On a regular Saturday, the parking lot at Victoria Soto Elementary School in Stratford’s south end sees some 150 families come through for a monthly food pickup from the Connecticut Food Bank. Lately, however, those numbers have nearly doubled. And the same teachers who have spent the first Saturday of every month this school year volunteering to distribute food have stepped it up to accommodate the growing number of families struggling to make ends meet.
Teachers and their fellow volunteers pose on a recent Saturday morning before preparing to distribute food to the growing number of families struggling to make ends meet.
Back in September, Victoria Soto kindergarten teacher Judee McMellan spearheaded the food donation effort with the Connecticut Food Bank. Her school, which serves grades K-1, shares a campus and driveway with Stratford Academy Johnson House, for grades 2-6. Colleagues from both buildings as well as Franklin Elementary and other Stratford schools joined in the project, forming a corps of nearly 30 volunteers whose ranks also included custodial staff, administrators, family members of teachers, a board of education member, a town official, and local high school students.
“My school is in a low-income neighborhood,” says McMellan, who has spent the last 37 years of her 40-year career in Stratford. “There is tremendous need in our community as well as a huge outpouring of support.” Read more
With municipal elections only days away, Stratford teachers sent a clear signal to anyone eyeing a seat on the Board of Education.
Their message? We are still seeing red.
Wearing RedforEd, teachers Tone Saether and David Henning join their colleagues in reminding elected officials that educators are also education voters.
Packing the final BOE meeting before Election Day, November 5, teachers wearing #RedforEd stickers and shirts carried signs that read, “Transparency & Trust Needed,” “Educators Will Vote for Change on Nov. 5,” and “Our Strength Is Our Vote.” Read more
“Our members did not agree to furloughs in order for the district to realize a surplus,” Stratford Education Association President Michael Fiorello told Board of Education members at a meeting last night that had to be moved to the high school cafeteria due to the high turnout of union members wearing #redfored.
At a Board of Education meeting last night, Stratford union members who were effected by furlough days stood together in solidarity as Stratford Education Association President Michael Fiorello read a joint statement to the Board.
Fiorello was speaking on behalf of all unions working in the Stratford Public Schools, including those representing nurses, classroom instructional assistants, administrators, secretaries, custodians, and more. Board of Education employees accepted two unpaid furlough days and other concessions last school year at great personal cost only to learn in a February 2019 audit report that the district ended the 2018 fiscal year with a $1.659 million surplus. Read more
At a town budget meeting December 18, hundreds of teachers, students, and community members made their views known by carrying signs and wearing stickers that said, “Cuts Hurt Kids,” “Fund Public Schools,” and “Every Student Matters. Every Teacher Matters.”
A tremendous turnout of Stratford educators, families, and CEA leaders and staff at a special budget meeting of the new town council last night ensured that municipal leaders heard—and sent—a clear message to Stratford’s superintendent of schools: No teacher layoffs.
While the nine-member council ultimately voted 8–1 to accept a budget that includes $700,000 in education cuts, they strongly denounced any plans to cut teachers’ jobs. At issue was the superintendent’s proposal to lay off 43 teachers, including half of the district’s reading specialists, in the middle of the current school year. Read more