CAPSS' NEWS

Join NESS and NOAA B-WET cohort teachers to connect with a community of educators, interact with speakers in environmental education and alternative learning fields, explore free resources to support your STEM curriculum both indoors and outdoors, and join the NESS B-WET Teacher Cohort as they share their research throughout the past 3 years of the NOAA B-WET grant!

Hear from NESS Educators and B-WET cohort teachers on their best practices used to engage and inspire students when teaching environmental education. After a morning at NESS, get your feet wet and your hands muddy as we travel to a nearby monitoring site to explore a local estuarine environment and discover the science of Water Quality Monitoring. 

Following the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) framework, this in-the-field training will provide hands-on experience with activities and lessons you can translate into your educational programming.

Thanks to NESS’s B-WET grant provided by NOAA, this professional development opportunity is FREE to attend. Recordings and resources will be available in the NESS B-WET Tacklebox.

more information/registration

WHAT: Stars of Honor Academic Program! (Check out the youtube link!)

Participating elementary schools will have a chance to select their top “Stars of Honor” in grades K-5 to receive free tickets for the students and their families to attend a designated college sporting event at UConn. At their special game, students will receive a certificate to commemorate their achievement, have opportunities to take fun photographs, and will also be invited to stand in their seats to receive an ovation from the crowd as everyone celebrates their selection as Stars of Honor.

Website: https://www.starsofhonor.com

Stars of Honor Instagram

WHEN: At your earliest convenience, please email Trevor Taylor at trevor@starsofhonor.com to register your school to participate. When sending the email, please be sure to provide:

  1. Your school’s name;
  2. Principal's name and email address
  3. Your school’s point of contact name, email, and phone number (schools often designate a counselor as their point of contact); and
  4. Your school’s mailing address.

Stars of Honor will then follow up with your school’s point of contact directly to provide them with a designated number of winning students to select from each grade from K-5. Stars of Honor will also send the school an award notification flyer that informs parents that their child has been recognized as a Star of Honor and provides them with directions on how to RSVP for their free tickets to the game.

All your school needs to do is email Trevor to confirm that you will participate, then give the Stars of Honor award notification flyer to the designated number of students selected as Stars of Honor in grades K-5.

Please feel free to reach out to me at trevor@starsofhonor.com or at 919-559-8632 if you have any questions.

AAASI UCONN logo

The UConn Department of Social and Critical Inquiry's Asian American Studies Curriculum Lab is a public facing teaching and research academic center and a leader in state and local advocacy on Asian American affairs and Ethnic Studies education, particularly around PK-12 curriculum design, teacher professional development, and school-community partnerships.

https://asianamerican.uconn.edu/

Contact:
Jason Chang
Associate Professor/Director
jason.o.chang@uconn.edu
860-786-8016

AWARDS

Business, Non-profit organization and Adult: $5,000 grant to an environmental non-profit
Student: $1,000 scholarship (grades 9-12)

As New England’s largest privately-owned water utility, Aquarion carefully protects the natural resources of more than 20,000 acres of land surrounding our Connecticut water sources. This gives us a special appreciation for the thousands of volunteers who tirelessly work to protect and improve the health of natural resources throughout the state.

Now we invite you to help honor those volunteers by sending us your nominations for the Aquarion Environmental Champion Awards. Awards will go to outstanding volunteers for their projects that have improved and protected Connecticut’s air, water, soils, or plant and wildlife habitats.

NOMINATION DEADLINE: MAY 3, 2024
For Award Details & Nomination Form: Visit aquarionwater.com/awards

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

CoSN K-12 Generative AI Readiness Checklist Questionnaire & K-12 Generative AI Maturity Tool
CoSN, working in partnership with the Council of Great City Schools and Amazon Web Services (AWS) is pleased to provide school leaders with two tools to assist in their planning, preparation and evaluation of integrating Artificial Intelligence resources across multiple functions of school district operations. 

K-12 Generative AI Readiness Checklist Questionnaire
The K-12 Generative AI (Gen AI) Readiness Checklist was initially released in October of 2023 and provides school leaders with a guide to help them understand the important concepts that must be considered prior to implementing Generative AI technology. The tool is designed to assist school leaders as they analyze and evaluate the multiple aspects involved in deploying Generative AI tools, including safety, privacy, security and the ethical use of Gen AI.
The AI Readiness Checklist Questionnaire includes questions covering the areas listed below:
Executive Leadership Readiness 
Operational Readiness 
Data Readiness 
Technical Readiness
Security Readiness 
Legal/Risk Management
The K-12 Generative AI Readiness Checklist Questionnaire can be accessed at https://www.cgcs.org/genaichecklist. 

K-12 Generative AI Maturity Tool
CoSN, once again working in partnership with the Council of Great City Schools and Amazon Web Services (AWS), developed the K-12 Generative AI Maturity Tool. This tool builds on the K-12 Generative AI Readiness Checklist. The primary focus of the K-12 Generative AI Maturity Tool is on the responsible integration of Generative AI tools when it comes to both instructional objectives as well as general operational processes. 

The K-12 Generative AI Maturity Tool is freely accessible at: https://cloudreadiness.amazonaws.com/#/k12genairt.
Additional Information regarding the effective and strategic use of AI in K-12 education, including links to an overview of the K-12 Generative AI Maturity Tool, AI Blogs and AI Resources, may be found a https://www.cosn.org/ai/.

EmpowerED Superintendent edLeader Panel Series
The EmpowerED Superintendents edLeader Panel monthly broadcast series, co-hosted by CoSN, AASA and edWeb.net and sponsored by ClassLink, just wrapped up its sixth season with the March 11, 2024, edLeader Panel broadcast, Leading Effective Data Privacy Processes Within a School District Setting. Superintendents Bill Barr, Wrangell Public Schools, AK, Scott Elder, Albuquerque Public Schools, NM, Dr. Mary Templeton, Washougal School District, WA, were joined by Linnette Attai, CoSN Project Director for Data Privacy, in an engaging conversation focused on the strategies that should be implemented in order to assess school districts’ privacy and compliance policies. Five critical guidelines for making data privacy an essential commitment within any school system were reviewed.

You are welcome to register to view the recording and/or podcast version of this and other previous edLeader Panel broadcasts at https://home.edweb.net/supers/. 

The CoSN Experience: The Ultimate Virtual Collaboration Series
The CoSN 2024 Annual Conference in Miami wrapped up on Thursday, April 11. However, in order to keep the learning and collaboration going beyond the conference, CoSN is offering “The CoSN Experience”. This virtual collaboration series features monthly conversations and knowledge sharing. This initial series includes six monthly live conversations starting on April 24, 2024, and runs through November 2024. You are welcome to participate individually or as a team. For more details and access to registration information please visit https://www.cosn.org/event/the-cosn-experience/.

CoSN Membership:  If you, your school or district would like more information about joining CoSN or getting more involved with CoSN, please contact membership@cosn.org.

The CT MANUFACTURING CAREERS ROADSHOW '24 is designed to raise awareness and interest in the broad opportunities and careers available in Connecticut manufacturing. Five regional events are planned to help Connecticut manufacturers build and expand talent pipelines. The Northwest region's event takes place on May 9 at the Manufacturing Alliance Service Corporation in Waterbury, and the Southwest region's event takes place at the University of Bridgeport on May 15. This is a chance for students already taking manufacturing courses to meet local manufacturers and learn more about career opportunities in their area. It’s also an opportunity to expose younger, undecided students, or those in business, engineering, or related CTE pathways, to the vast opportunities in the manufacturing sector. These include CNC machining, quality inspection, welding, and engineering, as well as operations, sales, human resources, accounting, and software development, just to name a few. 

Please spread the word with middle and high school leadership, CTE directors, school counselors, and other appropriate staff so they can take advantage of this engaging work-based learning experience! If transportation is an issue, please contact Deb Presbie, ReadyCT director of manufacturing initiatives, at deb.presbie@readyct.org.

Educators Flyer - Roadshow NW

Educators Flyer - Roadshow SW

Make It Greater Bridgeport - Roadshow

With Dr. Jennie Weiner

Monday, May 13, 5-7pm
UConn Hartford
Mortensen Courtyard

Join us for an evening of celebration, learning, and networking focused on supporting women in education leadership. Dr. Jennie Weiner will discuss her new book “Lead(her)ship: Advancing Women in K-12 Administration” and the Women’s Leadership Certificate Program at UConn and engage participants in active learning on these topics.

more information/registration

American College of Education® (ACE) is an accredited, 100% online college specializing in high-quality, affordable programs in education and more. Headquartered in Indianapolis, ACE is ranked third in the nation for master's degrees conferred in education and offers innovative and engaging doctoral, specialist, master’s and bachelor’s degree programs for adult students, along with graduate-level certificate programs. 

If you are interested in learning more about our partnership opportunities as well as Tuition Reduction Grants for your staff contact regina.ceribelli@ace.edu or fill out the forms here: https://forms.office.com/r/wFQ8sE2z9b
 

more information

Eastern DataComm logo

Eastern DataComm is a full-service safety and communications firm with over 200 years of combined experience. Our story begins in 1988 when we opened our doors for business in Hackensack, New Jersey. Our focus since then has been singular - to help school districts, businesses, and municipalities keep their communities connected and protected. Over the past 30+ years, we’ve established ourselves as experts in the areas of:

  • Lockdown and emergency notification
  • Video surveillance
  • Access control
  • VoIP phone systems (Premise, Hosted, & Hybrid)
  • Bell and clock controllers
  • Paging systems
  • Data networking (LAN and WAN)
  • Wireless networking and structured wiring

Collectively, we have the answers to your technology questions. Turn to our team of experienced advisors and technicians for customized solutions that improve the way you communicate and how you safeguard your community.

Eastern DataComm solutions are ESCNJ, NASPO (WSCA), Sourcewell, and PEPPM certified.

easterndatacomm.com

Contact:
Gina Marie Kleinhans
Marketing Director
email: gkleinhans@easterndatacomm.com
(201) 457-3311

YMCA logo

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!

www.ct-ri-ymca.org

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

If your district has open positions for certified educators or anticipates having them, we invite you to participate in the Connecticut Education Association’s (CEA) first Job Fair for Educators.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Derby High School, 75 Chatfield Street, Derby, CT 06418. Our event will host numerous districts from across the state with open teaching positions. Please refer to the following itinerary to plan your participation for our fair:

  • 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.: District check-in, booth set-up, coffee and snacks
  • 10:00 a.m.: Early entry for CEA Aspiring Educators (pre-service educators)
  • 10:30 a.m.: CEA member priority entry
  • 11:30 a.m.: General Entry

Please click on the registration link below to secure your spot by April 10th. Space is limited and we will close registration once we get 40 districts.

Register Today

A prompt response will ensure you a booth reservation and maximum publicity of your participation. There is no registration fee and your participation includes:

  • (1) six foot table (no covering) with two chairs
  • Refreshments for up to two recruiters

After registration closes, you will receive an email confirmation and additional information. We look forward to hosting you in Derby on April 27th. If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Sked at elizabeths@cea.org.
 

April 25, 2024
Aqua Turf Club
9:00 - 11:30 Sessions - 11:30 Lunch - 12:00 Exhibits followed by a reception

The CAPSS Perspective
CAPSS Executive Director, Fran Rabinowitz, will join us to share insight into CAPSS’ priorities, initiatives, and the future of education.

more information/registration

All elementary schools in Connecticut should know about Civics Education for CT Students: a new funding source for K-5 classes statewide. Enhance your district’s approach to new civics standards with $2 field trips, $50 in-class programs, and bus reimbursements for civics-focused field trips. There's no application process for these funds, just send an email to get started – you can even start planning next year’s trips today!

More specifically, are you teaching about the current war between Israel and Hamas or are you teaching about the history of the area? If your school is not, is it because you are concerned about the controversy, you are worried you might say the wrong thing or you do not think you know enough to teach about it? If either are the case, please know that organizations like the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut (JFACT) can help you get balanced resources to help you. In case your school does not have a connection, JFACT is happy to put your school in touch with organizations who have resources and curriculum to help, including the Dodd Center at UConn.
 
For more information, please reach out to JFACT Executive Director, Michael Bloom, at 860-983-3476 or mbloom@jfact.org.

Michael Bloom
Executive Director
Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut

CAPSS partner Cartwheel recently announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Bradley Hospital to help school districts tackle the student mental health crisis. Teens aged 13-18 are now eligible for direct access to Bradley’s REACH Partial hospitalization program. Instead of sitting on months-long waitlists, students in Cartwheel partner districts can be directly referred to the intensive outpatient program to treat emotional or behavioral issues, anxiety, depression, trauma, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts.

To learn more about how you can get access for students in your districts, schedule a consultation or register for the upcoming informational webinar on Thursday, March 27.

Bradlely-Cartwheel
Evolv Technology logo

Evolv Technology is at the cutting edge of weapons detection, our Evolv Express® uses advanced sensor technology and artificial intelligence to distinguish between weapons and everyday items. It improves security by reliably detecting threats and enables a directed search, leading to a more dignified and respectful screening process that empowers security professionals and enhances the student, faculty and visitor experience.

https://www.evolvtechnology.com/products/evolv-express

Contact:
Alexandra Grullon
Account Executive
agrullon@evolvtechnology.com
646-287-4631

Dear Colleagues - It is with mixed emotions that I invite you to save the date of Tuesday afternoon, May 21st so that you can attend a retirement reception for our friend, Dr. Jeff Kitching, as he moves on from a stellar career in public education.  After serving with honor in several positions, most recently for 8 years as Executive Director at EdAdvance in Litchfield, we will be gathering in person to say, "thank you Jeff for your service."  There is a link and a QR code to register on the attached flier - if you cannot be there that afternoon but would still like to send a message of support, there is also an option to just make a gift contribution.

Please feel free to pass this along to anyone who you think might be interested.

Jonathan P. Costa, Sr.
Assistant Executive Director
P.O. Box 909 | 355 Goshen Road, Litchfield, CT 06759
O: 860.567.0863 x1115| F: 860.567.3381

Flier

Open Up Resources logo

Open Up Resources is a nonprofit increasing equity in education by making excellent, top-rated curricula freely available to districts as open educational re-sources. We partner with expert curriculum authors to develop the very best curricula and deliver essential implementation support to districts, from professional development to printing. Districts spend more than $5 billion annually on curricula, yet they struggle from a dearth of high-quality, standards-aligned content.

https://www.openupresources.org/

Contact:
Nicole Rizzo
Regional Development Manager
nicole.rizzo@openup.org
203.928.0422

Yondr logo

Yondr works directly with school leaders, districts and states to turn schools into focused, engaging, and safe spaces for students and educators. Our team plays a pivotal role in making this vision a reality through fostering meaningful partnerships and supporting change in their current student cell phone policies and practices through the use of our patented products. Going phone-free helps students learn without distraction, improve their social and emotional well-being, and give them a much-deserved break from social media.

https://www.overyondr.com/

Contact:
Shannon Godfrey
VP of Partnerships
shannon@overyondr.com
802-777-0336

Zeal Education Group logo

Zeal Education Group is a full-service consulting firm that is fueled by a diverse, nationwide team of superintendents, commissioners, principals, and thought-leaders who are committed to providing fresh solutions to education-industry challenges. We offer customized security audits, strategic planning, financial audits, executive coaching, team building, special education audits, professional development and much more.

https://www.zeal-ed.com/

Contact
Jeff Melendez
Founder and CEO
jeff@zeal-ed.com
(203) 885-6011

The Teacher Leader Fellowship Academy at Sacred Heart University invites educators and administrators to attend our annual institute. The theme this year is Boldly Reimaging Our Schools: Nurturing Genius & Joy. Event is May 16, 2024, 8:30am-2:30pm, at Sacred Heart University and includes 11 Breakout Sessions on topics such as Leveraging Students’ Cultural Capital to Support their Advancement & Sense of Belonging in their Schools,  Joy in the Classroom & Beyond, Healing Math Anxiety, and more . To learn more and register, click HERE.

Cambridge_new logo

Cambridge, 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: Alan.Bernstein@cambridge.org

Learn more: https://cambridgeinternational.org/usa

Contact:
Alan Bernstein
Senior School Development Manager, North USA
alan.bernstein@cambridge.org
(646) 946-6791

Cartwheel logo

Cartwheel is the trusted mental health partner to schools, delivering rapid access to care for students and helping schools build stronger mental health programs that catch kids before they fall. Our evidence-based mental health program is designed around the entire school community. Our licensed therapists and child psychiatrists are diverse, culturally sensitive, and committed to affordable care for everyone—including uninsured families and those covered by Medicaid. Kids shouldn't just aspire to get out of bed and drag themselves to class. They should be able to experience joy. They deserve to envision and build a life they're excited to live.

https://www.cartwheelcare.org/

Contact
Maggie Andrulis
School Partnerships Manager
maggie@cartwheelcare.org
(443) 286-6661

Dear School Superintendent,

Please consider taking this brief survey and sharing it with your school community. We are using a ThoughtExchange this year for our needs assessment to be as open as possible to your school safety concerns. Please use this link to access the survey which takes approximately 5 minutes to complete. 

https://tejoin.com/scroll/845233927

Your feedback is vital for our service to you and your school community.

Sincerely,

Amery E. Bernhardt, D.M., CEM 
Director of the Connecticut Center for School Safety and Crisis Preparation 
Western Connecticut State University

College Board logo

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.

www.collegeboard.org

Contact:
Michelle Cosner
Director
K12 State and District Partnerships
(212) 713-8226

Summertime Grade 9 Professional Development
For the third straight year, RISE will host the Grade 9 Summer Symposium for educators across the region, on June 24-25 at the Delamar in West Hartford. A full 100% of attendees at the 2022 and 2023 Symposiums have agreed with the statement, “I would recommend the Summer Symposium to other educators, schools, and districts interested in advancing Freshman Success.” The two-day conference features panels, workshops, and sessions that highlight the need for strong Grade 9 on-track structures; illustrate strategies that work; and provide guided planning time for teams. A PDF flyer with more information is available here, and this blog post following last year’s Symposium provides a window into the 2023 event and a sampling of participant feedback. Leaders interested in learning more or registering a team can email Sam Purdy, RISE Director of Engagement, or complete this form.

2024-25 Grade 9 On-Track Coaching and Professional Development
RISE is currently enrolling schools in next year’s Freshman Focus Network, a year-long network of coaching, professional development, and cross-district learning focused on building Grade 9 conditions for success. This year, 18 schools from across nine districts are participating, and we are seeing teams pilot new structures and systems to strengthen the student experience and educator collaboration in the 9th grade year. Leaders interested in exploring taking part can email Peter Lorinser, RISE Engagement Manager.

 

FranklinCovey logo

For nearly three decades, FranklinCovey Education has been a trusted provider of educational leadership development, school systems change management, and career and life readiness solutions. As an evidence-based PK-12 model, Leader in Me enables the creation of a strong learning environment with neuroscience-backed wellness skills and actionable academic and personal support for students in the classroom and staff in the building.

https://www.franklincovey.com/

Contact
Ashley Lupinacci
Client Partner
ashley.lupinacci@franklincovey.com
(203) 530-6087

Connecticut Behavioral Health, LLC logo

Connecticut Behavioral Health, LLC (CBH) has been a provider of school-based behavioral health and ABA services for over 20 years to school districts across the state. Our Clinical Psychologists, Clinicians, Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), and RBTs work with school district personnel to develop research based district-wide behavioral health and ABA programs as well as provide behavioral support to students to keep them in their home-schools. CBH Clinical and Behavioral consultants are highly trained in psychological and behavioral assessment, plan development, and data collection so as to continually monitor progress of student programming and make data informed changes. Our 20 years of experience in providing both direct service and training across the state to school districts, and remaining in school districts year upon year, speaks to the high quality of services that CBH staff bring to each district they support.

www.ctbehavioralhealth.com

Contact
Dr. Ryan Loss
Executive Director
203-271-1430

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

Data Privacy Week – January 21-27, 2024
As we continue our journey into 2024, CoSN is placing a special emphasis on the critical need to assure that data privacy is a priority in all K-12 schools across the nation. Data Privacy Week, which runs from January 21 through January 27, 2024, provides an opportunity for school leaders to turn their attention to the issue of protecting students’ personal information. CoSN is pleased to offer multiple resources including blogs, toolkits, workshops, courses, and a special webinar to support school districts’ efforts regarding data privacy, not only during Data Privacy Week, but throughout he year. You are invited to access these free resources on student data privacy at https://www.cosn.org/student-data-privacy/. Some specific examples of the resources found on the CoSN Student Data Privacy website include:

  • Student Data Privacy Video Series: Why Privacy Matters 
  • Updated Data Privacy Toolkit, focused on Transparency & Trust 
  • Resource: Making the Case for Privacy 

Trusted Learning Environment Seal
The CoSN Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) Seal program is a unique privacy framework designed to support school system leaders in building effective privacy policies and programs within a culture of trust and transparency. 

The TLE website can be accessed at https://www.cosn.org/trusted-learning-environment/ and provides school leaders with a wide variety of materials to support their leadership work regarding student data privacy including:

  • Preview the CoSN TLE Seal Application
  • Building a Trusted Learning Environment: Understanding the Leadership Practice 
  • Webinar Recording: Leadership Strategies to Assure Student Data Privacy

EmpowerED Superintendent edLeader Panel Series
CoSN, AASA, and edWeb.net co-host an online edLeader Panel broadcast series, sponsored by ClassLink, to help superintendents connect and collaborate. Registration is free and participants can join the live event or view recordings and podcast versions starting a day or two after the live broadcast. 

The upcoming February 12, 2024 (5:00 pm Eastern Time) edLeader Panel broadcast on the topic of Leading Learning That Truly Meets the Needs of Each Student. In this edLeader Panel Dr. Jill Louters, Superintendent, New Rockford-Sheyenne School District, ND, Mr. Randy Squier, Superintendent, Coxsackie-Athens Central School District, NY, and Dr. Jason Van Heukelum, Superintendent, Winchester Public Schools, VA, share the strategies their districts implement to assure that the teachers and staff have the knowledge and skills to leverage what technology can provide to enable each student to be a successful learner. Learn more about the upcoming broadcast and access the free registration link at: https://home.edweb.net/webinar/supers20240212/.

If you missed the January 8, 2024, edLeader Panel broadcast on of Proactive Leadership Regarding Cybersecurity in School Systems which featured Dr. Peter Aiken, Superintendent Central York School District, Dr. Gustavo Balderas, Superintendent of Schools, Beaverton, Oregon, and Connecticut’s own Dr. Mark Benigni, Superintendent Meriden Public Schools, Connecticut, you are welcome to access the video recording and/or the podcast version at https://home.edweb.net/webinar/supers20240108/.

CoSN 2024 Annual Conference, “Leading for Innovation: At Warp Speed”
Registration is now open for the CoSN 2024 Annual Conference, scheduled for April 8-10, 2024, in Miami, Florida. For conference and hotel information and registration links, see https://www.cosn.org/cosn2024/.

CoSN Membership:  If you, your school or district would like more information about joining CoSN or getting more involved with CoSN, please contact membership@cosn.org.

Econergy is an energy services and renewable energy development company working across the US. We're currently helping school districts apply for the EPA Clean School Bus Grant, and you're invited to apply! As innovators in the energy industry, we offer tailored solutions that leverage renewable options to help school districts reduce energy costs and put that money back into their operating budgets. We help school districts decrease electricity costs, and our biggest savings come through transitioning to clean energy with solar energy systems and electric buses. Finally, none of our solutions have up-front costs to schools, and we commit to only pursuing projects that have net savings to school districts.

econergy.net

Contact
Gennifer Geer
Partnerships Coordinator
gennifer@econergy.net
224-337-6728

Hello! We are reaching out to you from the Center on Reinventing Public Education, for our Think Forward New England work to help make sense of our research findings with parents and community members who care about education in the region. 

This facilitated conversation that will probe on the following questions and ideas:

  • What have we learned from our research so far and how does this relate (or not) with your experience over the past year?
  • Who needs to hear these messages and what is the best way to reach them?
  • Where do we go from here with research, policy, and practice supporting high school student success?

After completing this survey we will reach out to confirm the time and date. We may not be able to accommodate every participant but will do our best! The virtual meeting will take place in late January or early February and is expected to last for 60 minutes. Participants will receive a $50 gift card for taking part. 

The discussion will be recorded for note-taking purposes, but we will maintain parents’ anonymity in any publication and the video will not be shared. The key themes will be synthesized and disseminated widely among district leaders, community groups, and policymakers in the region. Thank you for your time!

COMPLETE THE SURVEY

Just Right Reader logo

Just Right Reader's Science of Reading decodables engage students in authentic phonics practice in the classroom and at home with Classroom Libraries and Take-Home Decodable Packs in English and Spanish. Over 700+ titles align to all phonics curriculums. They are filled with colorful illustrations and diverse characters in relatable stories. Each decodable comes with tools to support classroom implementation and small group instruction. This includes fun video lessons to extend phonics instruction into the home. From pre-emergent through developing readers in upper elementary, Just Right Reader decodables accelerate every student’s journey to confident reading.

justrightreader.com

Contact:
Tracy Purdy
Director of Learning
tracy@justrightreader.com
877-415-7372


PARS_Public Agency Retirement Services_logo

Since 1984, PARS has worked exclusively with school districts and other public agencies to design and implement retirement solutions that address specific organizational and budgetary needs. We are the national leader in customized, locally controlled voluntary separation incentives and administer one of the largest OPEB trust programs in New England.

www.pars.org

Contact
Kathryn Cannie
Senior Manager, Eastern Region
(617) 549-6555

Hanwha Vision logo

Hanwha Vision offers a comprehensive line of security and video surveillance solutions which include IP cameras that support up to 8K resolution, a video management system, video and audio analytics, multi-sensor technology and device integration with a host of 3rd party application providers. Our intelligent surveillance solutions are used globally, securing people, property and data across a range of industries including retail, transportation, education, banking, healthcare, hospitality, airports and more. 

https://hanwhavisionamerica.com/

Contact:
Paul DuBois
Education Business Development Manager
p.dubois@hanwha.com
(850) 445-2586

We are partnering with the Middle East Institute at Columbia University to provide travel grants to New York area educators for this school year/next summer. Recipients of the grant will receive a $1,000 credit from Columbia University towards the cost of their program fee for the following programs:

1.    Egypt: December 27, 2023 - January 7th, 2024
2.    Morocco: June 10 - 24, 2024
3.    Egypt: June 12 - 23, 2024
4.    Morocco: June 24 - July 8, 2024
5.    Jordan: June 27 - July 4, 2024
6.    Central Asia: July 2 - 24, 2024
7.    Jordan: July 4 - 11, 2024
8.    Morocco: July 8 - 22, 2024
9.    Turkey: July 18 - August 1, 2024
10.    Egypt: July 24 - August 2, 2024
11.    Morocco: August 2 - 16, 2024
12.    More information about these programs can be found at: https://geeo.org

Additionally, GEEO allows non-educator guests to join trips, should the recipient wish to bring any. To apply, educators may fill out an application here. There is no deadline to apply, but as applications are accepted on a rolling basis, those who apply earlier will have better chances.

Let me know if you have any questions,

Christina Gjelsten
Communications Coordinator
GEEO Teacher Travel Programs
p:  877-600-0105
w:  www.GEEO.org

UR Community Cares offers students Community Service Opportunities across Connecticut in 2 different ways.

Individual Volunteering - High School students (age 15-17 need supervision) can volunteer to support local residents who are aging and need help at home.  Volunteers sign up at www.URCommunityCares.org, we email them a parental consent form for their parent/guardian to fill out and they choose the category they would like to assist with, it could be helping someone with new technology, raking leaves/gardening, being a friendly visitor to play a game, and/or organize living spaces.  Students decide the schedule, they can go after school or on the weekends, and they pick the day/times in their online portal.

Group Volunteering - Students can go as a class with teacher supervision and perform yard clean-ups. The teacher would sign up as a partner on our website to see all the opportunities.

If students need community service for graduation, for a service project, or due to an arrest/court order/etc.  Contact Michelle, President 860-430-4557, or email michellepuzzo@urcommunitycares.org to discuss how your school can get involved or with any questions.

Edmentum logo

Edmentum is committed to making it easier for educators to individualize learning for every student through research-based digital curriculum, interim assessments, and educational consulting. We are committed to delivering rigorous, research-based curricula that is aligned to the most up-to-date state or national standards and designed to engage all students.

www.edmentum.com

Contact:
Don Luby
Partnership Manager - Northeast
Don.Luby@Edmentum.com
617-899-4022

Imagine Learning logo

Imagine Learning provides digital-first PreK–12 solutions for core instruction, supplemental and intervention, online courses, and virtual instruction. Our mission is to ignite learning breakthroughs with forward-thinking solutions at the intersection of people, curricula, and technology. We serve over 15 million students — partnering with over half of districts nationwide. Imagine Edgenuity™ is our flagship courseware solution, complemented by Imagine Instructional Services’ virtual teachers. Our core portfolio includes Imagine Learning Twig Science®, Illustrative Mathematics®, and EL Education®. Additionally, a robust supplemental and intervention suite provides personalized instruction for English Language Arts, Spanish Language Arts, math, computer science, and more.

Learn more: imaginelearning.com

Contact
Erin Connolly
Account Executive (CT, RI)
erin.connolly@imaginelearning.com
860-990-0239

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 www.hmhco.com/CT

Follow HMH on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Contact:
Elaine Pipito
East Regional Vice President
Elaine.Pipito@hmhco.com

Uconn logo

UConn's Office of Early College Programs (OECP) provides students with meaningful academic engagement to enrich their experience in high school and support their transition into college. OECP offers educational opportunities at the high school (Early College Experience), in University classrooms (Dual Enrollment), and through on-campus residential summer programs (Pre-College Summer and First Summer). OECP’s largest program, UConn Early College Experience (ECE), established in 1955, is the nation's longest running concurrent enrollment program and is accredited by The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships. UConn ECE allows high school students to take UConn courses at their high schools for both high school and college credit. UConn ECE supports approximately 14,000 Connecticut high school students in over 180 partner high school schools with teachers who have been certified by the University of Connecticut to teach UConn courses. Every course taken through UConn ECE is equivalent to the same course at the University of Connecticut. Students benefit by taking college courses in a setting that is both familiar and conducive to learning, and moreover prepares them academically and culturally for the world that awaits them.

https://oecp.uconn.edu

Contact:
Christopher Todd
Executive Director, Office of Early College Programs & Early College Experience (OECP)
UConn's Office of Early College Programs (OECP)
860-486-8828

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

White House Cybersecurity Summit for K-12 Schools
On Tuesday, August 8, 2023, the Biden-⁠Harris Administration announced new efforts to strengthen Cybersecurity in America’s K-12 school systems during an event held at the White House. First Lady Jill Biden was joined by Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas in welcoming school administrators, educators and private sector companies to the event to discuss best practices and new resources available to strengthen cybersecurity throughout our nation’s school systems. Keith Krueger, CoSN CEO, and Diane Doersch, CoSN Board Chair, joined the other participants at the White House for this critically important conversation.

During the August 8 White House Cybersecurity Summit several new and continuing federal initiatives were shared that aim to meet the growing challenges involved in assuring that cybersecurity is both a top priority and a successful endeavor for all school districts. To learn more about the current administration initiatives and read an overview of the August 8 White House Cybersecurity Summit for K-12 Schools visit this website: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/08/07/biden-harris-administration-launches-new-efforts-to-strengthen-americas-k-12-schools-cybersecurity/

If you were not able to view the live stream of the August 8, 2023, Whitehouse Cybersecurity Summit for K-12 Schools, you can access the full recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaH9oJdbQZk

CoSN has a wide range of resources on leading Cybersecurity Initiatives that are readily accessible at: https://www.cosn.org/edtech-topics/cybersecurity/

Roadmap to Innovation: CoSN Driving K-12 Innovation Newsletter
CoSN’s Driving K-12 Innovation project management team is now producing a new free monthly newsletter called the Roadmap to Innovation Newsletter. Subscribers receive the Driving K-12 Innovation Advisory Board's tips, advice, and resources in order to impact global education changemaking efforts. To sign up for this free CoSN Driving K-12 Innovation monthly publication click the “Subscribe” button found at this link: Roadmap to Innovation Newsletter Registration

CoSN/AASA EmpowerED Superintendents edLeader Panel Series: Season 6 Premier
The CoSN/AASA EmpowerED Superintendents edLeader Panel Series begins its sixth season on Monday, September 11, 2023, at 5:00 pm ET, with “Leading Learning in the 2023-2024 School Year: Challenges and Opportunities”. The featured guest panelists are Dr. Carol Kelley, Superintendent of Schools, Princeton Public Schools (NJ), and Chair of CoSN/AASA EmpowerED Superintendents Advisory Panel; Dr. Aaron Spence, Superintendent, Loudoun County Public Schools (VA), and Co-Chair of CoSN/AASA EmpowerED Superintendents Advisory Panel; and Dr. David R. Schuler, Executive Director, AASA, The School Superintendents Association. The series is co-hosted by AASA and CoSN in partnership with edWeb.net and is once again graciously sponsored by ClassLink. Free registration for the September 11 broadcast – as well as access to previous broadcasts - is available at https://home.edweb.net/supers/.

CoSN Membership
If you, your school or district would like more information about joining CoSN or getting more involved with CoSN, please contact membership@cosn.org.

Defined Learning logo

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.

www.definedlearning.com

Contact
Brannan Kenny
Vice President of Partnerships
brannan_kenny@definedlearning.com

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are delighted to extend an invitation to participate in the Virtual Parent Training Institute hosted by the Southern Connecticut State University Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning. 

A key factor in fostering successful students is the presence of caring, dedicated, and informed parents who prioritize education. Through the SCSU Parent Training Institute, conducted online, we aim to provide you with valuable resources and effective strategies that contribute to nurturing accomplished children.

The Parent Training Institute warmly welcomes parents of children spanning all age groups. For comprehensive information, kindly refer to the attached flyer. To secure your spot, please proceed with registration by visiting: Registration Link.

We look forward to your active participation and meaningful engagement.

Best regards,

Olcay Yavuz
Associate Professor
Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
Coordinator, SCSU Early College Program  
Coordinator, SCSU EDL Internship Coordinator 
Phone: 203-392-5442 
Web Faculty Profile
Founding Editor JELPS
Coordinator IYLA

download the flyer

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes today participated in a ceremony at The Village for Families and Children in Hartford to celebrate the grand opening of the new children’s urgent crisis center operated by the nonprofit agency. It is one of four centers opening statewide created by legislation Governor Lamont signed in 2022 addressing the mental health needs of children and teens.

Licensed by DCF, the centers function as walk-in clinics, providing youths and their families with immediate access to resources while they are experiencing a behavioral health crisis, such as thoughts of suicide or self-injury; feelings of depression, anxiety, or hopelessness; out-of-control behaviors; substance misuse; and other mental health concerns. They are aimed at diverting youths and their families from making visits to emergency rooms to address behavioral health crises.

more information

Effective School Solutions logo

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.

www.effectiveschoolsolutions.com/

Contact
Amy Conklin
Director of District Partnerships
aconklin@effectiveschoolsolutions.com
(860) 970-2402

Ädelbrook Academies in Cromwell and Manchester are private special education programs approved by the State Department of Education to serve students with autism, developmental and behavioral disabilities, and other learning disabilities from pre-Kindergarten through grade 12.

Ädelbrook’s Transitional Academy in Middletown serves 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.

www.adelbrook.org

Contact
Dale R. Hoyt, Ed.D
Vice President for Education
dhoyt@adelbrook.org

New England Science & Sailing logo

New England Science & Sailing is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that uses sailing, marine science, powerboating, and ocean adventure sports as experiential learning platforms to increase K-12 academic outcomes. NESS educators teach in classrooms and on the water, using over 100 proprietary lesson plans tied to school standards, including the Next Generation Science Standards, Ocean Literacy Principles, and Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning standards. NESS is the sole school partner program accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

https://nessf.org/

Contact
Kasey Commander
Director of Marketing & Communications
(860) 535-9362

rethinkEd logo

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 www.rethinked.com.

Contact:
John Henyecz
Senior Account Executive
(201) 398-6953

Renaissance logo 2023

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 Renaissance.com.

Contact:
Amanda Pottinger
Marketing Manager
(561) 962-5314

HUB-Trusted Capital Group logo

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

www.tcgservices.com

Contact
Randy Feid
Vice President, Business Development
781-364-4996

• FICA Alternative Plan Services

Equitable logo

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).

www.equitable.com/educators

Contact:
Michael Linehan
Sr. Vice President
Group Retirement, Tax-Exempt Markets
(860) 921-3825

Staying Balanced in an Unbalanced World: Using “Applied Improv” to Navigate the Changing World
Presented by Izzy Gisell

April 27, 2023 - Aqua Turf Club

Registration is free for school staff

We all need to be nimble, attentive, confident and creative these days in order to personally thrive while positively relating to others. Interestingly, the same is true of improv performers. In fact, the skills that make improvisers so successful are the same ones that make non-performers successful, both personally and professionally. Those skills include thinking on your feet, responding quickly and effectively to unexpected events, using your creativity and expanding your comfort zone without shrinking your safety zone.

more information/registration

Shipman logo 2023

Shipman & Goodwin LLP has more than 135 attorneys in offices throughout Connecticut and New York. 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, www.ctschoollaw.com is dedicated to presenting the latest developments in school law.

www.shipmangoodwin.com

Contact:
Thomas B. Mooney, Esq.
Partner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Fran Rabinowitz, Executive Director, Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, frabinowitz@capss.org, 860- 236-8640 ext. 160

Hartford, Conn., November 18, 2022 – Old Saybrook Public Schools Superintendent Jan Perruccio, a ten-year veteran in the Superintendency, a consummate advocate for equity and student voice, and a leader in public education, has been named Connecticut’s 2022 Superintendent of the Year by the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) and the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) at their 2022 annual conference.

“This has been a challenging year to be a superintendent and was a year like no other. As such, we present a Connecticut Superintendent of the Year who represents all of us, who carries the banner for all of us. Jan Perruccio will make all of us proud as she exemplifies the work that we do and the role from which we do it”, said Frances Rabinowitz, Executive Director of CAPSS.

Jan Perruccio stated, “I am honored and proud to receive this recognition and I accept it on behalf of all superintendents across the State of Connecticut.  I know how important the leadership we provide can be to a school district and the students we serve, and I couldn’t be more pleased to represent our role and profession.”

read the complete press release

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

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

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.

###

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.

VIEW/DOWNLOAD CAPSS BLUEPRINT HERE

9-1-20
CAPSS CSDE and CABE logos

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.

Sincerely,

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 www.ycei.org/selcourse

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 www.ycei.org/selcourse.
# # #
MEDIA CONTACT:
Theresa Gilbert
tgilbert@globalstrategygroup.com
202.525.3696

Yale School of Medicine - site link to article

“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