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Posts from the ‘CEA Messages’ Category

Survey: Tell Us About Distance Learning Inequities

photo-of-girl-smiling-while-holding-tablet-computer-4144103Teachers are rising to the challenge and educating their students in the most extraordinary circumstances.

As disruptions to daily life continue, teachers are doing all they can to help ease the transition for students and families. The move to distance learning has exposed huge inequities among our school districts and often between students in the same district.

We want to hear about those equity gaps. What are your students and their families facing?

Take Survey ►

Some students don’t have laptops or Internet service. Others face food insecurity or issues related to health and safety. Please take a few minutes to tell us what is happening in your district. We want to hear how these issues are impacting teaching and student learning. Your answers can help us shape decisions regarding the reopening of schools.

The survey is completely anonymous. You do not have to identify yourself, unless you would like to provide contact information to discuss these issues further.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on how the pandemic is impacting public education.

Danbury Teachers Deliver on Their Promise to Students

The food pantry boutique at Broadview Middle School in Danbury.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many students attending Broadview Middle School participated in the “Backpackers Program” of the Connecticut Food Bank. Through this program, students at risk of hunger over the weekends were supplied food that was delivered in prepackaged bags. In addition to this program, Broadview created “The Broadview Boutique” to provide gently used clothing and shoes, recycled gym uniforms, school supplies, and toiletries to students in need.

“We often added to the food bank with donations from teachers and a few others,” says Christine Miller, a social skills counselor at Broadview. “The mother-in-law of one of our behavior analysts is an amazing couponer, and she often contributed to our supplies.”

At the end of last school year, however, the Connecticut Food Bank ended the Backpackers Program and replaced it with an additional mobile pantry on the third Thursday of each month at Rogers Park Middle School.

“We quickly realized that many of our students’ families would not be able to access the mobile pantry for lack of transportation or because of work conflicts,” Miller recalls. “We knew we needed to continue with what we called our ‘Friday food’ but had no idea how to provide for over 20 students every week.” Read more

CEA Supports Decision to Keep Schools Closed

CEA applauds Governor Lamont for listening to public health experts in his decision to close schools for the remainder of this school year.

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A Special Thank You From CT Education Commissioner on National Teacher Appreciation Day

Watch State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona’s personal message to you on National Teacher Appreciation Day. Plus, watch how Connecticut students are saying thank you.



Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

This Teacher Appreciation Week teachers deserve our thanks more than ever. CEA Treasurer David Jedidian, President Jeff Leake, Secretary Stephanie Wanzer, and Vice President Tom Nicholas say thank you to CEA members for all that they do every day.

Mindful Moment: A Cup Of Tea

This series of short videos from CEA Teacher Development Specialist Kate Field illustrates how mindfulness can enhance the overall well being of students and teachers.

Education Funding Is Essential to Connecticut’s Future

At a time when our country needs skilled workers with a solid educational foundation, we cannot allow the pandemic to worsen achievement for students in the greatest need, and undermine the progress of Connecticut’s education system.

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Teachers Sending Positive Thoughts to Rep. Hayes & Family After Husband Tests Positive for COVID-19

CEA members are sending well wishes to the family of Congresswoman Jahana Hayes today after she announced that her husband, a Waterbury police detective, has tested postive for COVID-19.

In a statement, Hayes said that her husband “seems to be healthy and asymptomatic” and that she has tested negative. “Out of an abundance of caution, and in keeping in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, my family and I will be quarantining at home for the next 14 days and self-monitoring for symptoms. I will continue working remotely, talking with constituents and community leaders, and communicating daily with colleagues as we work on the next relief package to combat the health and economic crisis that our country is in.”

CEA President Jeff Leake said, “We are sending positive thoughts to Jahana and her family and wish her husband Milford a speedy recovery. We are very fortunate to have first responders like him who are risking their health during this crisis.”

“While some are clamoring to return to Washington to conduct in-person business, this test result in my own family has reinforced that we still have a ways to go,” Hayes said. “There is still real danger in a premature return to regular order for Congress and the country, without appropriate precautions.”

CEA President: Decision to Reopen Schools Must Focus on Health and Safety

An op-ed by CEA President Jeff Leake that appeared in today’s Hartford Courant and CTNewsJunkie is receiving attention from media outlets around the state.

In response to a question from a Fox 61 reporter about whether schools should open in June, Leake said, “We don’t think enough is in place, enough planning has been done, enough supplies are in place to make that happen. I think we need to plan for and hope for an opening in September, but it’s not going to be everyone walking into the school building at the same time as we have done in the past. I’m almost certain that’s not going to happen, even in the fall.”

Governor Lamont has said he will announce when schools will reopen in the coming weeks.

Read President Leake’s op-ed below.

Decision to Reopen State Must Focus on Safety, Health, and Saving Lives

Connecticut is on the verge of making a critical decision regarding the fight against the COVID-19 health emergency. Prior to May 20, the governor will need to make a decision about whether to extend the stay-at-home order or open state businesses and schools.

Our leaders must continue to listen to the advice of top health experts and not succumb to pressure to reopen public schools and businesses prematurely. Easing up on social distancing too quickly could be deadly. Read more

Education Commissioner Addresses What’s Next for Public Education

Hundreds of teachers tonight heard answers to some of their biggest questions about how public education will move forward in Connecticut, as the state begins looking at a possible phased-in reopening of businesses, schools, and other facilities and services.

How will teachers and students be protected? Will distance learning continue even as schools reopen? What happens if someone at school has COVID-19 symptoms?

These were just a handful of the many questions posed to State Department of Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona, Deputy Commissioner of Academics and Innovation Desi Nesmith, and Deputy Commissioner of Educational Supports and Wellness Charlene Russell-Tucker during a live, hour-long webinar hosted by CEA and AFT Connecticut.

CEA President Jeff Leake and AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel acknowledged members of both unions for taking time after a full day of teaching to join the webinar and make their questions and concerns heard, and Dr. Cardona thanked teachers for continuing to engage students academically and provide emotional connections while also caring for their own families and loved ones.

Highlights from tonight’s Q&A with Commissioner Cardona and his staff follow. Watch for a full video to be posted to in the coming days. Read more