To improve education outcomes in Arizona and Florida, Helios continues to explore opportunities to gather data and research that can help us to identify solutions. By doing so, we believe that we have a better chance of backing approaches that are most likely to make a difference in preparing students for success in college and in life.
Chronic Absenteeism in Arizona: A Description of K-8 Trends
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted K-12 public education in unprecedented ways. A particularly concerning challenge was the spike in the number of students across the country who were regularly absent from school or who disengaged from school completely.
This statewide study of Arizona schools, co-developed by WestEd and Helios Education Foundation, documents K-8 trends in student absences, including which student groups and grade levels have the highest rates of chronic absence, and how rates compare across districts before the COVID-19 pandemic and during the pandemic.
As elsewhere in the nation, Arizona schools face a challenge with too many students missing too much school and rates of chronic absence disproportionately high for some vulnerable student groups. The pandemic seems to have widened some of the existing gaps in chronic absence. The data included in this report are critically important for planning to improve attendance moving forward. They provide a baseline and benchmark for state leaders to make well-informed decisions, to both plan for practical and effective attendance interventions, and to monitor progress once interventions are implemented.Read the Brief
City of Tempe Preschool Resource and Expansion
Success in postsecondary education starts with success in the early learning years. This brief examines a community partnership between the City of Tempe and the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, which funded a program called Tempe Preschool Resource Expansion (PRE) to provide high-quality preschool experiences. The brief describes the first two years of research on the Tempe PRE program, conducted by Helios and NORC at the University of Chicago.
The brief outlines the history of the Tempe PRE program and presents key findings from the early stages of implementation. In addition, the brief outlines recommendations for successful implementation of high-quality preschool programs that can be used by other communities around the state and around the country.Read the Brief
College Access and Attainment: Strategies and Programs for Men of Color
Disaggregated data show alarming gaps in postsecondary enrollment of men of color, gaps that have widened during the COVID-19 pandemic. This brief, from WestEd and Helios, provides an overview of strategies and promising programs for supporting Black and Latino male college access, opportunities, and success. Findings are intended to be used by college-going programs and advocates, such as institutional leaders and community-based organizations, and to build understanding of interventions that can promote college access and attainment for male students from underserved student populations. Strategies within this brief can be applied to other student populations.Read the Brief
Addressing COVID’s Impact on Student Success
The global pandemic has forced Helios Education Foundation and its partners to transform the way they invest and respond. This brief describes the impact of the pandemic on college enrollment and the workforce, examines a framework for supporting student success during the pandemic, and explores how nonprofits quickly shifted their efforts in response to the pandemic.Read the Brief
Evaluation of the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities
The Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Universities (the Consortium) strengthens Florida's talent pipeline through sharing ideas and scalable solutions, which accelerate learner achievement and access to economic opportunity. The Consortium leverages the collective assets of Florida International University in Miami, University of Central Florida in Orlando, and University of South Florida in Tampa Bay. While honoring the individual structures and cultures of each institution and its region, the three institutions within the Consortium are committed to a shared goal of advancing the success of first-generation, diverse, and underrepresented learners.Read the Executive Summary
Read the Evaluation Report
Helios College Knowing and Going Annual Evaluation
The College Knowing and Going Initiative (CKG) is a Helios Education Foundation project led by Education Forward Arizona to develop a comprehensive, data-driven, student-centered approach to college readiness at 15 Arizona high schools. The initiative seeks to create a schoolwide culture in which stakeholders work collaboratively to encourage low-income, first-generation, underserved Arizona students to graduate from high school prepared for college.Read the Executive Summary
Read the Evaluation Report