Happy July 4th! The blog is going on vacation

Happy July 4th!

The blog is going on vacation. We’ll be back in August.

City Connects students pay a visit to Boston College

Recently, Danielle Morrissey, the City Connects Coordinator at Boston’s Thomas J. Kenny elementary school, brought the Kenny’s fifth graders to visit Boston College so that they could see what college is all about. 

“The goal was to motivate and provide a learning opportunity for the students to further understand why we are talking so much about Perseverance, Responsibility, Integrity, Dedication to your Education, and Effort (our PRIDE values) and how their future is connected to these values,” Morrissey says.  Continue reading

One secret to City Connects’ success: fidelity

One factor that makes City Connects so powerful is its fidelity system.

This is the work of ensuring that the City Connects model is implemented consistently in all the schools across the five states where our Coordinators provide integrated student support.

“When City Connects began to expand into new cities and states, we identified the need to be able to measure whether City Connects looked the same across all our sites,” says Jessica Petrie, the Continuous Improvement Specialist at City Connects.

Based on the research of the late Carol T. Mowbray, a professor of psychology and social work at the University of Michigan, the City Connects team drew on the City Connects practice manual to devise a fidelity system that was rolled out to the field four years ago.

The system looks at seven core components of the City Connects practice: Continue reading

Sharing what we know at the ASCA Annual Conference

City Connects is going to the ASCA Annual Conference, which is being held in Boston from June 29 to July 2, 2019. ASCA is the American School Counselor Association.

City Connects will have a booth at the event, and we hope readers of this blog will come see us.

In addition, Lianzhe Zheng, a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development, will speak at a session called “Positive School Climate for Immigrant Students” which will cover how the challenges that these students face are associated with mental and physical health problems that can hurt their academic performance.

“At the Lynch School, sharing what we know is an essential part of our work. And City Connects is excited to have a booth at this year’s ASCA Conference in Boston” said Ryan Hand, City Connects’ Communications Manager. “We are looking forward to spreading the word about our evidence-based practice for school counselors, and we invite any attendees of the conference to drop by!”

Community partnerships — outside and inside of school

Three years ago, Dayton Early College Academy (DECA) Middle School, in Dayton, Ohio, formed a community partnership with Westminster Presbyterian Church.

“This has proven to be one of our strongest partnerships, so far,” Brittany Lewis, the school’s City Connects Coordinator, says.

Twice a year, Westminster sponsors Done in a Day, an opportunity for church members and friends to “to spend a Saturday working with other agencies and non-profit ministries in our community,” the church’s website explains.

Volunteers organized DECA’s Student Resource Closets, where students can go to get needed items. Volunteers washed clothes with the washer and dryer that Westminster donated, and they organized the clothes by size and gender.

“We are overjoyed by this partnership with Westminster,” Lewis says.

Because of the tornado that recently hit Dayton, DECA is also drawing on the resources of its own community to help families at school. The school launched a day of service to provide food to families. This included launching a dry food pantry at DECA Middle Schools’ sister school, DECA Prep, a K-4 elementary school.

“Coordinators secure resources ahead of time and in the nick of time,” Mary Walsh, City Connect’s executive director, says. “That’s what makes them so effective.”

Summer: services, opportunities, and fun


Summer opportunities fair at Dayton Early College Academy

As the school year draws to a close, City Connects Coordinators across the country are helping students
prepare for summer, connecting them to services and opportunities that will help them succeed when school isn’t in session.

For, Asha Quattrocchi, a City Connects Coordinator at the Cold Spring School in Indianapolis, Ind., this means sharing information and making connections.

Quattrocchi went with two other coordinators to a summer camp fair. They gathered information on camps that offer arts, dance, sports, STEM, and academics programs. Quattrocchi brought this information back to her school and shared it at family night, a monthly event.

She followed up with parents to see if they’d chosen a camp and to ask if they needed any help signing their children up.

“The biggest obstacle is transportation,” Quattrocchi explains. To address this, she’s helping parents to connect with each other so they can carpool. Another challenge is cost, so Quattrocchi is connecting families with organizations that offer scholarships and asking other organizations if they can lower their fees. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 5/27/19

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:

Ohio’s Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted visits a City Connects program in Dayton.

Educators and policymakers should pay more attention to how toxic stress affects students. 

Across the country, governors have called for investing nearly $3 billion in early childhood education.

States and school districts are helping increasing numbers of homeless students.

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading

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.” Continue reading