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PFSS applauds our partners and students for their continuing success.

PFSS Looking to Hire Strategic Goal Network Facilitator – Every Student Succeeds in School (K-8)

Partner for Student Success has an exciting new opportunity to support student success throughout the greater St. Cloud community.  

Title: Strategic Goal Network Facilitator – Every Student Succeeds in School (K-8) (Independent Contract Position)

Position Overview: The goal facilitator will convene, coach, facilitate, and provide assistance to  a network of Partner for Student Success community partners.  The facilitator will use a continuous improvement process to assist partners to develop and implement on going action plans to achieve a strategic goal on a cradle to career pathway to student success.  The specific goal for this position is “Every student succeeds in school” with a focus on K – 8th grade students.


  • Bachelor’s degree in education/related field with 5 or more years of relevant work experience
  • Demonstrated expertise/experience in:
    1. Project management and organizational skills
    2. Group facilitation to include problem solving/consensus building
    3. Continuous improvement processes including the use of data
    4. Strong written and oral  communication/interpersonal skills
    5. Ability to work independently
    6. K-12 Public Education


  • Facilitate and coach strategic goal network  members to develop and implement  work plans aligned with network  success metrics which drive direction and results;
  • Work with PFSS Staff, contractors, and partners to research and gather evidence based/ best practice strategies and tactics to develop and implement work plans and to evaluate pertinent results of those plans;
  • Identify, troubleshoot, and help to problem solve barriers to  communication and work plan implementation;
  • Promote the work of the network and PFSS in the public
  • Provide regular reports to PFSS staff about the work of the network.

Status:  the position is as an independent contractor for up to an average of 20 hours a week through June 30, 2018.

About PFSS: Our mission is to unite the greater St. Cloud area in the collective pursuit of Student Success.  We engage, align, and coordinate community resources to increase opportunities for all youth to meet the many challenges of young adulthood. We work to bring together the Sartell-St. Stephen, Sauk Rapids-Rice and St. Cloud Area school districts along with businesses, community groups, parents, child care providers and others to support every child develop social, emotional, academic, and life skills needed to be successful.  We are sponsored by the United Way of Central Minnesota.

Applications are due postmarked or electronically submitted by September 29, 2017.

How to apply:

Send resume, cover letter and a list of a minimum of three references from previous employers or individuals who know your work including contact information to:

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Partner for Student Success
921 1st Street North, Suite 200
St. Cloud, MN 56303
For further questions, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Apollo High School juniors and seniors welcome Class of 2021 on first day of school

Incoming freshmen to Apollo High School recieved cheers and high-fives as they walked into the gym on the first day at their new school.  Juniors and seniors  spent over twelve hours of planning and preparing to support the class of 2021’s transition to high school life. Tuesday, September 5, was the first day of classes for the entering 9th graders and had the school ‘to themselves’ that day as their junior and senior mentors helped them successfully transition by addressing the three fundamental transition needs that every student has: safety, information and connection. 

The program, known as Link Crew, allows students to have a trusted source of safety from their first moments at Apollo High School.  The program focuses the information dissemination process through the student-to-student connection both one-on-one and in small groups.  This makes it far more likely that critical information is received and remembered.  Link Crew also creates a structure that connects every incoming freshman with a caring upperclassman from their first day through the end of their freshmen year.

“It’s really an opportunity for students in 11th and 12th grade to welcome all of these new students to our Apollo Eagle family, build connections and provide the freshmen with the necessary support to successfully navigate this significant transition and start their high school experience on a positive note,” said Nickole Phipps, Link Crew Coordinator.  “Link Crew provides the structure for freshmen to receive support and guidance from juniors and seniors who have been through the challenges that high school poses, and understand that the transition to a larger school can sometimes be overwhelming.”

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“There are two link leaders for every 8-10 freshmen,” shared Phipps. “Link Crew's goal is to provide freshmen with a structure in which students make real connections with each other thus increasing school safety and reducing incidence of bullying with anti-bullying education.” Through this program, freshmen learn that people at school care about them and their success and leaders experience increased self-esteem as well as overall character development.

Once students were welcomed, there was a spirited and interactive opening assembly which was led by the Link Grew Coordinators.  After that, the freshman and leaders split into their small “crews” led by the trained student Link Crew Leaders.  After the small group activities, there was a school tour led by the leaders.  Lastly, the students ended the day with a thoughtful, inspiring closing assembly led by the coordinators. 

The rest of the school year will include:

  • Academic Follow Ups- Link Leaders support freshmen academic success and character development through structured classroom visits.
  • Social Follow Ups- Link Leaders and freshmen connect outside the classroom at social events to increase student engagement and promote positive school climate.
  • Leader Initiated Contacts- Link Leaders connect with their freshmen on a more individual basis.

This year’s Link Crew Coordinators went through training supported by Partner for Student Success (PFSS), a partnership of school districts, businesses, educational institutions, community agencies and funders that work to serve the communities of the St. Cloud Area, Sartell-St. Stephen, and Sauk Rapids-Rice School Districts.  The mission of PFSS is to unite the greater St. Cloud community in the collective pursuit of student success with a focus on the cradle to career continuum, which includes academic and technical skills, career exposure and experiences, social-emotional learning and civic engagement.

“The additional training and support we received from PFSS was instrumental in strengthening the entire Link Crew program and allowing us to implement it with full fidelity. We were able to provide the training necessary for the junior and senior Link Crew leaders, and in turn, they will be fully equipped to support the incoming 9th grade students,” shared Phipps. “We definitely could not have made this happen without their collaboration and support.”

For more information, please contact Nickole Phipps at 320-253-1600 ext. 2590 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Link Crew is a high school transition program that increases freshman success. Members of the junior and senior class are trained to be yearlong Link Leaders who act as positive role models, motivators, mentors, and teachers helping guide the freshmen to discover what it takes to be successful during this pivotal transition to high school.  This program is built on the belief that students can help students succeed.  As freshmen success increases, the benefits to the school culture and climate become apparent; Link Crew schools report having greater connection, increased extracurricular participation, fewer discipline issues and greater pride and spirit. Additionally, the older students who serve as mentors gain lifelong leadership skills and report a higher degree of empathy, compassion and self-esteem, often going on to continue making service a part of their lives.

For more information about the Link Crew program, please visit the website at:

Community Informed at Social/Emotional Skills & Support Session

Over 70 community members that represented a variety of sectors across the community gathered on Tuesday, March 21 at St. Cloud State University to learn more about the social/emotional skills and support of students in the greater St. Cloud community.  Dr. Michael Rodriguez presented current information from the Minnesota Student Survey, which provides information on the developmental skills and supports of Minnesota youth. A 2016 profile of Minnesota youth tells a story of developmental skills and supports across racial and ethnic communities, indicating that diverse youth have the social and emotional capacity to succeed. Educators and community leaders appreciated a fresh look at the information and utility of the data.  Over 90% of the participants felt the information and insights shared were important and useful.  

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Dr. Rodriguez shared a new profile of youth developmental skills and supports which allow school districts and youth-supporting agencies to create a new model to help all youth overcome persistent challenges. The profiles of developmental skills (commitment to learning, positive identity, social competence), developmental supports (empowerment, teacher/school support, family/community support), and developmental challenges (bullying, mental distress, family violence) were discussed. The discussion and information also focused on the profiles as they differ among students from different racial (White, Black, Asian, American Indian) and ethnic (Latino, Somali, Hmong) communities, across grades 5, 8, 9, and 11, and special education and free/reduced lunch status. These profiles relate to other important outcomes including achievement based on grades, after-school activity participation, post-high school goals, and employment.

Rodriguez is a professor of quantitative methods in education with a focus on educational measurement and assessment. As the Campbell Leadership Chair, he is also the co-director of the Educational Equity Resource Center, providing leadership at the University in its interdisciplinary work addressing educational equity and achievement gaps. His research team, the Minnesota Youth Development Research Group, has conducted research on the Minnesota Student Survey for over 10 years, resulting in more than 20 national presentations on this work.

The links bleow provide access to a video of the presentation along with state-level data and data that combines information for three school districts:  St. Cloud Area School District, Sauk Rapids-Rice School District and the Sartell-St. Stephen School District.

Link to video

Link to state-level data

Link to local data


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