Teachers talk about City Connects

While the City Connects model focuses on getting the right services to the right child at the right time, our approach also helps teachers. We highlighted their comments in our 2022 Progress Report, and we’re sharing some of them here.

At the heart of City Connects is the whole class review conducted by coordinators who meet with teachers to explore the strengths and needs of every student. As one coordinator explains of this process: 

“It’s an opportunity for someone to listen to them. Because for years, teachers have sat with this knowledge in the classroom with no one to act upon it. And now here comes another adult in the building that wants to know about your kids. I want to know what you see as strengths. I want to know what you are concerned about. And I’m writing it down. So if I’m writing it down, it must be important, right? And it might be something I can follow up with. Teachers are feeling like, ‘Someone’s listening to me and someone’s going to help my students.’ Because teachers are passionate about what they do. They care.”

A Minnesota teacher elaborates, adding: 

“There are so many factors and experiences that my students have each and every day before entering the classroom. It puts things into perspective for me, and I feel I am more willing and understanding as I adjust and modify learning activities for students to meet their needs on all levels.”

A Boston teacher says: 

“I can really get a pulse on my scholars and their families by completing the Whole Class Review. This makes me accountable for making sure I understand and know my scholars in school, but more importantly as little humans at home.”

Another Boston teacher explains: 

“[The City Connects coordinator] is amazing with all the students, teachers and families. She gives assistance, support, and guidance to everyone. She always makes time for anyone who needs it. The role she plays in our school is an extremely important one. [The coordinator] creates lessons for the whole class, small social groups, as well as one-on-one time. The students have a wonderful connection with her.”

When the whole class review process identifies students who face extensive risks, coordinators assemble a team that conducts an Individual Student Review, or ISR. During this in-depth conversation, the team designs tailored goals and strategies for the student that can be monitored and measured.

As an Ohio teacher notes: 

“The most important benefit of City Connects is providing the ISR meetings with students and families. Having a keen sense of awareness of what are the best community supports for students and [having] an in-depth knowledge of each family.”

Overall, surveys show, teachers say City Connects has a positive impact: 

• 90% of teachers report that they are satisfied with City Connects and would recommend the intervention to a colleague

• 82% of teachers say City Connects helps them follow through on securing non-academic supports for their students

• 76% of teachers found City Connects to be helpful in ensuring students came to class prepared to learn, and 

• 88% are satisfied with the supports City Connects provides to their schools

Finally, as one Minnesota teacher says, summing up the impact of City Connects:

“I think the most important benefits [of City Connects] are (1) helping students and families navigate non-academic needs by equipping them with wisdom, confidence, and resources; and (2) serving as a go-between between students, families, and school employees.”

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