Priority Spokane brought together schools, businesses, foundations, government, and social service organizations to collectively address the problem. We partnered with Gonzaga University to research the issue and then we used that research to develop a regional plan. Our partners at area foundations helped fund the work in addition to a national grant. The plan started with the creation of the Early Warning System (EWS) which was launched in Spokane Public Schools. This system monitored student attendance and grades in real time and provided alerts to school staff when students were struggling. The EWS platform was developed after analysis of local data showed that there are clear predictors- such as higher level of truancy- among students as early as 3rd grade that increase the likelihood of dropping out of school later on. The goal of EWS is to identify students at risk of dropping out and then provide a tailored intervention. In addition, Spokane developed Community Attendance Teams (CASTs) which are comprised of educators, business leaders, and nonprofit representatives. They work with middle school students who have had four unexcused absences during the school year. Before a truancy petition is filed, a CAST meeting is set up to support and work with the student to provide solutions. Finally, Spokane County partnered with businesses to build a pipeline to better jobs through the construction and creation of Spokane Valley Tech, a collaborative effort of four county schools and a local energy company to provide training and education for area students around science, technology, engineering, and math. Read more about it, watch a video, and see the award won as a result by clicking here.