About the Center for Optimized Student Support

All children rely on relationships and systems of support to develop, learn, and thrive. The Center for Optimized Student Support (COSS) uses research and data to identify and evaluate strategies that successfully transform schools and communities into systems of opportunity for all students. By engaging in research and convening educators, policy makers, and community leaders, the Center is a catalyst for developing and implementing programs that are effective, systemic, and scalable. We conduct interdisciplinary research that builds on the strengths of both science and practice to understand what it takes to produce true opportunity for all, as well as consider the root causes of the achievement gap and a wide array of programs and practices that promote healthy child development. Our research helps to identify solutions that are sustainable and scalable. We share the results of our work, including best practices, with a broad spectrum of education leaders, policy makers, and community organizations to inform and improve programs, practice, and policy, and inspire decision makers to reconsider what is possible for all students.

Under the Center’s umbrella, City Connects puts research into practice by providing a network of care and supports around each individual student to ensure that they are ready to learn and engage in school. The intervention provides customized, comprehensive, coordinated and continuous student support in ways that are quantifiably impactful and cost-efficient.