A roadmap for policymakers: a new brief shares lessons about boosting students’ success

A new policy brief, written by our colleagues at Boston College’s Center for Optimized Student Support, shares the lessons of City Connects with policymakers, explaining how integrated student support can ignite success even when students face poverty, mental health challenges, traumatic experiences, and other out-of-school burdens.

The brief – “Building Systems of Integrated Student Support A Policy Brief for Local and State Leaders” – explains the problems policymakers face:

“When leaders examine the existing tangle of programs, services, agencies, and funding streams in the context of deep needs among children and persistent academic achievement and opportunity gaps, impactful ways to transform chaotic service delivery systems are often hard to identify and harder to realize.”

Fortunately, over the last fifteen years, “insights from the sciences of child and youth development, experimentation in communities, and mounting outcomes data point to an approach that is producing results: integrated student support.” Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 4/22/19

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:

A new policy brief shares how City Connects provides integrated student support — and how this work can guide policymaking.

Pre-K spending grows but quality lags, according to the State of Preschool Yearbook released by NIEER, the National Institute for Early Education Research.

Two New York City school districts have launched middle school integration plans that may be making a positive difference.

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 4/15/19

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:

New principals can boost student achievement.

Therapy dogs go to school.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh pledges to invest $15 million in pre-K programs.

School teachers talk about how they are meeting the needs of migrant children.

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

Harvard’s Education Redesign Lab cites City Connects’ for developing plans that promote students’ personal success

For decades, schools have relied on a “one-size fits all paradigm” that fails to meet “the particular, complex, and varied needs of children and youth living in poverty.”

That’s an observation from a new report from the Education Redesign Lab at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. The report says schools should abandon this approach to poverty and instead devise personalized “success plans” that meet individual students’ needs.

One example of how to do this, the report notes, is City Connects.

The report,Success Plans: Promising Tools for Customizing Student Supports and Opportunities”, says that these plans will “capture in- and out-of-school strengths and needs of children and youth; connect to the infrastructure that can match them with tailored services and opportunities; and seamlessly coordinate education and community resources to increase access to equitable opportunities.” Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 4/8/19

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:

Harvard’s Education Redesign Lab cites City Connects as a student support model that more districts could use.

A report finds that state funding for higher-poverty districts is largely inadequate.

A South Bend, Ind., school pilots a weekend meals program.

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

The Weekly Connect 4/1/19

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:

State standards often don’t define culturally responsive teaching.

Ohio’s governor calls for $550 million to support wraparound services for students.

Instead of in-school suspensions, a Texas school uses restorative justice.

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

City Connects produces a solid return on investment

Thanks to years of research, we know that City Connects’ model of providing integrated student support helps improve students’ attendance, grades, and test scores.

And thanks to recent research we know that City Connects yields an impressive return on investment (ROI). As we’ve blogged, Henry Levin and A. Brooks Bowden, of the Columbia University Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education, did a benefit-cost analysis of City Connects, and found strikingly positive results. For every $1 invested in City Connects there’s a $3 ROI. This calculation includes the cost of City Connects and the cost of the services – such as food, clothing, health care, and afterschool programs – that children and families receive.

Released in 2015, this study, also found that comparing the cost of City Connects alone to the benefits it generates yields an $11 return on every $1 invested. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 3/25/19

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:

Emotional well-being improves student outcomes.

California’s whole-child, whole-family, whole-community approach.

Using home visits to engage at-risk parents.

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