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Irvine grant supports CSBA’s ‘Linked Learning’ work 

As part of a wider campaign to prepare California’s youth for college and careers, the James Irvine Foundation has awarded $400,000 to the California School Boards Foundation to support the work of the association’s new Linked Learning Task Force over the next two years.

The grant covers the foundation’s work to create school board policies related to college and career readiness, to educate governance teams about effective “Linked Learning” strategies, and to connect employers who participate in CSBA’s Business Affiliate Program with local governance teams to develop work-based learning opportunities for students.

In addition, CSBA’s Linked Learning Task Force will incorporate college- and career-ready strategies into the association’s Masters in Governance courses; develop a Golden Bell Awards component for effective Linked Learning programs in school districts; and develop and conduct college- and career-readiness workshops at CSBA’s Annual Education Conference and Trade Show.

“This grant recognizes and honors the important work of CSBA’s Linked Learning Task Force,” said Frank Pugh, a school board member in the Santa Rosa City Schools District and former CSBA president who co-chairs the task force with Immediate Past President Martha Fluor of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. “To that end, it will improve the base knowledge of governance team members throughout our state when developing and implementing career technical pathways and programs for our students.”

Linked Learning is a rapidly growing approach to preparing high school graduates for success in college and the workplace. CSBA’s Linked Learning Task Force builds on earlier policy recommendations and legislation developed by the California Department of Education’s “Multiple Pathways to Student Success” report of 2010.

The Irvine Foundation also funds the California Linked Learning District Initiative, which supports development of “high-quality Linked Learning Pathways” in nine public school districts across the state. As part of its Irvine grant work, CSBA’s Linked Learning Task Force will seek opportunities to expand the number of districts participating in this initiative.

“We are certainly excited about this partnership between Irvine and the CSBA Foundation, and the opportunity to reach out to boards and to CSBA’s Business Affiliates,” said Vincent Stewart, a senior program officer for youth programs at Irvine.

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