The Weekly Connect 12/21/20

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:

In-school tutoring programs could slow students’ COVID-19 learning loss.

Massachusetts educators and staff in the cue to receive COVID-19 vaccines.

Teachers learn to provide trauma-informed care for undocumented students.

To read more, click on the following links.

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The pandemic and racial inequity: City Connects in Salem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Salem, Mass., coping with COVID-19 and building greater racial equity is a community effort that relies in part on City Connects. 

So far this fall, Salem Public Schools’ classes have all been remote, with some higher-needs children doing their remote learning in school buildings where they’re supervised by adults. But as Salem’s new Superintendent, Stephen Zrike, recently announced, the city plans to switch to a hybrid model later this month.

“I think the fact that all of our pre-K-to-eight schools have City Connects as their system of student support was really a boon for us during COVID,” Ellen Wingard, Salem’s City Connects Program Manager, says. 

The priority for Wingard and the City Connects Coordinators she supervises has been meeting basic needs, connecting families to food and to help with housing. Wingard’s school and city colleagues have put together one-page resource sheets for coordinators and families so they can see what services are available. 

In addition, as part of a new family intervention strategy, Salem Public Schools staff members, including teachers and paraprofessionals, have been gathering information on students’ needs by reaching out every week to ten families and asking five questions: Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 11/2/20

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:

Since March, an estimated 3 million children have gone without education.

More children have the option of attending in-person schools.

Children who miss an in-person year of kindergarten because of the pandemic may lose ground.

To read more, click on the following links.

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The Weekly Connect 6/29/20

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:

COVID-19 is harming many students’ academics and mental health.

More than 2,000 Massachusetts educators have received layoff or nonrenewal notices.

COVID-19 threatens the existence of millions of child care slots, which could make it hard for children to have high-quality early learning experiences and tough for parents to go to work.

To read more, click on the following links.

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Steering through the COVID-19 crisis in Springfield

Back in March, when the dangerous spread of the coronavirus forced schools to close, the Springfield Public School system focused on human needs.

“We know that our schools are much more than education centers for our families. They provide important support and we know that closure will impact on our families,” the Springfield, Mass., public school website explained. 

“Springfield’s first priority was the safety and well-being of all our students and families,” Julie Donovan, Springfield’s City Connects Program Manager says. That meant focusing on the essential basics of food and housing and on keeping kids virtually connected to school.

So Springfield’s 28 City Connects Coordinators got to work. They reached out to families who weren’t responding to teachers, and they helped children living in homeless shelters get laptops and Internet hotspots.  Continue reading

Helping teachers who work in COVID-19’s shadow


During this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week, we are honored to support our teachers and their important relationships with students and families. 

City Connects Coordinators have always played a critical role in supporting teachers — and they are continuing this work in the face of COVID-19. 

Teachers tell us they often feel the indirect emotional burden of students’ problems, from hunger, anxiety, and depression to homelessness and family stress.

Coordinators help by assessing students’ needs and addressing them with customized in-school and out-of-school resources. This frees teachers to feel supported and enables them to focus on teaching.  Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 5/4/20

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:

COVID-19-related school closures could lead to lower student achievement.

Massachusetts is the first state to pilot new ways to assess student achievement.

With schools closed, some districts struggle to provide students with free or low-cost meals.

To read more, click on the following links.

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Taking action in the time of Coronavirus

To meet the historic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, City Connects staff are rapidly translating the pillars of City Connects practice into systematic approaches that serve students and families and support teachers. 

“Many families of the students in our City Connects schools will be especially vulnerable to the worst effects of this crisis,” City Connects’ Executive Director Mary Walsh said last week. “For families whom we serve, this pandemic means unexpected unemployment, heightened food insecurity, lack of child care, and sudden loss of stability provided by the everyday routine of school.” 

To address these complex and layered disruptions, City Connects’ Program Managers and Coordinators are using existing and newly forged systemic approaches to better understand and respond to the comprehensive needs of each individual student both immediately and over the long term. Continue reading