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What is the Collective Impact Model?

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In 2011, the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) published definitive research highlighting the proven success of the Collective Impact Model. It's one that has shown significant positive change over time as a national framework for collaboration.

OnTrack Greenville adopted this model from its inception, and has held true to its constructs. But what is the collective impact model, exactly? And how does it work to bring about change? 

Simply put, collective impact brings groups and individuals together in a cohesive way to achieve social change. It disregards individual agendas and biases, and establishes a common goal to work towards. Collective_Impact_Graphic.jpg

According to the SSIR, five conditions must exist to establish collective success. They include:

  • Common agenda
  • Shared measurement systems
  • Mutually reinforcing activities
  • Continuous communication
  • Backbone support organizations

OnTrack Greenville uses the collective impact model as a framework to guide the community initiative of seeing every student graduate from high school and achieve post-secondary success. It's a proven blend of schools and educators, students and their families, philanthropic organizations and community support networks, coming together in real time to support a student where they need it, when they need it. 

In short, it's the village coming together.

Central to the OnTrack Greenville culture are values that the partnership collectively defined and honors:

  • Students at the center: The well-being and success of our students is the primary focus.
  • Empathy and humility: We will listen more deeply in order to respect and understand our schools, students, families, neighborhoods and community partners.
  • Shared responsibility: We will remain transparent, and share equally in the risks, responsibilities, success and credit.
  • Results-oriented: We will work diligently to ensure this endeavor produces significant results.
  • Unwavering commitment: Our commitment to change will remain strong even in the face of adversity.

The collective impact model can be seen working regularly in the weekly Early Warning & Response system meetings held at each OnTrack Greenville School. Here, a consortium of teachers, mental health specialists, community service representatives and school staff are on hand to address barriers students face, in real-time.

The process and data review allow team members to identify and address root causes of challenges. The GC Source data program puts detailed information on course performance, attendance and behavior for each student in one easy to access location. For the first time, these teams and process allow school staff and service providers to systematically address complex issues that often inhibit academic performance. 

"GC Source eliminates the guesswork of me having to figure things out as one person workong on a caseload of 250 kids. Now, there is a structure in place and tools available so you don't have to spend a thousand hours collective data to make a single decision," said Marjon Ford, principal at Greenville Early College. 

The collective impact model brings together a cross section of partners to reach a common goal. This is evident especially in the Prisma Health School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) located inside several Greenville middle schools. Managed by certified nurse practitioners and directly linked to Prisma Health's wide array of healthcare resources, SBHCs allow students to receive non-emergent healthcare services while at school, including treatment of acute illness, e-prescribing prescriptions, administration of over-the-counter medications, nutrition counseling and health prevention and illness care education. 

The SBHCs within Greenville County Schools also provide referrals for other services, such as mental health and dental care. With added support of telemedicine equipment, the SBHC team ensures students have access to medical services every day school is in session. Since many doctor's offices only offer appointments during the day, when many parents are working, it can be difficult for students - especially in under-resourced areas - to receive access to healthcare. The SBHC is an effective solution to bring healthcare directly to the students in school. 

OnTrack's implementation of the collective impact model is the first of its kind in Greenville. We continue to gather data and evaluate process throughout our five year implementation to show success, make course adjustments and create a framework that can be replicated in other areas. 


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