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Posts tagged ‘collaboration’

‘We Is Always Better Than Me’: New Education Commissioner Kicks Off School Year

New Connecticut Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona addressed superintendents and other education stakeholders at an annual back-to-school meeting today in Hartford.

“In a few days, half a million kids will come through our doors. What we provide will be the best chance they have at success in life,” Connecticut’s new Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona told superintendents gathered for a back-to-school meeting this morning.

“Let’s learn together and grow together and give them the best we’ve got,” he continued.

CEA President Jeff Leake, who attended the event at A.I. Prince Technical High School in Hartford along with CEA Executive Director Donald Williams, said he appreciated Cardona’s emphasis on working together and reaching out to the entire education community.

“We’re looking forward to working with Miguel and other stakeholders in the education field to move our state forward,” Leake says. “Teachers do so much to ensure the success of every child, and there is still much to do, especially when it comes to making sure zip codes don’t determine the success of our students.” Read more

Institute Offers Sessions by and for Educators on Collaboration, Innovative Practices, and Social Emotional Learning

Participants at last year’s Teacher Leader Institute hear from Peter Gamwell.

How can teacher leaders enable creativity, collaboration, and innovation in their classrooms and beyond? Come to the third annual Teacher Leader Institute May 20 at Central Connecticut State University to find out.

The day will feature three outstanding keynote speakers, Andy Hargreaves (professional collaboration), Peter Gamwell (back by demand on creativity), and Marc Brackett (social/emotional learning). Participants will also be able to choose from among 22 breakout sessions by and for teachers and administrators who will offer multiple perspectives on the role of teachers as leaders and the conditions that support them.

Click here for more information on the event schedule and the breakout sessions offered.

Early-bird registration (on or before April 15) is $60 per person, which includes food and materials. Registration after April 15 is $75 per person.

Register today!

The institute is offered by CCSU in partnership with CEA, AFT-CT, and Duke University TeachHouse.

January Forum to Focus on Early Learning Success through Collaboration

forum-flyerParents, advocates, educators, and providers who help children develop into active learners can face daunting challenges—especially in an environment of dwindling resources.

A free forum taking place Monday, January 9 will showcase success stories that exemplify how community engagement, collaboration, and innovation can be harnessed to develop our youngest children into our strongest students.

Click here for more information and to register. Read more

Teacher Morale Through the Roof: Exciting Progress in Bridgeport

From right, Bridgeport Education Association President Gary Peluchette, CEA President Sheila Cohen, and CEA Vice President Jeff Leake listen to Curiale teacher Katie McLeod explain an exciting plan to boost student achievement at the school.

Governor Malloy is all ears as he learns about plans and early progress being made in schools that are part of the new Commissioner’s Network — a key program enacted when the governor signed Public Act 12-116, Connecticut’s sweeping education reform law.

Today the governor was at Curiale School in Bridgeport. “This is a check-in. Are we moving toward improvement? Are we making progress?” The governor was speaking in the school’s library with key stakeholders, including teachers, administrators, and board of education members.

At the meeting, Malloy’s Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor credited the Bridgeport Education Association (BEA) and CEA with being “incredibly creative and flexible” about spawning innovation at the school.

One of those innovations was developing new teacher schedules to provide students with a longer instructional day and an extended day schedule. The extended day complements the strong academic program by offering dance, music, and art classes, as well as sports and recreation opportunities for students and families.

Curiale teacher Katie McLeod served on the committee that developed a “turnaround plan” for the school.

McLeod says, “We are all excited about the after-school enrichment programs and our new administrators. Teachers’ morale is through the roof, and student attendance is way up.”

With a new curriculum and more teacher professional development, enthusiasm about improvement is palpable at Curiale.

Governor Malloy talks to Curiale Students Kwajana Gooden (left) and Nayelis Perez.

In Christine Nogueira’s fourth-grade class, Governor Malloy chatted with students Kwajana Gooden and Nayelis Perez.

Perez said she likes the longer days. “They are designed to help you,” Governor Malloy told the girls.

Beyond the extended day and after-school program, other elements of Curiale’s turnaround plan include the following.

  • A rigorous kindergarten through grade three literacy initiative.
  • Smaller class sizes.
  • Leveled flexible groups for reading and math so students receive appropriate instruction.
  • A new curriculum in all core subjects.
  • The formation of Instructional Learning Teams to lead and facilitate schoolwide implementation of lesson studies and professional development.
  • Common planning time for teachers each week.
  • A program of Schoolwide Enrichment that will identify the strengths and talents of all students and create classes and programs to develop these talents.

UConn’s Neag School of Education is working with Curiale to develop and implement the Schoolwide Enrichment Model. Neag will offer professional development to train teachers and staff to identify students’ areas of strength and develop strategies to address them and link them to students’ areas of need. Research shows this model engages students in learning and makes them eager to participate in school programs and activities.

Governor Malloy said today that an extra $4.5 million are being allocated to the Bridgeport School District this year.

At Curiale and other schools, the hope is that extra resources and hard work will have everyone talking about “substantial change, not marginal change,” according to the governor.

McLeod explained that the extra instructional time has provided enrichment opportunities enabling teachers to go back and teach fun things that excite students, such as a unit on Pioneer Days.

Jennifer Kelemen, a teacher at Madison School, and Gregory Furlong, a teacher at Bryant School, also serve on the Curiale Turnaround Committee.

BEA President Gary Peluchette said, “Along with Katie McLeod, they are exemplary educators who have shown how much teachers can and want to be part of the solution. They are dedicated to their students, their profession, and their community.”

Kelemen said she hopes Curiale can be a model for other schools because extracurricular opportunities, from sports to the arts, really motivate kids. Furlong pointed out that wraparound services for students and families are also an enormous plus.

CEA President Sheila Cohen said that collaboration that includes all education stakeholders is a key element. “We are pleased that school reform efforts are putting a focus on families and community — essential ingredients for student success,” said Cohen.