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CAPSS' NEWS

Please join ReadyCT, CBIA, and SVP-CT on Thursday, October 6, 2022 for an incredible opportunity to hear from leaders across industry on strategies and best practices related to our workforce challenge.
 
Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan headlines the event as she shares insights on proven workforce development strategies refined for the private, public, education, and nonprofit sectors. (Each attendee will each receive a free copy of Ton-Quinlivan’s best-selling book, WorkforceRx!)
 
You’ll also hear from leaders on their approaches to tackling the labor shortage, including General Dynamics Electric Boat's Shawn Coyne, OKAY Industries president and CEO Jason Howey, and Stanley Black & Decker's Dave Smith. And Accenture's Ryan Oakes, Travelers Foundation's Tara Spain, Hartford HealthCare's Melanie Tucker, and Social Venture Partners' Michael Van Leesten share best practices for leveraging early talent pipelines to bridge the gap between K-12 education and employer hiring needs.
 
We hope to see you October 6 at the AquaTurf Club in Plantsville.

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.

EmpowerED Superintendent edLeader Panel Series
The most recent live broadcast in the EmpowerED Superintendent edLeader Panel Series, Cybersecurity in Today’s Learning Environments: What School Leaders Must Know and Do aired on Monday, September 12, 2022. Superintendents Dr. Doug Brubaker, Texarkana ISD, TX, and Glenn Robbins, Brigantine Public Schools, NJ, joined Lorrie Owens, Chief Technology Officer, Integrated Technology Services, San Mateo County Office of Education, CA, and host/moderator Ann McMullan in sharing the leadership strategies they use to analyze a school district network’s cybersecurity status as well as how to build and sustain school networks that are created to maximize security. The panel also reviewed the processes they have established to respond to a network attack if such an event does occur. If you missed the live broadcast, you can watch the recording or listen to the podcast version of the panel presentation at: https://home.edweb.net/webinar/supers20220912/

The next live broadcast of the EmpowerED Superintendent edLeader Panel Series, Creating and Leading a Professional Team of Lifelong Learners, will air on Monday, October 10, 2022, at 5:00 pm Eastern Time. Dr. Deborah Kerr, Superintendent, St. Francis School District, WI, Dr. John Malloy, Superintendent, San Ramon Valley Unified School District, CA and Mr. Marlon Styles, Superintendent, Middletown City School District, OH are the featured Superintendent guest panelists on the October 10, 2022, broadcast. The three Superintendents will share the strategies they lead in their school districts to assure that not only students, but also the entire district staff, have the opportunities to participate in ongoing, effective, and impactful technology professional learning opportunities that specifically target digital literacy and the technology capacity of their educators, administrators, students, parents and families. Ann McMullan, Project Director for the CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) EmpowerED Superintendents Initiative, serves as the host and moderator of the Superintendents’ panel discussion. The EmpowerED Superintendent edLeader Panel Series, now in its fifth season, is co-hosted by CoSN, AASA and edWeb.net and sponsored by ClassLink. Free registration for the upcoming October 10, 2022, live broadcast is available at https://home.edweb.net/webinar/supers20221010/.

CoSN Cybersecurity Resources
October is Cybersecurity Awareness month. School districts are prime targets for attacks on their digital networks. CoSN is pleased to provide a number of resources to assist Superintendents and school leaders in mapping out effective strategies to prevent cyber attacks on their networks as well as how to respond when such attacks do occur. One of the newest tools is the CoSN Cybersecurity Leadership Game which was designed to build school leaders’ skills and experience in managing responses to cyberattacks. In addition to the CoSN Cybersecurity Leadership Game, additional free resources for addressing cybersecurity in K-12 organizations can be found at https://www.cosn.org/edtech-topics/cybersecurity/

CoSN Membership: If you, your school or district would like more information about joining CoSN or getting more involved with CoSN, please contact Me’Shell Sheffield, CoSN Director of Membership and State Chapters, at MSheffield@cosn.org.

I hope the start of the new academic year is going well for you. Dr. Kimberly Kostelis and I will be hosting a discussion with school superintendents across Connecticut regarding ways in which Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) can better serve and support you and the students from your districts. It is our hope that we can engage in an informative and beneficial discussion about your needs and our role in the success of your students. This discussion will be held virtually on Monday, October 24, 2022, at 3:00 pm.

Please click here to confirm your attendance.
 
Thank you, and we look forward to our discussion.
 
Sincerely,
 
Dr. Zulma R. Toro, President
Dr. Kim Kostelis, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
 

Are you looking for an innovative way to cultivate teacher leadership and retain teachers in your school or district? After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, CAS is excited to resume its popular leadership academy. The newly restructured CAS Aspiring Leaders Academy is designed to strengthen teacher capacity, support individual growth, and advance school/district improvement efforts. Group sizes are intentionally kept very small in order to meet the needs of the learners. All participants are expected to work with their district or building leaders to create and execute a leadership project while receiving personalized guidance and instruction to help develop the skills needed to lead in today's complex educational environment.

READ MORE

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in major shifts in how educators delivered instruction and how they were trained to deliver that instruction. Many schools and districts that had previously delivered all professional learning and coaching in-person quickly shifted to delivering all workshops, courses, and coaching online. While there has been limited research conducted on the efficacy of online professional development, particularly online coaching, early evidence suggests that it has the potential to be as efficacious as in-person coaching. Learn about recent research insights on the benefits of online and blended coaching.

learn more

Twin Lakes Consulting was founded to support both public and independent schools in Connecticut. We specialize in school business management, human resources, and information technology services.

Services provided include:

  • School Business Manager Services
  • EFS Reporting/ Audit Services
  • Human Resources
  • School Financial Reconciliation Services
  • Information Technology Professional Services
  • Multi-Year Technology Planning

https://twinlakesconsulting.org/

Contact
David Fiorillo
Owner
(860) 362-1200

Paper partners with school districts to put achievement within every student’s reach with equitable access to academic support. Students get unlimited, 24/7 tutoring, teachers get support tackling individual learning gaps, and administrators get actionable data to inform strategic decisions. Paper’s specialized tutors deliver on-demand, 1:1 help in and out of the classroom in multiple languages across all K-12 subject areas—so students always have access to expert help exactly when, where, and how they need it.

https://paper.co

Contact
Samantha Woolsey
Event Planning Coordinator
(704) 996-2365

Wednesday, October 19, 2022
8:30am - 4:00pm
Connecticut Convention Center

The RESC Alliance is proud to present Igniting Change, a comprehensive professional learning collaborative available to districts throughout Connecticut in which RESC staff developers lead, facilitate, and support districts in identifying, expanding their knowledge of, and implementing transformative equity-centered practices that
meet the need of all learners.

This year of professional learning will be framed by two one-day conferences–one on October 19, 2022 and one on April 5, 2023. Between the two conference dates, professional learning will continue through multiple one-day sessions, communities of practice events, and personalized, on-site coaching.

This year-long professional learning opportunity is grounded in four equity-centered topic pathways and facilitated by professional development specialists from across the RESC Alliance.

more information/registration

Are you looking for a way to help students develop their confidence and receive recognition for their computing achievements and aspirations?  Here is a short video about the Aspirations in Computing Award, which is available to high school women: https://vimeo.com/359893851.
 
I am pleased to announce that beginning September 1, 2022, applications are being accepted for the 2023 Aspirations in Computing awards.  The awards are sponsored by the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) which is an organization that equips and unites more than 1500 universities, corporations, non-profits,  government organizations and change leaders to increase the meaningful participation of women and girls in computing and technology.
 
The Aspirations in Computing Award honors high school women for their computing related achievements and interests and encourages them to pursue their passion and young women in grades 9 through 12 are eligible to apply.  Award recipients are selected based on their interest in and passion for technology and computing, leadership ability, and plans for the future.  Applications can be submitted anytime between now and October 20th, but I ask that you encourage your students to apply sooner rather than later.  If you know a student who should apply for the Aspirations in Computing Award, please encourage them to apply: https://www.aspirations.org/content/encourage-student.   Students can apply here: https://www.aspirations.org/award-programs/apply-for-the-award-for-aic.
 
Earlier this year we celebrated the accomplishments and aspirations of 99 high school women from across Connecticut – all who will have many successes in the future!  Here is a link to the Connecticut Affiliate page listing each of the recipients: https://www.aspirations.org/affiliate/connecticut and a link to a recording of the Award Celebration: https://vimeo.com/696951663/b4358bc728.
 
The Aspirations in Computing award program is wonderful recognition for the recipients, your schools and your communities.  I encourage you to have all eligible students apply.   Please contact me should you have any questions or comments.
 
 
Darwin Kovacs
darwinkovacs@aol.com
darwinkovacs427@gmail.com
860-559-2900

At EmpowerEd, LLC:

We offer educational institutions tailored workshops and forums that empower participants to work through current challenges and create space to focus on fostering diversity, equity and inclusion practices in their learning and extended communities.  We work together to build bridges and strengthen connections.

Shirley Skyers-Thomas, Esq
(203) 610-1285
EmpowerEdCoachingST@gmail.com

Please note the corrected date of November 8th.
(Our last issue incorrectly posted November 28th).

Tuesday, November 8, 2022
8:30am - 3:00pm
Sheraton Hartford South, Rocky Hill

The professional learning event features Yong Zhao, professor and author of Learning for Uncertainty: Teaching Students How to Thrive in a Rapidly Evolving World, a business panel discussion on the portrait of a graduate, and practical workshops led by educators.

Let’s reshape education and assessment from their focus on measuring students’ deficits to building on the assets students have and need to lead joyful, productive lives!

more information/registration

Amira

As a CSDE-Approved K-3 Dyslexia Screener, Amira Learning can help schools and districts meet Connecticut state requirements to provide early identification and intervention for students with disabilities in reading. Available for Grades K-5 in both English and Spanish, Amira listens without bias while a student reads out loud to assess oral reading fluency, screen for dyslexia risk, and place students directly into 1:1 reading tutoring rooted in the Science of Reading.

Amira takes only 5-7 minutes to administer while meeting all domains of dyslexia screening, is backed by more than a decade of research, allows for screening multiple times per year, and provides fully automated administration and actionable reporting that saves teachers' time.

By tutoring students 1:1 using proven interventions like reading along, lip-syncing, and rhyming words, Amira helps students to establish the building blocks they need to achieve:

• Language Comprehension • Word Recognition • Skilled Reading •

For more information, visit hmhco.com/review/ct-amira-dyslexia.

Contact:
Jason Testa
VP Regional Sales
Jason.testa@hmhco.com

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:
Jeff Allen
Account Executive
email: jeff.allen@edmentum.com
(214) 294-9837

You and your staff are invited to a special professional development program Redesigning Education: A Future Beyond Standardized Tests, on November 8th to explore innovative classroom strategies and assessments that build on students’ strengths and passions.

The professional learning symposium will feature a discussion with Yong Zhao, education professor and author of dozens of books, including Learning for Uncertainty: Teaching Students How to Thrive in a Rapidly Evolving World, panel discussions, and practical sessions led by teacher colleagues.
 
Tuesday, November 8th
8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sheraton Hartford South, Rocky Hill

 
The professional learning symposium is $80 but free for educators in participating Teacher Leader Fellowship Academy (TLFA) districts.  The event fulfills professional development credit hours.  A registration link and additional information will be forthcoming soon.

We hope you will join us in our efforts to reshape education and assessment, from their focus on measuring students’ deficits to building on the assets students need to lead joyful, productive lives!

This important professional learning event is sponsored by the Teacher Leader Fellowship Academy at Sacred Heart University, CEA, and AFT Connecticut, with support from CAPSS, CABE and CTASCD.

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

Aura Air developed the world’s smartest air management platform, one that cleanses your indoor air while vigilantly monitoring its quality in real-time. Aura is providing a real-time risk mitigation tool for decision-makers. The Aura technology enables to mitigate risk by overseeing with real-time data the government buildings, schools, hospitals, and public transportation. In addition, the company’s award-winning design and medical-grade technology filters and disinfects indoor air with a simple plug-and-play solution, guaranteed to remove viruses, bacteria, allergens, mold, and VOCs. Aura Air’s abilities have been scientifically proven by Sheba Medical Center (one of the top 10 hospitals in the world) as well as Innovative Bioanalysis Laboratory in California in purifying indoor air from 99.998% of airborne SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A viruses.

Learn More

www.auraair.io/

Contact:
Josh Sisco
Director Government Programs - North America
(971) 275-7213
Joshs@auraair.io

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.

EmpowerED Superintendent Series
The EmpowerED Superintendent Series, which is co-hosted by AASA, CoSN and edWeb.net and sponsored by ClassLink, launched Season 5 on Monday, August 8, 2022, at 5:00 pm Eastern Time with Leading Learning in the 2022-2023 School Year: Ready, Set, Go. Superintendent Panelists Dr. David Schuler, Dr. Carol Kelley, and Mr. Matthew J. Miller joined host/moderator Ann McMullan in looking at the new school year through the lens of strategies and innovations that engage all learners, teachers, administrators and families in their districts. The Superintendents also reviewed how they are maximizing new funding resources and their plans to sustain the projects that have been funded by access to new financial aid. If you missed the live broadcast, you can access the free recording or podcast version at: https://home.edweb.net/webinar/supers20220808/.

The next live broadcast in the EmpowerED Superintendent Series, Cybersecurity in Today’s Learning Environments: What School Leaders Must Know and Do is scheduled for Monday, September 12, 2022, at 5:00 pm Eastern Time. Superintendents Dr. Doug Brubaker, Texarkana ISD, TX, and Glenn Robbins, Brigantine Public Schools, NJ, will join Lorrie Owens, Chief Technology Officer, Integrated Technology Services, San Mateo County Office of Education, CA, and host/moderator Ann McMullan to share the strategies they use to analyze a network’s cybersecurity status and build and sustain school networks that are created to maximize security. They will also explain the processes they have established to respond to a network attack if such an event does occur. You are invited to learn more and register for this free broadcast at: https://home.edweb.net/webinar/supers20220912/

CoSN Superintendent Advisory Panel Discussion on Successes and Challenges in Leading School Districts Today
During the May 2022 virtual meeting of the CoSN Superintendent Advisory Panel, the Superintendents and other panel members broke into small groups to share their ideas about what has been successful and what challenges they see as they start the 2022-2023 school year. Their group discussions revolved around the following questions:
1. What have you learned and how are you thinking about leveraging technology as you open school in the fall of 2022?
2. What strategies are you utilizing this summer to lead with innovation? How will you overcome the sense of inertia and desire to “return to normal”?
You are invited to read a summary of the responses and use any or all of the thoughts listed to start similar discussions in your own school or district. Access the summary report at: https://www.cosn.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/EmpSupMaySummary.pdf

CoSN Membership: If you, your school or district would like more information about joining CoSN or getting more involved with CoSN, please contact Me’Shell Sheffield, CoSN Director of Membership and State Chapters, at MSheffield@cosn.org.

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

Teacher Evaluation: Foundational Skills for Evaluators of Teachers

Audience: New evaluators of teachers/service providers. The RESC Alliance has updated this professional learning, increasing the focus on high-impact components of the process. The interactive session concentrates on the evaluator’s capacity to observe and analyze teacher performance through the lens of the CT Common Core of Teaching (CCT) and to provide supportive, high-quality feedback to teachers. Participants will learn how to use a feedback cycle to collect evidence, analyze the connection to CCT indicators, and help teachers plan for appropriate instructional improvements. They will have opportunities to apply their learning and receive personalized feedback to improve in the effective evaluation of teachers.

read more

Digital BackOffice offers managed network services with Service Level Guarantees and 24x7 support from our in-state network ops center. Procurement, configuration, installation and support services are available for cybersecurity, private fiber wide area and local networks, hosted Voice Over IP, and integration with CEN and PSDN. Cybersecurity options include perimeter firewall, XDR endpoint protection, phishing mitigation and multi-factor authentication. DBO can supplement your internal IT staff with a team of experienced network engineers at a fixed cost. Many of our services are eligible for E-Rate discounts!

www.digitalbackoffice.com

Contact:
Dale Bruckhart
Vice President
Public Sector Sales & Marketing
Digital BackOffice

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
Jared DeLancey
Senior Director of District Partnerships
jdelancey@effectiveschoolsolutions.com

Two courses, each running in a 7-week mini-term in the fall. Our courses are geared to individuals interested in becoming School Business Officials, or people just interested in increasing their knowledge of school business operations. This latter group could include Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, people working on their 092 or 093 certifications, newly appointed SBOs, individual working in the school business office, and people working in finance either in the municipal side or the private side.

Each course earns a badge, which you can display on your social media. In addition, complete both courses and you will be awarded a micro-credential certificate.

More information

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.

Premier of Season 5, EmpowerED Superintendent Series
The EmpowerED Superintendent Series, which is co-hosted by AASA, CoSN and edWeb.net and sponsored by ClassLink, launches Season 5 on Monday, August 8, 2022, at 5:00 pm Eastern Time with Leading Learning in the 2022-2023 School Year: Ready, Set, Go. Superintendent Panelists Dr. David Schuler, Dr. Carol Kelley, and Mr. Matthew J. Miller, join host/moderator Ann McMullan in looking at the new school year through the lens of strategies and innovations that engage all learners, teachers, administrators and families in their districts. The Superintendents will also review how they are maximizing new funding resources and their plans to sustain the projects that have been funded by access to new financial aid. For additional information and the link to register free for the live broadcast (or the recording or podcast version after the August 8 broadcast) please go to https://home.edweb.net/webinar/supers20220808/.

CoSN 2022 Student Home Internet Connectivity Study
CoSN recently released its report on the second year of the association’s breakthrough study on student at-home connectivity and the impact on students’ home-to-school experiences. The study involved seven K-12 urban suburban and rural school districts serving a combined total of nearly 300,000 students. The findings in the study provide school leaders with a guide to learn their own next steps in solving the inequities that still exist around school to home connectivity which has a great impact on the work students are able to access and complete when doing schoolwork from home or other locations outside of their school settings. You are invited to access the complete CoSN 2022 Student Home Internet Connectivity Study at: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/jennifer.boronyak/viz/CoSNHomeInternetConnectivityFindingsJuly2022/DataStory
In addition to the CoSN 2022 Student Home Internet Connectivity Study, CoSN provides a wide variety of resources for school leaders who are working to solve the challenges of digital equity at: https://www.cosn.org/digital-equity/

CoSN Membership: If you, your school or district would like more information about joining CoSN or getting more involved with CoSN, please contact Me’Shell Sheffield, CoSN Director of Membership and State Chapters, at MSheffield@cosn.org.

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.

www.newsela.com

Contact:
Kristi Maroudas
District Partnership Manager
Kristiana.Maroudas@newsela.com

Elizabeth St. Onge
District Partnership Manager
Elizabeth.St.Onge@newsela.com

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.

www.intelliboard.net

Contact:

Anatoliy Kochnev
CEO
(866) 897-3767

Dear Colleagues,

The New England Association of School Superintendents Board of Directors, representing school leaders from across New England, is pleased to invite you to attend the 204th NEASS Fall Conference, September 28-30, 2022.

The robust program includes three keynote speakers, as well as practical presentations from colleagues. You may be interested in the sponsored networking and entertainment events, too.

For additional information, the At-a-Glance program and registration information may be found on the NEASS website (and attached):

https://nesuperintendents.org/home/annual-fall-conference-registration/#!event-register/2022/9/29/204th-annual-neass-conference

We hope you join colleagues and friends this Fall in scenic Northampton, Massachusetts.

Take care,

Linc
Lincoln D. Lynch III, Ed.D., Executive Director
Phone: (508) 298-2237 (call or text)
The New England Association of School Superintendents, Inc.
28 Lord Road, Suite 210, Marlborough, MA 01752

more information

Mutualink is a powerful, automated emergency response platform that delivers an array of hyperconnected voice, video, data & IoT solutions. Mutualink’s invitation-based platform, seamlessly delivers instant, real-time response, cross-agency collaborative information sharing and improved situational awareness to help first responders and law enforcement save time and lives. Mutualink is certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security SAFETY Act for interoperable communications, based on FEMA’s National Incident Management System (NIMS).

https://mutualink.net/

Contact
Mark Hatten
CEO/Chairman
(203) 741-5601
mhatten@mutualink.net

The following message was sent to CAPSS by Carmen Milagros Saez. Carmen has spent many years as a state advocate for education. Carmen is preparing testimony to bring to the Appropriations Committee to strongly encourage funding for after school programs. She has already received several letters from superintendents. She is asking that each of you send a letter of support to her at:

Carmen Milagros Saez
49 Main Street
Wethersfield,CT 06109

If you have questions, Carmen’s email is carmenlove2011@live.com and her cell 860-897-3615.

This is Carmen’s message:

Advocating for a pool of grant funds to be made available by the state for schools and organizations of ALL types who offer this important service to increase their offerings.  Funding must be available to cover all types of programming, be it learning based, arts based, sports, etc.

After school programming is so important for children's development. Leisure activities have been shown to have a positive effect on youth, and in this moment, with the youth mental health crisis we are facing, and with children witnessing so much violence- this type of programming is more important than ever. . After school programming also provides support for working parents. Vitally important that all children (public school students, private school, homeschool, etc.) have a safe place with engaging activities.

Dear district leaders,
 
In partnership with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), the Connecticut COVID-19 Education Research Collaborative (CCERC) is conducting the remote learning audit that is required by the Connecticut General Assembly. To include teachers’ perspectives in the audit, we recently launched a statewide teacher survey about teaching and learning during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic: the CCERC remote learning teacher survey. This survey is designed for classroom teachers, including general education teachers, special education teachers, ESL teachers, subject area teachers, specialist area teachers, and other teachers who provide direct instruction in the classroom setting. To ensure that findings are representative of Connecticut teachers, it is important that we hear from many PK-12 teachers who taught during the 2019-20 and/or 2020-21 school years in public schools, charter schools, endowed and incorporated academies, RESCs, state agency education programs, and approved private special education programs. Please forward message below to all your current teachers and, if possible, recently retired teachers.
 
Thank you for your commitment to Connecticut students!
 
Mike Strambler, Joy Kaufman, Joanna Meyer, Amy Griffin, and Maegan Genovese (Yale University)
Steve Ross and Mike Young (University of Connecticut)
CCERC Remote Learning Audit Team

read more

The Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools is pleased to announce that we have launched a campaign to raise money for the Tom Moore Superintendent Grant in honor of Tom’s many years of service and dedication to the West Hartford Public School system. Tom began his career in West Hartford as a student teacher at Hall High School and was then hired as a Social Studies teacher at Conard High School. Prior to his promotion to superintendent in July 2014, Tom served as a department supervisor, principal, and then assistant superintendent for administration. We have set a goal of raising $26,000 in honor of the 26 years he has served our district. Help us reach this goal and honor Tom’s career and legacy by donating* to this campaign today at https://fwhps.org/page/tom-moore-superintendent-grant.

read more

Benchmark Education Company (BEC) is a leading publisher of core, supplemental, and intervention literacy and language resources in English and Spanish and a provider of exceptional professional development to educators.

Founded in 1998, BEC is an inclusive, innovative publisher, offering equally rigorous and engaging digital, print, and hybrid learning materials. BEC’s effective and research-validated programs offer each unique learner the support they need to grow and succeed. BEC’s content-rich and culturally relevant texts offer instruction in close reading and analysis, social-emotional learning, multiple perspectives, and authentic literature, reflecting the individuality of every student in each diverse classroom and giving them the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in an equally dynamic world.

www.benchmarkeducation.com/

Contact
Marjie Sullivan
Sales Consultant
315-920-0805
msullivan@benchmarkeducation.com

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.

www.adelbrook.org

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

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.

www.vectorsolutions.com/industries/education/k12/

Contact
Justin Moore
K12 Director of Sales
513-792-3940

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:  https://youtu.be/EAJXv38-cl0.

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 | http://courtney.house.gov

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
LOCATION:
UNH Orange campus, 584 Derby-Milford Road, Orange, CT 06477

RSVP by June 17, 2022 to
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/navigating-critical-financial-operational-hotspots-tickets-328103685957

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.

Participation
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 https://scsu.iad1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5hfqCLlDl8Sv8Zo

If you are a CT public school principal who is willing to participate in this research, please follow this link to schedule your interview https://calendly.com/gardenk1

If you have any questions or concerns about this study, please contact Keely Garden gardenk1@southernct.edu or Dr. Sousan Arafeh arafehs1@southernct.edu.

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

Keely Garden
Researcher, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
SCSU

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

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 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

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.

Links:
FACT SHEET

TOOLKIT

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

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:

https://survey.wcsu.edu/net/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=m4ML8lm5

For information about the Center, please visit the website at: https://www.wcsu.edu/schoolsafetycenter

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: Alan.Bernstein@cambridge.org

Learn more: https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/usa/case-studies/

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

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
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

www.tcgservices.com

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

• 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, www.ctschoollaw.com is dedicated to presenting the latest developments in school law.

www.shipmangoodwin.com

Contact:
Thomas B. Mooney, Esq.
Partner

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

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.

Contact:
Ana Wittig
Chief Administrator
Ana.Wittig@oakhillCT.org
(860) 769-3860

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.

https://exemplars.com

Contact:
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.

www.collegeboard.org

Contact:
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

Visit our T-Mobile Perks site for all current promotions!
Online: Click Here For Savings!

Get premium features when you sign up for T-Mobile Perks:

  • Unlimited talk, text, & 5G & 4G LTE smartphone data
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General T-Mobile Perks Questions?

New T-Mobile Perks customer trying to verify employment once you sign up?
Go to Profile Home Page or open the T-Mobile app and log in
If you are not already on the Profile page, select Profile from the top right menu
Select Employment Verification
Confirm your employment status
Enter Company Name, First and Last Name
Enter Employment Work Email and Confirm
Enter Mailing Address

Contact:
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.

www.delos.com

Contacts:

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 G_Whitman@Dell.com to get more information on setting up your campus or district with the program. CAPSS members can access your benefits at www.dell.com/mpp/CAPSS.

www.dell.com/mpp/CAPSS

Contact
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.

www.apple.com

Contact:
Norma Jean Loftus
Account Executive
(408) 996-1010

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.

read more

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.

www.orbic.us

Contact
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 www.hmhco.com/CT

Follow HMH on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Contact:
Jason Testa
VP Regional Sales
Jason.testa@hmhco.com

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 https://www.chc1.com/covid-19-vaccine/  If you are interested in hosting a vaccination clinic at your schools, please contact Lilian Gutierrez at gutierl@chc1.com 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.

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!

APPLY HERE

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 tami.christopher@readyct.org with questions. You can also raise awareness through social media engagement with @readyCTED. 

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:  Sharon.fuller@ct.gov.  

Fall 2021 SchoolSims Flyer

PSEL Standard Alignment Graphic

Wallace Foundation University Preparation Initiative

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.

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  irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.

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
Email: AWeir@ghla.org

Flyer

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

Contact:
Spencer Anderson
Sales Associate
801.819.6990
Spencer.Anderson@AudioEnhancement.com
https://audioenhancement.com/

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 titled@sacredheart.edu 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)

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

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

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.

www.ecolab.com

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

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

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.

READ MORE

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

7-24-20

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 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html, 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

TRANSCRIPT
A transcript will be available following the briefing at CDC’s web site: www.cdc.gov/media.

 

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 kcannie@pars.org.

Website: www.pars.org

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.

read more

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

Read more

“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 dmarkopoulos@capss.org.

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

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

Here’s how it works:

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

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

CrisisLogger.org

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.

MORE INFORMATION

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

CONTACT
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.

Sincerely,

Diana Frezza
Senior Vice President
diana.frezza@rethinked.com
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.  
 
Sincerely-

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

WAYS TO SUPPORT VIRTUAL LEARNING

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?

CHANGES IN MODERN CLASSROOMS
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.

INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY
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.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
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.

CONTACT

Jeff Anderson
President
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
hildingsalorioa@easternct.edu

UPCOMING EVENTS

October

A Workshop for Public Sector Agencies Subscribe to Alerts
Glastonbury Boat House, Glastonbury, CT