MSS: What We Do

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No single individual or organization can accomplish wide-scale community change alone. We are stronger, more powerful, when we work together. This is what collective impact is about.


The Asheville Buncombe Middle Grades Network uses a collective impact approach that brings together Asheville City Schools, Buncombe County Schools and community partners around a shared vision of creating success ready 9th graders and improving graduation rates. The Middle Grades Network aligns partners from a large cross-section of our community to tackle these complex issues together. View their Leadership Framework here.


Middle school can be a tough time with significant social, emotional, and physical changes taking place all at once. If we focus only on the student, we are missing out on the full picture of what they are trying to handle. This is why we need partnerships like the Middle Grades Network.

We use three key strategies to accomplish our goals:

Early Warning and Response System

Our Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) is the first of its kind in North Carolina, connecting city and county schools, out-of-school providers, and volunteers. Using the EWRS dashboard, we can work together to identify when a student is starting to fall off track and alert a professional network of supportive and caring adults to take quick action. Three pilot middle schools (Asheville, Enka and Erwin) will begin using the Early Warning and Response System in March, 2017.

Resource Coordinators

Resource Coordinators are placed on middle school campuses to foster and organize strong and impactful partnerships. Together, we’re creating a hub of resources that support and build on the strengths of students, their families, and their neighboring communities.

Who Got You Through?

A neighbor. A coach. A favorite aunt or uncle. Who helped you get through middle school? We’re recruiting a “second-shift” of caring adults to help students stay on track towards long-term success. Along the way, we support these volunteers with professional development workshops and expert trainers to provide an expansive toolkit for this powerful work.

Homework Diners

Homework Diners are weekly family engagement events that allow students and families to receive homework support from paid teachers and volunteer tutors and a free meal for the whole family. They currently take place at three area middle schools, Asheville, Enka, and Erwin. Homework Diners are open to any family in the surrounding school district, whether they have a child attending the middle school or not. Attendees will also have a chance to learn about community resources and take advantage of a variety of educational programs at these events. To learn more, click here.


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