Ohio’s lieutenant governor visits a City Connects program – and calls on his state to invest in students’ success

 

It’s budget season in Ohio, and last week, Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted and other state officials, including Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria, visited Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School in Dayton to see City Connects in action.

Husted is encouraging his state to increase its investment in students’ success.

“We believe that this is a replicable model that can be used in public schools and other schools across the state,” Husted tells WHIO Television. “And we want the new money that’s being put into the budget to serve these students to go to programs like this.”

“The visit comes as legislators are considering a new $550 million allocation in the state budget to provide similar ‘wraparound services’ to Ohio schools,” the Dayton Daily News reports. “That budget has already passed the Ohio House, and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted advocated for the plan Friday.”

Nine years ago, Chaminade Julienne (CJ) was the first high school to implement City Connects, using coordinators to bring powerful school-based and community resources to older students.

CJ Principal John Marshall said in a school press release, “City Connects works at CJ because we have such tremendous assets within the community. It helps us organize resources and prioritize what we focus on. There are so many people who want to help us, help students, and it helps us focus and align the right resources at the right time.”

Providing students with wraparound services is a crucial way to boost their success. As the Daily news explains:

“Marshall said as much as 67 percent of children’s school performance can be traced to out-of-school factors tied to home life, health, poverty/wealth and other issues. He said if those factors aren’t addressed, learning is difficult.” The school helps students with a range of problems, from hunger and undiagnosed vision problems to mental health and transportation challenges.

Growing these kinds of wraparound service models would help more children. Currently, “Dayton Public Schools uses wraparound services, especially at its six Neighborhood School Centers, where a community agency, business or nonprofit has partnered with the school. But it would take close to 20 more community partners for every DPS school to have those programs,” the Daily News says.

To promote the growth of these services, CJ staff and other school officials have become leaders in sharing how they use City Connects to support students.

“During their visit, state officials met with current CJ faculty and staff including the school’s student support coordinators,” the press release says. “Our Lady of the Rosary Principal Jacki Loffer and Josh Richardt, the Early Childhood-Elementary Coordinator from Catholic Central in Springfield were also in attendance to speak about the implementation of City Connects at their schools.”

Husted tells the Daily News, “We know that additional resources for wraparound services that help students overcome the social-emotional challenges they face is critical to helping them have academic success… This is the direction Ohio is going educationally.”

Husted also tells Channel 2 News, that Ohio wants to help students “overcome their life challenges so that they are in a position to succeed academically and in life. We put Ohio, frankly, in a leadership role in the country. And we want to use successful models that are already out there to help other schools with stand up programs like this that we know are working.”

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