund, because, up to that point, funders had primarily been working individually.

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This year, the Collaborative was able to broaden our collective impact and increase our reach to help even more schools and families. During the session, principals and many of their vice-principals had an opportunity to share their successes and identify how they were overcoming the inevitable obstacles associated with implementing new initiatives. What stood out as remarkable was how totally committed each and every person in the room was and remains, to making sure their schools meet the needs of the children and families they serve.

They are an extraordinary group of professionals who recognize how difficult the work that they signed on for is, and they remain committed and positive about going the extra mile to turn their schools into vibrant communities of learning.

Natalie Brathwaite, the Trust's Director of Programs and Community Engagement, said the Trust will continue to try to help address any issues and concerns that emerged in the conversation with school leaders through the appropriate channels, and through the supports provided by the Funders' Collaborative.

Since it was founded in 2011, the Collaborative has allocated more than $2.5 million to support a variety of innovative schools and programs across the district. To learn more, visit www.newarktrust.org.

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