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RI Nonprofits & COVID-19: A Pulse Survey on Organizational Impacts and Needs

October 1, 2020

In September 2020, the Grantmakers Council of Rhode Island and Fio Partners together with a host of philanthropic collaborators, partnered on a pulse survey to glean the current state of nonprofits in Rhode Island.Over the course of ten days (September 8–18, 2020) 293 nonprofit leaders from nearly 250 organizations provided valuable insights into common challenges and highlighted the pandemic's varying impacts on small and large agencies.This report captures the pulse survey findings, which were processed by Fio Partners, LLC.

Public Libraries Respond to the Opioid Crisis with Their Communities: Summary Report

October 29, 2019

The United States is experiencing an opioid epidemic, and public libraries across the country are choosing to respond to this public health emergency locally. As central community institutions open to all, public libraries are finding themselves on the front lines of the opioid crisis. Together with community partners, public libraries are providing critically needed information and services, organizing education and training events, and supporting prevention and recovery efforts.In response to the growing opioid crisis in the United States, OCLC and PLA sought to better understand how public libraries are responding to the opioid crisis locally with partners. Eight public libraries and their respective community partners participated in this research study, which is based on interviews with library staff, library board members, staff at community partner organizations, and members of the community.This summary report gathers the findings from the eight public libraries, sharing the opioid response activities that were implemented, the funding and partnerships leveraged to do so, outputs from the responses, and opportunities and challenges the libraries faced.This research surfaced the following as major outcomes of the libraries' response activities:increased relevant resources made available to the community, such as naloxone and drug disposal kitsmade a positive impact on patrons' livesincreased community awareness and knowledge about the opioid crisisbegan to address stigma about substance use disorderincreased positive perception of the librarydeveloped new partnerships and expanded existing ones, resulting in coordinated efforts that better meet community needsreached other libraries and community organizations

Public Libraries Respond to the Opioid Crisis with Their Communities: Case Studies

October 29, 2019

This report includes eight research-based case studies highlighting varying opioid response efforts across eight locations in the US.The libraries are:Barrington Public LibraryBlount County Public LibraryEverett Public LibraryKalamazoo Public LibraryNew Orleans Public LibraryPeoria Public LibrarySalt Lake County LibraryTwinsburg Public LibraryThe report details each library's response, the partnerships formed, reactions of the community, outcomes of the efforts, as well as challenges, needs, and opportunities.  

Field Notes: Equity & State Climate Policy

September 5, 2019

For more than a decade, states and cities across the country have served a leadership role in advancing science-informed climate policy through city, state and multi-state efforts. The rapid pace by which state climate policy is emerging is evidenced by the number of new laws, directives and policies adopted in 2018 and the first half of 2019 alone. Currently, there is an active ongoing dialogue across the U.S. regarding the intersection of climate and equity objectives with efforts targeted at addressing needs of disadvantaged communities and consumers. This climate/equity intersection is due to several factors, including recognition by many cities and states that climate change is and will continue to have a disproportionate impact on certain populations and will exacerbate existing stressors faced by disadvantaged communities and consumers. Research indicates that a greater proportion of environmental burden exists in geographic areas with majority populations of people of color, low-income residents, and/or indigenous people. It is well known that certain households (including some that are low-income, African American, Latino, multi-family and rural) spend a larger portion on their income on home energy costs. States and stakeholders are realizing that a transition to a low-carbon future by mid-century will require significantly increased participation of disadvantaged communities and households in the benefits of climate and clean energy programs.

Engaging Families, Empowering Children

July 30, 2019

As the country becomes more diverse, schools that successfully engage all families will transform learning and leadership. This executive summary captures "takeways" from partnerships forged by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to create environments where teachers, families and community members can effectively collaborate and share power.

Profiles in Parole Release and Revocation Rhode Island

January 22, 2018

Rhode Island does not have a sentencing commission or statutory sentencing guidelines. The Rhode Island Superior Court, which has jurisdiction over felony crimes and sentences, uses sentencing benchmarks as well as general, statutory authority to sentence offenders to a specific term of imprisonment. Rhode Island has had conditional release since 1896, and the Parole Board has existed in some form since 1915. In 1993, the legislature passed an act that increased the number of board members from 6 to 7 and added a fulltime chairperson.

Healthcare Workforce Transformation: Preparing the Workforce for a Healthy Rhode Island

May 11, 2017

Rhode Island is changing the way it delivers and pays for healthcare. In Rhode Island, healthcare doesn't stop at the doctor's office or the hospital bed—It extends to where people live, work, play, and learn. It rewards quality outcomes rather than quantity—the number of patient visits. This approach to care is data-driven and evidence-based—tracking patient populations to identify risks and measure results. To achieve its goals, Rhode Island has mounted a number of initiatives to change healthcare payment policies and service delivery.None of these changes in healthcare are possible without a transformed workforce—with the right workers, with the right skills and tools, in the right place at the right time. To determine what this workforce looks like and how to prepare for it, the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the State Innovation Model Test Grant, convened a cross-section of stakeholders from the state's healthcare providers, education and training organizations, and policymakers in health and workforce. This group—the Rhode Island Healthcare Workforce Transformation Committee—gathered to establish workforce priorities and weigh potential strategies. Topics analyzed included primary care, behavioral health practice and integration, social determinants of health, health information technology, oral health, chronic disease, and home and community-based care. This report, prepared by Jobs for the Future (JFF), provides background research to support Rhode Island's development of a healthcare workforce transformation strategy. To determine workforce needs in a changing healthcare environment, this study asks not just how many new workers are needed in particular occupations, but how to renew the skills of the existing workforce to assume new and evolving healthcare roles in new settings.

Reaching the Tipping Point: Insights on Advancing Competency Education in New England

October 1, 2016

This paper explores K-12 competency-based education policy and practice across six New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.This paper explores the core concepts of competency education, detailing the limitations of the traditional system, and how competency education is designed explicitly for equity and student success. Author Chris Sturgis then dives into why and how the New England region embraces competency education. She provides insights into policy strategies being used across states and analyzes the impact of competency education on quality, equity, scaling and sustainability. The Appendix offers a synopsis of each state strategy, complemented by short case studies of a few districts and schools.

A Qualitative Study of Student-Centered Learning Practices in New England High Schools

April 1, 2016

In early 2015, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation (NMEF) contracted with the UMass Donahue Institute (UMDI) to conduct a qualitative study examining the implementation of student-centered learning (SCL) practices in select public high schools in New England. This study extends lines of inquiry explored through a prior (2014) project that UMDI conducted for NMEF. The 2014 study employed survey methodology to examine the prevalence of student-centered practices in public high schools across New England. The present study builds upon the investigation, using a variety of qualitative methods to further probe the richness and complexity of SCL approaches in use across the region. Specifically, this study was designed to address what student-centered practices "look like" in an array of contexts. The study also addresses the perceived impacts that SCL approaches have on students, staff, and schools. Additionally, it highlights the broad array of factors within and beyond school walls that reportedly foster and challenge the implementation of SCL practices. This study seeks to help NMEF understand the intricacies of SCL and provides strategic considerations for how Nellie Mae can promote the adoption and development of student-centered practices in the region.Nellie Mae organizes student-centered learning by four tenets: (1) learning is personalized; (2) learning is competency-based; (3) learning takes place anytime, anywhere; and (4) students take ownership.Specifically, the study addresses five research questions:What are the characteristics of student-centered practices in relation to the four SCL tenets? How are SCL approaches implemented?What are the salient contextual factors (e.g., systems, structures, policies, procedures) associated with the implementation of SCL practices? How do they support, impede, and otherwise shape the adoption, development, and implementation of SCL approaches?How are schools with moderate and high levels of SCL implementation organized to foster SCL practices? What mechanisms are in place to promote student-centered learning?What is the role of SCL approaches in schools and classrooms? In what ways, if at all, are they embedded in the goals and practices of schools and classrooms?What is the quality of SCL instructional practices in study schools? What relationships, if any, do administrators and educators perceive between these approaches and student learning?

State Profile Rhode Island: Assets and Opportunity Scorecard

January 25, 2016

The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard is a comprehensive look at Americans' financial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperous future. It assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 130 outcome and policy measures, which describe how well residents are faring and what states are doing to help them build and protect assets. The Scorecard enables states to benchmark their outcomes and policies against other states in five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care, and Education.

Beyond the Numbers

January 12, 2016

In discussing EVALUATION AND IMPACT, it is easy to get caught up in a numbers game. There is tremendous pressure to report on how our work is making a difference, and scale ("Billions and billions served!") seems like the most expedient way to demonstrate why our organizations and our programs matter. When the goal is simple volume – for example, how many people can we move through this drive-in window? – the metrics can indeed be straightforward. But if the goal is changing social behaviors – how can we get students to stay in school, or how can we break the cycle of poverty, or how can we improve health outcomes? – the numbers can tell us a great deal, but rarely can they tell a complete story.

Evaluation Vs Research: Understanding the Why and How

October 21, 2015

The latest news and occasional commentary about what's happening at the Foundation and around our great state.