The mission of City Connects 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. City Connects has been in operation since 2001, serving grades 1–8 and expanding in 2008 to include Catholic schools. City Connects (CCNX) in Catholic Schools is an innovative school-based intervention that revitalizes student support in urban Catholic elementary schools. Site Coordinators collaborate with teachers to identify the strengths and needs of every child, developing a uniquely tailored set of intervention, prevention, and enrichment services to help each student learn and thrive. These services and enrichments are located in agencies within the local community. Extensive research on the City Connects model has demonstrated a positive impact on academic achievement and thriving.
In July 2009, the Better Way Foundation provided a 3-year grant to adapt the City Connects model to the early childhood population in City Connects Catholic Schools (CCCS). CCCS committed to develop, implement, and evaluate the early childhood adaptation of the City Connects model. Implementation involves a set of control schools, regular biweekly professional development for school site coordinators, the use of early childhood consultants, standardized and codified practices, a data tracking system, and measures of fidelity to implementation. The early childhood model of CCCS is in the process of developing a pilot site in a community-based early childhood center.
City Connects in Catholic Schools is based at the Center for Optimized Student Support at Lynch School of Education at Boston College. Sixteen Catholic elementary schools partner with the Lynch School to implement City Connects. Community partners include 167 child and family-serving agencies in the city of Boston.