The Weekly Connect 6/8/20

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:

Public debate about the achievement gap could increase racial bias against Black students.

In the fall, public schools will likely face higher costs and less funding.

COVID-19 has triggered a health crisis and an economic crisis, and research on past disasters suggests it could trigger a mental health crisis.

Hundreds of thousands of students can’t access online learning because they lack the necessary technology.

To read more, click on the following links.

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COVID-19 exposes education’s flaws – and opportunities

As schools struggle through the fallout of COVID-19, there is a lot to worry about — but there’s also a chance to innovate by implementing many of the strategies we use at City Connects. 

The immediate concern — as A. Brooks Bowden and Rebecca Davis write in “With fewer funds and greater needs, schools should pursue cost-effectiveness strategies,” an article published by Brookings – is that schools are in academic and financial jeopardy. 

“Projected economic impacts of COVID-19 on student outcomes is huge,” the article says. “Recent projections indicate that student learning loss may be one-third to two-thirds larger than what students normally lose during summer slump. In addition to learning loss, students are disconnected from the stability of school, peer networks, and access to school-based supports, such as mental health services, school nurses, and school food.” 

“Budget cuts make matters even worse, driving up the need to consider cost effectiveness in finding solutions.”  Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 6/1/20

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:

Educators and policymakers are worried about low-income students falling behind during coronavirus school closures.

Because of the pandemic, America’s schools could face massive budget cuts.

Some districts are struggling to help English Language Learners.

To read more, click on the following links.

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A message from Mary Walsh

We stand with our sisters and brothers across the country who are seeking justice and meaningful change. The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others are the result of racial injustice that plagues our society. City Connects was developed to lift children over barriers to their success – especially in low-income urban school districts. This mission continues to guide our work and our conviction that with the right support, every child can thrive. We are deeply invested in promoting justice, supporting one another, and amplifying our voices against all instances of oppression.

— Mary Walsh, Executive Director of City Connects

A week in the life of a City Connects Coordinator – working through a pandemic

Lexy Marsh

 

When COVID-19 shut down the Boston Public Schools, Lexy Marsh, the City Connects Coordinator at the Oliver Wendell Holmes Innovation School, felt a huge loss.

“I love going to school. I love the routine. So when our school closed, it was sad and stressful, but I quickly switched from how I was feeling to focusing on my students,” Marsh says. 

“All of our kids qualify for the free, reduced lunch program. About 30% of our kids are homeless or displaced, which is a huge percentage. And about 50% of our kids receive some kind of special needs services.” 

“And all my kids thrive on structure, even if they don’t want to admit it. They like coming to school because they know what to expect. They’re going to get breakfast, lunch and a snack. They know what teachers think they’re capable of doing, and they’re going to rise to that level. So, it was sad to know they wouldn’t have this structure.” 

 So when her school switched to online learning, Marsh created new structures, as a peek at her weekly schedule reveals:  Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 5/26/20

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:

Parents are worried about their children losing social connections during COVID-19 school closures.

Because of COVID-19’s impact on its budget, California is slashing its preschool funding.

The rigor of remote learning varies by state.

To read more, click on the following links.

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Coordinators make plans for a challenging summer

Summer is usually when City Connects Coordinators make sure that students are enrolled in camp or summer school or other programs that will support their growth and development. 

But now, coordinators are planning around the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Summer is a moving target this year,” Lynne Sullivan, City Connects’ Director of Implementation, says. School districts are trying to figure out what programs they can safely offer. Some camps are closing. And parents, especially those who have to go to work, are facing uncertainty. 

“One of the things that coordinators are trying to balance this summer is an emphasis on trying to make up for academic learning loss and address students’ need for social-emotional support,” Sullivan adds.

In City Connect schools across the country, this means connecting students to a mix of creative opportunities.  Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 5/18/20

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:

Pediatricians worry that pandemic recovery planning is overlooking children’s needs.

Without more federal funds, half of all child care centers could close permanently.

In the shadow of COVID-19, more students could suffer from housing insecurity and homelessness.

To read more, click on the following links.

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