As 2014 draws to a close, we extend our sincere wishes for a happy holiday! Looking back at 2014, we have many things to celebrate and have collected some highlights to share as 2015 approaches.
The impact of City Connects depends in large part on the many exceptional school, community, and philanthropic partners with whom we are honored to work. Together, we ensure that children receive the tailored services and enrichment opportunities they need to be able to learn and thrive in school.
Over the past year, these partnerships have supported our expansion. We’re currently providing optimized student support to 20,000 students in 62 sites across 3 states!
National Network Growth: 2014-15
This fall, City Connects launched in several new sites across New York City, Ohio, and Massachusetts.
- In partnership with the Children’s Aid Society (CAS), we began working with 5 CAS community schools in New York City serving more than 1,600 students.
- In Boston, we added four Boston Public elementary schools: the Chittick, Holmes, Shaw, and Winthrop. City Connects now works in 50 Massachusetts sites serving 16,000 students, including 20 Boston Public schools, 16 Boston-area Catholic schools, and 13 Springfield Public schools.
- In Dayton, Ohio, with support from the Mathile Family Foundation, we welcomed two charter schools to our network: DECA Prep and the Dayton Early College Academy. In 2015, the Trotwood-Madison City School District on the edge of Dayton will be joining the City Connects network.
- With support from the Better Way Foundation, the Early Childhood adaptation of City Connects is being implemented in all City Connects sites that serve our youngest students.
- Looking ahead to 2015, City Connects will be growing in Brockton, Mass., with support from the Amelia Peabody Foundation.
Research & Publications
The City Connects Evaluation Team, based at Boston College, has had a busy year. The most exciting development was the publication of a paper featuring some of our early findings in the the highly-regarded American Educational Research Journal. Several additional publications were released this year, including:
- Policy Brief: Reducing High School Dropout through Elementary School Student Support, our first in a series of Policy Briefs, shows how City Connects cuts high school dropout rates nearly in half.
- The Impact of City Connects: Progress Report 2014 details the positive impact of City Connects in Boston and Springfield, Mass., public schools [more].
- City Connects in Catholic Schools: Evaluation Summary Report 2014 focuses on the positive impact City Connects has on Boston-area Catholic schools.
In 2015, with support from the I. A. O’Shaughnessy Foundation, the Evaluation Team will be examining long-term City Connects student outcomes and taking a deeper dive into teachers’ perceptions of City Connects.
City Connects in the News
City Connects was featured in several news outlets this year, including:
- Deserving of Celebration: Public Education Done Right
July 3, 2014: “As we celebrate America’s independence … let’s also celebrate examples of comprehensive approaches to education that are doing it right and seeing great results. In Boston, Massachusetts, the birthplace of the American revolution, City Connects celebrates its fifteenth year of providing comprehensive supports to students by leveraging community assets and connecting them to each students’ unique needs.”
- Impacting Academic Achievement through Student Support
June 24, 2014: “Our longitudinal research demonstrates that for children who attended City Connects schools in grades K–5, the beneficial effects continue into middle and high school. We can definitively say that the City Connects system of student support makes a positive and long-term difference in the lives of children.”
- Learning Payoff Found for City Connects Program
September 30, 2014: “City Connects helps schools organize and align services for students, including the ‘great middle’-students who are neither excelling enough to be tapped for gifted programs nor struggling enough to be identified for special education.”
- Helping students with needs that extend outside the classroom
November 24, 2014: “City Connects is based on the simple idea that a child distracted by pain, fear, or deprivation can’t possibly do as well in school as a child without those challenges. So City Connects tries to resolve as many of those issues as possible.”
We wish you the very best in 2015!