The Weekly Connect 12.5.22

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:

Higher youth suicide rates linked to mental health staff shortages.

School budgets should not rely solely on local property taxes; they also need flexible state aid. 

Programs for gifted students need more support. 

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading “The Weekly Connect 12.5.22”

Grief and Loss in Minnesota: Helping students face painful transitions

For many students, the challenges of the pandemic have included coping with unexpected grief. 

“What we’re seeing, especially since COVID-19, are a lot of families going through separations and divorce, and families who are experiencing the loss of family members,” McKenzie Bergman says. She’s the City Connects Coordinator at Blessed Trinity Catholic School in Richfield, Minn. 

Blessed Trinity is a small school, with 215 students, where the loss of a loved one and even a handful of divorces can ripple through the school community. 

“For so many of our families, everything is set up like a house of cards, just stacked perfectly. Pull out any one card, though, and it all falls apart. That’s what we’re seeing when families go through these changes.” 

For students, loss and grief can trigger larger challenges like depression, social withdrawal, and eating disorders. Grades and attendance can drop. Some students act out. A newly single parent may need support in finding a job. 

Bergman’s response as a coordinator is to help children and support families. A key first step, she says, is listening.

“Everyone’s an expert on their own lives,” Bergman explains. That’s why it’s crucial to help children find their voice as they grieve. “You really have to give students the opportunity to tell their story. You can’t help them if you don’t know what they’re experiencing.”

Continue reading “Grief and Loss in Minnesota: Helping students face painful transitions”

The Weekly Connect 11/29/22

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:

Play is crucial for middle schoolers. 

The U.S. Department of Education outlines the violence prevention options for a $1 billion grant program.

Starting career education in middle school pays off. 

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading “The Weekly Connect 11/29/22”

The Weekly Connect 11/21/22

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:

School districts fail to count thousands of homeless students

Culture wars are pushing some teachers to leave the classroom.

More than 700 children were arrested in U.S. elementary schools during the 2017-2018 school year, according to one analysis.

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading “The Weekly Connect 11/21/22”

The Weekly Connect 11/14/22

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:

Middle school students need tailored instruction and support. 

Colorado voters approve universal free school meals

Schools face a “tripledemic” of the flu, Covid, and the respiratory syncytial virus, known as RSV.

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading “The Weekly Connect 11/14/22”

Growing by leaps and bounds in Indiana

Last year, thanks to our partnership with Marian University’s Center for Vibrant Schools, City Connects launched in 30 public and charter schools in Indiana. 

This year we are in 80 public, charter, and non-public Indiana schools.

This exciting growth has created more opportunities to serve more students – and it has expanded City Connects’ community of practitioners. 

Among Indiana’s new City Connects schools are non-public parochial schools as well as nondenominational Christian and Islamic schools and a private school without any religious affiliation.

This growth has been driven in part by Covid-19 relief funds – Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools – from the U.S. Department of Education that were given to schools where at least 20 percent of students receive free or reduced-price lunch. In some of Indiana’s City Connects schools, more than 40 percent of students receive these lunch subsidies, and in other schools more than 80 percent do.

This crucial support comes at a time when schools in Indiana – and across the country – are coping with learning loss, absenteeism, and students who are struggling to behave in age-appropriate ways. Indiana is also taking a hard look at its NAEP scores, to understand the pandemic’s impact on student learning.

Continue reading “Growing by leaps and bounds in Indiana”

The Weekly Connect 10/31/22

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:

Many students struggling with anxiety and depression say they can’t find help at school. 

Dress code policies can make schools less equitable. 

An Alabama town is using federal Covid relief funds to hire more teachers who can teach students who are learning English.

To read more, click on the following links.

Continue reading “The Weekly Connect 10/31/22”

Dayton Flight: a community partnership that connects students to African-American men

Keisha Anderson is working to engage more African-American men and bring them into her school.

“I want to open school spaces to dads, uncles, male mentors, pastors, barbers, whoever has a positive male influence in students’ lives. I am opening doors so they can come into our building.”

Anderson is the City Connects Coordinator at Belle Haven Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio, and although she’s excited about having mothers, aunts, and female mentors in her school, she says that these women already show up. Teachers are already comfortable reaching out to mothers. And there are already a number of programs that focus on girls.

To be inclusive and focus on boys, Anderson reached out and formed a community partnership with Dayton Flight, a professional basketball team.

Anderson doesn’t like what she calls “one and done” community partnerships, so she has found multiple ways for the team to interact with her school. The team has provided families with tickets to games, boosting Anderson’s family engagement efforts. Players also visited Belle Haven last May for Field Day and played basketball with students.

“There were these big brother moments,” Anderson recalls, “young students thinking they could actually dunk the ball even though they were up against big players. It’s these positive moments that our kids will probably live off for a long time.”

Brandon Harper, Team Market Owner and General Manager of Dayton Flight, says it was “a natural fit” to get involved with Belle Haven.

Continue reading “Dayton Flight: a community partnership that connects students to African-American men”
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