Solutions for Policy Makers

The role of education as a pathway to opportunity in our country has never been more critical, or more scrutinized. The evidence is clear: Poverty, and the chaos it often brings to a family’s daily life, severely constricts a child’s ability to engage and succeed in school. How can we make sure our schools are up to the challenge of providing a 21st-century education for all our children — not just some? And what will it take to get there?

Everyone is looking for policy solutions that work.

City Connects works.

How can City Connects help?

In an era of scarce resources and rising need, it’s essential to ensure that existing programs and services are fully utilized and well deployed. City Connects delivers that assurance, creating a systematic approach to addressing the needs of all students.

Even in high-need districts, resources and enrichment opportunities for children are present, both in schools and in the larger community. The challenge is accessing them, amid what can be a cacophonous maze for overtaxed teachers, administrators, or families. At City Connects schools, the City Connects Coordinator is the connecting point, navigating the maze to identify and target the right student to the right service, creating an optimized system of student support.

Give me an example.

In 2019-20, City Connects has linked more than 25,000 students to 220,000 services and enrichment opportunities across its sites, ranging from tutoring to athletic programs.

And what’s more, we have the evidence to show that these interventions are working — for students, teachers, schools, and families.

The Impact of City Connects

City Connects programs in early childhood and elementary schools have a positive impact on students.

School Readiness

City Connects Students demonstrate higher school readiness scores than students in comparison schools.

Standardized Test Scores

City Connects Students outperform their peers on standardized test scores.

Report Card Grades

City Connects Students achieve better report card scores in math, reading, behavior, work habits, and effort.


Students continue to show positive benefits in middle school after leaving City Connects schools.

Statewide Tests

Former City Connects Students outperform peers from comparison schools on statewide tests in both English Language Arts and Math.

Grade Repetition

Former City Connects Students have lower rates of being held back in grade through grade 9.

School Attendance

Former City Connects Students are significantly less likely to be chronically absent.


The effects of attending an elementary school with City Connects even persist into high school.

High School Admission

Former City Connects students are more likely to be admitted to rigorous exam schools.

Statewide Tests

Former City Connects students achieve Advanced or Proficient scores on grade 10 statewide tests in both English Language Arts and Math at a much higher rate.

Dropout Rate

Former City Connects students have a dropout rate that is approximately half that of students who never experienced City Connects.