Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Education news’ Category

NEA Recommends Former Vice President Joe Biden for President

Educators have engaged in record numbers in the 2020 presidential campaign and have made it clear they are ready to take this activism and organizing all the way to November.

After yesterday’s primaries in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois, Vice President Joe Biden has 1,180 delegates to Senator Bernie Sanders’ 885.

After much debate and careful consideration, NEA recently decided to endorse Biden in the Democratic primary based on his record of support for public education. Read more

Commissioner Announces Flexibility, Urges Teachers to Do the Best They Can to Keep Students Learning

State Department of Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona today told CEA leaders that his department is focusing on the big picture: ensuring safety for students and staff and keeping students engaged. He urged teachers to “give it your best effort to serve kids” and provide continuity of education with today’s reality.

In a conference call, the commissioner said his agency will be as flexible as possible when it comes to keeping students engaged, but he said, “Everyone has to be doing something.” Whatever teachers are doing to keep students engaged and learning, interaction between each educator and other individuals must be limited to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Read more

Connecticut Teachers Testify in Support of Minority Teacher Recruitment Bill

Teachers testified in favor of a bill that would assist more minority teachers in obtaining teacher certification.

Read more

CEA Members, Staff Urge Passage of Legislation to Improve Air Quality in Schools

DSC_4400

Testifying before the legislature’s Public Health Committee, CEA legal counsel Melanie Kolek talks about the explosion of illnesses and workers’ compensation cases linked to sick schools.

Classrooms were over 100 degrees. Crayons were melted, tables warped, magnets curled and fell off the boards, candies melted, floors buckled. Medical concerns when the temperature of the room was unbearable consisted of dizzy spells, headaches, blackouts, concentration issues, and difficulty breathing. Extreme temperatures caused mold to grow throughout the building, including in the HVAC systems. Teachers discovered mold behind ceiling tiles, around pipes, behind the wallpaper, on baseboards, on student shared materials, and around windows. We began to notice that many of us, including students, were having medical concerns that affected our ability to function. We are concerned that the exposure to these elements will have lifelong effects on our overall health. 

Testimony from CEA’s members and legal team before the legislature’s Public Health Committee earlier this week has painted an alarming picture of classroom environments throughout the state. Dirty air vents, water intrusion, rodent droppings, and black mold have given rise to respiratory ailments, rashes, and debilitating illnesses among students and teachers.

Sharing personal accounts of the conditions in their own classrooms, teachers have been urging lawmakers this legislative session to pass House Bill 5431, An Act Concerning Indoor Air Quality in Schools. If enacted into law, it would improve environmental conditions in classrooms across the state and set minimum and maximum classroom temperatures. Read more

Coronavirus Update

Governor Lamont declared civil preparedness and public health emergencies in Connecticut yesterday afternoon, in order for the state to take specific actions in response to the coronavirus. The declarations allow the governor to take broader measures to protect public health.

There are currently school closures in six Connecticut towns. Wilcoxson Elementary School in Stratford, Nathan Hale School in New Haven, as well as Woodbury and Bethlehem public schools (Region 14) will close for the remainder of the week, and Westport and Wilton Public Schools will remain closed until further notice. Those schools will be closed for deep cleaning, and Region 14 noted that missed school days will be made up in June.

CEA has been working closely with the State Department of Education and other education stakeholders on protocols for other possible school closures in response to coronavirus. CEA agrees that it is better to be overprepared than underprepared and the Association is taking numerous steps to help prevent the spread of the virus and to keep students, teachers, and communities safe, including Read more

Teachers to Legislators: ‘Our Students Are Screaming Out for Help’

More than 50 Connecticut teachers, together with CEA leaders and staff, provided compelling testimony in support of strengthening a bill on social-emotional learning.

Read more

Documentary Assists Teachers in Helping Students Dealing with Trauma

Toxic stress in childhood can lead to all sorts of negative outcomes later in life. Abuse, neglect, witnessing violent events, prolonged hunger, and more can wreak havoc on children’s developing brains, putting them at an increased risk for many types of disease, as well as homelessness, addiction, and incarceration

Teachers today are seeing more violent outbursts, withdrawn behaviors, and other possible symptoms of exposure to toxic stress—and they want to know what they can do to help.

Bloomfield teachers had the opportunity to watch the documentary Resilience recently. To watch the film and hold a facilitated discussion in your local, contact CEA at myprofession@cea.org.

CEA has purchased copies of the movie Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope so that local associations can learn more about the effects of toxic stress on children as well as ways to protect children from those devastating effects. CEA trainers are available to facilitate discussions following the movie so that members can have open and honest discussions about the sometimes troubling content of the film.

After a recent screening for all educators during a PD day in Bloomfield, teachers gathered in school-based groups to discuss their reactions and ideas for how to help students.

“This is my second time seeing the film,” Bloomfield Education Association President Susan Sumberg told her Laurel Elementary School colleagues. “The first time I watched it the correlation between toxic childhood stress and heart disease, diabetes, and other ailments really surprised me.” Read more

Teachers Talk. Education Commissioner Listens.

When new and experienced educators stepped up to the microphone to talk about underresourced schools, overtested students, and dysregulated behavior in classrooms...

Read more

Share with Legislators Why We Need a Comprehensive Approach to Address Student Trauma

The Education Committee has an important hearing scheduled for Monday, and we need you to share your stories!

Monday’s public hearing will include testimony on legislation related to social and emotional learning in our schools in the form of HB 5378.

While the Education Committee’s proposal contains important pieces, it is not enough. What is truly necessary is a comprehensive approach to address student trauma and promote social emotional learning.

CLICK HERE to submit testimony on this important initiative. Read more

Wellness Workshop Helps Teachers Recognize, Address Their Students’ Stress—and Their Own

DSC_4211

Bloomfield teachers Rose Rose and Despina Strombolis were among dozens of participants in a wellness workshop organized by their local association, thanks to a grant from CEA.

As the number of students dealing with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) has increased, so has the incidence and severity of disruptive behaviors in classrooms. And that, experts say, has led to tremendous secondary stress for teachers. In fact, teacher stress levels have ratcheted up in recent years because of a number of factors—something that CEA has teamed up with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to study in a statewide survey of educators.

“We are seeing it here,” says Bloomfield fifth-grade teacher Mary Kay Rendock, “and my colleagues around the state are seeing it as well.”

“Teaching has always been a stressful profession, but in recent years it has become even more so,” CEA Teacher Development Specialist Kate Field explains. Read more