Committed to Community Transformation, Excellence in Early Childhood Development, and Education

Boston’s Higher Ground is a place-based initiative focused on early childhood development and education. We work with a modest budget and leverage the capacities of existing service providers to collaborate and achieve better results together.

•We are collaborating with Crispus Attucks Children’s Center, Nurtury and Families First in programs for new and expectant parents and quality child care for infants and toddlers.

•We are supporting three district and three charter schools to form a local network of six elementary schools to provide excellent education to the 2,000 children that they collectively educate.

Improvements in educational outcomes will lead to the neighborhood transformation that is Higher Ground’s ultimate goal.

Our Work

•Increase school readiness through an emphasis on early childhood development.
•Leverage existing services and connect local schools to needed services.
•Support development of a local network of district and charter schools.
•Support parents to be more engaged in the schools, especially in governance.

Our Model

We work by leveraging and coordinating capacities of existing organizations to get better outcomes.

•Children enter school ready to learn
•Schools are ready to provide excellent education
•Children attending Boston schools will not be homeless
•Parents will be actively engaged in the governance of their children’s schools
•Local schools will be in high demand and schools of choice for Boston parents

Our Outcome Measures

Higher Ground will measure the impact of our work at individual and community levels in both the short-term and long-term. We have identified short term outcomes that are meaningful indicators of our current work and leading indicators for future outcomes. The following are some measures we use to measure our progress:

•Increase in the percentage of children entering kindergarten and first grade who are ready to learn at or above grade level.
•Increase in the number of newborns who benefit from early assessment of possible special needs and receive recommended interventions to improve future prospects.
•Increase in access to age-appropriate books and reading material for parents to use during preschool years of their children.
•Reduce number of homeless children attending local schools.
•Increased parent participation in School Site Council meetings and regular reports available to all parents and staff.
•Improved attendance and on-time arrival in school.
•Two target schools’ rating improves from level 3 to level 1 and DIBLES ratings improve in third school.
•Increased communication and collaboration among school and parent leaders of local district and charter schools.
•Increased number of local applications to all local schools as indicator of increased exercise of parental choice in selection of schools for their children.
•Increase in the number of 8th grade graduates and their families who are able to select the best high school to attend rather than settle for the school to which they are assigned.
•Increase in the number of local residents who use neighborhood health centers as their medical homes and reduce emergency room visits for basic medical needs.
•Increase in successful referrals among collaborating organizations.
•Increase in program participants who are referred or recommended by current or past participants.