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Vector Solutions helps school and district leaders address many complex issues through our user-friendly, online K-12 education technology solutions. Our award-winning school management software will help you cost-effectively and efficiently manage your Training and Professional Growth, Facilities and Operations, and Safety and Risk Management needs, district-wide. Our subscription-based K-12 education software programs are proven to help busy administrators save time and money, but most importantly, they can help make your schools even safer and more effective for students, staff, and parents.

Justin Moore
K12 Director of Sales

Last week, Congressman Courtney hosted a webinar with the CT Community Nonprofit Alliance on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. This program is an opportunity for public service employees to have their federal student loans forgiven if they meet certain requirements. The webinar included an overview of the PSLF program, directions on how to apply, and an explanation of how to benefit from the limited-time waiver. Participants heard from Heather Jarvis, a student loan expert from the PSLF Coalition, and Ashley Harrington, Senior Advisor at U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid. You may view the slides from the presentation in the attachment to this email and watch a recording of the webinar here:

Please share this information with your members, colleagues, and others who might benefit from the PSLF program. You may use the Department of Education’s PSLF Help Tool to determine if you qualify and/or to apply. Please call Congressman Courtney’s office at (860) 886-0139 if you have questions.

As you may know, if you work in public service and have federal student loans, you might be able to get additional debt relief through recent, time-limited changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The PSLF program offers complete federal student loan forgiveness after making 120 qualifying payments while working in public service. PSLF-eligible employers include federal, state, local, or tribal governments, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, and other nonprofit organizations that provide certain qualifying services.   

On October 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced a set of improvements to the PSLF Program. These improvements include waivers of certain program requirements, which will be available to borrowers until October 31, 2022. Here are some of the key improvements available under the Limited PSLF Waiver:

  • Borrowers can receive credit for past periods of repayment on loans that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF.
  • Past periods of repayment will now count whether or not you made a payment, made that payment on time, for the full amount due, on a qualifying repayment plan.
  • Suspended payments count toward PSLF during the COVID-19 forbearance period.

Remember: this opportunity is time sensitive. Some borrowers will need to consolidate their loans and/or submit a PSLF form. It’s important for you to take the steps necessary to qualify for the Limited PSLF Waiver before October 31, 2022.   

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program provides debt relief to support the teachers, nurses, firefighters, and others serving their communities. By cancelling loans after 10 years of public service, PSLF removes the burden of student debt on public servants, helps many borrowers stay in their public service jobs, and incentives others to work in high-need fields. Congressman Courtney has heard from public servants across Connecticut who have benefited from PSLF and the limited-time PSLF waiver and he wants to make sure others are aware of this benefit. For more information, please visit the Department of Education’s PSLF website or reach out to Congressman Courtney’s office.

Samantha DeVito | Legislative Assistant
Representative Joe Courtney (CT-02)
Office: (202) 225-2076 |

PSLF Limited Waiver Slides

A free UNH half day session critical for school administrators (coffee will be served):

Tuesday June 28, 2022
9:00 am – 12:00 noon
UNH Orange campus, 584 Derby-Milford Road, Orange, CT 06477

RSVP by June 17, 2022 to

This free 3-hour program is designed to give a snapshot of the critical operations of the School Business Official (School Finance Director) and the key issues to watch for.  Although it is designed as a self-contained module, it will also include a brief overview of the fall and spring courses that UNH will be offering, which will provide an in-depth training on these business operations.

more information

Hello, my name is Keely Garden and I am a doctoral student in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Southern CT State University. Under the supervision of Dr. Sousan Arafeh, I am researching how public schools are reacting to Public Act 19-74 (2019); An Act Concerning Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention. The bill required all state Boards of Education to work toward an increase in the hiring of teachers and administrators of color by a statewide minimum of 250 new hires each school year starting in 2020-2021. I hope you will consider participating in my research by sharing your knowledge and experiences with the hiring process.

There are two ways to participate in this research depending upon your role.
1.    CT public school superintendents can complete a 6-question online survey
2.    CT public school principals can participate in a 30-minute interview in person or via Zoom.

Participation in this research is voluntary and you can decide to terminate your participation at any time. All of the information collected will remain confidential. If you wish to view the collected data after all identifying factors have been removed, you can request access from me.

If you are a CT public school superintendent who is willing to participate in this research, please follow this link to access the online survey

If you are a CT public school principal who is willing to participate in this research, please follow this link to schedule your interview

If you have any questions or concerns about this study, please contact Keely Garden or Dr. Sousan Arafeh

We are so appreciative of you considering participating in this research!

Keely Garden
Researcher, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Sousan Arafeh, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

If your district is interested in rate stabilization over the longer term vs year to year? Contact the Eastern Connecticut Health and Medical Collaborative.

  • Is your district self-insured but interested in becoming part of a larger group?
  • Is your district fully insured but too small to be self-insured on its own?
  • Is your district in a good position with renewal but concerned about the future?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ECHMC may be able to help.

more information

Creating a school improvement plan can take your district beyond planning to actual innovating. In this article from HMH, you'll find some useful information to get started, like what is a quality school improvement plan and action steps you can take to put one into motion.

May 24, 2022, 10:00am - 2:30pm

Theme: Now What? Leading with Passion, Commitment & Creativity through the Pandemic & Beyond

15 Breakout Sessions led by Connecticut’s Teacher Leaders on topics such as:

  • Implementing Presentations of Learning (POLs): Creating a Culture of Reflection
  • Self-Reflective Grading: Enhancing student ownership and focusing on what was learned
  • C.A.R.E.S.: Creating Attitude and Relationships that Enable Students and Staff
  • Building a “Greene Light” Culture to Reignite JOY in the Teaching Profession and Within our Schools
  • The Next Normal: How a Connecticut School District Reimagined the Teaching and Learning Experience
  • Teacher Leaders as a Source of Support for One Another

Three internationally known keynotes on Creativity and Innovation - Dr. Peter Gamwell, Dr. James Kaufman and Timothy Walker:

Gamwell photo
Gamwell book cover

Peter Gamwell, co-author of Thinker, Learner, Dreamer, Doer: Innovative Pedagogies for Cultivating Every Student’s Potential. Peter is an inspiring, insightful and entertaining speaker; and consultant who explores learning, leadership, and innovation.


Kaufman photo
Kaufman book cover

James C. Kaufman, author/editor of more than 50 books, including Creativity 101. James is a professor of educational psychology at UConn and internationally known expert on creativity who is most passionate about how creativity can be a source of positive change for people.


Walker photo
Walker book cover

Timothy D. Walker, co-author of In Teachers We Trust: The Finnish Way to World-Class Schools. Timothy is a teacher, writer, and speaker who has written extensively about his teaching experiences for Educational Leadership, Education Week Teacher, and The Atlantic.


More Information/Registration

The CSDE Bureau of Educator Standards and Certification is pleased to announce an additional pathway for educators to apply for and obtain certification if they hold a valid out-of-state, fully licensed educator certificate equivalent to at least Connecticut’s initial educator certificate. In accordance with Connecticut General Statutes, Section 10-146c, effective April 18, 2022, Connecticut’s recognition statement for “Enhanced Reciprocity” recognizes select states located in the Northeastern Region and territories to streamline the application process for certification. Please see attached document and we hope that this will help with your recruitment efforts.
Dr. Shuana Tucker
Chief Talent Officer

Read More

TCG, a HUB International Company presented a webinar on our Superintendent Wellness Program on March 29th.  Mason Moses, SVP of Contract Consulting provided valuable information on CT current contract trends, compensation items to consider to meet your financial goals, how it can be utilized to foster longevity and financial success. A recording of the webinar is provided to CAPSS membership. If you have additional questions or would like additional information, please contact Randy Feid at 781-364-4996 or

view the webinar recording

May 24, 2022, 10:00am - 2:30pm

Theme: Now What? Leading with Passion, Commitment & Creativity through the Pandemic & Beyond

15 Breakout Sessions led by Connecticut’s Teacher Leaders on topics such as:

  • Implementing Presentations of Learning (POLs): Creating a Culture of Reflection
  • Self-Reflective Grading: Enhancing student ownership and focusing on what was learned
  • C.A.R.E.S.: Creating Attitude and Relationships that Enable Students and Staff
  • Building a “Greene Light” Culture to Reignite JOY in the Teaching Profession and Within our Schools
  • The Next Normal: How a Connecticut School District Reimagined the Teaching and Learning Experience
  • Teacher Leaders as a Source of Support for One Another

More Information/Registration

The CT Alliance of YMCAs is comprised of 21 YMCAs including 36 branches and over 193 program sites. Each YMCA is volunteer led.  The Alliance is a powerful advocate for the needs of children, families, and individuals in communities throughout Connecticut.

As a charitable organization, YMCAs across Connecticut exist to strengthen communities.  The work the Y does every day with thousands of men, women and children ensures everyone — regardless of age, gender, income or background — has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive!

Chris Pallato
Connecticut Alliance of YMCAs
(860) 670-3261

On Monday, April 4, the Vice President will announce the Biden-Harris Action Plan for Building Better Schools. The Vice President will announce actions that bolster clean school infrastructure to support student learning and health, which includes a new $500 million Department of Energy program from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to save schools money with energy efficiency upgrades.
The Vice President will outline how the action plan will: 

  1. Invest $500 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in more efficient, energy-saving school buildings. 
  2. Improve classroom air quality through the American Rescue Plan.



As a global leader in assessment, reading, and math solutions for pre-K–12 schools and districts, Renaissance is committed to providing educators with insights and resources to accelerate growth and help all students build a strong foundation for success. Renaissance solutions reach more than 40 percent of US schools and more than half a million students in other regions across the world.

The Renaissance portfolio includes Star Assessments, for reliable, accurate insights into K–12 student learning; myIGDIs, for accurate assessment of early learning; myON, to increase students’ access to high-quality reading materials; Accelerated Reader, to support independent reading practice; Freckle, for teacher-led differentiated instruction; Schoolzilla, to give educators actionable insights into trends in student attendance and achievement; Lalilo, to develop critical foundational skills; and Nearpod, for teacher-facilitated instructional delivery.

For more information, visit

Amanda Pottinger
Marketing Manager
(561) 962-5314

The Connecticut Center for School Safety and Crisis Preparation has been tasked to assess the school safety needs throughout Connecticut. To accomplish this first-year deliverable, the Center worked collaboratively with local, state, and federal partners to develop a needs assessment survey.  

The survey targets all professionals within all K-12 schools or professionals who service the K-12 school community.  

The survey only takes approximately ten (10) minutes to complete, but its impact will be significant. The Center will use this assessment to guide training and strategize collaborative efforts for the next several years. The link to take the anonymous online survey is below:

For information about the Center, please visit the website at:

Cambridge International, a part of the University of Cambridge, is the world’s largest provider of K-12 curriculum, professional development, and assessments.  Offering over 100 subjects, schools have the flexibility to offer this program alongside other curriculum.  We have expertise working with English Language Learners and students of varying backgrounds and academic abilities who find success in our core academics, advanced and pre-advanced levels, as well as CTE  courses.  Cambridge International is another alternative to AP, IB, and dual enrollment where students can earn college credits for advanced course work. Please contact us to learn more:

Learn more:

Alan Bernstein
Senior School Development Manager, North USA
(646) 946-6791

I wanted to share exciting information about a Grade 9-focused professional learning opportunity being offered by the Connecticut RISE Network this summer. 

I have followed RISE’s work over the years as they’ve partnered with Connecticut high schools and districts to strengthen systems and practices during freshman year. I am excited to see that RISE is offering this two-day conference on June 27th-28th so that other school teams can experience success promoting on-track achievement and postsecondary outcomes. The RISE Network is very intentional about planning and facilitating high-quality professional development; I have no doubt that this will be an engaging workshop.

Have a look at their Grade 9 Summer Symposium website and flyer, and let me know if you’d like an introduction to their team to learn more.

Emily Pallin
Executive Director
RISE Network

Your commitment never falters. Neither will ours.
We have always known our children's success comes down to you. Together we can help empower you and your employees to pursue their vision of retirement - from big outdoor adventures to ones a little closer to home.
Equitable is not only the No.1 leader in providing retirement solutions to CT educators, but we also are a leader in providing educational content on the public student loan forgiveness program, woman-in-leadership seminars, financial wellness programs, and in providing non-product comprehensive financial education.
Equitable advisors are Certified Retirement Education Specialists (CRES) by the National Tax-Deferred Savings Association (NTSA), a sister organization of the American Retirement Association (ARA).

Michael Linehan
Northeast Regional Vice President
(860) 921-3825

Trusted Capital Group (TCG), a HUB International Company provides valuable investment, retirement, and financial education solutions. We are experts at meeting the unique needs of school district leaders facing a growing workforce, shrinking budgets and stringent state standards. Our services include:

Superintendent Wellness Programs - Specialized contract consulting and financial planning for school district leaders.

School District Financial Wellness Programs - We offer education tools with access to financial coaches to assist your employees combined with a robust financial virtual education consultation assistance.
Additional Services:
457(b) Retirement Solutions
403(b) Plan Administration
401(a) Teacher/Employee Recruitment & Retention Plan
FICA Alternative Plan Services

Randy Feid
Vice President, Business Development

• FICA Alternative Plan Services

Shipman & Goodwin LLP has more than 170 attorneys with five offices in Connecticut, an office in New York and Washington, D.C. The firm is recognized nationally for the depth and breadth of our education practice. Our school law attorneys represent over 125 public school districts and educational entities. Our online resource, is dedicated to presenting the latest developments in school law.

Thomas B. Mooney, Esq.

June 20-21, Woodstock, CT

Engage with school and safety professionals in relevant sessions on active shooter response, security on a school campus, student mental health issues, critical decision making, media relations, and more. Network with school and safety professionals throughout the conference and evening events.

Session Topics Include:

  • Partnering to Prevent School Violence: Crisis Management
  • Responding to Violence and Hostility in the Educational Environment
  • Building and Managing a Threat Assessment Team
  • Protecting America's Schools: A U.S. Secret Service Analysis of Targeted School Violence

More Information


Rethink Ed is a pioneering EdTech leader that believes lifelong learning brings out the best in everyone. Through innovative, technology-based platforms, Rethink Ed delivers professional development, academic instruction and data-informed assessments that simplify the school day, focusing on special education, social and emotional learning, and mental health, strengthen whole-child education, and inspire success in all learners. See how Rethink Ed is transforming education at

John Henyecz
Senior Account Executive
(201) 398-6953

Oak Hill Schools offer a 12-month community-based education program, serving students with moderate to severe disabilities ages 3 to 21 including autism, emotional disabilities, behavioral challenges, as well as students with multiple disabilities placed by public school districts. Each student receives a specialized program emphasizing in academic, social/emotional, daily living skills, motor development, communication, community participation, and self-advocacy.  Secondary school students develop functional academic transition skills, including employment, post-secondary education, training, independent living, and self-help skills within community-based jobs and instruction.  Instructional methodology is evidence based, follows best practices, and skills are taught within meaningful and functional activities.

Ana Wittig
Chief Administrator
(860) 769-3860

Healthy Minds Alliance is an innovative AmeriCorps program that supports capacity to address mental health needs in your community.  AmeriCorps member(s), serving at your school district, are trained as instructors and focus their service year on implementing gatekeeper trainings in the community. Examples of gatekeeper trainings include, but are not limited to, Mental Health First Aid, QPR, SafeTALK and other evidenced based/informed programs. A full-time AmeriCorps member serving 40 hours per week for 10 months at your district will:

  1. implement select mental health gatekeeper training;
  2. build capacity to address community mental health needs; and
  3. raise funds to support mental health service activities.

Healthy Minds Alliance Info

Healthy Minds Alliance Application

Application Deadline – Submissions due by the 10th of each month

Application Notice of Award – Decisions made by the 15th of each month

Celia Meyer, MS
Healthy Minds Alliance Director
Health360, Inc.

Exemplars provides hands-on, performance-based assessment and instruction material that focuses on authentic learning in Math, Science, and Writing. Our rich performance tasks engage students and promote reasoning, communication, and higher-order thinking. Exemplars provides evidence-based performance tasks, rubrics, and student anchor papers that transform teaching and learning outcomes for schools and districts.

Megan Brewer Meadows
Chief Operating Officer
800-450-4050 ext. 101

The CollegeBoard is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity.

Founded in 1900, the CollegeBoard was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world's leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education.

Dena Soled Johnson
Senior Director
State and District Partnerships
(781) 296-0549

In January 2021 the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) put forth a Blueprint to Transform Connecticut’s Public Schools. It is a comprehensive and long-term vision for continuous improvement. In this update we share again the 30 recommendations of the Blueprint as well as a commentary on what has changed in the last year and what should be Connecticut’s priorities for the next few years.

read the Update

Savings for Employees of Connecticut Public School Systems

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Jamie Monahan
Account Manager
Government Program Sales

The coronavirus pandemic has affected our lives, our economy and nearly every corner of the globe. More than 3.84 billion people worldwide have received a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, equal to about 50 percent of the world population. However, there are stark gaps between richer and poorer nations. The United States has surpassed 700,000 known Covid-19 deaths, making the coronavirus pandemic the deadliest in American history.

Read full article in The New York Times

Our schools can support our overall health and well-being, but also can help us prepare for and respond to global health challenges like COVID-19. As teachers, students and staff become increasingly aware of the impact of their surroundings on their health, the concept of a “healthy school” is more important than ever and becoming increasingly prominent.

Delos advanced air purification technology was recently selected by the New York City Department of Education for implementation into all 1,800 schools in the New York City Public School System.  
The Delos advanced air purification technology is capable of trapping and removing particles as small as 0.007 microns at 99.97% efficiency, which is smaller than the virus causing COVID-19.  These are highly affordable, stand-alone, or wall-mounted portable solutions that don't require construction, labor, or access to existing HVAC systems.

About Delos: Delos is a wellness real estate and technology company guided by the mission to be the world’s leading catalyst for improving the health and well-being of people around the world by improving the indoor environments where they live, work, sleep and play.


Rachel McPherson
Partnership Consultant

Matt Arnone 
Business Development | Sustainable Finance at Delos™

Dell's Education Purchase Program is here to support parents, students, and educators as they seek out the best technology for home use. We have various programs and benefits in place to make this a easy process while also providing savings and benefits to your district, school, or PTA program.

Please contact to get more information on setting up your campus or district with the program. CAPSS members can access your benefits at

Gabriel Whitman
Strategic Account Manager
(512) 981-6969

Something magical happens when you put Apple products in the classroom. Teachers can create unique opportunities for personal learning at every level. Lessons become more immersive through the power of touch, motion and sound. Assignments can be sketched, scored, chartered, coded, or performed.

When you bring Apple products into a school, they transform traditional classrooms and lessons into learning experiences that inspire creativity and encourage collaboration—experiences that profoundly impact a student’s curiosity for learning and path in life.

Everyday we work to bring teachers the resources they need to design and deliver engaging lessons, and offer students the tools to communicate their best.

Norma Jean Loftus
Account Executive
(408) 996-1010

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 to support the work of current and aspiring superintendents and district leadership teams in leading all aspects of digital learning transformations.

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.

The EmpowerED Superintendent edWebinar Series:
Cybersecurity: School Leadership Strategies for Preventing and Responding to Cyberattacks

The second episode of Season 4 of the EmpowerED Superintendent Webinar series aired this past Monday, October 11, 2021. The title of the October 11, 2021, webinar was Cybersecurity: School Leadership Strategies for Preventing and Responding to Cyberattacks. In this EmpowerED Superintendent edWebinar, Superintendents Matt Miller, Lakota Local Schools, OH, Dr. Michelle Reid, Northshore School District, WA and Dr. Hank Thiele, Community High School District 99, IL, shared their knowledge and experiences in leading cybersecurity awareness in their school systems. They reviewed 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 and district operations. Strategies for preventing cyberattacks and recommendations for responding effectively when they do occur were also discussed.

Free access to webinar recording: If you missed this past Monday’s, October 11, EmpowerED Superintendent Webinar, co-hosted by CoSN, AASA and, and sponsored by ClassLink, you can still access the free webinar recording at You will also be able to access free recordings and podcasts of multiple previously broadcast webinars in the EmpowerED Superintendent series at

CoSN Resources:
1) Critical Focus Areas: Issue One-Pager on Cybersecurity

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:

2) CoSN Cybersecurity Risk Assessment - Powered by S2 - Preliminary Self-Evaluation of District’s Cybersecurity Risk
CoSN shares this risk assessment as an opportunity for education organizations to conduct a preliminary self-evaluation of their cybersecurity risk. Developed as a collaboration between CoSN’s and Security Studio (S2), this assessment is free and vendor-neutral. It incorporates topics specific to the K12 environment such as educational technology and remote learning.

3) CoSN Cybersecurity Workshops  
101 – Creating Cybersecurity & Incident Response Plans, Oct 19 - Oct 21
201 – Advanced Cybersecurity for Remote Learning Environments, Nov 30 - Dec 2

4) Additional CoSN Resources on Cybersecurity
CoSN provides additional tools and resources that provide insight into how risk can be further reduced which can be found at

CoSN Membership
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

Achievers Continuously Exploring (A.C.E.), Inc. is a dynamic socio-educational organization whose mission is to inspire, guide, and prepare African-American, Afro-Caribbean, and Latinx students to successfully graduate from high school, enter and successfully complete post-secondary education, and enter the global workforce.  A.C.E. is empowering and developing students to increase their grades and aptitude in math, science, cultural history, and equity.  We accomplish this by strategically providing targeted tutoring, positive youth developing activities, and cultural competency with the goal of inculcating a lifelong confidence, interest, and love of learning.

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For over 35 years, PARS has worked exclusively with school districts and other public agencies to design and implement strategic retirement solutions that address specific organizational and budgetary needs. We are the national leader in customized, locally controlled voluntary separation incentives and also administer one of the largest and fastest growing OPEB trust programs in New England.

Kathryn Cannie
Senior Consultant
(617) 549-6555

Orbic is a US based mobile device manufacturer with a global resource network. Over the past five years, Orbic has seen considerable growth and is currently in an expansion phase with plans to bring new, competitive items to market. Orbic's mission is to provide premium communication devices at prices that are considerably less than the competitors.

Anthony Dalessio
Senior Vice President, Finance & Enterprise
(631) 240-8365

Mark Krolian
Vice President, Business Development
(631) 240-8333

Dalio Education is launching Teachers of Connecticut, a new platform that gives teachers a channel to share their stories, have their voices heard, and raise awareness around their experiences and ideas.

Over the next few weeks Dalio will be sharing stories from educators throughout the state on the dedicated website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, where you will find inspiring teacher stories, images, news clips, and more, including videos from WTNH News Channel 8, which will be featuring the platform beginning with a segment this Wednesday, August 18th.

We hope that you will join us in elevating these wonderful educators who are shaping the leaders of tomorrow by following and reposting the content, and please encourage your networks to do the same!

In partnership,

Fran Rabinowitz

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a learning technology company committed to delivering connected solutions that engage learners, empower educators and improve student outcomes. As a leading provider of K–12 core curriculum, supplemental and intervention solutions and professional learning services, HMH partners with educators and school districts to uncover solutions that unlock students' potential and extend teachers' capabilities. HMH serves more than 50 million students and 3 million educators in 150 countries.  For more information, visit

Follow HMH on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Jason Testa
VP Regional Sales

UniteCT Program is administered by the Department of Housing on behalf of the US Treasury. UniteCT provides up to $15,000 rental and up to $1,500 electricity payment assistance on behalf of Connecticut households financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tenants and landlords use the UniteCT Rent Relief software to submit their own sections of the application creating a unique case file for decision making evaluation. Please visit the UniteCT website for more information.

More Information

Más Información

Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) wants to remind school leaders that it takes at least five weeks for students between 12 and 17 to be vaccinated and fully protected against COVID-19.  Please encourage your unvaccinated students and staff to get their first vaccine this week.  You can find a list of vaccination locations on our website at  If you are interested in hosting a vaccination clinic at your schools, please contact Lilian Gutierrez at or 860-815-2867.

CHC has administered over half a million COVID-19 vaccines in the State of Connecticut and runs School Based Health Centers at schools across the state.

Since 2009, the mission of ESS has been to provide high quality and cost-effective in-district clinical programming for students with emotional and behavioral challenges. ESS has pioneered a new model of in-school intervention, organized around a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) framework. We introduce mental health best practices and innovative clinical programs into the traditional school day, providing each student with comprehensive support tailored to their needs. ESS currently partners with over 90 districts across 9 states, including a number of CT districts.

Jared DeLancey
Senior Director of District Partnerships

Thank you to everyone who attended the CAPSS x IntelliBoard July Webinar! For those who would like to catch it but were unable to attend, a recording of the session can be found here.

IntelliBoard, as a proud Connecticut-based CAPSS partner, is helping K12 institutions such as your own Create Better Learning Experiences for students. Their reporting and analytics platform provides valuable insights; giving teachers and administrators the confidence that they're effectively serving their learner population. Watch the webinar or reach out directly to for more information.

Watch the Webinar

The Connecticut State Department of Education, Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, Connecticut Association of Schools, American Federation of Teachers Connecticut, and Connecticut Education Association are committed to the Connecticut State Board of Education’s goal of improving the academic lives of Connecticut’s increasingly diverse student body. This includes sustaining equitable and welcoming learning environments in which all students feel valued, respected, and safe to learn and grow.

This diversity, which represents a multitude of backgrounds and identities encompassing race, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, nationality, status of citizenship, and sexual orientation, is a strength to be celebrated. In response to challenges to our public education system, and to continue the mission of advancing opportunity for all, it is our shared priority to affirm, value, and leverage this diversity as an asset embodied and mirrored in teaching and learning.

Education must continue evolving to remain relevant to, and reflective of, students’ social, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds to assist in the development of their lifelong respect and compassion for themselves, their classmates, their communities, and the world around them. Engaging in inquiry-based learning that broadens students’ appreciation of perspectives beyond their own results in stronger motivation, open-mindedness, and critical thinking skills.

We want our students to graduate as responsible, well-rounded, and productive citizens who are ready to engage with others and thrive in our interconnected, diverse global society. Our students are best served when empowered with the tools to understand and investigate the countless lived experiences that exist in the world around them.
To ensure the well-being of and positive life outcomes for Connecticut’s students, we pledge ourselves to carrying out the following:

  • Building a culturally sustaining and responsive education system that fosters our children’s cultural awareness and development.
  • Cultivating authentic relationships with all members of a school community, including culturally diverse families, via two-way, reciprocal conversations around the development of curriculum, instructional methods, and expectations for student learning.
  • Supporting the State Board of Education’s 2020 Position Statement on Culturally Responsive Education – updated from 2011 – which strongly encourages public school districts to adopt policies that demonstrate their commitment to all students because we know there is a greater impact on student outcomes when we meet them with culturally and socially relevant content that resonates.
  • Aligning and providing resources, guidance, and support to districts to continue developing and implementing policies, procedures, and relevant curricula that affirm their students’ identity and their sense of belonging.

We believe and fully support fostering inclusive and culturally responsive educational environments that welcome, respect, and acknowledge the individual identities of all members of a school community as a cornerstone of preparing each and every student to succeed in college, career, and civic life.


For Grads In Need of a Plan!

Applications are now being accepted for Student 5.0, a free program for just-graduated seniors to find their way to success!

Program participants work virtually with a peer mentor -- a young adult who has recently navigated the postsecondary transition -- to connect their skills and interests to attainable goals. A key element of Student 5.0 is the ongoing support peer mentors provide, because once the plan is created there can be significant need for ongoing support to put the plan into practice!


Student 5.0 peer mentors are uniquely situated to offer this support, particularly for participants from high-need, vulnerable communities. Often, peer mentors and participants find they have shared experiences and things in common. With a real eye on meeting the participant where he or she is, the experience results in a true partnership between the peer mentor and the participant while exploring:   
•    career research
•    college/training program enrollment
•    financial aid forms
•    job interview readiness
•    resume writing
•    personal budgeting
•    and more, including an opportunity to earn a $200 e-gift card!

Learn more about the Student 5.0 program and apply by following this link.

Student 5.0 is operated by ReadyCT, a Connecticut nonprofit working to advance academic excellence and career-connected learning.

NOTE TO SUPERINTENDENTS: You can copy/paste the text above for distribution to Class of '21 graduates and their families. Contact with questions. You can also raise awareness through social media engagement with @readyCTED. 

Defined Learning is a K-12 online project-based learning platform that provides teachers with the educational and assessment tools needed to implement high-quality PBL. Our hands-on projects are based on real-world situations in careers to help learners discover their passions and choose a pathway to a promising future.

Brannan Kenny
Vice President of Partnerships

Newsela takes authentic, real-world content from trusted sources and makes it instruction ready for K-12 classrooms. Each text is published at five reading levels, so content is accessible to every learner. Today, over 2.5 million teachers and 37 million students have registered with Newsela for content that’s personalized to student interests, accessible to everyone, aligned to instructional standards, and attached to activities and reporting that hold teachers accountable for instruction and students accountable for their work. With over 10,000 texts in Newsela’s platform and 10 new texts published every day across 20+ genres, Newsela enables educators to go deep on any subject they choose.

Kristi Maroudas
District Partnership Manager

Elizabeth St. Onge
District Partnership Manager

For the past several years, the CSDE has partnered with the University of Connecticut, a recipient of a Wallace Foundation University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI).  The CSDE has used grant funding to support CT’s administrator preparation programs, as well as current administrators who mentor and support aspiring and new administrators, in developing and supporting equity-driven, antiracist school leaders.  

In support of new administrators, we are pleased to share that the CSDE is partnering with CAS and the CT Center for School Change (CCSC), who will co-facilitate EdLeadership Simulations beginning this Fall, for administrators new to their role within the past five years.  The Simulations selected from the SchoolSims Simulation Library will provide opportunities for participants to engage in facilitated decisions throughout the Simulations, which reflect current, authentic situations that school leaders face on a regular basis.  At each decision point in the Simulation, participants discuss options in breakout rooms, and upon returning to the larger group, the risks and potential outcomes are discussed with the group.  

CAS and CCSC, as well as CT’s APP faculty, will have access to the SchoolSims Simulation Library through December 2023.  While the facilitation of the Simulations in the attached flyer are supported with Wallace Foundation funding, schools and districts can reach out to CAS and CCSC directly to arrange for professional learning using the Simulations.  The attached graphic shows the alignment of SchoolSims Simuations to PSEL Standards.  

For additional information, please contact:  

Fall 2021 SchoolSims Flyer

PSEL Standard Alignment Graphic

Wallace Foundation University Preparation Initiative

In case you missed it—A recording of Academic Planning in Action: Achieving Equitable Outcomes for Connecticut Students is now available for viewing on-demand. This thought-provoking webinar hosted by CAPSS Business Partner HMH along with special guest Whiteboard Advisors introduced strategies and frameworks that district leaders can use to address unfinished learning from the past year and close longstanding instructional disparities, plus reviewed current and forthcoming funding available to help support these initiatives. Watch it here.

IntelliBoard provides analytic and reporting services to education communities and institutions that want expanded reporting and analytics for their Learning Management System.

IntelliBoard is the most comprehensive reporting and analytics platform of any LMS on the market today. Data coming from Blackboard, Canvas, Google Classroom, Brightspace D2L, Moodle, Zoom, MS Team, Student Information System, and more is available to view on simplified, shareable, and printable charts, graphs and analytics.

IntelliBoard is comprised of data-loving, education-focused, and care-centric folks brilliant in the skills they bring to you. We dream BIG! We all share the same vision, but each provides a unique perspective. We strive to provide a well-rounded approach to all that we do.


Anatoliy Kochnev
(866) 897-3767

Dear CAPSS Members,

First, let us say that we are inspired that over 24 education leaders from 16 districts took the time on Thursday to explore the power of equity in education. Several current partners joined Equal Opportunity Schools to share the meaningful impact of their partnerships. From superintendents and principals, we heard from leaders finishing up their first year as well as long-time advocates of EOS' work....

read more

The COVID-19 pandemic has created extreme disruption and extraordinary circumstances for educators, students, and families. Still, we have seen amazing examples of strength, dedication, and passion in the K– 12 space—teachers and students bringing the classroom online and navigating new, and often imperfect, systems to connect with one another, and communities working tirelessly to ensure children are safe, fed, and emotionally supported.
Looking forward to the future, educators are reimagining the structure and culture of their schools and districts to establish a new connected learning environment that serves all students. Connected Learning Era: Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 is offered as a resource by HMH® summarizing “what works” in connecting educational technology with teaching and learning in both virtual and in-person classrooms.

Ädelbrook’s Learning Centers are private special education programs certified by the State Department of Education to serve students with autism, developmental disabilities, emotional and behavioral difficulties,  and other learning disabilities from pre-Kindergarten through grade 12.

Ädelbrook’s Transitional Academy is for students ages 18–22 that focuses on life-long learning, life skills, and employment proficiencies through meaningful work experiences and community engagement. The program includes work experience opportunities at Ädelbrook’s educational retail store, The Bark-ery.

Our primary objective is to create a momentum of success for our young people so they will continue to advance when they return to public schools or move on to post-secondary programs. Our goal is to provide each student with a positive, individualized, and highly engaging educational experience.

Dale R. Hoyt, Ed.D
Vice President for Education

As you’re probably aware, the American Rescue Plan Act has added another round of stimulus and additional moneys available to individuals, but they all require filing taxes. It is a LOT of money. For a parent with two children with income less than $75,000 that means (3 x $1400) for the stimulus plus (2 x $3000) for each child over 6 years old (for children under 6 years old, it’s $3600 for the year) for a total of $10,200 for the year. If they did not collect the stimulus last year, it could be over $15000. The Child Tax Credit is fully refundable, and will be paid out monthly beginning in July. Also, this year, the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit is fully refundable, which will benefit many more families than last year’s version.

The Earned Income Tax hasn’t gotten as much attention, but it has also been strengthened. It’s now open to individuals over 19 years old (it had been limited to people over 25). Former foster kids qualify at 18 years old, and homeless youth, defined as “an individual who certifies, in a manner as provided by the Secretary, that such individual is either an unaccompanied youth who is a homeless child or youth, or is unaccompanied, at risk of homelessness, and self-supporting” also qualify with no age specified. The amount available under the EITC for individuals without children has more than doubled to $1,500.

In order to get these benefits, people have to file a tax form.   

My colleague Lucy Potter and I have been trying to figure out how best to connect people with the information they need to collect the money, since there are thousands of people in Connecticut who were eligible but did not receive the stimulus last year. We presume all these people did not file tax forms last year (because if they had they would have gotten the stimulus). Unlike last year, unless one is already in certain federal benefit programs (SSI, SSDI, veterans benefits or railroad retirement),  there is no way to claim the stimulus without filing taxes.  We’ve created the attached flier to urge people to file, along with a website from the United Way they can use to file their taxes themselves or do so with assistance. The website is mobile compatible. Additionally, here is a phone number—(844) 322-3639—they can call for additional information.

FIlers can check their status at

Alison M. Weir
Policy Advocate/Staff Attorney
Greater Hartford Legal Aid
999 Asylum Ave., 3rd Fl.
Hartford, CT 06105
(860) 541-5053
Fax: (860) 541-5050


A well-crafted separation incentive can be a win-win approach for management and educational employees to achieve fiscal savings, avoid layoffs, and restructure departments or positions. The key to constructing a successful incentive is considering when and how it should be implemented. Below are crucial points to examine:

1.    DO Properly Analyze Whether an Incentive Will Work
One of the biggest mistakes districts often make is failing to properly analyze the costs of an incentive over multiple years, then implementing a program that does not truly save dollars over the long-term.  A key focus of any incentive, therefore, is to ensure that a comprehensive analysis is conducted that accounts for costs such as retiree health care, natural attrition, and the incentive itself. The likelihood of plan success should also be analyzed based on different benefit offerings, current workforce demographics, and the re-staffing needs for projected retirements.

2.    DON’T Offer A Cash Incentive
Separation or retirement incentives in school districts are often offered as a one-time, lump sum “cash” payout option. This has distinct and significant drawbacks: Uncle Sam takes a large portion of the benefit upfront, employers are subject to paying payroll taxes on the benefit, and the incentive itself must be paid in one lump sum, which puts a great strain on the budget. There are more valuable alternatives that should be considered prior to implementing a cash incentive.

3.    DO Use a Tax Deferred Vehicle
Instead of a cash offering, consider a locally-controlled tax qualified retirement vehicle, such as a 403(b) plan which allows employer-to-employee contributions for 5 years post-employment, making it an ideal tax deferral vehicle for a separation incentive. The employer can also fund the incentive over 5 years for cash flow purposes, and employees gain more flexible distribution options such as IRA rollovers, which typically end up increasing participation.

4.    DON’T Do if Salary Differentials are Small
Retirement incentives generally focus on near-retirement-age employees that are clustered at higher salary levels and protected by seniority. Cost savings are achieved by replacing these employees with those that are lower on the salary scale (such as entry-level employees) or by eliminating certain positions altogether. Larger salary differentials, commonly seen with teachers, make the savings happen, whereas narrow salary differentials can often cause an incentive to cost money, rather than create savings.

5.    DO Only if You Can Beat Natural Retirement Attrition
A separation incentive only works, and creates savings, if a district offers enough of an incentive to significantly exceed natural retirement attrition in any given year. This means that if you typically have 10 retirements in a year, you need to incentivize at least 20 or 25 employees to leave to achieve savings. This is because the first 10 employees would have retired regardless which means they must be considered a cost in the analysis, not a savings.

6.    DON’T Try to Do It All Yourself
Whenever possible, have seasoned firms with separation incentive experience help your district properly analyze, design, and communicate the incentive. Find an expert in the consulting and design of school district or higher education retirement incentives (not to be confused with 403(b) vendors) that will not only assist your district in the development of the program but can also handle all of the communication with employees and retirees.

By Kathryn Cannie, Senior Manager at Public Agency Retirement Services (PARS)

Public Agency Retirement Services (PARS) is the nation’s leader in the analysis, design, administration, and communication of locally controlled, customized voluntary separation incentives. We have administered over 1,000 incentives for 450+ school districts and colleges since 1984 and have completed over 5,000 analyses. For more information on our services, or to receive a complimentary analysis based on your district’s demographics, please contact PARS Senior Manager, Kathryn Cannie, at (617) 549-6555 or


Wearing masks has become common practice in certain schools across the nation. Ensuring every student receives proper volume, clarity and can understand what is being taught can already be a challenge with the normal background noise of a classroom environment. When teachers’ voices are distorted and mouths are hidden by a mask, classroom audio solutions become more important than ever in student education.

  1. Easily integrates to zoom and popular video conferencing software.
  2. Allows teachers to speak in a natural voice while wearing a mask.
  3. Portable and install options available.

Click Here to Read More

Spencer Anderson
Sales Associate

Sacred Heart University is now accepting applications for its next 093 cohort for fall of 2021. This weekends-only program begins in September and concludes in May. If you know of qualified aspiring superintendents, please have them contact Dr. David Title, Program Director at or go to the website at this link. An on-line information session is scheduled for February 25. Registration can be done at the website.
David G. Title
Clinical Assistant Professor
Director, Ed.D. Program
Director, 093 Superintendent Certification Program
Sacred Heart University
Farrington College of Education
Fairfield, CT
203-365-4810 (office)
203-610-2413 (cell)

Oak Hill Schools offer a 12-month community-based education program, serving students with moderate to severe disabilities ages 3 to 21 including autism, emotional disabilities, behavioral challenges, as well as students with multiple disabilities placed by public school districts. Each student receives a specialized program emphasizing in academic, social/emotional, daily living skills, motor development, communication, community participation, and self-advocacy.  Secondary school students develop functional academic transition skills, including employment, post-secondary education, training, independent living, and self-help skills within community-based jobs and instruction.  Instructional methodology is evidence based, follows best practices, and skills are taught within meaningful and functional activities.

Ana Wittig
Chief Administrator
(860) 769-3860

To address historical inequities in Connecticut’s public education system and provide all students with equal educational experiences, CAPSS has released the CAPSS Blueprint to Transform Connecticut’s Public Schools, which includes 30 recommendations the organization deems critical to Connecticut public education over the next 15 years and beyond.

The CAPSS Blueprint’s recommendations touch on every financial, educational and operational aspect of schooling, with the aim of equitable funding, economies of scale, and resources for all school districts.


by Betty J. Sternberg

Since March 2020, our brave-heart teachers have, out of necessity, single-handedly altered how they instruct their students. They have made changes to accommodate scheduling vagaries, sometimes teaching one group of children one week in their classrooms and then teaching that group solely online the following week. Sometimes they have been confronted with teaching some children in person, while at the same time teaching others online. They have done this while always keeping in the forefront how best to create a safe and loving learning environment for each of the students in their care.

I know this first-hand because I direct and interact with a group of amazing teacher leaders from schools throughout Connecticut who meet on their own time regularly — virtually now — to share their stories of resilience and swap techniques they have tried with their students to make learning viable and exciting.

As they return this January to teaching still under the cloud of COVID-19, my wishes for them and the children they teach in 2021 revolve around feelings and the culture they and their students share. The culture their students experience in their classrooms as a result of the environment their teachers set up, often reflects the environment of the school and the district in which teachers interact with their colleagues – an environment enabled by all the adults in the building and district.

read the complete article in the CT Mirror

Rethink Ed is a pioneering EdTech leader that believes lifelong learning brings out the best in everyone. Through innovative, technology-based platforms, Rethink Ed delivers professional development, academic instruction and data-informed assessments that simplify the school day, focusing on special education, social and emotional learning, and mental health, strengthen whole-child education, and inspire success in all learners. See how Rethink Ed is transforming education at

John Henyecz
Senior Account Executive
(201) 398-6953

With expertise in industries ranging from hospitality and foodservice to healthcare and environmental protection, Ecolab is a global leader in cleaning and disinfecting expertise for commercial environments. Our team of more than 1200 scientists, engineers and technical specialists have combined our science-base solutions and decades of expertise helping keep hospitals clean with what we have learned from our own consumer research and working with businesses in nearly 3 million locations in 170 countries to develop the Ecolab Science Certified TM program. This comprehensive program was created to deliver a high level of cleanliness through science-backed products, including the fastest product available proven to kill the COVID-19 virus, and protocols to help protect the places you eat, stay, play and shop by reducing the risk of exposure to germs.

Carey Brown
Street Sales Development Manager
(860) 209-1150

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 or contact

R-Zero is a biosafety company dedicated to creating safer spaces and reducing the spread of infectious disease by making hospital-grade UV-C disinfection technology financially and operationally accessible to schools for the first time. R-Zero’s touchless UV-C device, Arc, is the first hospital-grade UV-C disinfection device designed for a dynamic school environment. Arc takes just five minutes to disinfect the average classroom and is proven to destroy 99.99% of pathogens and the diseases they cause – including coronavirus, the common cold and the seasonal flu.

Brooke Jacobson
Senior Manager, Partnerships and Programs
R-Zero Systems, Inc.
(469) 955-9566

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.



Joint Statement from Education Commissioner, CAPSS Executive Director and CABE Executive Director on Importance of Strong Board-Superintendent Relationship to the Safe and Effective Delivery of Education this Fall

The COVID-19 crisis has forced us to adapt and innovate in our classrooms and schools in ways none of us ever thought likely, or even possible. Connecticut’s PK-12 leaders find themselves addressing an unprecedented educational emergency under ever-changing conditions. In this rapidly evolving landscape, leadership matters now more than ever.

As we prepare to return to schools this week and in the coming weeks, doing so safely is and always will be our top priority. At the same time, each and every single decision must be made using the lenses of public safety, and equity and access. While this decision-making is an imperfect science, we all share the same sense of urgency to serve all of our students.

A strong board-superintendent relationship has a direct correlation to the success of a district. In these unprecedented times with COVID-19, it is more essential than ever that Boards and Superintendents work together on behalf of their students and the community.  It is imperative that Board members and their superintendents be accountable in their respective roles, lead by example, and be of one voice when decisions are made. These leadership actions are key to developing and implementing sound policy tied to the pandemic as well as the best possible solutions for individual school communities.

The state’s reopening plan, “Adapt, Advance, Achieve”,  acknowledges the challenges Boards of Education and superintendents face recognizing that there is no one perfect solution that applies to every community in Connecticut. In fact, the diversity of our state is why “Adapt, Advance, Achieve” gives districts the flexibility to make decisions in relation to this pandemic based upon their unique conditions and leaders’ beliefs on what is best for the communities they serve.

As we embrace the uncertainty in education in our state and country due to COVID-19, please know that you have partners at CSDE, CAPSS and CABE committed to supporting and guiding you during this journey forward into uncharted waters. Take consolation in the fact that we are all in this together.  By sustaining the degree of collaboration and partnership that brought us to this point, coupled with a deep commitment to serve all students across the State, we will prevail in these uncertain times and come through stronger on the other side.


Miguel A. Cardona, Ed.D.
Commissioner of Education

Frances M. Rabinowitz
Executive Director, CAPSS

Robert Rader
Executive Director, CABE

Thanks to a unified movement across CT, starting this fall, all early childhood through high school, including afterschool program, staff will have the opportunity to take a course on managing emotions during difficult times from Yale at no charge thanks to generous support from Dalio Education. Social and Emotional Learning in Times of Uncertainty and Stress: Research-Based Strategies is a 10-hour online course to support school staff in managing the unprecedented emotions of the new school year to provide the best learning environment for students. Join the thousands of CT school staff who have already pre-registered for the course, and get ready to learn from leading experts in the fields of psychology, education, and research at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

CT Course Flyer

Learn more at

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 

COVID-19 has resulted in many uncertainties about our daily lives, and as educators, you're about to face some unique challenges as the school year begins. As of now, your school district has likely announced its plans for this coming fall—that is, whether classes will be held completely online, completely in person, or a combination. But in many cases, those plans are subject to change at a moment's notice. 

"You’re going to have it, I think, pretty much all over the place. And it will depend on the state, and it will depend on the occurrence of COVID-19 in their communities," says MaryEllen Elia, Partner at the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE), who previously served as the New York State Commissioner of Education and president of the University of the State of New York.

No wonder the reopening of schools has sparked debate among government officials, parents, educators, and staff in recent weeks. Regardless of the reopening plan that your district's schools pursue, there's no denying the fact that students will need to make up for the time spent away from the classroom this past spring. And this goes beyond just academics, extending to mental health and social-emotional learning.


August 14, 2020

(Hartford, Conn.) – Today, a new social and emotional learning (SEL) course was announced to help staff in Connecticut’s schools as they navigate unprecedented times of uncertainty and stress, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial, political, and socioeconomic divides.

Developed by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, in collaboration with the Connecticut State Department of Education, American Federation of Teachers Connecticut, Connecticut Education Association, Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, and Dalio Education, Social and Emotional Learning in Times of Uncertainty and Stress: Research-Based Strategies will provide Connecticut school staff with the knowledge, skills and strategies to understand and manage their emotions and those of their students.

The 10-hour online course is being offered to all Connecticut school staff, including teachers, paraprofessionals, counselors, principals, and non-teaching staff in preK-12 schools for free, thanks to the generosity of Dalio Education. Upon completion, school staff will earn a certification from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

John King Jr., President and CEO of the Education Trust and former U.S. Secretary of Education, is facilitating a roundtable discussion about this innovative new effort. Participants provided the following comments:

Governor Lamont: “Addressing the trauma and disengagement experienced by so many students and teachers over the spring semester requires that our school communities are supported with the most effective instructional and behavioral practices and interventions. Study after study shows us that healthy social-emotional development leads directly to an improvement in student academic success and behavioral outcomes to the benefit of both the student and the staff working with them. This course, developed by some of the best in the field of SEL, is a great opportunity for educators and staff to add to the knowledge, skills, and strategies they will need to reengage all students this fall.”

Marc Brackett, Founder and Director, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and author, Permission to Feel: “Research shows that where there is an emotionally skilled adult present, students focus more, disrupt less, and perform better academically. These adults also have lower levels of stress and burnout, fewer intentions to leave the profession, greater job satisfaction, and more engaging classrooms.”

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers: “We are living at a time with no modern precedent: we are in the midst of a health pandemic, an economic recession, and a long overdue reckoning with racism. People are scared, frustrated, and anxious. We need to be able to manage the compounded stress and trauma everyone is experiencing, and this course is a tool do that. The more we can equip our teachers to handle what we’re inevitably going to see in the classroom—in person or remotely—the more we will be able to manage our way through these global crises.”

Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association: “We know that the best learning happens with relationships that make learning challenging, engaging, and meaningful. The current pandemic crisis has brought into stark relief the inequities many students face, including the need for social and emotional skills that are critical to being a good student and a good citizen. We’re so thankful that the Dalio Foundation is launching this invaluable resource that will help our educators meet their students’ needs regardless of where they learn.”

Barbara Dalio, Founder and Director of Dalio Education: “One of the most important skills to develop during these very stressful times is social emotional learning. We are thrilled to make Connecticut the first state in the country to offer this free to all its teachers, paraprofessionals, principals, and school staff. We especially appreciate the support of Governor Lamont, Commissioner Cardona, Randi Weingarten, Lily Eskelsen Garcia, and all of our Connecticut partners.”

Miguel Cardona, Connecticut Commissioner of Education: “Our readiness this fall to tackle Connecticut’s educational emergency revolves around having in place the social emotional learning and mental health supports necessary to create compassionate academic spaces anytime, anywhere. Given the intensity of the trauma, anxiety, and isolation related to the pandemic, our department has prioritized assisting school communities with embedding the most effective social emotional and well-being practices into every aspect of teaching and learning. This professional development course will reinforce efforts to provide all students with equitable access to opportunities to thrive inside and outside of the classroom.”

Jan Hochadel, President of the American Federation of Teachers Connecticut: “Our teachers, paraeducators, and support personnel need resources and tools to help address the stress and anxiety of an unprecedented ‘back to school’ season. Helping them with their own ‘self-care’ empowers them to be more responsive to their students. We’re particularly concerned in this uncertain time about the healthy emotion regulation of children with special needs and those struggling with poverty. Their caregivers are often not able to work from home, making engagement in distance learning a greater challenge. Tragically, that also has made them more susceptible to COVID-19 infection. Bottom line — equipping our educators with strategies and support for dealing with their own emotions, as well as those of their students is a ‘win-win.’”

Jeff Leake, President of the Connecticut Education Association: “Strong student-teacher relationships are vital to students' success in school. Those relationships as well as trauma-informed practices will be more critical than ever this fall, as our teachers welcome back students who have faced significant challenges at home, many of them related to the pandemic. The partnership with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence will provide our dedicated teachers with the skills, resources, and knowledge to identify and address student trauma, ensuring students receive all the support they need.”

Fran Rabinowitz, Executive Director, Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents: “Social and emotional learning is the foundation of a positive district culture in which all students and school staff flourish. It is more important now in these challenging COVID times than it ever has been.”

Jason Adler, School Counselor at Waterford High School and President of the Waterford Federation of Classroom Teachers, AFT Local 2038: “We need to support the social emotional learning of educators so that they may, in turn, create an emotionally supportive environment for their students. A social-emotionally literate teacher is far more capable of creating a safe and nurturing space for their students. This solace is desperately needed by our children in today's world. It will provide them the stability necessary to learn and build their own social emotional resiliency. Education is not (and may never) go back to what it was pre-COVID. This new program is a golden opportunity for teachers and students to make great strides together in this brave new world.”

Erin Daly, Third Grade Teacher, Danbury Public Schools and President of NEA Danbury: “Our dedicated educators understand the importance of a comprehensive approach to addressing student trauma and promoting social-emotional learning, especially in districts like Danbury where the need is high and the budgets for student support services have been decimated. We know that when students return to school they will have greater needs and trauma caused by the pandemic, and will require additional resources and assistance from school counselors, social workers and teachers. This professional learning program will provide educators with the training they need to integrate social emotional learning and trauma-informed instruction into the classroom and promote the well-being of their students.”

For additional information about the course, please visit
# # #
Theresa Gilbert

Yale School of Medicine - site link to article


Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is releasing new science-based resources and tools for school administrators, teachers, parents, guardians, and caregivers when schools open this fall.

With states, cities, and communities around the United States experiencing different levels of coronavirus transmission, jurisdictions should ensure appropriate public health strategies are in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 as the first step in creating a safer school environment. Then, working in collaboration with their state and local health departments, school administrators can employ strategies that best match the local conditions and actions that are practical and feasible in their schools to help protect the health and safety of everyone – including students, teachers, and other staff.

“It is critically important for our public health to open schools this fall,” said CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield. “The CDC resources released today will help parents, teachers and administrators make practical, safety-focused decisions as this school year begins. I know this has been a difficult time for our Nation’s families. School closures have disrupted normal ways of life for children and parents, and they have had negative health consequences on our youth. CDC is prepared to work with K-12 schools to safely reopen while protecting the most vulnerable.”

The resources and tools made available today support how to open schools safely by promoting behaviors that prevent spread, altering how a school and school day is structured, and outlining how to keep the school environment healthy through cleaning, proper ventilation, and other practices. The resources and tools also describe what to do to guard against someone who might be sick from infecting others and what to do if this occurs.

The resources, available at, also provide students, school administrators, parents, guardians, or caregivers the information they need to guide their decision-making on attending in-person curriculum and how to adapt to local conditions.

CDC will host a media telebriefing tomorrow with Dr. Redfield to discuss the new resources:


What:  CDC will provide an update to media on the COVID-19 response, including school reopening guidance
Who:  Robert Redfield, M.D., CDC Director
Mitchell Zais, Ph.D., Deputy Secretary of Education
Erin K. Sauber-Schatz, Ph.D., Lead, CDC Community Interventions and Critical Populations Task Force for the COVID-19 response
When:  12:30 p.m. ET Friday, July 24, 2020

A transcript will be available following the briefing at CDC’s web site:


As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, school districts throughout Connecticut face the paradox of decreasing budgets, due to state and local revenues losses, and increasing costs, due to safety mitigation in transportation, sanitization, temperature checks, personal protective equipment, and technology. With mounting pressure, many school districts are being asked to evaluate layoffs, furloughs, or other austerity measures to create savings.

Another option that Superintendents should consider are district-controlled voluntary separation incentives. If properly analyzed and designed, incentives can mutually benefit labor and administration, while creating budgetary and cash flow savings needed to help keep resources in the classroom. They can help with the retention of more recently hired and trained, lower paid staff, and Superintendents sometimes like to use them for restructuring or reorganizing the workforce. Incentives can also reduce or eliminate layoffs or other austerity measures that are less popular with Boards, employees, and the public.

A district-controlled voluntary separation incentive is separate and supplemental to TRS, MERS and local systems, and is typically a one-time, rare offer. The concept is to accelerate the natural attrition by encouraging top of the salary, senior employees to retire earlier than they would ordinarily.

When evaluating whether an incentive is right for your district, here are some key points a Superintendent consider:

1. Comprehensive Analysis Is Key – An incentive should be empirically evaluated based on your district’s actual demographics. The analysis should compare savings created over the next 5 or more years when offering an incentive and should take into account the cost of the benefit, retiree health care premiums, natural attrition, loss of future natural attrition, and projected replacement scenarios.

2. Natural Attrition Is a Cost – In any given year, a number of your employees (typically 6-10%) will leave or retire. These individuals must be considered a cost in the analysis, as they would have left even if an incentive was not offered. It is important to only count savings derived from those employees leaving above and beyond natural attrition.

3.  Avoid Lump Sum Cash Incentives – IRS rules state that cash incentives have to be paid within first two years of separation, so they can create cash flow issues. A better approach is to use a post-employment, employer contributed 403(b) vehicle, which can be funded over 5 years and allows for different kinds of tax deferred payout options (including IRA rollovers) that help to increase participation.

4. Teachers Salary Differentials Drive Savings - Most savings from an incentive are created when nearer to retirement age teachers at higher salary levels are replaced by teachers at lower levels on the salary scale. Other groups often don’t have that same salary differential and therefore may not create savings without some temporary or permanent non-replacement of positions.

5. Have an Opt-Out for Board – An incentive can be structured so that your Board of Education has final approval to move forward or not after the enrollment window has closed and an analysis has been completed. This ensures that the plan is only implemented if it meets the district’s fiscal and operational objectives.

6. Seek Out Professionals – To maximize savings and success, we recommend that you use firms that specialize in plan analysis, design, communication, compliance and implementation of school district incentives to manage your incentive. Experienced professionals can help get the analyses right and will reduce the administrative burden on your staff.

By Kathryn Cannie, Senior Consultant at Public Agency Retirement Services (PARS)

Public Agency Retirement Services (PARS) is the nation’s leader in the analysis, design, administration and communication of locally controlled, customized voluntary separation incentives. We have administered over 1,000 incentives for 450+ school districts and colleges since 1984, and have completed over 5,000 analyses. For more information on our services, or to receive a complimentary analysis based on your districts demographics, please contact PARS Senior Consultant, Kathryn Cannie, at (617) 549-6555 or


additional information

How does wearing a mask affect classroom communication?

Audio Enhancement conducted research to understand how wearing a mask would affect communication in the classroom. The study was conducted with a video camera and real-time analyzer/sound level meter positioned 25 feet from the speaker to test what a student sitting furthest from the teacher would hear. The results show there is a significant difference in the quality of the teacher’s voice when he or she wears a mask. From a student listener’s perspective, masks interfere with the teacher’s ability to communicate effectively.

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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...

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“Public education is our greatest pathway to opportunity in America…”
— Former First Lady Michelle Obama

The Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) stands with our nation in anger and grief over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. These three lives, needlessly ended, are the most recent manifestations of historic and systemic racism that permeates our society, our institutions and our laws perpetuating discrimination against people of color.

These events represent yet another blow to communities of color, which are disproportionately suffering and dying from the COVID-19 pandemic. Blacks and Latinos represent the majority of those employed in front-line retail, restaurants, transportation, delivery and hospitality sectors who have lost employment. Without income, they are now challenged to pay their bills, put food on their tables, and support their children’s education through distance learning while often not having the technology and support required for online learning.

We at CAPSS condemn all acts of violence, overt and covert, against Black and Latino communities. We also condemn the systems in place that promote and sustain discrimination against people of color. As an educational organization, we have a moral imperative to fight for justice for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, gender, gender identification, or intellectual ability. We also have an obligation to address within our schools any hostile environments, discriminatory attitudes and biased actions against students and families of color, knowing such actions limit their opportunities for success and cause them to distrust our schools.

Education is the strongest weapon we have to address the racial and economic disparities that have plagued our nation since its inception. Connecticut’s public school teachers must work every day to uphold ideals of equality, fairness, justice and democracy. It is essential to provide our students – every student – with the skills, knowledge and dispositions to succeed. This requires that every student is reading by grade three, because this is the most important predictor of success.

To achieve these goals, we must be vigilant in ensuring that the needs of each and every student is met. We must work tirelessly to create environments in which every student can grow and thrive emotionally, socially and academically.

As we head into a new school year, we will be challenged to help students and parents cope with upheaval, economic uncertainty and fear for their future. We must remain sensitive to the tremendous stress our students and families have experienced over the past few months.

While progress has been made in addressing the conditions, attitudes and environments that foment inequity, more has to be done to address the devastating impact of COVID-19 and civil rights abuses on economic inequality and mental health.

Historical inequities – and the resulting societal wounds laid bare in 2020 – will not be solved immediately or easily.

Governor Lamont, the state department of education, our school districts, educators and community leaders have been important collaborators with CAPSS in addressing these issues. This model of collaboration promises to help our state address and eliminate the roadblocks that perpetuate racial, social and educational disparities.

CAPSS’ October 2019 statement on schools’ role in addressing racial injustice:
Statement Regarding Issues Around Racial Intolerance

Resources to help families during Covid-19:
Dealing with Covid-19 Resources For Supporting Families

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

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!

In light of the passing of Public Act No. 19-12 An Act Concerning the Inclusion of Black and Latino Studies in the Public School Curriculum in June 2015, the State Education Resource Center (SERC) is facilitating Virtual Focus Groups to garner stakeholder input. These focus groups will provide administrators, educators, students, families, and community members the opportunity to weigh in on essential content/topics and concepts that they’d like to see included in the model, statewide curriculum.


As the COVID-19 outbreak transforms our education system, emotionally intelligent leadership from administrators and school boards becomes more and more critical.

Watch Dr. Marc Brackett and Scott Levy from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence present a webinar on Leading with Emotional Intelligence in Uncertain Times.

Watch on YouTube

Keep in touch with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and stay up to date on resources, webinars, and articles on emotional intelligence and COVID-19 by following our COVID-19 Resources for School Communities webpage:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for School Communities

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

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

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


With the emergence of confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the United States and in communities surrounding Connecticut, Connecticut public school districts should continue planning for the possibility of community spread and responding to concerns regarding COVID-19.  Given the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 outbreak and the information made available to us by public health authorities, it is critical that school districts partner with state and local health officials and regularly consult the latest official guidance as they implement measures to address COVID-19 in their school communities.  The guidance herein is based on the information available as of the date of this publication, including guidance issued on March 6, 2020 by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services (DAS).

As we all continue to monitor the latest guidance from public health authorities, it is important for school districts to communicate clearly and regularly with families, students (as age-appropriate), and staff on the preventive steps the school district is taking to minimize the spread of any illness and to prepare for any potential outbreak, should it occur within the school community.

Read Compete Publication from Shipman & Goodwin

Classroom audio systems offer many benefits to schools. They have been shown to positively affect student achievement and engagement, as well as reduce fatigue and vocal strain for teachers. Some might argue that audio systems don’t offer the same benefits in today’s classrooms where traditional seating is shifting to flexible seating, and teachers don’t just lecture at the front of the room. How does classroom audio fit into new learning environments? How can teachers use today’s technology in conjunction with classroom audio to enhance the learning experience?

Teachers used to spend much of their day sharing information with the class from the front of the room, but teaching methods are changing. Teachers act as facilitators of learning, facilitating class discussions, visiting with small groups, or working with individual students. Class time is now dedicated to students researching and learning in small groups, and students spend more time in front of the class, presenting what they’ve learned. With the classroom environment changed so much, how does sound amplification fit into this mix?

The changes in today’s classroom environment make it even more important for teachers to have a microphone/audio system. As teachers move around the classroom, student seating varies, and the increase in students collaborating, hearing a teacher in the classroom has become more difficult. With a classroom audio system, students can hear the teacher, no matter their location in the room. When teachers need to talk to the class during or after small group work, having their voice distributed throughout the classroom makes it easier for everyone to hear a call to attention. When students are presenting their work with the class, they can also use the teacher microphone, or a separate handheld microphone, to make sure everyone can hear them clearly.

The advancement of technology in today’s classrooms provides additional options when using classroom audio systems. With a computer and classroom microphone, teachers can use lecture capture—software that allows the teacher to capture a desktop recording along with their voice from the microphone. This will enable teachers to create digital learning opportunities for students who are sick, away for extra-curricular activities, or hospital homebound, providing anywhere anytime learning.

Schools can integrate interactive displays with their classroom audio systems. These displays offer striking visuals, but their sound is not always clear, nor does it always carry well. With audio system integration, sound from presentations and videos can be distributed throughout the classroom, making multimedia more enjoyable for everyone.

Today’s classroom setups and teaching methods are always evolving, and classroom audio systems offer many benefits for teachers and students as a part of this evolution. As teachers use audio enhancement systems to enhance their voice or the voices of their students, lessons can be more engaging and understandable for everyone in the room. As technology is integrated, teachers can take advantage of digital learning opportunities that are created easily with lecture capture software to give students every opportunity to learn. With the increase of student presentations and the use of multimedia use in classrooms, audio systems can optimize technology utilized to create a more engaging environment for everyone.

In the successful publication of The Seven Secrets of Learning Revealed by Dr. Laurence Martel, Dr. Martel states one of the most important factors of learning is the factor of sound. Dr. Martel explains, “In today’s classrooms, teaching is done by talking. For people to process spoken language, the trainer, or teacher's voice, must be 17db (decibels) louder than the noise in the classroom environment” (The Seven Secrets of Learning Revealed by Dr. Laurence Martel). This is more evident in today’s classrooms than ever, and the use of an audio enhancement system can be a game-changer in the classroom.  

Classrooms are noisy. Even when students are quietly working, you can hear computers humming, clocks ticking, air conditioners thumping, ceiling fans whirring, chairs shifting, feet shuffling, and many other competing sounds. If these sounds are reverberating off linoleum floors and bare walls, the noise level can make it very difficult for students to hear and learn. “It could be argued that all students can benefit from sound amplification, as it creates a more favorable learning environment. If children (and adults) could hear better, clearer, and more consistently, they would have the opportunity to learn more effectively” (The Seven Secrets of Learning Revealed by Dr. Laurence Martel).

It is safe to say that, if students can’t hear the lesson, they can’t understand what’s being taught. Whether it’s the teacher, another student speaking, or one of the many resource’s teachers use now, hearing and understanding material presented is critical to student learning.


Jeff Anderson
Audio Enhancement, Inc.
(800) 383-9362

Sustainable CT logo

Sustainable CT, a statewide nonprofit organization that runs a municipal certification to promote sustainability, equity, and community vibrancy, has recently launched a new funding program, the Community Match Fund. This program, which is open to schools, provides dollar-for-dollar matching funds, up to $25,000 per project, to support projects that make our communities more sustainable. Sustainable CT is already supporting various school projects and encourages schools to apply. Their program has no deadlines, no formal application, no lengthy review period, and minimal reporting requirements.

In order to help project leaders raise funds, Sustainable CT has partnered with ioby, a nonprofit crowdfunding organization that provides an online platform and fundraising coaching and support to help project organizers raise funds. Projects approved for this program will create an online crowdfunding page on ioby that enables them to publicize their projects and solicit contributions. Sustainable CT then matches all donations raised from the community, doubling local investment. In addition to individual donations from the community, Sustainable CT will also match grants, school dollars, municipal dollars, and business contributions, so long as these are part of a community crowdfunding campaign.

While their program is broad and can support many different types of projects, here’s an overview of some of the work that they’re focused on:

  • environmental and climate programs/education                                
  • energy efficiency and renewables                                            
  • composting & recycling
  • food waste reduction
  • community & school gardens
  • arts & culture
  • improving walkability and public transportation
  • land and waterbody use and protection
  • environmental justice
  • creating green spaces
  • promoting and increasing access to healthy and sustainable food networks
  • And much more!

Abe Hilding-Salorio
Community Outreach Manager
Sustainable CT
(860) 465-0256

Audio Enhancement logo

Audio Enhancement, Inc. began 40 years ago when a mother wanted to create equal learning opportunities for her hearing-impaired sons and all students in the classroom. Today, we continue her mission by creating innovative technology that promotes more effective classrooms. Audio Enhancement’s classroom solutions include a Classroom Audio System, SAFE System, classroom cameras, and Intercom, Paging, and Bells. Through these solutions, Audio Enhancement promotes student success, increases teacher development, and improves administrative efficiency.

Jeff Anderson
(800) 383-9362

Logo for Shipman & Goodwin LLP, Counselors at Law

Shipman & Goodwin LLP has more than 170 attorneys with five offices in Connecticut, an office in New York and Washington, D.C. The firm is recognized nationally for the depth and breadth of our education practice. Our school law attorneys represent over 125 public school districts and educational entities. Our online resource, is dedicated to presenting the latest developments in school law.

Thomas B. Mooney, Esq.

More about CAPSS' Business Partner Program



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