Community partners: Strong Women, Strong Girls

City Connects works with community partners to provide a wide array of services. Often this means helping students get necessities such as dental care or beds. But sometimes our community partners also provide inspiring role models.

That’s the case with Strong Women, Strong Girls, a nonprofit organization based in Boston and Pittsburgh. The organization provides school girls with college-age mentors, and the mentors can themselves be mentored by career women.

The college mentors visit the schools once a week to meet with a group of girls.

“Each mentoring session, we highlight one strong woman,” Madison Banker explains. Banker is a college mentor, part of a group of students from Northeastern University who meet with Boston students. Mentors come from a number of colleges including Tufts University, Harvard University, Boston College, and Simmons College Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 2/19/18

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:

Kindergarten policies vary widely across the country.

California grapples with chronic absenteeism.

New York State requires mental health instruction in its schools.

Utah is considering the use of telemedicine to meet children’s mental health needs.

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

Raising high school graduation rates: the lasting impact of City Connects

The good news is that high school graduation rates have risen steadily in the United States. In 2016, 84.1 percent of students graduated, up from 79 percent in 2011.

But that’s not high enough for the national nonprofit America’s Promise Alliance — which is why the alliance has launched GradNation, a campaign to raise the national graduation rate to 90 percent.

That will mean helping students who face some of the toughest obstacles, from severe anxiety and hunger to violence and serious health issues.

“The data shows us that to accelerate progress to a national high school graduation rate of 90 percent, we must meet the needs of young people whose lives feature the greatest complexity and we must employ diverse systems and supports,” GradNation’s website says.

Last year, Monika Kincheloe, Senior Director at America’s Promise, told Inside Philanthropy: Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 2/12/18

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 Stanford University study finds having a positive attitude makes students more successful.

Asthma attacks decline.

How the 9th graders of 2009 are doing.

How States are using Title II funds to strengthen the teaching profession.

Dallas creates centers to help homeless high school students.

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

School Climate: a Q&A with Boston College’s Anastasia Raczek

Source: Anastasia Raczek

 

School climate is making headlines – and peaking the interest of researchers and policymakers. So earlier this month, we caught up with Anastasia Raczek and asked her to explain what school climate is and how it relates to City Connects’ work.

Anastasia Raczek

“School climate means lots of different things to different people. But we’re beginning to get more specific about it, and we do know a lot about what it seems to lead to,” Raczek said. As the Associate Director of Evaluation & Research, she helps lead an independent team that works to evaluate and improve City Connects. The team is based in the Center for Optimized Student Support, part of Boston College’s Lynch School of Education. 

In December, Raczek spoke at an event on school climate that was organized by the Rennie Center and co-hosted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, MassINC, Boston University, and Boston College. Conference participants discussed the connection between school climate and student success. A related policy brief is posted here Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 2/5/18

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:

Researchers in Britain look at the attainment gap.

To promote career readiness, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wants mayors to forge a connection between schools and the business community.

Charlotte opens a mental health crisis center for kids.

Oakland reinvents school policing.

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

City Connects coordinators respond to the opioid crisis

The opioid crisis has devastated the country, and here at City Connects we’re seeing the crisis play out in schools.

There were 66,817 drug overdose deaths in the United States from June 2016 to June 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of these deaths, 2,054 occurred in Massachusetts.

As the Boston Globe reported last year, “The sprawling drug crisis, which public health officials have described as the worst in American history, has touched nearly every part of society. But the burden has perhaps fallen hardest on children, creating a new generation of foster youth and placing extraordinary strain on the child welfare system.”

In Salem, where City Connects is in all nine of the cities public elementary schools, “we’ve seen at least three parent deaths this school year as a result of the opioid crisis in just our PreK-8 schools,” Ellen Wingard, Salem’s City Connects Program Manager, reports. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 1/29/18

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:

Helping schools with fewer resources develop community partnerships.

States struggle to meet the Every Student Succeeds Act’s requirements for foster children.

New York City adds more dual language options to its preschool program.

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