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Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo?

We are a network dedicated to bringing together a caring and engaged community to support our educators, improving the lives of children in Kalamazoo County, and establishing a continuum of education that goes beyond the K-12 classroom experience. Think of us as a county-wide PTA. We’re bringing together individuals and organizations from diverse sectors to help transform education in our community.

How are you doing this?

We envision a community where every student reaches their full learning potential. The best way to transform an entire community is to build a coalition of supporters. We have three Action Networks, which focus on kindergarten readiness, college and career readiness and adult learning.

What is collective impact?

Collective impact brings together five elements:

  • A common agenda and aligned vision;
  • Shared measurement and continuous improvement practices;
  • Action Networks made up of a diverse group of professionals, leaders and community members with specific goals for their area of focus;
  • A backbone team, which provides support through technology, data, facilitation, community engagement and communication; and
  • Community engagement to keep our community involved and invested in the process of transformation.

More simply, collective impact is like a structured version of the "it takes a village" concept. We want to bring together everyone in our "village" to improve educational outcomes. We're doing that by sharing our data and bringing diverse groups of individuals together to remove barriers. 

Why is this important?

Too often, we end up working in silos. The data that you see in the Community Achievement Profile shows how we can collaborate across sectors. Part of our work is to establish a continuum of education. This means every single person we encounter is connected somewhere along that continuum. We want the community to feel supported every step of the way, and we want to offer support at every step so that students can reach their full learning potential.