In the fall of 2014, By Degrees partnered with Findley Elementary School on Des Moines' northeast side. Our wide-ranging approach reaches beyond traditional classroom education to address the academic, social/emotional, and financial barriers facing our scholars. Our full-time Findley Elementary Program Manager helps create programing, manage community relationships, and serves as a connection between school staff and community partners.
Our Elementary School Approach
CULTURE OF POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION & CAREERS
Our belief that education is a community effort inspires us to work with best-in-class partners. We have identified and recruited more than 35 partner organizations that help us support our Findley scholars, families, and the neighborhood. In response to such partnerships, Findley has become a neighborhood hub, providing a safe and trustworthy place for families to seek additional support - from food to clothing to high school equivalency degrees.
Similar to our postsecondary partners, our business partners introduce our students to the many intriguing careers available to them after graduation. Findley's business partner, John Deere Financial, provides additional supports to families, including Spanish-language translators and reading buddies.
Our future-focused approach to education immerses our scholars in a culture of postsecondary education and careers beginning in kindergarten. Through trades and college partnerships, each grade level visits and interacts with a higher education partner each year, allowing our students to partake in campus visits, receive on site-instruction, and routinely communicate with postsecondary students and instructors.
A unique and important part of our approach is our 529 savings account program. This program offers families a chance to earn up to $200 annually into a By Degrees-owned 529 savings account on behalf of each Findley scholar. Students earn this money by achieving academic and social milestones.