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September 25, 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


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 month of October is designated as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. In keeping with the focus on cybersecurity, CoSN is pleased to offer multiple pathways for school leaders to learn how to identify, manage and prevent cybersecurity attacks within school and school district settings.

EmpowerED Superintendent Webinar:
“Cybersecurity: Keeping Everyone Safe in Today’s Learning Environments”

The second episode of Season 3 of the EmpowerED Superintendent Webinar series, co-hosted by CoSN and AASA on, airs on Monday, October 12, 2020 in conjunction with National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The title of the October 12, 2020 webinar which airs at 4:00 pm CT is Cybersecurity: Keeping Everyone Safe in Today’s Learning Environments. In this edWebinar, Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent, Ithaca City School District, NY, Dr. Susan Enfield, Superintendent, Highline Public Schools, WA, Dr. Chris Gaines, Superintendent, Mehlville School District, MO; and Amy McLaughlin, Project Director, CoSN Cybersecurity Initiative share their perspectives and experiences in dealing with the complexities of managing and assuring cybersecurity in today’s K-12 learning environments. They will examine the liability concerns that arise when schools experience network security incidents and the impact those events can have on a district’s professional reputation as well as the effects cyber-attacks have on teaching and learning. Strategies for effectively preventing, managing and communicating cybersecurity threats will be reviewed. Free registration for the October 12, 2020 webinar is now available at

The complete list of free recordings of all previously broadcast EmpowerED Superintendent webinars is also available at In addition to the free access to live and recorded webinars, the EmpowerED Superintendent webinars are now accessible via podcast. Learn more at

Critical Focus Areas: Issue One-Pager on Cybersecurity
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 The Importance of Cybersecurity defines the top five reasons why school system leaders must make cybersecurity a priority. It is available to view and download at:

CoSN Cybersecurity Initiative
For additional information and guidance, including access to a report on K-12 security risk methodology, notification about CoSN’s partnership with the Cybersecurity Collaborative and other resources, visit

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

CS4CT Summit 2020 - A Roadmap for K-12 Computer Science Implementation

A virtual conference, Friday, October 2, 2020

The Computer Science for Connecticut (CS4CT) Summit brings together K-12 educators from across the state to promote and advance Computer Science education.

Hosted by CT-CSTA, ReadyCT and Sacred Heart University.

Join us to continue advancing computer science education across CT!


UCONN Webinar Series for Students Interested in Learning About Careers in Healthcare

Do you know a high school educator interested in helping your students learn about careers in healthcare? Are you looking for free, virtual events to help prepare your students for college? Do you want to help increase representation in medicine?

This Fall, UConn's undergraduate student-led club, the Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program (KDSAP), is putting on a webinar series focused on the importance of diversity in healthcare, how to prepare for a career in medicine early on, and what life in college and medical schools is really like. Your students will get to hear from real life premedical students and get the inside scoop on how to navigate college while preparing for graduate training.

Starting 9/17 we will be airing our first, pre-recorded webinar on why representation in medicine matters, which you can access from our website listed below, or shoot us an email if you have any questions. Please help us spread our message by sharing it with your students and with other faculty!

Erik Choi

Flyer for Students

Flyer for Health Science Educators


National Center for Women and Information Technology -- 2021 Aspirations in Computing Awards

Good afternoon,
I am pleased to announce that beginning September 1, 2020, applications are being accepted for the 2021 Aspirations in Computing awards.  The awards are sponsored by the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) which is an organization of more than 1400 universities, corporations, non-profits and government organizations that works to increase women’s participation in computing and technology.
Aspirations in Computing High School Award:
The Award for Aspirations in Computing honors high-school women for their computing-related achievements and interests.  Any US high school young woman in grades 9 through 12 is eligible to apply.  Award recipients are selected based on their aptitude and interest in technology and computing, leadership ability, and plans for post-secondary education.  Applications can be submitted anytime between now and November 5th, but I ask that you encourage your students to apply sooner rather than later.  The application includes a number of multiple-choice questions and short essays -- this should not take long to complete.  If you know a student who should apply for the Aspirations in Computing Award, please encourage them to apply  Here is a short video you can share with your students:  To apply, students can access

In 2020 we celebrated the successes of 100 high school women from across Connecticut – all accomplished students who will have many successes in the future!
Aspirations in Computing Educator Award:
Behind every successful student is a professional educator who challenges students to achieve and grow.  The Aspirations in Computing Educator Award publicly celebrates educators who encourage interest and participation in technology by high school women.  Educator Award recipients form a national community of peers, share practices, and empower other educators to encourage the participation of young women in computing.  Teachers, Counselors, Administrators, Mentors and other educators are all eligible and are welcome to apply – the deadline for applications is December 7th.  Winners receive $250 in cash, and both Winners and Honorable Mention recipients are eligible to apply for up to $750 in professional development funds.  To apply, educators can access   Don't miss out on this opportunity!
In 2020 we recognized teachers from Newington High School, the Academy of Aerospace and Engineering and Mercy High School .
These award programs are wonderful recognition for the recipients, your schools and your communities.  I encourage you to have all eligible students and educators apply.   Please contact me should you have any questions or comments.
Darwin Kovacs

Tips for Remote Learning Without Internet Access

Every school year brings technological challenges, but remote learning without internet is an entirely new type of challenge. This learning environment might not have come up when you were student teaching, but that doesn't mean you can't adapt. Consider this: Distance education doesn't just pre-date the internet, people were trying to do it before Mozart was born!

There are students who do not have reliable—if any—internet access. There is no question they are at a disadvantage, but they are still passionate and curious and able to be guided in their learning. Consider these ideas and strategies to ensure that even students on the unplugged side of the digital divide continue to learn.


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 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 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!

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

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.


Diana Frezza
Senior Vice President
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.  

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


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