Initiated by a group of CT superintendents who are promoting innovative practices across the state, this program will feature superintendents who share their district's ingenuity, while guest speakers from Apple and Southern New Hampshire University share their insights on innovation in education.
This is the first in a series of professional learning opportunities to support teachers and leaders engaged in the work of designing early learning environments that buffer stress, reduce challenging behaviors, and promote children's healthy development ages 3-8.
CAPSS advances its 2018 Public Policy Agenda for purposes of fostering equity, excellence and innovation in Connecticut’s public schools in alignment with a vision that articulates an education that is personalized so that all children learn what they need to know and be able to do to be successful in post high school endeavors.
Priority recommendations include:
- State Budget
- Unfunded Mandates
- Personalized & Mastery Based Learning
Other recommendations include:
- Special Education
- Acceptance of All Students
- Alliance District Funds
- Virtual Net Metering
- Student Data Privacy Act
- Disclosure of Personnel Records
- Statutory Time Requirement Regarding the Programs Provided for Students who are Expelled
Retirement, Will you be ready?
CAPSS Retirement Workshop
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
9:00am - 12:00pm
Register early, seating is limited!
Remembering our friend, colleague and CAPSS' staff member, Janet Garagliano
CAPSS is saddened to report that our friend and colleague, Janet Garagliano, recently passed away after a short illness. Janet worked at CAPSS from 2012 to 2017. Janet worked as a staff associate and a member of the CAPSS leadership team focused on professional learning and implementing the NEXTED Report recommendations.
Janet was responsible for coordinating the work on improving high school graduation outcomes between CAPSS, the Connecticut Department of Education and the New England Secondary School Consortium. In Connecticut, Janet was responsible for implementing the League of Innovative Schools and their professional learning. With the release of the NEXTED report, Janet initiated the collaboration between the League of Innovative Schools and CAPSS. She continued as the Connecticut liaison for the league from 2012 to 2017. As the League’s work focused on personalized mastery-based learning, Janet coordinated a series of a professional learning experiences each year to expand member high school leadership teams’ understanding of the work required so that all students graduated college and career ready. The League membership increased from six high schools to over 30 high schools under her leadership.
As part of her responsibility with CAPSS for professional learning, Janet was involved in many institutes and conferences. Janet designed and implemented the Community of Practice Institute for Superintendents on Student Centered Learning. Working with Michael Fullan and Joanne Quinn, Janet was involved in the planning and implementation of the two Coherence Institutes sponsored by CAPSS.
In CAPSS’ two reports during her tenure, Janet coordinated the work of writers with the advisory committees that were guiding the content of the reports. The report, A Look to the Future: Personalized Learning in Connecticut, was a collaboration between CAPSS, CABE and CAS. Janet’s skills at bringing together multiple agencies, the research and practical outcomes were critical to the success of that report. She also partnered in the development of NEXTED: NEXT STEPS – A Vision and a Plan for Transforming Connecticut’s Education System. Janet’s contributions to these reports and other newsletters and documents contributed significantly to the progress made on educational transformation of Connecticut schools.
The student voices contest was an important element in the work that Janet contributed to CAPSS’ educational transformation work. The contest involved asking middle and high school students to produce a two- to five-minute video on their vision of the changes needed in education to ensure that all students graduated college and career ready. For three years, Janet guided this initiative, designed to bring student voices into the discussion of the changes needed to transform Connecticut’s education system. The videos of the award winners each year were displayed at major conferences and events. The videos were shared with the Connecticut State Board of Education by the student creators and prompted important discussion at the meeting.
Janet’s education career spanned many roles. She began as a teacher of social studies at Hamden High School. She progressed to department chairperson and then Associate Principal for Academics in Hamden. She went on to be principal of Wamogo High School in Litchfield. In 2005, Janet was appointed principal of Jonathan Law High School in Milford through her retirement in 2011. In retirement, Janet worked briefly at CAS before joining the CAPSS staff in 2012. Janet joined the staff at CAPSS to work on professional learning and student-centered learning.
Janet was born in 1947 to Angelo and Nettie Mariani Garagliano. She lived in Groton until attending Albertus Magnus College. She is survived by two brothers.
Two excerpts from colleagues writing about Janet capture her personality well:
“During one of her final years as principal at Law, Garagliano left seniors with a special life message at their graduation ceremony, advising them to choose wisely as they moved forward in life. “Right now, the only limits to the possibilities that await you come from your own doubts and fears,” Garagliano said during the ceremony. “Banish those doubts. Take hold of those fears and choose, over and over again, that which is right for you and those you love.” She told them to choose love, true friends, learning, kindness, happiness and health.” ~ Excerpted from the Milford Mirror
“Janet will be remembered fondly by anyone fortunate enough to collaborate with her. Ever enthusiastic, Janet was a tireless champion for children. She was a leading voice for promoting personalization and mastery-based learning in Connecticut. She encouraged schools to join the League of Innovative Schools and – in the most supportive way – helped challenge their assumptions and engage in new strategies. She believed deeply in the work of the New England Secondary School Consortium and the capacity of her colleagues in the state and across the region to press forward with difficult changes.” ~ Excerpted from the memoriam on the New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC) website.
At CAPSS, we will miss her friendship, her insights and her enthusiasm. Education has lost an untiring advocate for children.
Charting New Frontiers in Student-Centered Learning is a report meant to capture and contribute to a conversation already taking place across Connecticut. We hope it serves as a way to engage and invite others, across a diverse ecosystem of change agents and practitioners, to envision and advance the learner-centered experiences all students deserve.
We invite you to share the publication with your networks and on social media, and we welcome your feedback.
This report is produced by Innovation Partners America in partnership with the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) and the Connecticut Commission for Educational Technology (CET).
Cuts to school programs, hiring of teachers and classroom consolidation are just some examples of the devastation the lack of state budget is bringing to Connecticut's schools.
Fran Rabinowitz spoke with Ray Dunaway of WTIC recently voicing concerns over issues within the state budget and its profound impact on everyone from Boards of Ed through superintendents, teachers and students in Connecticut. The audio is available below.
Public education leaders warn of damaging changes to education structure in the vetoed budget and call for bi-partisan budget that equitably funds all districts.
The What Will Our Children Lose Coalition calls on all parties to come together now to craft a budget that the Governor will sign and that will support our communities and our education system in a thoughtful and sustainable manner.
Software providers interested in serving CT schools are urged to visit studentprivacy.ct.gov and agree to the CT Student Data Privacy Pledge, and ensure that their contractual language aligns with all aspects of our laws as soon as possible.
This conference, hosted by RESC Alliance, is designed to challenge participants in their understanding about personalized learning, to create opportunities for conversation to learn about and critique if (or how) personalized learning fits their district's vision and mission. Participants should bring their ideas and questions to join important conversations.
The WWOCL Coalition cite examples of negative impacts to students and teachers as a result of uncertainty in state funding.
“We have clearly reached a tipping point in our ability to fulfill our most important responsibility: to properly educate our children.”
A series of five sessions designed specifically for CAPSS' district leaders to address the changing needs and challenges when preparing their students to be college, career and life ready.
Fran Rabinowitz recently spoke with Ray Dunaway of WTIC to discuss public education and aligning it with and tracking it through post-secondary institutions to better understand students’ persistence after high school. The audio is available below.
A great teacher can push an average student’s achievement to the 96th percentile.
Effective educators have a dramatic impact on learning, and to remain effective they need strong preparation and credentialing programs and time for ongoing professional learning.
One of the 11 themes in CAPSS’ NextEd: Next Steps report, Strengthen the Profession provides detailed information and specific strategies and steps to achieve an environment supporting student-centered teaching.
The vision? That Connecticut’s educators have the preparation and ongoing support needed to implement student-centered, mastery-based learning.
The complete report may be downloaded here.
The Connecticut Coalition for Public Education calls on the Governor and General Assembly this special session to establish, in law, a Connecticut Achievement and Resource Equity in Schools (CARES) Commission. The commission would include representatives from constituencies with critical education, taxation, and equity perspectives, and special expertise in those areas.
Patrice McCarthy, Deputy Director and General Counsel at CABE, recently interviewed with Ray Dunaway of WTIC to discuss high school graduation requirements and education cost sharing. This audio is available below.
...who is college and career ready?
If you seek to establish a vision or portrait of the graduate that puts college and career readiness needs at the center of learning and drives all decisions and practices from each classroom to the district office, then your district may be interested in a CAPSS' district leadership program focused on systemic transformation to achieve this end.
In a recent letter to Speaker Aresimowicz, CAPSS opposed references in the revised budget proposal to either consolidating or eliminating Superintendents of Schools in certain school districts.
On Wednesday, May 3, the State Board of Education met and heard from a coalition of Connecticut’s leading education organizations — the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS), the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), and the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) — regarding a set of design principles the coalition jointly developed to guide the creation of a new funding formula for Connecticut schools.
The push to balance the state budget by shifting costs to cities and towns doesn’t sit well with Connecticut voters and should be rejected. Any cost shift plan would increase property taxes and cut needed town services for Connecticut residents, whose property tax rates are already among the highest in the country.
According to a new Local Property Tax Responsibility Survey, 67 percent of Connecticut voters are against plans to use local property taxes to balance the state budget. Even more voters, 72 percent, oppose balancing the budget by using local property taxes, instead of state funds, to cover teacher retirement costs. The survey found that residents do not want the state to shift its financial obligations onto them, and if that happens, voters will make their dissatisfaction known at the polls next year.
“If we can get students involved in about 15-20 school districts to actually think through how they would design schooling for themselves, we would make a lot of progress towards mastery-based personalized learning,” said Dr. Joe Cirasuolo, Executive Director at CAPPS, summarizing the goals of CAPSS’ High School Reimagined Project.
This progress was clearly demonstrated when students recently presented their four final resolutions to the Board of Education, including Dr. Dianna Wentzell, Commissioner, for consideration. (Prior to that, students had presented resolutions to CAPSS’ Board of Directors.)
“Some of the proposals do have components of them that the State Board of Education could pick up and act upon or direct the Department to act upon. Some of the other proposals require statutory change, so it’s important that we help the students then bring those proposals to legislators so that perhaps they could become part of legislative proposals in the future,” said Dr. Wentzell.
“We’re going to make sure that happens. Some of those ideas are going to get implemented. I’m not only impressed, I’m inspired, I’m enthusiastic,” said Dr. Cirasuolo.
Randy Collins and Charles Rothenberger speak to current legislative issues that need your voice. Contact your legislators to express concern or show your support for a number of bills. Follow the link provided below to view videos, summaries and quick links to a list of local Senate and House members.
EdSurge recently published this article, written by Dr. William C. Collins, Superintendent of Newington Public Schools.
"Unless we believe that every truly means every, and all truly means all, our mission statements will continue to hang limply upon the wall, merely unachievable words by institutions designed for yesterday, yet expecting tomorrow."
Students at the Center Hub recently published an article entitled Why Engaging Parents Matters: Maloney High School.
In a recent "Parent Walk", Francis T. Maloney High School invited parents and guardians to experience student-centered learning in action.
Technology-assisted education has, among other advantages, three components especially important to student-centered learning:
- It assists teachers and students in monitoring progress on the standards toward learning milestones.
- It provides one method of allowing students to progress to mastery at their own pace.
- If done correctly, is a key tool in efforts to provide an equitable education for all.
The importance of technology in life, work and the classroom in the 21st century and its critical role in Connecticut’s educational system being transformed to one that is student-centered and mastery-based is elaborated upon in Leverage Technology, one of 11 themes in CAPSS’ NextEd: Next Steps report, A Vision and a Plan for Transforming Connecticut’s Education System.
The report may be viewed/downloaded here.
The CT Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), which represents the superintendents of CT’s public school districts, has very serious concerns about one of the provisions of SB 797. The provision is related to the section of the bill that would result in the establishment of a Special Education Advisory Council.
CAPSS is strongly opposed to any new and unfunded State mandate that would require the training of paraprofessionals. The organization takes this position for the following reasons: