City Connects

At a Glance

National Office: 
Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue Campion Hall Room 305D
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Phone: 617-552-4231
People Served: 
25,000
Year Founded: 
1999

Focus area(s):

Early Education
K-12 Reform

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Description

City Connects is an innovative school-based system that addresses the out-of-school factors impacting learning in high-poverty urban schools. Leveraging in-school and community-based resources, it provides an efficient way to connect the right service to the right child at the right time.

City Connects is grounded in developmental science. At its core, the City Connects approach recognizes that a child’s course of development can be altered when risks are addressed with the right supports and opportunities are designed to cultivate strengths, enhancing resilience. All children deserve quality supports and are capable of learning and thriving with careful attention to their unique strengths, needs, and interests.

Impact and Outcomes

City Connects serves 25,000 students in 80 sites across Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Minneapolis, and Connecticut.
Research demonstrates that City Connects significantly improves academic performance and thriving and narrows achievement gaps (www.cityconnects.org).
Students in City Connects schools significantly outperformed their peers in comparison schools in report card scores and standardized test scores in reading and mathematics.
Immigrant students in City Connects schools significantly outperformed comparison immigrant students on both reading and math achievement test scores.
After leaving City Connects and moving on to middle school, students scored higher on statewide math and English language arts tests than comparison peers who were never enrolled in a City Connects school.
Students previously enrolled in City Connects elementary schools demonstrated lower rates of chronic absenteeism in middle and high school than students in comparison schools.
Once they reached high school, students previously enrolled in a City Connects elementary school dropped out of school at about half the rate of comparison students.
An analysis by the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education at Columbia University (cbcse.org) found that City Connects yielded a benefit of $11 for every $1 invested. Even when the costs of community partner services were also included in the analysis, the study showed a return of $3 for every $1 invested.

Mission & Goals

City Connects' mission is 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.

Following its initial launch in Boston, MA, City Connects has expanded over the course of a decade to 80 sites in five states. The expanding evidence base continues to lead districts and states to seek out City Connects as a comprehensive approach to supporting all students.

City Connects aims to continue expanding to new districts and growing within existing districts. At the same time, City Connects seeks to scale impact. In July 2016, it was selected for investment by New Profit’s Reimagine Learning fund. Through implementation and ongoing research, City Connects seeks to serve an increasing number of students and to contribute to the emerging national conversation on how to address the out-of-school factors impacting learning for many students. 

Program

City Connects offers schools a systematic way to connect the right set of resources to the right child at the right time. City Connects places a Master's-trained Coordinator, usually a social worker or school counselor, in a school. Each fall, the Coordinator meets with every teacher to review every child. They discuss the child’s strengths and needs across multiple domains of development: academic, social-emotional, health and family. Based on the profile of the child, and in consultation with the family and school staff, every child receives an individualized support plan detailing the tailored services and opportunities needed to optimize readiness to learn. The Coordinator ensures that each plan is implemented and matches the child to existing in-school and community-based services and resources. Using proprietary technology systems to align resources, track service delivery, and ensure fidelity of implementation, the Coordinator secures the tailored set of supports and enrichments that develops each child’s potential and readiness to learn.  

Impact

City Connects serves 25,000 students in 80 sites across Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Minneapolis, and Connecticut.

Research demonstrates that City Connects significantly improves academic performance and thriving and narrows achievement gaps (www.cityconnects.org).

  • Students in City Connects schools significantly outperformed their peers in comparison schools in report card scores and standardized test scores in reading and mathematics.
  • Immigrant students in City Connects schools significantly outperformed comparison immigrant students on both reading and math achievement test scores.
  • After leaving City Connects and moving on to middle school, students scored higher on statewide math and English language arts tests than comparison peers who were never enrolled in a City Connects school.
  • Students previously enrolled in City Connects elementary schools demonstrated lower rates of chronic absenteeism in middle and high school than students in comparison schools.
  • Once they reached high school, students previously enrolled in a City Connects elementary school dropped out of school at about half the rate of comparison students.

An analysis by the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education at Columbia University (cbcse.org) found that City Connects yielded a benefit of $11 for every $1 invested. Even when the costs of community partner services were also included in the analysis, the study showed a return of $3 for every $1 invested.

Growth Plan

City Connects aims to continue expanding to new districts and anticipates growth of 20% within existing districts. At the same time, through ongoing implementation, research, and collaboration with such partners as New Profit, City Connects seeks to contribute to the current national conversation about the out-of-school factors that influence achievement in school, especially for students living in poverty. By leveraging what it has learned about best practices in comprehensive, integrated student support, City Connects hopes to support nationwide adoption of interventions to address risks and cultivate strengths in all students.

For further details, please contact City Connects. 

Location of Sites

National Office: 
Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue Campion Hall Room 305D
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Phone: 617-552-4231
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

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Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2012

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$0
Foundation Grants: 
$1,302,822
Government Funding: 
$200,000
Contributions from Individuals: 
$0
Special Events: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$1,301,112
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$2,803,934

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$2,630,620
Occupancy: 
$0
Travel & Entertainment: 
$900
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$0
Telephone & Communications: 
$0
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$172,010
Other Expenses (Description): 

"Other Expenses" are expenses incurred by City Connects when delivering services to district licensees. This includes expenses such as City Connects-hosted conferences, occupancy, utilities, technology, and general supplies.

Total Expenses: 
$2,803,530

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$404

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2011

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$0
Foundation Grants: 
$1,585,519
Government Funding: 
$0
Contributions from Individuals: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$1,136,939
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$0
Special Events: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$2,722,458

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$2,554,000
Occupancy: 
$0
Travel & Entertainment: 
$1,067
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$0
Telephone & Communication: 
$0
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$167,000
Other Expenses (Description): 

"Other Expenses" are expenses incurred by City Connects when delivering services to district licensees. This includes expenses such as City Connects-hosted conferences, occupancy, utilities, technology, and general supplies.

Total Expenses: 
$2,722,067

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$391

Major Funders

Amelia Peabody Foundation

Barr Foundation

The Better Way Foundation

Boston College

Catholic Schools Foundation

The Charles Hayden Foundation

Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation

GHR Foundation

The Herman and Frieda L. Miller Foundation

I. A. O'Shaughnessy Foundation

The Ludcke Foundation

Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

The Mathile Family Foundation

The New Balance Foundation

New Profit

The Philanthropic Initiative

Strategic Grant Partners