Issue #21: April 2016  

This issue of News & Updates includes:

NextEd: Next Steps Report
This issue highlights the comments of three Connecticut Superintendents on the release of NextEd: Next Steps report. 

On March 24th at the Legislative Office Building, The NextEd: Next Steps report was released.  Three superintendents described how the ideas in the NextEd report are being implemented in their districts.  The comments were both informative and inspirational.  Because of the insights the comments provide as a reflection of the NextEd report, we are sharing the comments with our readers.

Farmington Public Schools

Hartford Public Schools

Windsor Locks Public Schools 

Farmington Public Schools

Remarks of Superintendent Kathy Greider

The CAPSS' NextEd: Next Steps report reflects many of the initiatives the Farmington schools are working on to achieve a more personalized, student-centered and mastery-based approach to teaching and learning. I want to share some aspects of our improvement work in Farmington to illustrate the importance of the NextEd: Next Steps report.

Six years ago, the Farmington community joined together to create Farmington's Vision of the Graduate which outlines the knowledge and skills every graduate should master prior to graduation. At the same time, Farmington created a unique Framework for Teaching and Learning that all teachers and students implement each day to achieve a personalized student-centered approach and our Vision of the Graduate.    

We are a focused, innovative learning organization with a clear vision for all students and a plan to achieve that vision. Each day, Farmington students, in partnership with their teachers, lead their own learning through highly engaging, meaningful and authentic learning opportunities. Student voice, choice and partnership are at the core of our work. Our students join us on coaching visits to classrooms and instructional rounds beginning in elementary school so that their voice is heard when it comes to influencing our continuous improvement efforts. This also provides students with a clear understanding of their role as a learner. 

View/download the full remarks

Hartford Public Schools

Remarks of Superintendent Beth Narvaez

Today we have been challenged to answer an important call to action - to transform our education system so the learner is at the center of all strategy and action. As the superintendent of Hartford Public Schools, I am proud to say that we step up to answer that challenge.

I am pleased to share with you what the CAPSS recommendations look like in action in a large, urban district. In Hartford-a district of high performing nationally recognized magnet schools and some of the lowest performing schools in the state, we started with the question: what will it take so that every student thrives and every school is high performing? Our new strategic plan is the answer to that question.

We believe if you have high expectations for students, engage each and every one, and expand the capacity of adults, then we will achieve more equitable outcomes where every student thrives and every school is high performing?

But what does that look like in action? In Hartford, we put students at the center of their learning by implementing student success plans that help chart the course to a student's future-with a caring adult advocating for and supporting the student to lift that plan off the page and bring it to life. With an agenda to accelerate learning in our lowest performing schools, each student has a plan of support and enrichment to ensure they are ready and present for learning in the classroom. 

View/download the full remarks

Windsor Locks Public Schools

Remarks of Superintendent Susan Bell

We are fortunate in Connecticut to have such a progressive group of leaders at the helm to develop and strengthen the vision of the college, career, and life ready high school graduate. Thank you to the entire CORE Team, but especially Joe, Janet, and Larry for their hard work and determination to make this work a reality. It's not easy leading a work group full of leaders! But they listened, they questioned, and they ultimately published a document that captures the vision, goals, and recommendations that will drive the transformation of public education - as it already has. 

In Windsor Locks, we started on the journey to create a student-centered, mastery-based educational system at least four years ago. As we continuously sought to improve educational outcomes for our students, by improving instruction in the classroom, we came to the conclusion naturally that a student-centered learning environment where students are challenged yet supported to meet rigorous, meaningful standards was the direction in which we needed to steer our ship.

As we have raised expectations for our students, we have seen a transformation in the level of engagement our students now take in the classrooms. Students can demonstrate where they were, where they are, and where they are going in their learning because their voice is a valued part of the teaching and learning process. 

View/download the full remarks


OUR MISSION
To lead the continuous improvement of public education for all students by advocating public policy for children and by developing and supporting executive school leaders.

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Connecticut Association of
Public School Superintendents

26 Caya Ave | West Hartford CT 06110-1186
Phone: 860.236.8640 | Fax 860.236.8628
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