The Weekly Connect 4/23/18

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:

Child poverty imposes heavy costs on the country.

Recess makes a comeback.

An annual assessment of the nation’s preschool programs.

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

The Weekly Connect 4/16/18

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:

Urban school districts improving at a faster rate than all the nation’s schools.

Universal preschool is cost-effective.

State legislators have filed hundreds of bills to address school safety.

A suburban school in Illinois adopts trauma-informed approaches.

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

Meeting life’s toughest challenges with a network of support

Elise Bradley at Shaw Elementary School

In the high-poverty communities we serve, many of our students experience challenges and traumas, which is why our support of their healthy development takes many forms.

It’s a joint effort that unites school staff, City Connects coordinators, families, and community partners, so that every child gets a network of support tailored to meet their needs.

Part of the role of our coordinators is to use their training as social workers or school counselors to discern who could benefit from more opportunities to build social-emotional skills and relationships to better manage their emotions, and who could benefit from more intensive mental health services to help them be ready to learn.

Once coordinators make this determination, they spring into action. They do regular check-ins with students and families going through tough times. They find community partners who can provide mental health services, including one-on-one counseling. They run social skills groups. And they support teachers and other school staff find productive ways to talk about and address students’ struggles. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 4/9/18

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:

Strapped for cash, some schools go to four-day school weeks — and juvenile crime rates increase

Funding tops principals’ lists of concerns

Nagging kids about high school success? There’s a Silicon Valley app for that.

Are states taking advantage of the flexibility of ESSA (the Every Student Succeeds Act)?

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

The Weekly Connect 4/2/18

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 benefits of using LGBTQ-inclusive curricula.

President Trump signs a spending bill that boosts the country’s investment in education.

A charter school offers a longer day to help English language learners.

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

Strengths Matter Too, Positive Youth Development

Josh Richardt

 

What helps young people thrive?

Taking their brain’s natural “plasticity” – the ability to change and grow – and combining this with heaping doses of positive people, places, and opportunities.

Researchers call this positive youth development or PYD.

At City Connects, it’s an essential strategy in our work.

“To foster students’ full development, City Connects schools aim for their students to be healthy, caring, socially responsible, knowledgeable citizens,” Una Shannon, a Post-Doctoral fellow who works with City Connects implementation and evaluation teams, says of how we promote positive youth development.

Una Shannon

“The focus is on thriving: Building positive relationships, tapping into resilience, and providing opportunities for meaningful participation and leadership.”

In the field of adolescent development this is a vital shift. Instead of seeing “adolescents as inherently ‘at risk,’” as Richard Lerner, a Tufts University Psychology Professor and an expert on PYD, writes in a 2011 report, the PYD approach “views young people as resources to be developed…” Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 3/26/18

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:

Increasing immigrant children’s access to early care and education.

A bill in Vermont’s Senate would set up efforts to prevent childhood trauma.

Reports of student bullying have declined.

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

From Awareness to Action in Minnesota

 

Laurie Acker’s experience with City Connects shows how awareness of students’ needs can lead to action.

“The big ‘A ha,’ that I had with City Connects was hearing that 65 percent of why there is an achievement gap has nothing to do with schools or teachers,” explains Acker, who has worked as both a teacher and a principal in Catholic schools.

That 65 percent statistic comes from research that found the achievement gap is significantly fueled by out-of-school factors. Now, as the Program Manager for City Connects schools in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., Acker sees those factors up close every day.

But she also sees how City Connects works with students, families, and community partners to address the many other challenges that children in the Twin Cities face. Continue reading