Below is a sampling of the many CP “Success Stories in Education” we’ve heard over the years.
Winning over $162 Million in Grant Awards
Compression Planning has helped Sinclair Community College:
- win over $162 million in grants over the last 20 years
- produce better proposals 30% faster than their competition
- bring in an average of $2,500 per hour
- produce winning proposals 30% faster than their competition
Sinclair’s Grants office produces a $40 to $1 ROI
Vocational Program for School for the Blind
For three years teachers and administrators were frustrated with the difficulty of placing blind and visually impaired students in jobs to get 100% real work experience.
What jobs they were able to get for students were on campus and “make work”…not one’s leading to a career.
Federal law drove their actions but more so they wanted their students to be successful, productive citizens and contribute in the world of work.
In a 90-minute CP session, a plan was developed. Out of 11 students, all had jobs the next year with real world experiences. It’s been the same every year since.
One young man started at a coffee shop doing dishes and went on to make coffee and became a part of the front of the shop.
Annually a small district looking at the schedule for their next year faced the classical nightmare between regular ed versus frustrated special ed teachers.
Administration said they couldn’t justify another special ed teacher especially if there was a drop in the number of special ed students.
A two-hour CP session helped the special ed teachers and coordinator look at scheduling as a “big picture issue” versus just moving bodies.
They developed a plan and a backup plan if the number of students decreased or increased.
When the Superintendent saw their plan, he supported an extra teacher.
Everyone was OK with the decision. Special Ed and General Ed were relieved and understood the plan.
Dealing With Pontificating Experts (not in Illinois!)
Ever been in a group of “Experts” who are charged to come up with a common agenda and work it? A group of 15 literacy experts met for 2-3 days per month for 6 months.
The result? As one member said “Too many chiefs, not enough Indians.”
People were frustrated and didn’t want to attend these monthly meetings. The state department of education drove this initiative but were wishy-washy about the efforts and left the participants frustrated and “spinning their wheels.”
Tons of wasted time as a group. Individuals told war stories. No one took charge. One person said when they tried to accomplish something concrete it was like a “food fight.”
A Compression Planner came in and led a five-hour session for the “Experts.” As a result they:
- Defined roles and responsibilities for everyone
- Agreed to a leadership structure
- Divided into sub teams with roles
Since then, on their own, they’ve developed and annually updated their own CP plan.
The state department agreed to and supported their plan.
They focused their efforts and developed three outstanding professional development models of 18 hours for each level for student.
Who Should Private School Serve?
Four years of frustration resulted in endless debates and complaining by the board, parents and staff. The issue? Their private pre-school for newborns to 3-year olds for blind and visually impaired children wasn’t helping 3-5 year olds.
There were also intense feelings the public school programs weren’t adequate for their children.
The issue was constantly debated and went nowhere. Funding was drying up. The 3-5 year olds issue kept popping up its head like a “whack a mole.” It just wouldn’t go away and it didn’t go forward. It just consumed vast amounts of time and energy.
Five hours of CP sessions investigated if it could be done. The conclusion: 3-5 years olds was bigger than they could handle and shouldn’t be done. After the board saw the committee report, they refocused their effort, stopped pursuing the 3-5 year old issue and expanded their program geographically.
They also came to agree the public school was doing a good job with this particular demographic.
Transitioning Visually Impaired Students to Post High School Lives
A need existed for decades to help blind and visually impaired high school students transition to post high school education. Then to the world of work.
Only one program in the US existed to help blind high school students 100% experience college while in high school to help them make the transition from high school to post secondary ed.
Five years ago, two universities and five agencies met for a one-day CP session to invent their own program to help these students make the transition. The goal? To get into school, stay in school, graduate and move into meaningful employment.
This year year is the fifth year the program has been up and running. They had 33 students apply to the program of which 20 were accepted.
Says Jill Griffiths who led the CP session “It’s not a shotgun approach but true inner agency and university cooperation.”
Other results…the host universities and towns gained students. One university president wanted more students with disabilities and got them as a result of this session.
Buildings and grounds people came to the committee asking how they could make their campuses safer and better prepared for special needs students.
Lack of Operating Funds Demoralized Key Leaders
Key leaders were demoralized as they faced padlocking the doors of their beloved private school due to a pending bankruptcy.
A previous fundraising effort spent 90 days raising a measly $20,000.
McNellis was brought in to build and lead a Compression Planning team who ended up spending $900 and raised $640,000 in three hours.
Building Momentum Behind RTI
Regular ed leaders in school districts weren’t buying the need for RTI. The politics were sticky because regular ed had to take the lead and they weren’t advocates for it, even knowing the feds would be down their necks if they didn’t move on RTI.
For two years Special Ed leaders were “voices in the dark” and couldn’t budge regular education leaders to do anything with RTI (Response to Intervention). It was talked about but little happened.
In a day and a half CP session, a two-year training plan for RTI was developed. There were 25 teams from area school districts that took part in the RTI training.
The team caused momentum where nothing had gone on. One member described it as “it was like moving boulders, but we pulled it off.”