Skip to content

Let’s Celebrate Teachers and Public Education This American Education Week

This week, American Education Week 2019, presents all Americans with the perfect opportunity to celebrate public education and honor educators and everyone else who ensures that every child receives a quality education. Watch the video message below from CEA President Jeff Leake and Vice President Tom Nicholas.

How to Plan a Hassle-free Holiday Vacation

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” or so the song goes. But everyone who travels knows that winter weather, heavy traffic and flight delays cause additional stress during the holiday season. Keep things calm by planning ahead and using a travel checklist.

Conquer seasonal travel-related hassles using these tips and strategies from NEA Member Benefits. Make your list, check it twice, and get ready to bring cheer and smiles while saving time and money as we head into the holiday season. Read more

Parent–Teacher Conferences Coming Up?

No matter what side of the desk you’re on, parent-teacher conferences can be stressful.

Make the most of this opportunity to lay the groundwork for productive relationships that will benefit your students, their families, and you. Here are some top tips and other great resources to help you prepare for parent-teacher conferences, get more parents to attend, and enlist students as partners in the process.

Share Your Concerns About Issues Impacting Public Education

CEA has teamed up with AFT Connecticut and WFSB TV 3 to highlight issues facing Connecticut teachers and public education today.

Take the Survey

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and share your views on everything from addressing the mental health needs of students to the scourge of vaping.

The survey is totally anonymous. You will not be asked to identify yourself or where you teach. The survey timeline is short. You only have until Monday morning to complete it. Channel 3 will use the anonymous results to report on issues facing public education next week.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on these important issues impacting our profession.

Still Time to Make the Holidays Brighter for CT Children in Need

Residents around Connecticut can help make the holidays brighter for children in need, CEA Vice President Tom Nicholas told iHeartRadio’s Renee DiNino in an interview that will air this Sunday but is already available online.

CEA Vice President Tom Nicholas speaks with iHeartRadio’s Renee DiNino.

Nicholas urges Connecticut residents to take part in the Holiday Bear project and sponsor one of more than 100 public school students across the state, from pre-K through grade 12, who have been nominated by their teachers to receive holiday gifts (such as books, toys, or gift certificates) and essentials (such as coats and hats). Families of these students are facing financial hardships that will make it difficult to afford holiday gifts this year.

“We have children in every zip code across the state in need this holiday season,” Nicholas says. Read more

Putting a Stop to Student Vaping

According to a recently released survey, nearly eight in 10 teens say that vaping touches their daily lives in some way. Vaping use among adolescents has spread rapidly in recent years, and vaping-related deaths have made national headlines.

As part of the effort to curb this trend, as of October 1 Connecticut raised the legal age for purchasing all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21. The state also expanded the Clean Indoor Air Act to include all school property, meaning all tobacco and vaping products are now prohibited from school buildings and grounds at all times.

In a letter to superintendents, Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona encouraged districts to support tobacco use prevention efforts by sharing the memorandum and attached resources, updating district tobacco-free policies and signs on school property, addressing tobacco-use prevention through comprehensive health education, and engaging the school community in a districtwide approach to tobacco-use prevention efforts.

Read more about vaping in schools from NEA.

Teachers Socialize, Discuss Ways to Support Educators and Students of Color 

Until I went to college, I never had a teacher who looked anything like me,” Bridgeport Education Association Vice President Ana Batista, who is Latina, told nearly 60 educators gathered for a fall social hosted jointly by BEA and CEA. 

Her fellow teachers—most of them men and women of color—nodded in understanding.  

Fairfield Spanish teacher Nayla Seara and Waterbury school librarian Charlene Brown share an interest in recognizing and addressing bias.

“It’s important for all of us to get together and become more involved,” Batista said. We need to be active in our teachers association—our professional organization—which is such an advocate for us and for our students.”  Read more

November Deals and Discounts from NEA Member Benefits

person holding credit card next to laptop to pay for online purchasesThe holiday season will be here soon—get started on your preparations now and take advantage of great savings exclusively for CEA and NEA members.

NEA Click & Save “Buy-lights” for November 2019

Prepare now for a stress-free and enjoyable holiday season! 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 November!* Read more

ACES Teacher’s Grant Brings Music to Special Education Students

Music therapy makes a big difference for her students, which is why ACES teacher Jaime Plancon is excited to have some extra funds to purchase instruments thanks to a grant from California Casualty.

Plancon, a music therapist, works at ACES Village School—a school for pre-K through eighth grade students with cognitive, physical, behavioral, language, and medical challenges. She says that music is an important tool to facilitate functional learning for her students.

ACES music therapist Jaime Plancon with ACES Education Association President Bill Jacobs.

Each class at the Village School receives music therapy for 30 minutes once a week, and Plancon also directs a choir for verbal students who are interested in participating and leads a community drum circle once a month.

Because of the population she serves, Plancon says, “I need a lot of adaptive instruments and technology that can enhance the therapy experience.” Read more

Mold, Rodent Droppings, Extreme Temperatures: Connecticut’s Schools Are Falling Apart and Making Students and Teachers Sick

Mold is a serious problem in many Connecticut schools, including this one in Stamford.

Students are vomiting and complaining of headaches and feeling like they are going to pass out.

It’s too hot, it’s like teaching in a pizza oven, and our students are overheating.

Every morning, I find rodent feces in my pre-k classroom where students work and play.

There are high levels of mold in my classroom and in the building, making students and teachers sick.

Sometimes in the winter, it’s warmer outside.

These are just a few of the comments reported by teachers from across the state who responded to a new CEA survey on environmental issues in their schools. The shocking findings highlight the need to address environmental problems in Connecticut’s school buildings that jeopardize the health and safety of students and teachers.

“From Stamford to Manchester and towns in between, teachers have been reporting illnesses related to environmental problems within their schools,” says CEA President Jeff Leake. “There’s black mold, rodent droppings, extreme heat and cold temperatures, dust, asbestos, and other issues that are putting our students and teachers at risk every day.” Read more