Happy Holidays! Reflecting on 2014 & what’s ahead in 2015

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.

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:

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:

  • huff post eduDeserving 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 Supportascd whole child
    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.”
  • Education Week LogoLearning 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!

“Making the Grade” Child Trends webinar now posted

Last Thursday, City Connects Executive Director Mary Walsh participated in a webinar hosted by Child Trends related to its recent report, “Making the Grade: Assessing the Evidence for Integrated Student Supports.” Child Trends Senior Scholar Kristin Anderson Moore presented the report’s findings, which look at the existing evidence from programs providing supports to students, including City Connects. Joining Mary Walsh as respondents were Daniel Cardinali, President, Communities In Schools and Jane Quinn, Vice President for Community Schools at The Children’s Aid Society and Director of the National Center for Community Schools.

Watch the webinar on Child Trends website here.

For more information:
  • See our post about the Child Trends report here
  • Explore more of City Connects results here

Register now for the Child Trends Student Support webinar on March 6!

On the heels of last week’s Child Trends report, “Making the Grade: Assessing the Evidence for Integrated Student Services,” registration is now open for a free webinar about the report to be held on Thursday, March 6, from 2:30-3:45pm EST. In addition to City Connects executive director Mary Walsh, webinar presenters include:

For more information:

New partnership with the Children’s Aid Society brings City Connects to New York City

Children's Aid SocietyWe are pleased to announce that we have partnered with the Children’s Aid Society of New York City to pilot the delivery of optimized student support to the C. S. 61 Francisco Oller elementary school, a community school in the Morrisania neighborhood of the South Bronx, beginning in January 2014.

“We are pleased to be partnering with the Children’s Aid Society, an organization that has such deep experience serving the children and families of New York City,” says Mary E. Walsh, Ph.D., Executive Director of City Connects and the Kearns Professor at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education. “Research shows that factors outside of school like hunger, homelessness, or a lack of access to enrichment activities are responsible for two-thirds of the achievement gap, and these factors are especially persistent and challenging for students living in poverty. Our collaboration will allow us to address these factors and help Morrisania students come to school ready to learn and thrive.”

For more information: