Tapping data and community partners to help English Language Learners

In Massachusetts and Minnesota, City Connects staff are helping schools meet the needs of English Language Learners (ELL). 

“In Salem, the predominant language that’s spoken, other than English, is Spanish,” according to Ellen Wingard the City Connects Program Manager in Salem, Mass., where 31.2 percent of the district’s 3,620 students speak a first language that isn’t English, and 13.2 percent are ELL students.

“We also have a pretty large Portuguese speaking population and a growing Albanian population and some of our students speak Arabic.”

So, when Salem’s language acquisition teams meet monthly to review the needs and progress of ELL students, City Connects Coordinators are at the table. 

“The coordinators are prepared to talk about any mitigating factors for language development,” Wingard explains. “They share critical data about a student’s family, health, and social/emotional wellbeing.”  Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 1/27/20

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:

Historically Black Colleges and Universities offer K-12 leaders strong examples of how to promote African-American students’ success.

More states are expanding access to free school meals.

Most public schools in Minneapolis have a therapist on site.

To read more, click on the following links.

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The Weekly Connect 1/21/20

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:

Middle school coaches can help curb dating violence.

San Francisco parents declare state of emergency over failure to educate black children.

Memphis shifts to universal screening for its gifted program — instead of relying on teacher recommendations — and finds that more students qualify.

To read more, click on the following links.

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The Weekly Connect 1/13/20

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:

Sleep has a big impact on test scores, especially for boys.

More children on Medicaid will be able to access health services in school.

Fugees Academy, located in both Georgia and Ohio, provides intensive education for children who are immigrants.

Children’s use of anti-depressants jumps by more than 20 percent after school shootings.

To read more, click on the following links.

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How City Connects could improve the Nation’s Report Card

Across the country, there are student opportunity gaps that — the evidence shows — City Connects can help close. 

We were reminded of the depth of these gaps late last year, when the U.S. Department of Education released “The Nation’s Report Card.” The report card shares the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, (the NAEP test) which is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics. 

And, unfortunately, the NAEP scores are troubling. 

“America’s fourth and eighth graders are losing ground in their ability to read literature and academic texts,” the New York Times reports. “Two out of three children did not meet the standards for reading proficiency.”  Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 12/16/19

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:

Social media use is associated with disordered eating patterns.

Courts are protecting the rights of transgender students.

Homelessness makes it tough for New York City students to get an education.

To read more, click on the following links.

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The Weekly Connect 12/9/19

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:

Special needs students and English language learners have more positive impressions of their schools’ mental health services.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signs a bill that will invest $1.5 billion in education.

U.S. students’ test scores lag on international exam.

To read more, click on the following links.

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Harvard’s Education Redesign Lab report shares City Connects’ success

We’re proud that City Connects’ work in Salem, Mass., and in Chattanooga-Hamilton County, Tenn., is featured in a new report from the Education Redesign Lab at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

The report – “Sustaining Cross-Sector Systems of Opportunity for Children: Interim Lessons from the By All Means Consortium” – follows up on an earlier report about the work of the By Any Means necessary (BAM) communities, a network set up in 2016 to “create collaborative, cross-sector solutions to address the multifaceted needs of children.” 

Action at the city and state level is exciting because it shows how powerful local leaders can be in addressing the barriers that students face outside of school – from tooth aches to homelessness – so that they can thrive academically in school. 

Two of the Education Redesign Lab’s BAM members, Salem and Chattanooga-Hamilton County, are doing this work using City Connects.  Continue reading