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

The Weekly Connect 10/21/19

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:

Kindergarten readiness can predict future school performance.

California delays school start times so students can get more sleep.

How to improve Individualized Education Program meetings.

To read more, click on the following links.

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City Connects is getting ready for school

City Connects Coordinators across the country are working hard to make this a great year for students and their families. 

We are excited to welcome two additional states, Tennessee and New York, to the City Connects network.

Over the summer, City Connects attended the 2019 American School Counselors Association Annual Conference in Boston, where we met school counselors, social workers, mental health professionals, and were able to talk about City Connects with many of the conference attendees. We are also hoping to be present at the 2020 National School Social Work Conference being held in March of 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. Additionally, for its Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget, Ohio added $675 million to implement and support effective “wraparound” services for students across the state. This legislation named City Connects as an acceptable use of funds based on the success of our ten-year partnership with schools in Dayton. Finally, City Connects is partnering with Ireland’s Department of Education and Skills and its Department of Children and Youth Affairs to plan the implementation of the City Connects in some of the most economically-disadvantaged neighborhoods in Dublin.

Here at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development, home to City Connects, we’ve wrapped up our August Institute, a professional development program that introduces new coordinators to the City Connects model. 

And nationally, in the coming weeks, coordinators will be working with teachers, staff, and families to create personalized plans for every student, connecting children to the right services at the right time. 

In Salem, Mass., for example, coordinators are already:  Continue reading

Scaling — and investing — in relationships that boost students’ success

The old recipe for school success was to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic.

But Julia Freeland Fisher has added a fourth ingredient: relationships.

To close opportunity gaps, Fisher, the Director of Education Research at the Clayton Christensen Institute, says schools have to close relationship gaps in families’ social networks. That’s the premise of her book, “Who You Know: Unlocking Innovations that Expand Students’ Networks.”

One barrier to accomplishing this work: people think it can’t be done.

In a recent article posted on 74 Million’s website, Fisher points to New York Times Columnist David Brooks, who wrote an op-ed earlier this year praising the work of “weavers,” people who “want to live in right relation with others and to serve the community good.” Continue reading