The Weekly Connect 3/26/18

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:

Increasing immigrant children’s access to early care and education.

A bill in Vermont’s Senate would set up efforts to prevent childhood trauma.

Reports of student bullying have declined.

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading

From Awareness to Action in Minnesota

 

Laurie Acker’s experience with City Connects shows how awareness of students’ needs can lead to action.

“The big ‘A ha,’ that I had with City Connects was hearing that 65 percent of why there is an achievement gap has nothing to do with schools or teachers,” explains Acker, who has worked as both a teacher and a principal in Catholic schools.

That 65 percent statistic comes from research that found the achievement gap is significantly fueled by out-of-school factors. Now, as the Program Manager for City Connects schools in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., Acker sees those factors up close every day.

But she also sees how City Connects works with students, families, and community partners to address the many other challenges that children in the Twin Cities face. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 3/19/18

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:

Tacoma, Wash., schools focus on social-emotional learning.

Amid student protests, the U.S. House of Representatives passes a school safety bill.

Florida will give bullied public school students a voucher so that they can attend private schools.

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading

The MassMutual Foundation helps City Connects expand into more Springfield schools

City Connects is expanding in Springfield. We’re growing from the five schools we worked at in 2011 to 15 schools at the beginning of this year to a current total of 23 schools. 

We had been connecting 5,000 students to 35,000 services, and now we are reaching nearly 8,000 students with even more support.

It’s an important step forward given that 77 percent of Springfield’s students are economically disadvantaged and face non-academic barriers that run from unmet health care needs to homelessness.

As Mary Walsh, the Executive Director of City Connects, and Daniel Warwick, Springfield’s schools Superintendent, wrote last year in CommonWealth magazine:

“Researchers repeatedly tell us that children’s brains are harmed by growing up in disadvantaged circumstances and by toxic stress – which includes abuse, neglect, violence, caregiver substance abuse, or mental illness, and the hardships of severe poverty. City Connects helps us by addressing each child’s unique combination of stressors.” Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 3/12/18

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:

It can be tough to find teachers for incarcerated students.

The U.S. Department of Education changes the rules for civil rights investigations.

North Carolina teachers are trained to help students who are grappling with trauma.

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading

City Connects prompts data-driven action in community schools in the Bronx (Kappan Magazine)

The February edition of Kappan magazine includes an article on our work: “City Connects prompts data-driven action in community schools in the Bronx.” Here’s an excerpt:

“One student needs dental work. Another needs eyeglasses to see the blackboard. There’s the student who comes to school hungry and the student who is homeless. They all face challenges outside school that threaten their ability to achieve in school.

“These problems are often the result of poverty, parental depression, or substance abuse. As numerous research studies point out, these factors can hurt students’ performance in school, making it hard to complete classwork or develop the social skills to achieve.

“Community schools help students by connecting them to services. But at a group of community schools in the South Bronx run by the Children’s Aid Society, staff and educators have found they can be even more effective when they have a key ingredient: data.”

Read the rest of the article here.

The Weekly Connect 3/5/18

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:

School counselors have oversized caseloads.

Figuring out the right amount of homework.

17 states receive ESSA extensions.

A Denver elementary school offers yoga instead of detention.

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading

A City Connects Coordinator focuses on health and wellness

When Will Osier became the City Connects Coordinator at Boston’s Chittick Elementary School, he built on the school’s existing efforts and focused on health and wellness. This was in addition to the daily work that coordinators do.

The magic ingredient: Osier created a team, a Boston Public School wellness council to create hands-on learning opportunities for students and families.

“The enrichment piece of it is engaging for the kids,” Osier says. “And that was initially what was exciting because you could see all these opportunities to help teach kids things that they’re not learning in a traditional academic setting.” Continue reading