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We’re proud to share one of our videos on how City Connects works. Principals, community partners, and City Connects staff all help tell the story of meeting students nonacademic needs to help them thrive in school.

“We’ve been able to transition from a school in crisis to a stable school focusing on literacy thanks to the support from City Connects.”
– Mike Sabin, Former Principal, the John W. McCormack Middle School in Boston

“Just in the last two months, we provided a new pair of shoes to each of our children and a new winter coat. For impoverished families, it’s a big deal.”
– Robert Kordenbrock, Red Oak After School Program, Boston-Chinatown Neighborhood Center Continue reading

City Connects’ Community Partner Breakfast

“Finally, finally, finally, the whole child is back on the agenda and that’s very, very exciting for all of us in this room,” Mary Walsh said last week at City Connects’ annual Community Partner Breakfast.

Educators and community leaders attended the breakfast, which was held at Suffolk University Law School. The theme was “Supporting the Whole Child.”

The keynote speaker was Liz Walker, a former television news anchor and currently the Senior Pastor of Roxbury Presbyterian Church. She was followed by a panel discussion that featured four school and community partners who work with City Connects.

For Walsh, the breakfast was a chance to rally the troops – the teachers, the City Connects coordinators, and the community partners who provide an array of services — and explain how their work is helping Boston’s students. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 10/16/17

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 use of kindergarten assessments offers mixed results.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos shares her vision for “American education.”

A study of New York City’s Community Schools.

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

Helping homeless students

In Boston – and in all the communities we serve — some of the most vulnerable students are homeless. These children may be doubled up with relatives or living in shelters or hotels. They may be hungry or struggling with asthma. They may need coats or shoes.

“The goal is to make sure basic needs are met,” Joe King says, including food, clothes and transportation, “so that Children can stay in school.” King, a City Connects program manager, supervises the school-based coordinators who work directly with children and families.

The need is substantial. Boston Public Schools’ officials estimate that they educate some 3,000 homeless students.

“The difficult part can be identifying which families are homeless,” King notes, because some families don’t share their housing status. “So, a lot of the work is relationship-building so families feel comfortable saying that they’re displaced.” Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 4/17/17

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:

New America has released a paper on how states can use the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to support early learning.

Research released by economists found that after low-income college students graduate, they earn wages that are similar to those of their higher-income peers.

Obese teens’ chances of having high blood pressure vary by race.

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

The Weekly Connect 2/27/17

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:

Questions persist about an ESSA (the Every Student Succeeds Act) spending provision that wasn’t finalized during the Obama administration.

Students who believe their schools are unfair may face long-term effects.

Head Start could function as a test site for innovations in early education.

Boston-area suburbs are seeing more poverty. Some towns have twice as many needy students as they did 10 years ago.

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 12/12/16

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 United States Department of Education has released: ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) regulations on testing as well as guidelines for students who are leaving the juvenile justice system

While homelessness is making it tough for children to attend school, the achievement gap between rich and poor students is closing.

 And as technology becomes a larger part of schoolwork, educators are warning that the “blue light” cast by mobile devices can threaten students’ sleep.

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

The Power of Whole Class Reviews

City Connects

It’s a Thursday morning at the John Winthrop Elementary School in Dorchester and Jaymie Silverman is multitasking. She’s on the phone, and she’s talking to a parent who just came in, checking in with a student, and preparing for an upcoming meeting. As the school’s City Connects Coordinator, Silverman is responsible for connecting all of the school’s 330 students to the tailored services they need to be successful inside and outside of school.

“We were identified as a school in which 60-90 percent of our students live in neighborhoods with exceptionally high levels of poverty and crime,” she explains.

Indeed, in 2013, Winthrop was declared a Level 4 school, the state’s designation for schools that are struggling based on “an analysis of four-year trends in absolute achievement, student growth, and academic improvement trends.” Continue reading