The $40 million was an unprecedented regional investment in South King County.
Awarded in 2012, the grant launched a wide range of innovations in early learning, STEM education and college and career readiness systems. RTT aimed to impact students across a consortium of South King County’ seven school districts–Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, Renton, Seattle and Tukwila. Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) managed the grant as the fiscal agent between 2013 and 2017. This cradle to college initiative was nurtured by a close partnership with the Road Map Project—South King County’s collective impact effort.
Throughout the grant, PSESD partnered with districts and community-based organizations (CBOs) focused on serving students in high-needs schools in the Road Map Region. For example, Start Strong included a shared Kindergarten Registration Campaign that will continue beyond the grant. Through STEM Strong, over 1,000 students participated in career experiences through the Career Connection program. The Puget Sound College and Career Network partnered with such organizations as the College Success Foundation and OneAmerica to create toolkits focused on developing student college knowledge, financial literacy and bilingualism.
Throughout the grant, a central goal of has been to achieving equity. The seven Consortium districts are at different stages of crafting and implementing policies that promote students’ increased access to success in school. In a panel reflecting on RTT, Dr. Susan Enfield, Superintendent of Highline Public Schools names approaches to work towards equity:
“I do think that what I’ve had to learn as a leader is that we have to help people understand that the actions that we are taking as leaders are equity driven. For example, providing tuition free high quality full-day kindergarten for every child, that’s equity in action. Hiring a principal who will not allow for that back row of students to exist in any classroom, that’s equity in action. Taking on the discipline practices and saying, ‘We’re not going to allow this to continue, we’re gonna tackle this and own it,’ that’s equity in action.”
Here you can read the final Community Report to learn more about the highlights of RTT. We also are eager to share the numerous resources below that the RTT team and partners crafted to support schools, districts and CBOs to continue our shared work to eliminate opportunity gaps.