Strive Together Conference 2019: Together We Are Unstoppable!

This month, the entire ImpactTulsa team traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the 10th annual Cradle to Career Network Convening hosted by StriveTogether. Cradle to Career is a gathering of changemakers united in the work of breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for every child, regardless of race or zip code.


Several of our ImpactTulsa team members presented to more than 400 community leaders, social change agents and policymakers at the national convening. Jessica Smith, Andrea Stacy and Dr. Delia Kimbrel, along with Jonathan McIIroy from Tulsa Public Schools, spent several months preparing for these sessions and represented both Tulsa and Oklahoma well in front of the education community.


Andrea Stacy and Jessica Smith co-presented on reducing chronic absenteeism through collaborative partnerships and Dr. Delia Kimbrel and Jonathan Mcllroy led workshops on topics such as advancing equities and developing data-driven tools to address opportunity gaps.


Reducing Chronic Absenteeism through Collaborative Partnerships

Presented by Jessica Smith, Senior Director of Education and Collaborative Action, and Andrea Stacy, Director of School District Support


This collaborative workshop focused on proven strategies and best practices used to reduce chronic absenteeism, a nationwide issue, in our schools.


In this session, our team and the participants identified several predictors of chronic absenteeism, including the following:

  • Prior chronic absenteeism is the most impactful predictor of future absenteeism
  • In middle through high school, females become more chronically absent than males
  • Participation in extra-curriculars has a positive effect on chronic absenteeism


For the full list of identified predictors, download the PDF here.


By using the predictive factors tools acquired in the workshop, participants will be able to identify students at-risk for chronic absenteeism early. In addition, our team provided resources to engage district leaders, school sites and community partners to tackle and reduce this issue.


Advancing Racial Equity in Evidence-Based Decision Making

Presented by Dr. Delia Kimbrel, Director of Research & Analysis, and Jonathan McIlroy of Tulsa Public Schools


In collaboration with the StriveTogether Racial Equity Planning Team, Dr. Kimbrel spent six months developing recommendations and training materials for strategic data tracking for interrupting racial disparities in education, and guidance for centering racial equity in the evidence-based decision-making pillar in the StriveTogether Theory of Action.


Developing Data-Driven Tools to Address Opportunity Gaps

Presented by Dr. Delia Kimbrel, Director of Research & Analysis, and Jonathan McIlroy of Tulsa Public Schools


 ImpactTulsa and Tulsa Public Schools shared their experience in developing new data analysis tools for understanding how neighborhood factors play an important role in student success. This interactive session introduced the StriveTogether network to innovative data approaches for understanding student need and the landscape of opportunity and access for closing disparity gaps across the cradle-to-career continuum.


During the discussion, participants had the chance to share their challenges, successes and best practices for growing analytical capabilities in their local communities for addressing disparities and using data to facilitate equity-centered discussions for closing opportunity gaps.


Advancing Equity & Breaking Down Silos: Tulsa’s Child Equity Index

Presented by Dr. Delia Kimbrel, Director of Research & Analysis, and Jonathan Mcllroy of Tulsa Public Schools


Dr. Kimbrel and Mr. Mcllroy led this collaborative, 30-minute, critical problem-solving session where participants explored, addressed and provided strategic feedback for addressing critical areas for Tulsa’s Child Equity Index.


The Child Equity Index is a data-driven tool for directing resources, funding and interventions to schools based on student need and neighborhood conditions.


Critical questions included:

  1. What are actions needed to break down silos between community development, neighborhood improvement and education institutions in order to build a culture on shared accountability, alignment and results?
  2. How can CEI be used to describe opportunity gaps perpetuated by historical legacies of neighborhood disadvantage and systematic racism to stakeholders not well-versed in systems and structures?
  3. How can CEI be used to create an equity-centered, systems-change approach for creating targeted strategies to accelerate outcomes for marginalized communities?


Not only did participants observe application of an interactive process that will introduce new data tools for understanding opportunity gaps, they will be able to use that data to engage stakeholders and the broader community.