Learning and Re-envisioning Network (LRN)
A decade of research has shown that Resource Coordinators, who are instrumental to implementing the Community Schools strategy, are in need of more support to conduct needs assessments, monitor the progress of the service and activity provision, assess the quality of programming, and to use this information to inform service planning systematically and meaningfully.
Conducting and aligning these processes requires an ongoing process of visiting and revisiting data, collecting new needs assessment data throughout the year, and determining action steps in a way that is actionable and impactful in supporting high quality implementation of the community school strategy.
The Learning and Re-envisioning Network (LRN) was developed as a strategy to better use data in the ongoing work of Resource Coordinators to implement the Community Schools Initiative in Chicago Public Schools. More broadly, the LRN process uses the methods and tools of improvement science to develop an approach that facilitates continuous improvement with a focus on using real-time data, continuous assessment and small-scale adjustments to support improvement in practice. In particular, centering LRN activities in the daily work of Resource Coordinators and aligning the data and data collection tools to the specific purpose of needs assessment and progress monitoring allows for the development of meaningful service plans that meet the immediate and long-term needs of students and families in community schools.
AIR's Role in LRN
As part of LRN, AIR provides participating schools with individualized coaching on a monthly basis. During these monthly coaching sessions, LRN coaches and Resource Coordinators review a variety of reports and findings from different data sources, and plan for action steps to improve programming quality and uptake of the initiative by students and families.
Resource Coordinators also collect new needs assessment data through structured data collection tools and processes each month. These tools and protocols, developed as part of the LRN model, are intended to be easy to implement and integrate into the daily work of a Resource Coordinator. The focus of new data collection changes each month and serves to develop an understanding of the changing needs of a variety of stakeholders in a community school.
Ultimately, the purpose of LRN is to empower Resource Coordinators and other relevant Community Schools stakeholders to leverage data to improve the sustainability and effectiveness of the initiative.