A Journey from Expulsion to Academic SuccessA Journey from Expulsion to Academic Success

Teachers struggled with how to support third grader Nevin, who had behavioral problems and was expelled from NAZ partner Ascension Catholic School as a result. In partnership with the school, NAZ staff met with Nevin’s mom, Tina, to brainstorm solutions. Over the course of a few meetings, “Team Nevin”—teachers, Nevin, Tina, and the NAZ Collaborative—strategized a multi-pronged approach to keep the child in school.

Angelica Sanchez, the NAZ Academic Navigator at Ascension, now spends thirty minutes of every school day with Nevin, helping him transition into the classroom in the morning. She also checks in with him throughout the day. “He looks forward to our check-ins,” Angelica says. “It’s given him confidence.”

NAZ Connector, Shatika Coleman, meets regularly with the family to ensure they have the support they need, and to connect them to the NAZ behavioral health network. Meanwhile, Tina gets her son to school on time every morning and helps him with his homework.

Since implementing this team approach in December 2015, Nevin has done a 180-degree turn. “The child’s behavior has been amazing,” says outgoing principal Dorwatha Woods.

When we align resources around a single child, the results can be life-changing. Now that Nevin is attending school regularly and better able to manage his emotions, his learning potential is limitless.

Parents moving from Welfare to Work through Innovative ProgramParents moving from Welfare to Work through Innovative Program

The NAZ career team is undertaking a unique partnership to support families to build a path toward financial freedom. The initiative is called Families Achieving Success Together, or FAST. It brings together a team of support for NAZ parents who are currently enrolled in Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) to gain and maintain employment.

The goal of FAST ties to our two-generation approach to support parents to reach their career potential. Our collaborative partners know that families with more stable incomes can better support their children can succeed in school – thus a two-generation approach is achieved.

Through the FAST initiative, Emerge, Hennepin County and NAZ staff are the lead team working in partnership with Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis, Employment Action Center, HIRED, and Minneapolis North WorkForce Center. Together, these organizations provide unique support and resources for parents such as GED training, career pathway training, individualized financial coaching, and a planned exit from MFIP.

As we learn what works on the ground to remove barriers and catalyze progress for NAZ parents on MFIP, we can create a roadmap for systems change that is relevant parents, providers, and policies to influence broader change.

NAZ is Making Changes to its Staffing Structure

The NAZ collaborative is a learning community. Together we are firmly committed to “following the data” and adjusting our approach to reach our shared goal of creating a system that prepares Northside children to be college ready. Over the past several years, we have tweaked the way we implement our work to support new learning on the most effective approach for families and kids. It is our commitment to continuous improvement across the collaborative that sets us apart.

In the spirit of continuous improvement, we are moving forward with changes to some of the NAZ staff roles and structure. These changes are based our most recent data as well as input from NAZ staff, partners, and families. Most of these changes will rollout during the summer of 2016 to support an effective start of the 2016-17 school year.

Read about the new roles and see an updated staffing chart.

Our Thanks to Cora McCorvey

Cora McCorvey, soon to retire after 25 years as Executive Director of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA), has been a major partner in NAZ’s work to close the achievement gap in North Minneapolis. She is also a member of the NAZ Board of Directors. We would like to thank her for her steadfast support and belief in the potential of EVERY child.

NAZ in the News

Freedom is not the last word MinnPost and Women’s Press
Freedom is not the last word
Editorial by Sondra Samuels
Read more
Leveling the playing field with Promise Neighborhoods MPR News
Leveling the playing field with Promise Neighborhoods
Read more
Minneapolis’s Less Visible, and More Troubled, Side The New York Times
Minneapolis’s Less Visible, and More Troubled, Side
Read more

2016 NAZ Community CelebrationCelebrating Community Transformation in Action

2016 NAZ Community Celebration
Thursday, May 26 from 6-8 p.m.
Patrick Henry High School – Auditorium
4320 Newton Ave. N.

Join us at the NAZ Community Celebration for food and family-friendly fun as we shine a spotlight on the positive transformation that is happening in North Minneapolis, and the amazing NAZ families who are leading this change!

RSVP today.

Follow NAZ on Social Media

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news and events!

NAZ FLASH / News from the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ)
2123 W. Broadway #100 | Minneapolis, MN 55411 | 612-521-4405 | the-naz.org