Student Success Increases When Social and Emotional Barriers Are Identified


Individual Presentation

First Presenter's Institution

Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School and Boston College

Second Presenter's Institution

Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School

Third Presenter's Institution


Fourth Presenter's Institution


Fifth Presenter's Institution



Harborside East & West

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Safety & Violence Prevention


City Connects has transformed the manner in which we speak of, assess, and make decisions around students social and emotional barriers to learning. Having a program that collects data on each child and monitors individual progress yields real data that we can act on to serve students.

Brief Program Description

City Connects at CJ is designed to maximize academic growth by tapping into existing resources to meet a child’s social and emotional needs. This process begins with holistic individual student reviews. Based on a student’s strengths, weaknesses and needs, a tailored set of services is provided with opportunities for follow-up. The model demands input from students, parents, teachers, and counselors, and seeks out collaboration with community agencies and partners where possible.


The school’s student support program known as City Connects was introduced in 2010 in partnership with Boston College and a local private foundation. It is designed to maximize personal and academic growth by tapping into existing resources that will meet a child’s social and emotional needs. Measures include everything from raw, quantitative data to qualitative input and evaluation by teachers, counselors and parents. As a result, every student has his or her own “team” of adults looking out for that child’s best interest.

CJ understands that quantitative academic measures, similar to attendance records and standardized test scores used by the ODE, play a valuable role. Those time-tested methods are built into City Connects; in fact, CJ uniquely requires that all students take the PSAT every year as part of its baseline, year-to-year growth checks. However, we realize that in no way can numbers on paper indicate the needs of a student, nor should they solely be used to do so.

CJ administrators are finding that when an optimized system of student support such as City Connects is put in place, the students themselves actually end up seeking out additional ways to become involved. So, to “keep up with demand” (for lack of a better phrase), CJ is focusing energy on maintaining, building and broadening enrichment opportunities for all students in the building.

Examples of broadened student experiences include:

  • Increased participation by non-traditional students in CJ STEMM offerings such as Project Lead the Way (PLTW) biomedical sciences and engineering curriculum. PLTW courses are designed to be taken as electives, alongside required math and science.

  • Expansion of the Performing Arts program to include pop a cappella, string ensemble and acting courses.

  • Increased participation in club sports offerings such as lacrosse and crew.

  • Increased partnerships with local agencies that address social and emotional health

  • Successful implementation of an optional after school learning center, open daily to students.

Tracking every students’ growth at CJ is not simply regarded as a measuring stick for value, but rather used as a powerful tool to continually enhance the learning experience we offer. Explore how this philosophy is effectively changing the face of education at CJ and help us share the model with others.


Current evaluation efforts are studying academic outcomes for students who have participated in City Connects. This report presents results from an analysis of student performance on the American College Testing assessment in two Archdiocese of Cincinnati City Connects high schools. Individual school data collection is ongoing for forthcoming analyses of additional student outcomes including statewide assessments (OAA/ OAT), high school GPA, and other measures.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati provided the City Connects evaluation team with Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) and American College Testing (ACT) tests score data for students in all Archdiocesan high schools for school years 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015. This brief report includes results of analyses for the two City Connects high schools in the district: Chaminade Julienne and another school in Springfield Ohio.

Analyses focused on comparing students in the two City Connects high schools with two groups:

1) all high schools in the Archdiocese, and 2) two high schools that were selected because they were most similar to Chaminade Julienne and the school in Springfield in the number of students benefiting from the EdChoice scholarship program. Being a student in the EdChoice program may be considered a proxy for low-income student status because it is intended to provide financial support to students from underperforming public schools (typically in high poverty settings) the opportunity to attend participating private schools. National data have made it clear that poverty has a major impact on achievement. We would expect that schools with few or no students from low-income families will have higher average test scores than schools with significant numbers of low-income students.

Comparison 1: City Connects High Schools vs All High Schools in Archdiocese

Students in City Connects high schools scored significantly lower than the comparison group of all high schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati on ACT English, mathematics, reading, and science assessments, across academic years 2012-13 through 2014-15.

Comparison 2: City Connects High Schools vs Matched Comparison Schools in Archdiocese

An additional analysis was performed contrasting ACT scores for the two City Connects high schools and two high schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati selected based on their similar proportion of students enrolled in the EdChoice scholarship program. The results show that, on average, students in City Connects high schools achieve higher average scores compared to their peers in the other two schools in every domain measured by the test, significantly so when compared to Comparison School A. Further, Chaminade Julienne’s scores on the English assessment in 2014 and 2015 were significantly higher than the other schools, indicating an improvement in relative standing over the three years.

Biographical Sketch

John Marshall '86


Education: Miami University, BS Secondary Education (Social Studies;) University of Cincinnati, MA Elementary/Secondary Administration; Xavier University, Superintendent Licensure, and currently in University of Dayton Doctoral program.

CJ Philosophy: CJ is unique in that our connection goes beyond a school district or diocese in that the eighteen other Society of Mary or Marianist High Schools communicate, engage in fellowship and pray with and for each other, share ideas and experiences and gather each year at an internationally attended meeting for Marianist school leaders to live out the Characteristics of a Marianist Education and the Charisms that inspire us. CJ also participates in gatherings of Sisters of Notre Dame educators nationally at conferences, further enriching our tradition of the ND Hallmarks of a learning community.

John has been a leader in the educational field as a vocation for the last 25 years. He has coached athletes, taught history and government classes to teens, as well as served as a high school administrator in both public and private school settings. His last 10 years of service have been in the capacity of high school principal at Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School in Dayton, Ohio. John has led and overseen areas of staff professional management, operations oversight of a building plant and a 17 acre campus, as well as been a member of multiple leadership teams. This position has provided opportunities to connect with fellow administrators from national and international regions.

Working within the President/Principal model, and a Board of Trustee model of governance, John has operationalized strategic initiatives, such as staff/faculty reduction processes, alignment of financial budget and instructional budget goals, and building culture with employee retreat program experiences.

John was involved with the plan and design team, as well as being a participant in the Catholic Leadership Institute Program (CLiP), a cohort-based leadership development program incorporating a reading/spirituality component for team building which served principals in the greater Dayton area. He is familiar with Aileron’s DOC model of professional management and is certified through The Leadership Circle Profile. John offers experience with facilitated book studies on leadership and team building dynamics.

As Program Manager for the Boston College based City Connects program, John led the efforts to modify an elementary model to become the first high school student service model, now implemented in private, public and charter schools. John regularly works with Boston College and Mathile Family Foundation on program expansion and operational restructuring.

As the lead architect of the CJ STEMM program development, John brought in curriculum that resulted in State and National recognition in dual Pre-Engineering and Biomedical certification for the CJ STEMM program. Ultimately, this curriculum set the groundwork for a 3 million dollar STEMM Center construction project. Working with People, Program Partnership and Place concepts, CJ has positioned itself to be a leader in innovation.

John’s other related educational leadership credentials include the following presentations:

  • Marianist Administrators Conference, American Province, CJ STEMM
    • Presenter and facilitator of STEM discussion with Marianist schools
  • National Catholic Education Association, STREAM Conference
    • Co-presenter on Integrated STEM programming for schools
  • National Catholic Education Association, Urban Schools Summit
    • Co-designed Student Support Services presentation
  • National Catholic Education Association, annual National Conference
    • Co-presenter with Boston College City Connects, Student Support Program Model

Greg Mueller

Assistant Principal

Education: University of Dayton, BS Education (English;) University of Dayton, MS Ed, Education Leadership; University of Dayton, Principal Licensure

Professional Affiliations and Organizational Outreaches: St. Remy Initiative; Member of ASCD

CJ Philosophy: By educating the whole person, CJ is committed to exposing all students to experiences both inside and outside the classroom. The curriculum that teachers deliver is just as essential as the student activities that we call extra-curricular activities. Lessons learned from experiences with ministry and service programs, athletics, and clubs enhance the overall student experience of a CJ student and form young adults into well-rounded graduates. When taken as a whole, the Marianist and Notre Dame education at CJ is unlike anything else in the greater Dayton community.

As a member of the leadership team at CJ, I bring organization to all of the wonderful extra-curricular opportunities. In every decision I make and discussion I am a part of, I keep in mind the mission of the school and the charisms of both the Marianists and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. I strive to help students, parents, and families commit to the exciting community that we call Chaminade Julienne.

Keyword Descriptors

Student support services, Social emotional barrier to learning, Student success

Presentation Year


Start Date

3-7-2017 4:00 PM

End Date

3-7-2017 5:30 PM

This document is currently not available here.


Mar 7th, 4:00 PM Mar 7th, 5:30 PM

Student Success Increases When Social and Emotional Barriers Are Identified

Harborside East & West

City Connects at CJ is designed to maximize academic growth by tapping into existing resources to meet a child’s social and emotional needs. This process begins with holistic individual student reviews. Based on a student’s strengths, weaknesses and needs, a tailored set of services is provided with opportunities for follow-up. The model demands input from students, parents, teachers, and counselors, and seeks out collaboration with community agencies and partners where possible.