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Democrats to Filibuster Supreme Court Nominee With Troubling Record on Students With Disabilities

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York today said he will lead a filibuster against Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. On the fourth and final day of the Senate hearing on the nominee, Democrats are persuaded they can’t support Gorsuch’s nomination.

Gorsuch has repeatedly ruled against students with disabilities who seek public education, consistently sided with big business at the expense of working people, and embraced extreme views that could endanger workers’ rights on issues like employment discrimination, worker safety, and wages. Read more

CEA Expresses Alarm to President Trump Over Deportation of Students

CEA is joining together with other Connecticut education stakeholders to urge President Trump to ensure that schools continue to be safe places where children, regardless of immigrant and/or citizenship status, will not have their learning interrupted.

Commenting earlier this year on President Trump’s executive order on immigration, CEA President Sheila Cohen said, “Teachers strive to create a safe and welcoming environment for our students every day. We endeavor to make sure each child recognizes his or her self worth and feels secure in order to learn and grow—emotionally and academically.”

She continued, “Teachers will stand strong together in support of our core American values and continue to champion generosity, religious freedom, and the importance of protecting our most vulnerable.”

Click here to read the letter.

Resources for Music in Our Schools Month

Now, when some public school music programs can face budget cuts, is a critical time to support music in our schools. March is Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM), and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) website provides ideas for how to participate in MIOSM and promote support for school music. A menu offers downloadable MIOSM logos for web and print use, and activity ideas. Read more

CEA Workshops Create New Opportunities for Teachers

CEA President Sheila Cohen welcomed members to PD workshops this Saturday.

Nearly 200 teachers turned out for free CEA professional development workshops in Rocky Hill Saturday, making good use of the opportunity to learn, engage, and connect. Educators who teach preschool through grade 12 in districts around the state attended.

At a workshop on the growing problem of student assaults on teachers, participants learned about their rights, reporting protocol, and how their local Association and CEA can help. CEA’s Robyn Kaplan-Cho, who specializes in teacher assault laws, fielded questions about everything from restraint training to how to write an IEP that includes the necessary student and teacher supports.
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10 Free Things for National Nutrition Month

Emphasize the importance of making informed food choices and developing healthy eating and physical activity habits. Our recommended resources include teaching guides, lesson plans, best practices, tip sheets, online learning games, educational videos, posters, book lists, coloring pages and more.

Grades preK-12

NEA Health Information Network’s A Guide to Increasing School Breakfast Participation

    1. School Breakfast Week
      The first week of March is National School Breakfast Week. School Breakfast Week is the NEA Healthy Futures’ effort to highlight the strong correlation between schools providing kids with breakfast and their academic performance. A related NEA HIN resource is Start School with Breakfast: A Guide to Increasing School Breakfast Participation. Teachers can download the free 56-page PDF (hard copies are available for a small fee that covers shipping & handling only). Inside, are sections describing benefits, strategies for increasing participation, tools, sample letters, and success stories.
    2. Bag The Junk
      Students consume 50% of their daily calories in school. Bag the Junk examines the effects of selling unhealthy snack foods and beverages in schools and provides resources for the adult school community to champion healthy snack foods and beverages. The site features advocacy tools such as organizing tips, policy briefs, fact sheets, and sample letters along with current news, trends, and thoughts from experts in the field. Educators will find factoids, quizzes, featured snacks, statistics, graphics, links to resources, and strategies for improving what students eat in school.
    3. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
      Provides a toolkit for promoting sound eating and physical activity habits, handouts & tip sheets, and games for kids and everyone.

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Educators Share Concerns With Legislators on Special Ed Proposals

Fairfield teacher and local president Bob Smoler testified before the legislature Thursday on a special education proposal.

Every year legislators on the Education Committee deliberate over many bills that could have a big impact on children, parents, and educators. This legislative session, special education is receiving particular attention.

Among the many bills the Education Committee heard testimony on today were one proposing a new way of funding special education in Connecticut and one that provides very prescriptive rules for parent observation, including allowing a minimum of 16 hours per parent in a school year.

Fairfield Education Association President and math teacher Bob Smoler took the time away from his busy teaching schedule to come up to Hartford to speak out on that second bill. Read more

March Deals & Discounts From NEA Member Benefits

Save this month with a variety of deals from NEA Member Benefits including special offers at Warby Parker, Gap Kids, Costco, and more.

NEA Click & Save “Buy-lights” for March 2017

Get ready to welcome spring! NEA Click & Save, the online discount buying service for NEA members, highlights select retailers and merchants each month. Check out these featured “Buy-lights” for March. Read more

Advocates Speak Up to Save Important Supports Provided by Community Schools

Waiting to testify at the Legislative Office Building on the importance of the CommPACT Collaborative are Fitore Kaci with her daughter Teuta, Heather Greene and her daughter Abigail, Grisell Myers, and Jocelyn Ault.

Community Schools bring together diverse services and resources to strengthen schools and improve outcomes for students. Community Schools in Connecticut have celebrated many important successes but these achievements are in jeopardy due to funding cuts in the governor’s proposed budget.

CEA joined together with teachers, parents, and community engagement experts to speak out recently at a legislative hearing against the governor’s proposed elimination of funding to the CommPACT Community Schools Collaborative. The CommPACT Community Schools Collaborative is dedicated to increasing community and parental involvement and capacity building for schools and districts, facilitating the inclusion of wrap-around services needed to strengthen student outcomes. Read more

Danbury Students and Teachers Celebrate Cultural Diversity Thanks to Carnival

Rogers Park Middle School in Danbury used to hold a Hispanic Heritage Month event, but as students from Brazil, Portugal, Haiti, and numerous other countries made up larger and larger shares of the student body teachers sought out a more inclusive celebration.

Then they hit upon Carnival. The festive season is celebrated in countries around the world, including many where Danbury students and their families hail from.

The school recently held its second annual Carnival Around the World featuring songs, dances, and more from many cultural backgrounds. Watch the celebration and students’ and teachers’ reactions below.

Free Resources for Teaching About St. Patrick’s Day

These resources for all grade levels include videos, arts and crafts, printables, worksheets, interactive maps, and tutorials. They will help your students learn about and explore Irish culture, history and traditions, including Irish folktales literature, recipes, Celtic art and mythology, the Great Potato Famine, and more. Read more