Community partnerships that spark innovative new programs

For City Connects Coordinators sharing their schools’ needs with community partners makes it much easier for those partners to offer new services and programs for children.

One example is Risen Christ Catholic School in Minneapolis where there isn’t enough funding to run a summer school program. There is, however, a high demand for summer enrichment programs. These programs are important because Risen Christ is the only dual-language immersion Catholic school in Minnesota, and many of its students are learning English as a second language. As a result, many students need literacy and language support in both English and Spanish.

That’s why when summer comes, the school’s City Connects Coordinator, Lindsay O’Keefe, works with families to send students to Urban Ventures, a local nonprofit that supports kids from the cradle to college. Because the summer program is free and runs all day and all week, covering math, English, and science, as well as providing meals and field trips, it’s extremely popular. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 1/14/19

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 importance of STEM in early childhood education.

A new push for changing education funding priorities in Massachusetts.

As costs drop, more schools have improved Broadband connectivity.

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

Using data to promote student success in Salem

For the first time, City Connects has been implemented on a citywide level. The City Connects model is being used in every public K-8 school in Salem, Mass.

Now that the program is in its second year, we have the first year’s data, and this information is helping Salem promote students’ success and helping us understand how City Connects works on a municipal scale.

Before City Connects, “The student population was coming to school with barriers and challenges,” Salem Public Schools’ Superintendent Margarita Ruiz said recently at the national conference on integrated student support that was hosted by the Center for Optimized Student Support, part of Boston College’s Lynch School of Education. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 1/7/19

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 roundup of education research findings in 2018.

How the new Congress will impact education at the federal level.

A New Orleans school addresses students’ post-traumatic stress disorder.

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

A Washington Post op-ed on integrated student support


“Nature or nurture … which is more influential?” Joan Wasser Gish asks in
a recent Washington Post op-ed.

Wasser Gish is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Center for Optimized Student Support, which is part of Boston College’s Lynch School of Education. The center is also home to City Connects.

The answer to the nature/nurture question: Talent is evenly distributed across the population; opportunity is not. Particularly in low-income communities, environmental factors can limit students’ academic success.

“…developmental science helps us to understand why,” Wasser Gish writes. “Students who are exposed to poverty and adversities such as trauma, experience ‘toxic stress,’” that can have cascading negative effects in students’ lives.

To address these problems, Wasser Gish explains, schools can provide integrated student support.

“As researchers and educators better understand how to deliver integrated student support effectively,” Wasser Gish notes, “policymakers are stepping in to spread what works.”

To learn more, read the op-ed.

The Weekly Connect 12/24/18

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:

Schools in Washington state are addressing students’ homelessness.

White House report recommends scrapping Obama-era school discipline guidelines.

Chronic absenteeism is a major problem in U.S. schools.

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

Happy holidays!

Best wishes for a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year from everyone at City Connects!

The Weekly Connect 12/17/18

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:

How stress affects students’ performance on state tests.

Under ESSA, more than a quarter of schools could be flagged as being In Need of Improvement.

The complex jobs of school principals in rural areas.

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