City Connects at the National Catholic Educational Association Meeting

NCEAToday and tomorrow, City Connects will have be represented at the annual meeting of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) in Boston. Here are a couple of presentations to check out if you are attending the meeting:

  • Is Each and Every Catholic High School Graduate College and Career-Ready?

Thursday, April 12, 1:15-2:30pm, Room 207
Presenters:
Patrice DiNatale and Norm Hursh, City Connects; John Marshall, Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School (Dayton, Ohio)

Preparing high school students to be college and career-ready is a considerable challenge for today’s secondary schools, including Catholic schools. In this presentation, school leaders discuss specific steps and strategies to introduce a proven program of optimized student support at the high school level that promotes students’ academic achievement, healthy development, and college and career readiness. Problem solving steps and strategies to address personnel, operational, and management systems to promote implementation will be discussed.

  • Optimized Student Support as a Core Function of Catholic Education

Friday, April 13, 10:45am-12pm, Hynes 107
Presenters: Mary E. Walsh,
City Connects, and Matthew J. Welch, City Connects in Catholic Schools

This session describes an evidence-based approach to addressing the out-of-school factors that shape academic achievement and healthy development. We will detail the implementation and delivery of this approach within K-8 Catholic schools and will illustrate student and school outcome data. With this information we will then launch into a discussion about how to optimize student support at your school.

Pat DiNatale and Norm Hursh will also be presenting about City Connects this weekend at the National Office for School Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA) National Conference in Baltimore. This year’s theme is “Destination Equity;” Pat and Norm’s presentation is on Saturday, April 14.

For more information:

  • Follow NCEA on Twitter @NCEATalk; use #NCEA2012 for conference updates

City Connects at the Council of the Great City Schools Meeting

On Friday, City Connects executive director Mary Walsh and director of new practice Patrice DiNatale will be presenting at the Council of the Great City Schools 55th annual meeting in Boston. Their talk, “Addressing Out-of-School Factors to Drive Achievement,” will share the City Connects model of student support and our results. The Council of the Great City Schools is a national organization representing 65 of the nation’s largest urban school districts. This year, Boston Public Schools is hosting the meeting, which is focused on education reform.

For more information:

  • Attend the panel on Friday, Oct. 28, 9:15-10:30am in the Helicon room, 7th floor
  • Keep up with conference news on Twitter with hashtag #cgcs11 or follow the Council of the Great City Schools @GreatCitySchls

Community Partner Breakfast: A Focus on Health & Wellness

Today, City Connects hosted our annual spring gathering of community partners. The meeting, “Creating Dynamic School Partnerships to Increase the Health and Wellness of Students,” featured a panel discussion with (pictured left to right) Dr. Linda Grant, medical director of Boston Public Schools (BPS); Jill Carter, executive director, Health and Wellness at BPS; Simon Ho, principal of the Josiah Quincy School; and Pat DiNatale, director of new practice for City Connects.

Panelists discussed the need to coordinate services and fully integrate health into education to better serve students holistically. Dr. Grant emphasized the crucial role school nurses play in supporting the health of individual students while simultaneously developing knowledge of school-wide health concerns. Jill Carter gave insight into the efforts of the newly formed BPS Office of Health and Wellness and suggested that community partners establish relationships with “Wellness Champions” in the schools they serve. Simon Ho shared the steps his school took to promote student health and wellness that resulted in a Bronze Award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Pat DiNatale discussed the New Balance Foundation Health and Wellness curriculum piloted this year by City Connects and gave thanks to all of the partners with whom City Connects works to promote healthy development of students.

City Connects believes that health is a crucial component to student support–click here to learn more about our philosophy.

Speaker Slides from the Optimized Student Support Conference

As promised, we are sharing the slides that our speakers presented on Nov. 5 at the Optimized Student Support: Best Practices for Schools & Community Agencies conference. Click on the name of the presentation to download the slides as pdfs.

Part 2: City Connects on Public School Insights

As a follow up to his recent interview with City Connects’ Executive Director Mary Walsh and Director of Practice Pat DiNatale, Claus von Zastrow of the Learning First Alliance spoke to two people experiencing City Connects in Boston’s schools: Traci Walker Griffith, principal of the Eliot K-8 School, and Kathleen Carlisle, site coordinator at the Mission Hill School. Read about how City Connects is implemented in schools and the impact it has on students and their families:

Helping the Whole Child: A View from Two Schools

City Connects was also recently featured on the Future of Teaching blog as an example of a positive shift that is catching on in the context of school reform.

City Connects Featured on Public School Insights

City Connects’ Mary Walsh, Executive Director, and Pat DiNatale, Director of Practice, were interviewed about the CCNX model of  student support over at the Public School Insights blog. The blog has a rich collection of what’s already working in public schools and aims to spark a national conversation about how to make it work for children in every school. It is a product of the Learning First Alliance, a partnership of 18 leading education associations with more than 10 million members dedicated to improving student learning in America’s public schools. Check out the interview and leave a comment!

When “City Connects” Helps the Whole Child,
Achievement Gaps Shrink

The figure in the interview is new work from the CCNX evaluation team. It shows that  students in City Connects schools outperform their Boston peers in middle school and achieve close to state proficiency levels in both English and math on Massachusetts statewide tests (MCAS). After they leave the CCNX program, significant long-term effects persist through middle school. This graph presents the percentage of students achieving in the Proficient or Advanced categories of MCAS mathematics for one cohort of students who started first grade in 2001.

Data Source: Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education; Boston Public Schools MCAS data, 2009. CCNX sample sizes: Grade 4=374; grade 5=378; grade 6=338; grade 7=325; grade 8=276.

  • Learn more about City Connects data on our Results web page
  • Follow Claus von Zastrow, author of the Public School Insights blog and Executive Director of the Learning First Alliance, on Twitter