Implementation and Innovation

The Center serves as a hub for integrated student support science and innovation. We connect the sciences of development, learning, implementation and economics to discover pragmatic and effective ways to transform students’ lives for the better. Our core strategies include research, implementation, and innovation.

City Connects is a systematic, high-impact, cost-effective approach to helping every child in a high-poverty school become ready to learn and engage in the classroom.

City Connects provides each student in a school with a tailored set of supports and enrichments designed to optimize healthy development and learning. City Connects provides a clear, organized, and evidence-based strategy for schools to more effectively and efficiently leverage existing resources and produce outcomes. City Connects uses data both to continuously improve service delivery, and to test out scientifically-based approaches to student support so that practitioners using various approaches can learn about what works, for whom, and why.

Read more at the website for City Connects.

interconnected logo

Grounded in the developmental sciences and evidence-based practices in the field, InterconnectED is dedicated to scaling integration of education with social services, youth development, health and mental health resources to improve learning outcomes.

Read more at the website for InterconnectED

Policy briefs written by the Center of Optimized Student Support:

Comprehensive Services for Children, Youth, and Families During the Covid-19 Crisis

Joan Wasser Gish, Spring 2020


Improving Student Achievement by Meeting Children’s Comprehensive Needs: State Policy Options

Mary Walsh and Joan Wasser GishSummer 2017


Building Systems of Integrated Student Support - A Policy Brief for Local and State Leaders

Joan Wasser Gish, April 2019


Integrated Student Supports State Policy Toolkit

Center for Optimized Student Support with Communities in Schools, July 2019


Memos to the President on the Future of U.S. Education Policy

Mary Walsh and Joan Wasser Gish,, 2016  


MTSS and Integrated Student Support

Center for Optimized Student Support, Fall 2019