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CEA and AFTCT respond to Governor Lamont’s announcement to provide funding for school reopening plans

“Governor Lamont’s announcement of an additional $166 million to support school reopening plans is welcome news for educators and parents across the state. It demonstrates that the collective voices of teachers, support staff and communities during last week’s car caravans across Connecticut were heard.

“Now is the time to also provide clear, updated safety guidelines rooted in medical studies and scientific research, especially since recent studies show that children and teenagers can spread COVID-19 to other students, adults, and to family and friends at home.

“Failure to strengthen such protections risks creating COVID-19 hot-spots as is happening in other states, and reversing the progress Connecticut has made. We strongly support continuing the progress and improving safety for students, educators and their families.”

CEA President Jeff Leake
AFT Connecticut Vice President Mary Yordon

Read Governor Lamont’s news release.

Webinar Helps Educators Understand, Respond to Student Trauma

With school starting in less than a month, teachers throughout New England participated in virtual training designed to help them identify and respond to student trauma and create what licensed clinical social worker David Melnick refers to as trauma-transformed schools.

Melnick, who is program director for Northeastern Family Institute (NFI) Vermont’s Family Center, led the two-hour training, The Core Capacities to Transform Trauma in Schools: The Healing Community. It was the fourth in a series of five related webinars funded by NEA and promoted by CEA as well as state education affiliates in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

“We will be looking into strategies that help build healing and resilience practices in schools,” Melnick told participants. Those include reflective practices, restorative practices, reframing, stress mitigation, and other social-emotional skills.

“This model recognizes that sustainable change requires top-down, bottom-up, and lateral implementation of these practices,” he added, “and it requires close partnerships between and among administrators, teachers, staff, students, and families. From educators to custodial staff, everyone is part of the community that makes children feel important, valued, and a source of joy.” Read more

Summer Experience Sessions Rescheduled Due to Tropical Storm Isaias

Due to the damage and widespread power outages caused across the state by Tropical Storm Isaias, five CEA Summer Experience sessions have been rescheduled.

Here is the updated schedule.

Teacher Rights and Responsibilities in a Virtual Teaching Environment 

Tuesday, August 11

3 to 4:30 pm

How to Engage Students in Conversations About Race (K-5) – Session 1 

Thursday, August 13

9 to 10:30 am

How to Engage Students in Conversations About Race (K-5) – Session 2 

Thursday, August 13

11 am to 12:30 pm

How to Engage Students in Conversations About Race (Middle/High) – Session 2 

Thursday, August 13

1:30 to 3:00 pm

Signing Up New Hires 

Friday, August 14

10  to 11:30am

If you had already registered for these sessions, you do not need to do anything. Your registration has transferred to the new dates.
If you did not sign up for a session previously and would like to attend a session, you must register.  Click here to register.
If you have questions, please contact

Guidance for Equitable, High-Quality, and Culturally Responsive Remote Learning Plans

In collaboration with the Connecticut State Department of Education and public education advocates the Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia University has developed guidance to support districts in creating equitable, high-quality, and culturally responsive and sustaining remote learning available to all children, no matter what their home situation and their education and language needs.

In response to the possibility that public health data may require remote learning for the 2020-21 school year, this resource draws directly on comprehensive research into best practices of how districts and schools met the challenges and opportunities posed by the spring 2020 transition to remote learning.

CEA President Jeff Leake and AFT CT President Jan Hochadel said, “Educators did a phenomenal job moving to remote learning in March without warning or training, and kept their students engaged and learning. At CEA and AFT Connecticut, we expect many schools will need to reopen on a hybrid or fully remote learning schedule in order to protect the health of students, teachers, staff and their families. We welcome the input of Columbia University regarding high-quality, equitable, and safe remote learning for our state’s students, with enhanced support for students and training for educators.”

Read the Guidance and Tools for High-Quality, Equitable Distance Learning.

Read the model plan.


Washington Weighs In: Reps. Jahana Hayes and Joe Courtney on School Reopening

Join us for a discussion August 12, from 4-5 p.m., with Representatives Jahana Hayes and Joe Courtney and CEA leadership regarding educational issues at the federal level.

Topics will include:

  • Status of the HEROES Act
  • Education Funding
  • Reopening Schools
  • Pushing back against education “reform”
  • Betsy DeVos

Register today.

Governor Listens to Teachers’ Concerns During Roundtable Discussion; Announces Additional Flexibility for Reopening

Governor Lamont entered a room at Manchester High School where dedicated educators from around the state had gathered so that he could hear firsthand their challenges and concerns regarding the state’s reopening plan. A few hours later, during his afternoon briefing, the governor announced additional flexibility for districts to implement hybrid reopening plans.

CEA and AFT Connecticut organized yesterday’s meeting between the governor and teachers and were pleased that the governor heard and acted on teachers’ concerns regarding the need for safety, equity, funding, and flexibility when schools reopen.

CEA and AFT-Connecticut local leaders shared their concerns with Governor Lamont about school reopening plans yesterday.

Read more

Washington Weighs In: Senator Chris Murphy on School Reopening

More than 70 CEA members who are local leaders in their associations joined a virtual meeting with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy this week to hear congressional plans and challenges when it comes to school reopening.

A member of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the son of a Connecticut ESL teacher, and the parent of two children who attend public schools, Murphy expressed his appreciation for CEA raising school reopening issues with teachers, students, and parents.

“We have one of the most impressive delegations of representatives and senators here in Connecticut,” said CEA President Jeff Leake, “and we appreciate your fighting for public education and taking the time to update us.”

“None of us wants to put students in schools that are not safe,” Murphy acknowledged. At the federal level, he explained, he and likeminded lawmakers are working to secure funding for safeguards that ensure schools are safer from a public health standpoint as well as better-equipped learning environments. Read more

Registration Open for CEA Virtual Summer Experience

The CEA Virtual Summer Experience—a series of live, interactive sessions where you can learn from your colleagues—is taking place August 3-5. Don’t miss your chance to take part!

Open to all CEA members, the free, virtual conference offers sessions on a variety of timely topics, including:

  • Best Practices for Virtual Learning (K-5)
  • Best Practices for Virtual Learning (Middle/HS)
  • How to Engage Students in Conversations About Race (K-5)
  • How to Engage Students in Conversations About Race (Middle/HS)
  • Member Engagement in a Virtual World
  • Signing Up New Hires
  • Teacher Rights and Responsibilities in a Virtual Teaching Environment
  • Treasurers/Membership Chairs Training

Register now.

Check out the flier for full session descriptions. 

At each session, members in attendance will be entered for a gift card drawing.

Webinar Series for CEA Members on Stress Mitigation, Transforming Trauma, and Reestablishing School as Community

Whether schools begin remotely or in-person this fall, we will need to focus on the social-emotional wellbeing of all of our students.

Please join fellow educators for a free webinar series on healing stress and trauma, and how to establish core capacities for transforming trauma in schools during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Funded by NEA, this series is co-sponsored by affiliates in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

This five-part series begins July 28 and runs through August 19. Find out more, and register.

NEA Virtual Town Hall – Reopening America’s Schools and Campuses Safely and Equitably

Join NEA for a virtual town hall Tuesday, July 28, at 7 p.m. to discuss how parents, educators, students, and communities can advocate for the safe reopening of public schools, facilities, and campuses.

Whether students return to school in person, online, or a hybrid of both, we need to come together and make our voices heard so that proper safety materials are supplied, health protocols are put in place, and adequate funding is secured.

We’ll discuss the current landscape, answer your questions, and talk about actions we can take to ensure all students receive the high-quality learning opportunities they deserve.

Sign Up