The Weekly Connect 4/12/21

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:

Pre-k may boost students’ math scores as much as eight years later.

Eighty percent of K-12 educators have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As schools move through the pandemic, they should factor in the impact of adult stress on students

To read more, click on the following links.

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Making summer plans in Minnesota

Last month in Minneapolis, it was about 43 degrees, but the City Connects Coordinators there were still planning for summer.

In a summer fair held on Zoom, the coordinators met with community organizations to learn about programs that they can refer students to for academics, enrichment, and fun. This is especially important now, following the past year of pandemic-related social distancing and disruption.

Sharing information about these programs with families is a core part of the City Connects model. We know that to do well in school, students have to be well outside of school. That’s why we connect students to homework help and food assistance. It’s also why we connect them to arts and sports programs: enrichment outside of school, can help them thrive during school.

Community organizations are essential in this effort. We connect these organizations with kids. And the organizations provide creative activities with unique elements for all children and for children with special needs. Among the Minnesota summer options coordinators are sharing:

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The Weekly Connect 4/5/21

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:

The pandemic mutes reporting of child abuse because fewer children are in school and school personnel are the primary reporters of abuse.

Tennessee’s governor proposes a mental health trust fund to help K-12 schools deal with the pandemic’s aftermath.

How schools can address anti-Asian violence.

To read more, click on the following links.

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S3 Academy: empowering schools to set up their own systems of integrated student support


As students return to in-person learning inside their schools, many are bringing the traumas of the pandemic with them.

Schools can help by providing integrated student support, a whole child approach that meets students’ academic, social-emotional, family, and health needs. To learn how, educators can attend the Systemic Student Support (S3) Academy, an initiative of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The scale of students’ needs is daunting.

As Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland) said earlier this month at an event hosted by the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, “Our mental health and our young people’s mental health was a pressing need before the pandemic.” 

“As we all know, for many young people, this past year has been the hardest of their lives.”

Students have endured everything from losing in-person contact with friends to falling into — or falling deeper into — poverty to the loss of loved ones who have died from Covid.

“So much has changed since all students were last in school full-time,” the Rennie Center adds. “Eight million people have slipped into poverty, and 14 percent of households with children are struggling with food insecurity. Meanwhile, mental health-related emergency department visits are up 24 percent for children and 31 percent for adolescents. We will be learning about the impact of COVID-19 on children for years to come. But what we know right now is that they need extra support.”

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The Weekly Connect 3/29/21

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:

Learning loss is more prevalent among low income students who have less access to technology.

The U.S. Department of Education will use Covid relief funding to help schools districts plan summer learning and enrichment programs.

The pandemic is overwhelming school counselors who work in poorer districts and have high caseloads.

To read more, click on the following links.

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Seeking out the greatest needs

Even though the pandemic has engulfed the nation, creating unprecedented challenges, City Connects is working with its funders and community partners to meet students’ and families’ needs. One example is in Minnesota.

“This year, because of the pandemic, the needs of students and families have shifted,” Laurie Acker, Minnesota’s City Connects Program Manager, says. “A lot of these needs – food, housing, computers, and mental health services – we have the resources to meet. But it’s hard to find resources for families who want to stay in their homes when they can’t pay the rent because they’re unemployed or underemployed.”

“Fortunately, the GHR Foundation contacted me. They knew that families needed help with rent.” 

Based in Minneapolis, the GHR Foundation is a longtime supporter of City Connects. Its mission is to “be of service to people and their limitless potential for good.”

While there is a moratorium on evictions for unpaid rents, evictions for other reasons are still allowed. And as Acker points out, some unemployed parents have no way to plug the holes in their earnings and come up with back rent.

So Acker took action.

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The Weekly Connect 3/22/21

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:

Suburban public schools are now majority non-white.

Colorado addresses the pandemic’s toll on the mental health of students’ and teachers’.

A year into the pandemic, students still lack reliable Internet access.

To read more, click on the following links.

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The Weekly Connect 3/15/21

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:

High dosage tutoring in a Chicago high school helped improve students’ math grades.

The newly enacted American Rescue Plan directs more funding to schools than past federal Covid relief.

Bilingual learning pods help English Language Learners.

To read more, click on the following links.

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