Learning About ESSA — and the Whole Child

Shaw Elementary School

Children aren’t the only ones who have a lot to learn about school.

According to an analysis done by Education Week, elected officials and state education leaders also have lessons to learn.

“At a pivotal time for state education policy, half the nation’s state legislatures have at least one new education committee chairperson this year, and a quarter of state schools chiefs are less than a year into the job, according to an Education Week analysis,” the magazine explains in its article, “Steep Learning Curve on K-12 as State Leaders Take New Seats.”

The article adds:

“This year’s large freshman class of key education policymakers has advocates and district leaders on edge as state leaders scramble to finalize the accountability plans due by next fall under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).”

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The Weekly Connect 2/20/17

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:

Plans to implement ESSA (the Every Student Succeeds Act) get a thumbs up from Betsy DeVos, the new U.S. Secretary of Education.

Latino children lag in math skills, but there are ways to close this gap.

A British study says that moving into poverty can damage children’s mental health, and

ADHD is linked to delayed brain development.

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

The 4 Cs of City Connects

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City Connects builds on the developmental sciences, and it has been shaped through a two-year planning process that included  educators, community agencies, and families.

That’s why our  supports for students are:  

Customized

 To fit the unique strengths, needs, and interests of each student.

“The most important benefit of City Connects is how patiently they listen to student’s concerns, and bring back very good workable solutions/resources to help the student.”

        – A teacher in a City Connects School

Comprehensive

Meeting academic, social/emotional, health, and family needs.

“Mark Griffin starts every weekday standing at the door of the Thomas Edison K8 School in Brighton: “Great hat!” “Don’t you look good today!” “How’re you making out?”

“His pleasantries are a nice way to start the day, but they also have a point. As Griffin greets more than 400 students each morning, he’s looking to see who is shivering in a too-thin coat, whose eyes look rimmed with tears, which parents are walking their kids to school and staying for the free breakfast themselves.

“‘It’s hard to concentrate on schoolwork when there are other things much more important to them that need to be addressed,’” Griffin said.”

The Boston Globe

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The Weekly Connect 2/13/17

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:

Betsy DeVos is the new U.S. Secretary of Education… and John King, who just stepped down as education secretary, is going to lead the Education Trust, a national nonprofit that promotes high educational achievement for all students.

A strong, positive school climate can protect middle school students from the upheavals of adolescence and help them do better in math and reading.

Research shows that New York’s work with community schools is paying off.

More preschools are providing health education as the links between health and learning receive more attention.

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

A Principal Writes about City Connects

 

screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-4-36-55-pmWe’re grateful to Karen Juliano, the CEO and high school principal at Catholic Central in Springfield, Ohio, for the terrific opinion piece she wrote in the Springfield News-Sun about City Connects.

Juliano explains, “…we are now in the fourth year developing a network of providers and programs designed to make our schools stronger: to help our challenged students succeed and our traditional students get more out of their education — all the while fostering the kind of community cohesion that has always been part of the Catholic Central experience.”

Catholic Central prides itself on being able to help a range of students.

“As our community has become more diverse in recent years, Catholic Central has expanded its mission and admissions by making a faith-centered education available to a more diverse group of students,” Juliano writes. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 2/6/17

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 Trump administration has delayed the release of regulations about identifying failing schools.

Two stories touch on hunger: in one food insecurity compromises children’s behavior and academic performance. The second story looks at poor students in Virginia and how school officials are helping them cope with the hunger and trauma they face outside school.

Boston schools are looking for an additional $1 million to help homeless children.

And a new study has found that children who are physically active are less depressed.

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

The View from Room 205 – Chicago Public Media Looks at Poverty in an Elementary School

Image courtesy of Chicago Public Media

Can schools make the American dream real for poor kids?

That’s the question Chicago Public Media asks in its multimedia story, “The View From Room 205.”

“The little kids I’m going to tell you about are fourth graders,” reporter Linda Lutton says in the audio section. “They go to William Penn Elementary on Chicago’s West Side.”

On the first day of school, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, head of Chicago Public Schools at the time, tells the students, “There’s no dream you can’t achieve, if you stay focused and persistent.”

It’s this phrase, “focused and persistent,” that the story confronts by asking whether children and public schools can overcome the challenges of poverty on their own.

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The Weekly Connect 1/30/17

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:

Schools aren’t using data that’s available to them to make decisions. Instead educators are relying on assumptions and intuition, making it tough to improve education.

Skipping a grade used to be common, but now only an estimated 1 percent of students skip. This leaves behind others who could benefit from moving ahead.

Some schools are taking a “trauma-informed” approach to working with students who have been exposed to chronic violence, abuse, and deprivation.

Being incarcerated as a juvenile is linked to health problems later in life.

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