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!

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:

Child Trends report on “Integrated Student Supports” features City Connects

A new report issued today by Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center,  includes City Connects as an evidence-based example that  demonstrates how student support positively impacts children. The report, “Assessing the Evidence for Integrated Student Services,” examines the definition of integrated student supports and its effectiveness at improving educational outcomes. City Connects was one of three student support organizations–along with Communities in Schools and the Comer School Development Program (Comer SDP), whose evidence was examined.

Child Trend defines “integrated student supports” (ISS) as a school-based approach to promoting students’ academic success by developing or securing and coordinating supports that target academic and non-academic barriers to achievement. This is closely aligned with City Connects’ mission to have every child engage and learn in school by connecting each student with the tailored set of intervention, prevention, and enrichment services he or she needs to thrive.  Child Trends identified five common components to improve academic achievement found across many, if not all, of the ISS models that have emerged in recent years–all of which are incorporated into City Connects’ system of student support:

City Connects’ executive director Mary Walsh will be participating in a free Child Trends webinar on the report, “Making the Grade: Assessing the Evidence for Integrated Student Services,” on Thursday, March 6. Register now to hear from Mary Walsh, as well as representatives from Child Trends, Communities in Schools, and the National Center for Community Schools at the Children’s Aid Society.

For more information: