The Weekly Connect 5/21/18

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:

Teachers want help finding evidence-based practices for addressing students’ behavioral challenges.

Young children’s self-control is influenced by their knowledge of how their peers are acting.

States need more data on preschool-age Dual Language Learners. 

As the population of students grows, the number of school librarians is falling.

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

Community partner breakfast in Minnesota: eat, play, connect

City Connects is growing in Minnesota. But the program isn’t just getting bigger — serving over 2,000 students across 10 schools with 13,284 services — it’s also getting better connected.

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The heart of City Connects’ model is connecting children to services. But again and again, we’ve seen that this also means forging connections among adults. That might mean connecting an immigrant parent to a health provider or having a funder hear from a principal.

To illustrate and capitalize on the power of these connections, Minnesota Program Manager Laurie Acker organized a community partner breakfast where she skipped the usual PowerPoint presentation and instead asked all the attendees to play a version of the classic kids’ game, Connect Four, a name that also acknowledges City Connects’ fourth anniversary in Minnesota. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 5/14/18

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:

Research suggests attendance can be improved by sending parents letters about the number of school days their children have missed.

Free school breakfast and lunch programs can improve students’ health, a study shows.

New York City adds 50 bilingual programs to help English Language Learners.

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

City Connects helps a community school in the Bronx Shine A Light

Community School 211, a pre-K to eighth grade school in the Bronx run by the Children’s Aid Society, has woven City Connects into a successful strategy for improving students’ attendance — and won an award for its efforts.

The school has seen its chronic absenteeism rate drop by almost 8 percent and its average daily attendance rate go from 92.9 percent last year to 94.1 percent this year. Chronic absenteeism is often defined as missing 10 percent of school days — or more– in a year. Missing this much school puts students at risk of having poor academic outcomes and dropping out.

Last month, C.S. 211 won a Shine a Light award from New York City’s Department of Education for their attendance improvement efforts. This is the result of four years of continuous improvement to ensure that students are in school every day. It’s exciting recognition of the vision, teamwork, and systematic effort it takes to boost attendance and help students fulfill their academic potential. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 5/7/18

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:

Teacher stress may be hurting student performance.

Colorado considers creating a law that would provide transportation to school for foster kids.

Detroit teachers use home visits to help improve school culture.

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

Improving educational opportunity for all students

In a new OpEd in CommonWealth magazine — “We need a holistic approach to improving student outcomes” — Joan Wasser Gish looks at the power of schools to address poverty and other out-of-school factors to improve educational opportunities for all students.

Wasser Gish is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Boston College Lynch School of Education’s Center for Optimized Student Support – home to City Connects.

“Factors outside of school more powerfully predict outcomes than any factor in schools,” Wasser Gish writes. This makes it imperative to address the impact of out-of-school factors on learning to improve students’ outcomes. How can this work be done? Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 4/30/18

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:

Less supportive communities can harm children’s mental health.

To meet ESSA requirements, schools have to calculate per-pupil spending.

Strong bilingual pre-K programs work, but more are needed.

Maryland leaders may limit how long students can use digital devices while they are in school.

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

Customizing services by building trust with families

Chittick Elementary School

At City Connects, we don’t just connect students to services, we connect them to a customized set of services and enrichment opportunities that meet their individual needs.

At the heart of this work is a core task: building trust with families.

Coordinators use this combination of customization and trust to help families through challenging times. This means learning how best to engage and support kids; cutting through bureaucratic red tape; and sharing insights and resources with parents. Coordinators might help a family get beds or guide immigrants who don’t speak English through the healthcare system. Our goal is to strengthen families so that students have everything they need to thrive.

This work starts early. And it continues for as long as students are at school.

“It takes time to warm the parents up to the fact that I and everyone in the school is supporting the family and not attacking parents for not parenting perfectly,” says Julie Vogel, the coordinator at the Paul A. Dever Elementary School. Continue reading