City Connects Coordinators across the country are working hard to make this a great year for students and their families.
We are excited to welcome two additional states, Tennessee and New York, to the City Connects network.
Over the summer, City Connects attended the 2019 American School Counselors Association Annual Conference in Boston, where we met school counselors, social workers, mental health professionals, and were able to talk about City Connects with many of the conference attendees. We are also hoping to be present at the 2020 National School Social Work Conference being held in March of 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. Additionally, for its Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget, Ohio added $675 million to implement and support effective “wraparound” services for students across the state. This legislation named City Connects as an acceptable use of funds based on the success of our ten-year partnership with schools in Dayton. Finally, City Connects is partnering with Ireland’s Department of Education and Skills and its Department of Children and Youth Affairs to plan the implementation of the City Connects in some of the most economically-disadvantaged neighborhoods in Dublin.
Here at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development, home to City Connects, we’ve wrapped up our August Institute, a professional development program that introduces new coordinators to the City Connects model.
And nationally, in the coming weeks, coordinators will be working with teachers, staff, and families to create personalized plans for every student, connecting children to the right services at the right time.
In Salem, Mass., for example, coordinators are already:
• taking donations from community partners and distributing them to students
• explaining the City Connects model to new teachers
• reaching out to students and families before the first day of school to establish a “Back to School Transition Plan”
• meeting with Instructional Leadership Teams to help support the rollout of a social-emotional learning curriculum, and
• supporting principals who are providing staff with preservice professional development programs on social, emotional, and behavioral structures and interventions
As Mary Walsh, City Connects’ Executive Director, explained this summer in an opinion piece in CommonWealth magazine:
“What we are learning from effective models of integrated student support is that how and why schools connect students to comprehensive supports and enrichments is key to making a difference.”
We look forward to making this difference for all the students in City Connects’ schools this year.