Seattle Local Improvement Network


Continuous Learning Grants available for central Seattle community-based organizations! 

The Seattle University Center for Community Engagement (CCE) is seeking community-based organizations to partner with central Seattle elementary students and their families to provide math and socio-emotional support in the COVID era. Eligible applicants can request awards from $40,000-$75,000 to deepen programs throughout summer and during fall re-entry into schools.  


Purpose and Activities  

The COVID crisis has affected how students and families can connect with community-based organizations in culturally responsive ways.  We recognize that our central area community partners are critical in reshaping education and learning in summer and out-of-school programming.  Learning in the COVID crisis and beyond requires investing in community and home-based learning, as well as supporting our school’s connection to community.  We seek to amplify and increase the capacity of community leaders and parents as educators to our youth.  Example activities include:  

  • Providing social-emotional programs for students and families through regular check-ins, virtual or in-person   
  • Engagement that focuses on supporting at-home learning   
  • Creating culturally responsive educational content  
  • Delivering culturally responsive trainings and professional development for adults  
  • Engaging in distribution and use of academic materials  


All ideas informed by your experience are eagerly anticipated!  


View the full funding announcement to apply and for more information. 


Collective Effort for Student Success 

Seattle University is in the planning phase to launch Seattle’s first Local Improvement Network for elementary school communities and their neighborhood partners. With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle University’s Center for Community Engagement and College of Education will serve as lead partner the new Network which will utilize improvement science to close elementary math gaps by focusing on social-emotional academic development among local pre-school and elementary school students. Guided by a commitment to racial equity, Seattle University will convene institutional partners including Seattle Public Schools, Seattle Housing Authority, youth and family community-based organizations, the Community Center for Educational Results and the City of Seattle to co-create the Network’s strategies, goals and assessment measures. The Network will particularly emphasize intersecting influences on student learning including:

  • Early Learning
  • Extended Learning
  • Family Engagement
  • Housing
  • Instructional Practices

A Local Improvement Network Director, employed by Seattle University, will lead efforts to effectively plan the Network and further enhance the individual and collective capacities of Network partners including Seattle public elementary school teachers and administrators, community-based organizations, housers, early learning educators and family leaders. The Seattle Local Improvement Network will contribute to the goals and success of the Road Map Project (a region-wide effort to improve education and address educational inequity).

The Seattle Local Improvement Network’s first year will focus primarily on building Seattle University’s capacity to serve as an intermediary and identifying elementary school communities and their neighborhood partners that will comprise the Network. Emphasizing its distinct place-based approach to community engagement, Seattle University will conduct extensive outreach to central Seattle elementary schools and their communities to assess interest and readiness to participate in the Local Improvement Network. By spring 2020, up to three additional elementary schools will join the Bailey Gatzert Elementary School community, a long-time partner of Seattle University, in the new Network.  The Network will officially launch in summer 2020.

To test ideas that might be brought to scale through the Network, during 2019-2020, Seattle University will partner with Gatzert Elementary teachers, administrators, parents, community-based organizations, housers and early learning educators to pilot several continuous improvement efforts focused on closing math gaps through instructional practices, extended learning (afterschool) opportunities, social emotional academic development (SEAD) and early learning partnerships.

For more information please contact:  Kent Koth ( or Deanna Sands ( 


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