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November 27, 2020

General News & Announcements

Attention CAPSS Retired Members

Our retired committee is very active and helpful with problems of practice for superintendents.  If you are retiring and would like to remain a member of CAPSS or just stay in touch, please forward your name, address, telephone number, and personal email address to Dionisia Markopoulos at dmarkopoulos@capss.org.

Connecticut School Construction Symposium: Future Design and Construction Leaders of America, so many choices, so many paths

December 4, 2020  |  10:00am - 12:00pm

Looking into the future, the AEC industry has long had a deep divide happening in evolving talent and the direction from educators.

With many opportunities in a trade or professional career to pursue, the Connecticut School Construction Coalition has brought together a mix of educators and industry perspectives to build a bridge and develop paths for students to engage with the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry.

This discussion will go into detail about the success stories and the challenges both schools and industry face when guiding students on a career path.

Read more

UConn Seeks Recommendations for the Executive Leadership Program

The UConn’s Neag School of Education is recruiting a new cohort of educational leaders for the Executive Leadership Program 2021-2022 cohort. The Executive Leadership Program (ELP) prepares educational leaders for district leadership positions with a primary emphasis on preparing for the position of superintendent of schools. Neag School’s ELP program has more than 450 graduates since the program started in 2000, with 60+ graduates now serving as Connecticut superintendents. Four current CT superintendents currently serve as co-instructors in the program. CAPSS has been an important partner in the program since the outset. Your recommendations have been instrumental in attracting candidates with excellent district leadership potential. Please forward the link below to educational leaders you recommend for the program. Details on upcoming Information Sessions and UConn’s Executive Leadership Program in general are available at:

Click here to read more

Robert Villanova
Director, Executive Leadership Program
Neag School of Education
robert.villanova@uconn.edu

Digital Equity

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and its Connecticut State Chapter, Connecticut Education Technology Leaders Association (CTETL), are pleased to collaborate with the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) to support the work of current and aspiring superintendents and district leadership teams in leading all aspects of digital learning transformations.

The COVID-19 crisis has brought to light many challenges within the nation’s K-12 education systems. Some are new and others may have existed for a while. One of the more confounding current problems is the matter of digital equity. As schools across the nation moved from their traditional in-school settings to both hybrid and fully remote teaching and learning, student access to appropriate digital devices and robust Internet access became even more critically urgent. Additionally, having the skills to leverage technology tools for learning is now essential for teachers and students – and to some degree, parents and families – in order for effective teaching and learning to continue.

The vision of anywhere, anytime learning depends on equitable access to devices and high-speed Internet for ALL students, as well as their families and guardians. In our current reality the issues around access go beyond the ability to continue learning. Today, everyone needs reliable broadband access in order to stay connected with family and friends,  access health services, job opportunities and other critical resources. For all these reasons, the issues involved in leading digital transformation and assuring that all students have reliable digital access are now more relevant than ever. CoSN is pleased to provide multiple resources to assist school leaders in navigating the challenges of digital equity.
 
EmpowerED Superintendent Monthly Webinar:
“Achieving Digital Equity: Innovative Leadership Strategies for Today’s School Leaders”

The upcoming episode of the monthly EmpowerED Superintendent Webinar series, co-hosted by CoSN, AASA and edWeb.net, and sponsored by ClassLink, airs on Monday, December 14, 2020. The title and focus of this upcoming webinar, broadcast live at 5:00 pm ET is Achieving Digital Equity: Innovative Leadership Strategies for Today’s School Leaders. Solving the problem of digital equity requires a focused vision and strategic implementation of multiple innovative strategies. In this engaging webinar Dr. A. Katrise Perera, Superintendent, Gresham-Barlow School District, OR, Glenn Robbins, Superintendent, Brigantine Public Schools, NJ and Dr. Aaron Spence, Superintendent, Virginia Beach City Public Schools, VA share effective strategies for bringing their communities together to implement solutions that successfully address digital equity. Free registration for this December 14, 2020 webinar is now available at https://home.edweb.net/webinar/supers20201214/. Webinars in this series are also freely available as recordings at https://home.edweb.net/supers/ and via podcast at https://home.edweb.net/podcasts/ a day or two after the initial live broadcast.

CoSN Critical Focus Areas: Issue One-Pager - Creating Equitable Opportunities for All Learners: Digital Equity Strategies for Learning Inside and Outside the Classroom

The CoSN EmpowerED Superintendents web page presents a series of “ one-pagers” to guide and empower superintendents and their leadership teams in leading digital transformations. CoSN’s one-page document on Creating Equitable Opportunities for All Learners describes four impactful strategies for “thinking outside the box” to achieve digital equity within a school system.

CoSN Digital Equity Initiative
For an in-depth look at a variety of strategies to address digital equity check out the resources provided through CoSN’s Digital Equity Initiative, including access to the Digital Equity Toolkit at https://www.cosn.org/digitalequity.

If your school or district would like more information about joining CoSN or getting more involved with CoSN, please contact Brian Calvary, CAE, CoSN Director of Membership and Chapters, at bcalvary@cosn.org.

Making Schools Safer with UV-C Disinfection

Amidst the ongoing pandemic, educators and school leaders continue to work tirelessly and find innovative ways to navigate the new normal. As schools look to reopen and stay open, superintendents and directors of facilities are focused on strengthening disinfection protocols to make classrooms and school facilities safer.

Teachers’ and parents’ top concern: school disinfection plans
A recent survey revealed that 76% of teachers are worried they might get infected with the coronavirus at work, and 77% of parents are worried their children might get infected at school. And when asked about what public health safeguard was most important, 84% of parents and 90% of teachers indicated daily deep cleaning and sanitizing of school facilities are essential.

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and create truly safer environments for students and teachers to return, school leaders are taking steps to enhance disinfection across campuses.  

What is UV-C Disinfection?
UV-C is a specific form of ultraviolet light with germicidal properties. It inactivates bacteria, molds and viruses — including SARS-CoV-2, E. coli and influenza — by disrupting the molecular bonds of their DNA and RNA and preventing the ability to infect humans.

UV-C is a clinically tested and proven technology that’s been used for over a century to disinfect air, water and surfaces. Mostly notably, it was the key to controlling the spread of Lupus, Tuberculosis and Measles. And for years, UV-C has been the gold standard for keeping viral load down in hospitals, and preventing hospital acquired infections (HAIs). Currently, there are no known UV-C resistant microorganisms on the planet.

Schools turning to UV-C disinfection
In addition to adhering to CDC recommendations, school leaders are looking to the healthcare industry for infection prevention best practices, which includes the use of UV-C technology. Hospitals have some of the highest disinfection standards in the world, and UV-C has been a critical part of their multi-layered approach to reduce the spread of disease for decades. While traditional cleaning and the use of chemical wipes play an important role, studies show that up to 49% of high-touch surfaces are missed when employing manual disinfection alone. UV-C’s powerful disinfection properties destroy 99.99% of pathogens on surfaces and air - reaching the areas manual disinfection can miss.

R-Zero_Arc_School photo

Meet R-Zero Arc: Designed for Hospitals, Innovated for Schools
Focused on designing the most effective and innovative infection prevention technologies, R-Zero is the first biosafety company making hospital-grade UV-C technology financially and operationally accessible to schools.

R-Zero’s flagship product, Arc, delivers critical infection prevention capabilities needed to provide safer environments for students, teachers, and staff.

With Arc, school leaders can:

  • Destroy 99.99% of Viruses in Minutes
    R-Zero Arc was designed to be easy to use by any operator, in every space on campus, destroying over 99.99% of surface and air pathogens in a 1,000 ft room, in just 7 minutes.
     
  • Disinfect without Chemicals
    UV-C is a chemical-free disinfection solution, so Arc is eco-friendly and safe to use around food, plants, furniture and electronics.
     
  • Gain Visibility into a Historically Invisible Process
    With BLE, LTE-M and GPS connectivity, Arc provides school leaders with an auditable trail of all disinfection activities, for the first time. Data is shown in R-Zero’s custom dashboard, enabling organization leaders to track device usage and compliance in real-time, from anywhere in the world.
     
  • Save on Labor Costs Associated with Disinfecting
    With less than two minutes of touch time required per cycle, custodial staff can be productive in one classroom while Arc is running in the other. No additional FTEs required.

R-Zero is on a mission to not only help schools reopen safely today, but reduce sick days, long term. Arc is an eligible "disinfection equipment and services" expense under the CARES Act, with both purchase and lease options available.

To learn more about R-Zero’s hospital-grade solution for your school or district, visit www.rzero.com or contact sales@rzerosystems.com.

Coronavirus Resources
CDC Publishes Guidelines for Reopening Schools - by Shipman & Goodwin

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) published in May 2020 its “interim guidance” for reopening various sectors of our communities, including schools.  The guidance provides the CDC’s “recommendations to keep communities safe while resuming peer-to-peer learning and providing crucial support for parents and guardians returning to work.”  

Interim Guidance on Scaling Up School Operations
The CDC’s interim guidance for schools is laid out in a series of three steps designed to inform a gradual “scaling up” of operations based on the “scope and nature of community mitigation.” For each step, the CDC provides recommendations and safety actions designed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as schools begin to reopen.  The interim guidance does not specify how or when a school would advance from one step to another.

Step 1 - Schools that are currently closed, remain closed. E-learning or distance learning opportunities should be provided for all students. Support provision of student services such as school meal programs, as feasible. Camps should be restricted to children of essential workers and for children who live in the local geographic area only.”

Step 2 - Remain open with enhanced social distancing measures and for     children who live in the local geographic area only.”

 The interim guidance does not address how such restrictions would be applied in the context of magnet schools, inter-district programs or independent schools.  

 “Step 3 -  Remain open with distancing measures. Restrict attendance to those from limited transmission areas (other Step 3 areas) only.”

The interim guidance provides recommendations that are specific to each “step.” For example, there are very specific recommendations regarding such matters as the spacing and direction of desks, mixing of student groups, food service operations, restrictions on visitors to schools and numerous other educational functions.  Additionally, there are many measures that are universally applicable to all steps.  Those measures include: promoting healthy hygiene practices; intensifying cleaning, disinfection and ventilation; limiting sharing materials; training all staff; checking for signs and symptoms of COVID-19; and planning for when a staff member, student, or visitor becomes sick.  

With regard to face coverings in particular, the interim guidance recognizes that “face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear in all-day settings such as school.”  The guidance goes on to recommend that “face coverings should be worn by staff and encouraged in students (particularly older students) if feasible and are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult.”   
Additionally, the CDC explains that the following should be maintained during each step:

  • Establish and maintain communication with local and State authorities to determine current mitigation levels in your community.
  • Protect and support staff and students who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as by providing options for telework and virtual learning.
  • Follow CDC’s Guidance for Schools and Childcare Programs.
  • Provide teachers and staff from higher transmission areas (earlier Step areas) telework and other options as feasible to eliminate travel to schools and camps in lower transmission (later Step) areas and vice versa.
  • Encourage any other external community organizations that use the facilities also follow this guidance.

Next Steps
The CDC interim guidance is one piece in an evolving puzzle related to the reopening of schools.  The Governor and the Commissioner of Education are engaged in addressing the multitude of considerations associated with the reopening of schools. For example, on June 1, 2020, the Governor issued the document, Rules for operating Summer School during COVID-19.  It authorized Superintendents to begin in-person summer school classes on July 6, 2020 only if (1) locations comply with the requirements set forth within the document and with the CDC Decision Tool (available here); and (2) plans have been reviewed with Local Directors of Public Health and school medical advisors, if applicable.  Independent schools and other non-public schools are encouraged to follow the same schedule and guidance.  The guidance concerning school reopening is continuously changing.  Schools should continue to monitor any Executive Orders released by Governor Lamont and guidance from the State Department of Education and relevant state agencies, as they relate to the reopening of schools. Schools should also continue to monitor the CDC and State websites for guidance regarding the same.

Please continue to monitor Shipman & Goodwin’s site for issues related to school law at ctschoollaw.com or our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center for updates concerning COVID-19. If you have specific questions about this guidance, please contact any member of Shipman & Goodwin’s School Law Group.

10 Social and Emotional Learning Strategies for Responding to COVID-19

This is the first in a series of blog posts based on HMH’s recent report titled The Connected Learning Era: Mitigating the COVID-19 Learning Loss.
 
This is an unprecedented time for education and the world. All of us are living history, and our children and youth will be defined in part by their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. While we prepare for their return to school for the 2020-21 academic year, we don’t know precisely where or how we will get started. But what we know for sure is that the well-being of students and the social justice issues being raised are the top concerns of educators and communities...

Read more

Your Feelings Matter. Hear Others’ Stories. Share Your Own.

Many of us are deeply affected by the anxiety and uncertainty of the coronavirus crisis. We can’t accelerate a resolution to this pandemic but there is something you can do: share your experience. 

Our friends at the Child Mind Institute have launched CrisisLogger.org to assess the impact of the coronavirus crisis on mental health and provide parents, educators, health workers, students and others with a way to express their feelings that will also help other families.

Here’s how it works:

  • Share your fears, frustrations, and hopes in the form of an audio clip or video
  • You can share this publicly or you can choose to make them private
  • Answer a few questions to learn more about your situation.
  • The Child Mind Institute will analyze this information to generate recommendations for better resources to support you and others

We hope that you'll take a few minutes to participate and help researchers develop better mental health resources for children and families, and the educators who work with them. Your feelings during Covid-19 really do matter!

CrisisLogger.org

The Weather Channel - New Educational Programming for Kids

The Weather Channel television network is now airing new educational content for families with children currently staying at home due to school closures. The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has forced families across the country to transition to at-home learning, and the network is well-equipped to provide kids with a daily dose of science while their schools and classrooms are closed.

The Weather Channel is now dedicating time during each hour of live programming at :50 past the hour to share educational content. Scientific explanations on everything from how raindrops and rainbows form, to why thunder happens, how to stay safe in all kinds of weather, and more. More info can be found here.

Segment examples include:
Soap Experiment with Mark Elliot: Facebook / Twitter / YouTube
Tornado Watch vs. Warning: Facebook / Twitter / YouTube

CONTACT
Sarit Schneider Babboni
101 Marietta St NW, Floor 29, Atlanta, GA
O: 404.334.3545| C: 678.986.0704

COVID-19 Free Social Emotional Toolkit from Rethink Ed
rethinkED logo

 

March 13, 2020

Rethink Ed is Committed to Supporting Social-Emotional Wellness During School Closures

Fear and anxiety about the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has led to increased stress levels in both children and adults. School closure, abrupt changes in routine and a heightened sense of uncertainty can also have a detrimental effect on the social, emotional and mental wellbeing of students, educators and school staff. As educators work diligently to prepare and implement virtual academic learning plans, it is equally important to have a contingency plan and resources in place for social emotional learning as well. As our nation faces unprecedented school closings due to COVID-19, Rethink Ed is committed to keeping our students learning and providing schools with resources and tools that extend beyond the classroom.

Rethink Ed will provide districts that are planning closures for preventative health measures with a tool kit that will include webinars, whitepapers, tips and strategies for supporting your entire community during this time of uncertainty. We will offer free access to our online Social Emotional Learning Suite through the remainder of the school year. Please contact us for details.

While this is a difficult time, it is important for us all to continue to focus on our physical, mental, and social emotional health and to work on strategies for helping ourselves and others build resilience and community support.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the foundation for managing emotions, having healthy relationships, understanding and empathizing with others, being responsible and safe, and learning to cope with difficult situations and manage our stress, emotions, anxiety, and fear during this unprecedented situation.

Rethink Ed SEL is a comprehensive K-12 online platform that provides many opportunities for students of all ages and abilities, teachers, administrative staff, and parents to develop their social emotional skills. We provide on-demand professional development videos, grade level videos and curriculum that promotes well-being, connectedness and success for all students and adults. We are committed to supporting you as you navigate through this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Diana Frezza
Senior Vice President
diana.frezza@rethinked.com
49 West 27th St., 8th Floor
New York, NY 10001

rethinkED SEL Goals & Objectives

Discovery Education’s Comprehensive Response to the Worldwide Coronavirus Outbreak

Connecticut Superintendents and Educational Leaders-
 
Like educators everywhere, we are concerned about the coronavirus’ potential impact on student learning and it is our mission to help affected schools maintain normalcy and continuity during this difficult time. I encourage you to learn about Discovery Education’s Comprehensive Response to the Worldwide Coronavirus Outbreak and our response to Covid-19.
 
Below I’ve provided some important offers and resources to support your schools. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly if you have any questions or wish to connect virtually next week.
 
Discovery Education is a company whose mission is to prepare learners for future success by connecting them to the world outside the classroom. We will continue to monitor this event closely and look for ways to help educators everywhere prepare students for success, no matter where they are.  
 
Sincerely-

John David Son
Senior Manager | Education Partnerships
Discovery Education
M. 270.210.0084
Follow me on Twitter

WAYS TO SUPPORT VIRTUAL LEARNING


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