The Weekly Connect 9/24/18

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:

Summer camps raise reading levels for Tennessee children.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos calls for more civics education.

National poverty rate rises among young children, especially children of color.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is investing $2 billion to help homeless families and develop new preschool programs.

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

City Connects weaves webs of support in Salem

 

City Connects’ first year of work in Salem, Mass., is already getting national attention. A recent article in Education Week looked at Salem’s citywide effort to promote students’ success, in partnership with By All Means, an initiative led by the Education Redesign Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A key part of this effort is Salem’s work with City Connects.

Last September, City Connects launched in all eight of Salem’s K-8 schools. This is the first example of citywide implementation of City Connects, and at this one year mark, we want to share three takeaways. Students benefit from:

  • having access to citywide opportunities
  • relying on stronger connections between their families, schools, and communities; and
  • being supported by a web of care

Here’s how these benefits are playing out.  Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 9/17/18

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:

Salem, Mass., is using the City Connects model to close achievement gaps in all of the city’s pre-K-8 schools.

The Center for American Progress creates early learning fact sheets for all 50 states.

Census figures show small declines in the poverty rate.

How some school districts are helping foster children thrive.

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

A new school founded by NBA Superstar LeBron James provides integrated student support

LeBron James. Source: I Promise School Twitter feed.

 

We’re happy and a little amazed to welcome a superstar to the world of integrated student support: LeBron James.

This summer, James, the world-famous National Basketball Association player, launched the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio. It’s a collaboration between the LeBron James Family Foundation and the Akron Public Schools.

A key component of the school is providing students with services to mitigate the effects of poverty.

As an EdSurge article explains, “Social media lit up praising the litany of services the school will offer to students and families alike: among them, free uniforms, bicycles and helmets, transportation, breakfast, lunch and snacks… It will also serve families with supports like a food pantry and GED programs and job placement service for parents.”  Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 9/10/18

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:

A new study suggests that New York state should increase its per-pupil spending.

Colorado voters will get to weigh in on a ballot initiative that would raise taxes to fund full-day kindergarten, special education, English proficiency, and preschool.

Facing a teacher shortage, Oklahoma is licensing hundreds of under-qualified teachers.

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

City Connects releases its 2018 Progress Report

We’re excited to announce the release of our 2018 progress report — “City Connects: Intervention and Impact” — an in-depth look at our work and its outcomes.

As we expand into more schools, we continue to see growing benefits for children, the schools themselves, and their larger communities.

At the heart of our work is helping students navigate the challenges of poverty. As the report explains:

“The impact of poverty outside of school contributes to inequality in educational outcomes,” indeed, researchers have found that poverty is “the single most critical factor to address in education reform.”

Schools can’t do this work alone. They need “a systemic approach to addressing out-of-school disadvantage,” and that’s what City Connects provides. Every City Connects school has a coordinator who conducts whole class reviews and builds trust and relationships. Coordinators then draw on these data and the relationships to connect all of their schools’ students to a customized set of support services and enrichment programs that are provided by both schools and a range of community partners, from YMCAs to colleges.

The results? Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 9/3/18

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:

Depressed students are more likely to have skills deficits.

The Gates Foundation is distributing more than $90 million in grants to improve schools.

Superintendents are concerned about how to prepare students to be engaged citizens.

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

A new school year with new potential

Mary E. Walsh
Mary E. Walsh

A post by Mary Walsh, Executive Director of City Connects and the Daniel Kearns Professor of Urban Education and Innovative Leadership at the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.

Welcome to the new academic year. We think it’s full of promise.

Across the country, there’s growing awareness about the importance of providing integrated student support — school-based coordination of the services and enrichment programs that help children learn and thrive.

National organizations such as Child Trends are advancing this work. And state and federal laws are asking schools to provide more integrated support, providing funding to do so, and looking for efforts that are evidence-based. In other words, the demand for programs like City Connects is growing.

City Connects’ systematic approach to providing support and enrichment is making a positive difference in the lives of children and families. Because we proactively ask what students need, we are gradually eliminating the stigma of asking for help when tragedy or trauma strike. Our coordinators are creating positive relationships with families, making it easier to reach out when support is needed. Continue reading