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NKY Student Success Fund


Over the past year, we have been working to establish the NKY Student Success Fund to address learning loss as a result of the pandemic. After many conversations with educators and thought leaders in the community, we have launched a three-year pilot of the fund, which will be spearheaded by Covington Partners.

The NKY Student Success Fund addresses significant and well-documented issues stemming from the pandemic. The impact COVID had on our students is substantial; we now know that across the nation, nine-year-olds lost the equivalent of two decades of progress in math and reading. Fourth and eighth graders also recorded wide-ranging declines, particularly in math. Our goal is to reverse this learning loss and drive improved academic performance.


In March of 2020, we created the NKY Coronavirus Relief Fund, which raised $2.1 million and aided 85,000 Northern Kentuckians who were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The Relief Fund Task Force prudently distributed funding based on the most pressing needs and applied these philanthropic dollars only when governmental and other assistance fell short.

When requests for relief dollars subsided, the task force researched the best uses for the remaining funds. Based on mounting evidence showing the pandemic’s significant toll on students and their academic performance, the task force launched a study with ten local public and private school districts to hear from elementary educators and administrators to determine what was needed most in the wake of the pandemic.

The results of the study showed overwhelmingly that out of school time learning, which includes after school and summer learning, and family engagement are the top two priorities to help address the “pandemic slide.” Based on this research, the NKY Student Success Fund was formed with remaining relief dollars to address the pandemic learning loss in K-5 students.


After reviewing state and national best practices and models, the NKY Student Success Fund Task Force determined that a local, evidence-based organization with strong data outcomes would be the ideal partner for a three-year pilot of the fund. The task force found that in Covington Partners, a nonprofit with a rich history as an established thought leader and outcomes-based organization that provides essential educational support to students and families in Covington.

This pilot aims to increase the annual academic performance of elementary students in participating schools. The goal is to raise $2.7 million to support youth across Covington Independent Schools and two additional Northern Kentucky school districts, with plans to expand into more districts. The districts are selected based on highest academic need, greatest potential impact regarding students served, federal grant funding opportunity, and district commitment to the partnership. A third-party evaluation will be conducted to assess outcomes as well as the fidelity of the expansion.

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