2017-2018 boston

Impact Report

we believe in boston students.

we believe in
boston students.

And we know that they can succeed with people in their corner. City Year AmeriCorps members – energetic, hard-working 18-24 year-olds— bring additional resources and passion into the Boston Public Schools each day. They bond with students and work together to develop key academic and social-emotional skills. Each year, we see that these close relationships have a real impact on students’ academic progress.

We know we’re making a difference because we see it: not just in data and test scores, but in the personal growth and transformation in our students every day. We’re excited to highlight different ways that our work positively impacts Boston students and schools, as well as the relationships and structures that drive those results.

81%

Percent of students supported by City Year AmeriCorps members last year who improved their performance on district reading and writing assessments.

12,000

21,000

Boston students supported by 289 City Year AmeriCorps members this school year.

Hours of learning time recovered by students supported by City Year AmeriCorps members last school year.

what makes city year different

Click these links or scroll down to learn more about our impact in Boston.

“My City Year gives me a lot of confidence. Even when I feel like I’m not doing really good in my subjects, she gives me motivational quotes and tells me to focus. She tells me if I put my head into what I’m doing, I can do anything."

jake*, 9th grade student, The English High School

meeting students where they are

The students in our communities are creative, smart, and incredibly different from one another. We know there is no “one size fits all” solution to learning, so we make it a priority to meet students where they are.

Our AmeriCorps members get to know students and find out what makes them tick. From there, they assess students’ strengths and challenge areas using data and continually adjust their support strategies with the help of seasoned education professionals. This all adds up to a thorough, adaptive system that fills a demonstrated gap that school administrators have expressed.

“When we’re doing things like fractions, one student who works at her parents’ catering business every weekend can do the math no problem. But another student, who spends weekends with her single mom and baby sibling, has a much different experience. Yet, all of us have to get from point A to point B academically by the end of the year. Having an extra set of hands with my City Year is invaluable.”

Emmanuel Fairley, Teacher,  Grew Elementary School

pivot, adjust, and learn

City Year's multi-faceted network of supports creates a tailored approach to fit each student's needs.

  • Every student has a unique background, as well as strengths, challenges, and interests. Our AmeriCorps members find out what these factors are, then use them to make learning accessible and fun. The resulting rapport and trust between them paves the way for major academic gains.

    What does this look like in action?

    Teachers appreciate this capacity to dig deeper with each individual student. As one BPS teacher noted, "Corps members' youthfulness and creativity help make the school more inviting and academics more appealing to the students.”

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  • In addition to student observations and teacher feedback, we regularly collect attendance, academic, and social-emotional student data. Using this combined data, we can holistically support students with a finely tailored approach and help them achieve more rapidly. Throughout the year, we observe data, interpret it, and determine the appropriate action plan for each student.

    Our emphasis on action sets us apart; we don't just collect data, we move with it.

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  • Being responsive to student needs takes a team. That's why we have a staff of specialists behind our AmeriCorps members. A dedicated Learning and Development department and a team of instructional coaches – education professionals with years of experience in the field – provide six weeks of intensive training to our corps before the school year begins. Training covers everything from specific academic strategies to cultural competency.

    But we don't call it a day in September. Throughout the year, our instructional coaches regularly observe corps members in the classroom, then give feedback and decide together on steps to implement immediately. Constant recalibration means our students get the best possible support – informed not only by their corps member, but also by the many professionals supporting them.

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“My City Year has helped me improve a lot of things. I learned how to show respect, and that I’m not shy, that I’m a good student. They always are fair, and they’re always helping us."

alexis, 4th grade student, mckay k-8 school

energizing
school culture

Results of Positive school climate

Academic Achievement

Improved standardized test scores and GPA

Attendance

Higher rates of attendance

Safety and Wellbeing

Better psychological health, lower rates of aggression, and increased safety

“They show up ready to get everybody pumped for the day. I’m not sure what it is in their DNA that allows them to do that when everyone else is gloomy in the middle of January in Boston. But they bring it, and they lift up the entire school.”

Principal Andrew Rollins, Mildred Avenue K-8 School

whole-school support

City Year teams nurture positive school climates by building key relationships with students, teachers, and staff at each school.

  • When a City Year team shows up at a school, students take notice—and it’s not just the bright red jackets. AmeriCorps members greet students in the morning, sit beside them in class, play games at recess, and help students with their homework in extended day programs. Though schools use their teams in different ways, one constant remains: City Year injects positive energy into each school’s climate.

    Teams also develop motivating, whole-building initiatives that get students excited about school. From Morning Greeting and AttenDances to incentivize good attendance, to March Madness-themed math tournaments and MCAS rallies, AmeriCorps members make school a welcoming, engaging place.

    90 percent of partner teachers agreed that City Year had an overall positive impact on their school's climate last year.

  • We believe in building collaborative partnerships with no additional burden on school faculty, so we embed a full-time Impact Manager at each of our partner schools – for no additional cost to the school. Impact Managers lead AmeriCorps members and work with principals and teachers to make sure our service lines up with school needs. Impact Managers meet regularly with school leaders to review progress data, solicit actionable feedback, and discuss innovative ways for City Year to support their school's learning culture.

    94 percent of partner principals were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of service and overall experience of working with City Year last year.

building skills,
boosting confidence

When City Year AmeriCorps member Sophie Moss first walked into Mr. Madden’s 4th grade math class at the McKay K-8 School, she noticed Jessica* right away. While Mr. Madden was busy leading the lesson at the board, Jessica’s attention was everywhere else. She looked aimlessly around the room and fidgeted with the pencils and erasers on her desk.

Sophie reached out to her partner teacher Mr. Madden about Jessica and he encouraged her to provide more individualized attention. Sophie noticed that Jessica would slouch in her seat to avoid answering questions. While her classmates could list off their times tables easily, Jessica shyly counted on her fingers. On assignments with multiplication, Jessica’s work returned covered with red marks.

Sophie realized Jessica wasn’t distracted – she was behind.

Sophie began sitting beside Jessica to work through steps of her math problems. At first, Jessica’s hands flew with embarrassment to cover her answers. Sophie peeled her hands away and said, "I'm not here to judge. I'm only here to help you improve." Jessica then asked, "Ms. Moss, can you do it for me?” Sophie shook her head and remembered a positive praise technique from her City Year instructional coach.

Sophie gently reminded her, "Jessica, you're a smart person, and you can do it!" Jessica’s face lit up.

She knew that Jessica relied on her help, but she wanted Jessica to develop the skill and confidence to complete her work on her own. Armed with this knowledge, Sophie drew from her City Year trainings about math instructional games to convince Jessica that multiplication was fun. Jessica laughed as she raced to beat Sophie in a times tables game. With practice, Jessica started winning.  Now when Mr. Madden called on her in class, she could rattle off her times tables rapid fire! Her assignments had fewer corrections and her test scores went up.

84 percent of all elementary school students who received City Year support improved their performance on district math assessments last school year.

Sophie saw Jessica's attitude transform. Her hand flew up to answer questions and she kept her eyes on the board through the lesson. No longer distracted, Jessica instead brought her friends to her desk to teach them lessons in Spanish. Her eyes sparkled with pride as she translated directions and explained concepts.

Sophie knew Jessica had grown, but it wasn’t until the first time Jessica called her over – not for help, but to show off her work – that Sophie knew that the 4th grader she'd coached had the tools and self-esteem to take on the challenges of 5th grade.

“My City Year makes me believe in myself. She always tells me to not give up and that I should try my best."

Julian, 5th grade student, mckay k-8 school

looking forward

Since starting full-time service in Boston Public Schools nearly 10 years ago, City Year has grown from 140 AmeriCorps members serving in 10 schools to 289 AmeriCorps members serving in 23 schools. Our goal is to continue to expand our impact, eventually serving in Boston's highest-need high schools – and the elementary, middle, and K-8 schools that feed into them.

Our work is made possible by a dedicated community of corporate sponsors, individuals, school leaders, and public officials.

school partners

corporate sponsors

connect with city year boston

12,000

Boston students supported by 289 City Year AmeriCorps members this school year.

81%

Percent of students supported by City Year AmeriCorps members last year who improved their performance on district reading and writing assessments.

21,000

Hours of learning time recovered by students supported by City Year AmeriCorps members last school year.

“They show up ready to get everybody pumped for the day. I’m not sure what it is in their DNA that allows them to do that when everyone else is gloomy in the middle of January in Boston. But they bring it, and they lift up the entire school.”

Principal Andrew Rollins, Mildred Avenue K-8 School

impact report

2017-2018

city year boston

Impact Report

Results of Positive school climate

Academic Achievement

Improved standardized test scores and GPA

Attendance

Higher rates of attendance

Safety and Wellbeing

Better psychological health, lower rates of aggression, and increased safety