A Message from Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, January 24, 2018

A Message from Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, January 24, 2018

Dear Hartford Public Schools Families, Friends, and Colleagues,

Last night, the Board of Education approved the plan I recommended for reimagining and restructuring our schools.  Your voices were heard and helped the Board make this most important decision that will benefit all of our students and families.  I want to thank our school community as a whole, our students, families, staff and partners for engaging in this critical process of redesigning our district.  This has been an intense and challenging process for many of us, but we are facing the challenge by making the difficult decisions that have been delayed for far too long.  Details on the final Restructuring Recommendations approved by the Board can be found on our website at www.hartfordschools.org/districtmodel.

Together, we have developed a District Model for Excellence plan that ensures that we provide high-quality education for all students and reflects what you believe makes a great school. It also takes into account the significant challenges we face — profound student needs, persistently low student performance, declining enrollment, aging/low-quality facilities, and fiscal constraints.  Our commitment to our guiding principles and non-negotiables will help us to build a network of excellent schools together.

The Board’s vote is only the beginning. Improving our system of schools takes all of our stakeholders. We will begin implementation of the plan’s recommendations through forming focused, collaborative teams. Through this process, we will continue our commitment to engage and partner with you and the community. Towards that end, we are creating two types of teams who will work closely together to begin implementation of the District Model for Excellence: Transition Teams and Strategic School Design Teams.

Led by transition leaders, the Transition Teams will include district and school-based staff, as well as family and community partners who will support the transition process for schools and families affected by the restructuring decisions. Like the Transition Teams, collaborative Strategic School Design Teams will include district and school-based staff, and family and community partners. The Strategic School Design teams will ensure that our programming and use of resources are aligned to our guiding principles and non-negotiables.  These teams will be formed in early February and are immediately charged with developing implementation work plans to share with the community.

I believe that education saves lives, and I believe in our students and in this community.  This is our opportunity for real transformation, and its success depends on us all. We can do this together.

Thank you for your dedication to Hartford Public Schools.  I remain committed to working alongside you as we create equitable access and excellent teaching and learning for all of our students.

Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez