One factor that makes City Connects so powerful is its fidelity system.
This is the work of ensuring that the City Connects model is implemented consistently in all the schools across the five states where our Coordinators provideintegrated student support.
“When City Connects began to expand into new cities and states, we identified the need to be able to measure whether City Connects looked the same across all our sites,” says Jessica Petrie, the Continuous Improvement Specialist at City Connects.
Based on the research of the late Carol T. Mowbray, a professor of psychology and social work at the University of Michigan, the City Connects team drew on the City Connects practice manual to devise a fidelity system that was rolled out to the field four years ago.
The system looks at seven core components of the City Connects practice:Continue reading →
City Connects is going to the ASCA Annual Conference, which is being held in Boston from June 29 to July 2, 2019. ASCA is the American School Counselor Association.
City Connects will have a booth at the event, and we hope readers of this blog will come see us.
In addition, Lianzhe Zheng, a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development, will speak at a session called “Positive School Climate for Immigrant Students” which will cover how the challenges that these students face are associated with mental and physical health problems that can hurt their academic performance.
“At the Lynch School, sharing what we know is an essential part of our work. And City Connects is excited to have a booth at this year’s ASCA Conference in Boston” said Ryan Hand, City Connects’ Communications Manager. “We are looking forward to spreading the word about our evidence-based practice for school counselors, and we invite any attendees of the conference to drop by!”
Three years ago, Dayton Early College Academy (DECA) Middle School, in Dayton, Ohio, formed a community partnership with Westminster Presbyterian Church.
“This has proven to be one of our strongest partnerships, so far,” Brittany Lewis, the school’s City Connects Coordinator, says.
Twice a year, Westminster sponsors Done in a Day, an opportunity for church members and friends to “to spend a Saturday working with other agencies and non-profit ministries in our community,” the church’s website explains.
Volunteers organized DECA’s Student Resource Closets, where students can go to get needed items. Volunteers washed clothes with the washer and dryer that Westminster donated, and they organized the clothes by size and gender.
“We are overjoyed by this partnership with Westminster,” Lewis says.
Because of the tornado that recently hit Dayton, DECA is also drawing on the resources of its own community to help families at school. The school launched a day of service to provide food to families. This included launching a dry food pantry at DECA Middle Schools’ sister school, DECA Prep, a K-4 elementary school.
“Coordinators secure resources ahead of time and in the nick of time,” Mary Walsh, City Connect’s executive director, says. “That’s what makes them so effective.”
As the school year draws to a close, City Connects Coordinators across the country are helping studentsprepare for summer, connecting them to services and opportunities that will help them succeed when school isn’t in session.
For, Asha Quattrocchi, a City Connects Coordinator at the Cold Spring School in Indianapolis, Ind., this means sharing information and making connections.
Quattrocchi went with two other coordinators to a summer camp fair. They gathered information on camps that offer arts, dance, sports, STEM, and academics programs. Quattrocchi brought this information back to her school and shared it at family night, a monthly event.
She followed up with parents to see if they’d chosen a camp and to ask if they needed any help signing their children up.
“The biggest obstacle is transportation,” Quattrocchi explains. To address this, she’s helping parents to connect with each other so they can carpool. Another challenge is cost, so Quattrocchi is connecting families with organizations that offer scholarships and asking other organizations if they can lower their fees. Continue reading →