Three things we do during the summer…

… to get ready for the fall:

  1. We visit in person with current and potential community partners to talk about ways to improve and expand the resources that will be available for our students in the fall;
  1. We organize: our offices, our social skills curricula, our student support team plans, and our Welcome Back events;
  1. We hire and train new coordinators in the City Connects practice

So when school starts we’re ready to go.

City Connects has a powerful impact on reading

Students in City Connects schools tend to be stronger readers, according to a number of studies on City Connects’ impact that show similar, positive results. Here’s some of what the research has found:

• City Connects students receive better report card scores in reading

• Former City Connects students outperform peers from comparison schools on statewide tests in English Language Arts

English language learners (ELL) experienced significantly larger benefits than non-ELL students.

• Students who experienced an additional year of City Connects performed better on statewide reading tests than students who missed out on that year.

Immigrant students who experienced City Connects significantly outperformed immigrant students who never experienced the intervention on both reading achievement test scores.

• For Catholic school students who take the standardized Stanford 10 Achievement Test, the reading achievement growth rate over time was significantly higher for students in City Connects compared to their comparison school peers.

Learn more about City Connects’ students’ reading outcomes in our 2016 Progress Report.

The Weekly Connect 7/31/17

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 benefits of nurse home-visiting programs for children and their mothers.

Grant funding for teacher training is rejected by the House Appropriations Committee.

How K-12 might be affected if the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) is overhauled.

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

Program managers’ annual meeting – a meeting of City Connects minds

At City Connects, our big-picture thinkers are our program managers. They make sure our model is faithfully implemented across all our partner schools.

Their job starts with supervising our coordinators. But our program managers – eight in five states — are also figuring out how to have both disciplined consistency and the savvy flexibility it takes to meet needs that differ from school to school and community to community.

“Program managers are the real linchpin between the practice and how it’s carried out in the schools,” Lynne Sullivan, City Connects’ Director of Implementation, says. Our eight program managers are a diverse group with broad perspectives: two are former principals, three are former City Connects coordinators, two have community school backgrounds, and one is a school social worker.

We knew that it would be crucial for program managers to talk to each other, so we Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 7/24/17

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

Due to a blog production issue, we’re re-sharing some news stories from last week.

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

Research suggests that very early exposure to English can help ELLs.

Within limits, The Every Student Succeeds Act does let states use science, social studies, the arts, and other subjects beyond reading and math for accountability.

How severe, ongoing stress affects children’s brains.

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading

Community Partners: City Connects and Big Brothers Big Sisters

To get the right services to the right child, City Connects relies on hundreds of community partners – from nonprofits and health centers to businesses and cultural organizations.

One of our longstanding community partners is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay.

Big Brothers provides mentors – or “Bigs” as the organization calls them – who serve as role models and friends for children (or “Littles”) in a one-on-one relationship.

The partnership between City Connects and Big Brothers strengthens this practice.

“We really work collaboratively,” Nora Leary explains. She’s Big Brothers’ Vice President for Program Services. “I think our goals are very similar: to help the kids in Boston Public Schools succeed, not just educationally, but also in all the other spheres of their life.” Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 7/17/17

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:

The lasting impact of programs that teach emotional intelligence.

Some poor schools have “STEM deserts,” fewer resources in science, technology, engineering, and math.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her team have to tackle the big job of implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Online camps can keep kids connected to STEM activities and mentors year-round.

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

Helping homeless children

When you’re homeless you can’t do homework. So City Connects coordinators help homeless children and their families by providing the services they need.

It’s work we have to do every day because homelessness is rising. A new report released by America’s Promise Alliance — “Hidden in Plain Sight: Homeless Students in America’s Public Schools” — highlights the grim statistics.

  • Nationally, more than 1.3 million students were homeless in the 2013-14 school year
    “This is a 7 percent increase from the previous year and more than double the number of homeless students in 2006-07.”
  • In Massachusetts, 19,353 students were homeless in the 2014-15 school year, up from 14,247 in the 2010-11 school year
  • 60 percent of students say “it was hard to stay in school while they were homeless; 42 percent say they dropped out of school at least once,” and
  • Half of students say “they had to change schools during their homelessness, and many did so multiple times.” Continue reading