City Connects in Early Education Settings

Adapting City Connects for preschool classrooms took careful thought.

“We had to ask how we could be true to our framework and adapt it for early childhood,” Patrice DiNatale, City Connects’ director of new practice, says, “We spent considerable amounts of time talking to early childhood experts.”

In 2009, City Connects received funding from the Better Way Foundation to implement its model in early childhood programs in Catholic schools.

In 2012, City Connects was set up at Catholic Charities’ Nazareth Child Care Center, a freestanding early child care center in Jamaica Plain. Currently, City Connects is in early education settings in five states, a total of 38 public school classrooms and 19 Catholic school classrooms. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 4/24/17

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

These are some of the things we’ve been reading about:

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) asks states to come up with per-pupil spending figures, but the law provides no guidelines, so state officials will have to sort through the many costs of school operations.

Today’s first graders are better readers than the first graders of a decade ago, according to an Ohio State University study.

The Boston nonprofit Economic Mobility Pathways, or EMPath, (formerly the Crittenton Women’s Union) uses the science of how poverty affects the brain to shape how it delivers social services to clients.

Kids are more likely to intervene when they see bullying occur if their parents have told them to, instead of telling them not to get involved.

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading

City Connects and its Impact on Teachers

We know that City Connects helps students, but recently published research also looks at its impact on teachers — and on how they teach.

The article — “The impact of comprehensive student support on teachers: Knowledge of the whole child, classroom practice, and Teacher Support” — appears in the journal Teaching and Teacher Education.

As the article explains, teachers know that children living in poverty often face a long list of challenges, including hunger, homelessness, family chaos, and obesity.

Citing Charles E. Bach’s “Healthier Students are Better Learners,” the article notes, “No matter how well teachers are prepared to teach, no matter what accountability measures are put in place, no matter what governing structures are established for schools, educational progress will be profoundly limited if students are not motivated and able to learn.” Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 4/17/17

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

These are some of the things we’ve been reading about:

New America has released a paper on how states can use the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to support early learning.

Research released by economists found that after low-income college students graduate, they earn wages that are similar to those of their higher-income peers.

Obese teens’ chances of having high blood pressure vary by race.

To read more, click on the following links.  Continue reading

How City Connects Keeps Learning

Graduate student researchers Despina Petsagourakis and Agnes Chung

City Connects is constantly learning. We learn from the experiences of our City Connects coordinators and the national array of schools and communities in which we work. And because City Connects is based in Boston College’s Lynch School of Education, we are also learning from different scientific fields about how we can make City Connects better. Once we have this knowledge, we go out and share it.

This cycle of learning was on display last week when Agnes Chung and Romita Mitra – both graduate students at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education – went to a Harvard Graduate School of Education conference to share two research posters about City Connects. The theme of the conference was “Spanning the Divide: Building Bridges through Research.” Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 4/10/17

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

These are some of the things we’ve been reading about:

Are kindergarteners ready for school? An assessment tool can help determine this, but these assessments should not be used to judge accountability.

Having one black teacher in an elementary school can improve outcomes for low-income black students.

Colorado schools are going to be judged in part by how many of their students are chronically absent.

Children in New York City are healthier since the start of Pre-K for All.

To read more, click on the following links.  Continue reading

Seven Things We Know from the Developmental Sciences

Because science tells us more and more about how children’s brains work, we’ve gotten better at providing children with the services and opportunities they need to thrive.

Our Center at the Boston College Lynch School of Education published a brief on the scientific foundation of our work called, “Principles of Effective Practice for Integrated Student Support,” which explains:

“Developmental science illuminates risks to child development and learning, as well as opportunities for meaningful intervention.”

“This research provides insight into why experiences like poverty and trauma can inhibit learning, and what can be done to counteract their effects.” These insights come from the sciences of psychology, human development, cognitive science, and neurobiology.

What do we know, so far? Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 4/3/17

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

These are some of the things we’ve been reading about:

• Representative Bobby Scott (D-Virginia) has called for investing billions of dollars in “disconnected” youth – those who are not in school and not working – to help them get high school diplomas and workforce counseling and training.

• Less advantaged students tend to benefit from their teachers’ encouragement.

• How stereotypes can hurt Asian students.

Exposure to lead can affect children for decades.

To read more, click on the following links.  Continue reading