WESLACO, Texas – Rebeca Lopez, director of RGV FOCUS, has issued the group’s final report on its 2023 summer retreat.
The retreat was held at the Knapp Conference Center in Weslaco on July 26.
“We engaged in some important target-setting at the RGV FOCUS Summer Retreat late last month,” Lopez told stakeholders. “The report includes measurable targets, as defined by our community, that will drive the work of our action networks for the next two years.”
RGV FOCUS is a collective impact initiative created in collaboration with Educate Texas and Communities Foundation of Texas. Founded in 2012, its mission is to transform college readiness, access and success in the four counties of the Rio Grande Valley: Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy.
The group says it has already achieved measurable improvements in educational outcomes across the region. “We look forward to a future when all Rio Grande Valley learners achieve a degree or credential that leads to a meaningful career,” its website states.
RGV FOCUS’ leadership team includes representatives from school districts, institutions of higher education, community-based organizations, and businesses.
“Working toward a shared vision, we align resources along the cradle-to-career educational pathway to improve outcomes for the 440,000 learners, including K-12 and higher education students. Results are measured along each step of the journey, from pre-K to higher education, and into the workforce. Our ultimate goal is to improve quality of life in the Rio Grande Valley – and education is the first step,” the group’s website states.
Lopez hopes organizations affiliated with RGV Focus take some time to really dive into the 2023 summer retreat report and then share it far and wide.
“We appreciate your continued engagement and collaboration and look forward to moving towards these targets in partnership with you,” Lopez told stakeholders.
Lopez provided an executive summary for the report on the summer retreat. In her summary, Lopez said:
“RGV FOCUS strongly believes the Rio Grande Valley can be a prosperous region where educational and economic opportunity are abundant and shared by all. It will take time, alignment, effort, and trust. It will take all of us. Together we will drive the change we envision for our community.”
Here is the executive summary:
When RGV FOCUS was created in 2012, we knew that our region’s challenges were too big for any one organization to solve alone, but that together we could accelerate our community’s progress. Collective impact became the vehicle by which we aspired to achieve regional growth and systems change. Since then, RGV FOCUS and our committed partners have worked relentlessly to improve regional academic outcomes.
Each year since 2013, we have tracked the key metrics our leaders, together, identified to be important in understanding education in our region. and we also track how our scores compare to those for the state of Texas. See more in our 2022 Annual Report and Scorecard.
2022 was a year of transition for many of us, including our students, whose 2021- 2022 school vear was the first complete in-person year since 2018-2019. And yet, the 2022 data shows us just how
resilient our Valley students are.
Two highlights from 2022 data:
• Over the last decade, about half a million students in the Valley have been better
prepared for postsecondary programs and employment through rigorous dual credit, higher education access programs, and innovative, career-focused programming made possible through RGV FOCUS and Educate Texas.
• The Valley matches or outpaces the state in 9 out of 12 educational learning indicators. *When RGV FOCUS started tracking these indicators, the Valley was underperforming compared to the state
in all 12 indicators.
2022 was also a year of transition for the RGV FOCUS backbone team. A small but mighty crew. we have been able to launch three action networks and a CCMR PLC this year, as well as maintain a strong Leadership Team.
This report provides a summary of the data, information, and updates that were presented at the RGV FOCUS Summer Retreat held on July 26. 2023. It includes the work we’ve engaged in this year to continue moving the Rio Grande Valley towards more equitable outcomes for our students and, ultimately, towards systems change.
The retreat also gave us an opportunity to engage stakeholders in creating a community vision for where our region is headed. Using data to drive decision- making, we asked retreat attendees to weigh in on the targets for the metrics RGV FOCUS seeks to impact through the action networks. We also followed up with our Leadership Team and action network participants to help inform our targets. The results of that target-setting process are included in this report.
RGV FOCUS strongly believes the Rio Grande Valley can be a prosperous region where educational and economic opportunity are abundant and shared by all. It will take time, alignment, effort, and trust. It will take all of us. Together we will drive the change we envision for our community.
RGV FOCUS Director
RGV FOCUS summer retreat final report
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