SPOTLIGHT on EXCELLENCE December 2015
Hartford Public Schools and Hartford Public Library Launch Boundless Partnership Collaboration Introducing a New Model for Urban Learning
Hartford Public Library CEO Matt Poland and Michelle Puhlick, Executive Director of Planning & Partnerships for Hartford Public Schools announce the program at Rawson School.
Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Beth Narvaez and Hartford Public Library CEO Matt Poland introduced a new learning partnership called Boundless at Sarah J. Rawson Elementary School in Hartford’s North End this morning.
Boundless brings educators and resources from Hartford’s schools and libraries together in a formal and far-reaching partnership to deepen learning opportunities for students and adults, and advance the shared goals of cultivating academic excellence, equity, and college and career readiness. (View informational video.)
“Today we add an important new tool to the urban learning toolbox,” said Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Beth Narvaez at an event unveiling Boundless. “That tool is a deep partnership between Hartford Public Schools and Hartford Public Library.”
The Boundless partnership will train and connect classroom teachers and library staff to provide seamless, one-on-one personal human attention to students of all ages to create more powerful learning experiences. It will link students and educators in each system to the resources of both systems. It will give students access to traditional and digital resources across many platforms, including books, video, audio, periodicals, data, and the Internet and will ultimately provide broadband and wireless access for all students.
Superintendent Narvaez explained that in the past, children would go to school during the day, and might go to library after school and on weekends, but that model didn’t connect the school experience and the library experience. Boundless connects the school system and the library system and the adults in those systems to enhance student learning.
Boundless offers budget efficiencies in addition to learning benefits. By sharing resources, the district and the library don’t have to BOTH invest in redundant resources. By making one investment and sharing it, the city is able to save taxpayer dollars.
Boundless was piloted through the Goodwin Library Branch and schools in the surrounding neighborhood. Students participated in collaborative activities including children’s book authors visits, field trips and visits to schools by the HPL Book Mobile. The pilot demonstrated and provided insight as to how schools and the library can collaborate effectively to deepen learning opportunities for our children. Boundless will be expanded to other neighborhoods over the next several years.
Other key upcoming Boundless initiatives include:
• Developing a new YouMedia center at HPHS
• Launching of Youth Voice and Leadership event in 2016
• Opening the Mark Twain branch of the library as a fully integrated and collaborative space at West Middle school, providing increased access to the entire community
• Providing a Hartford Public Library Card to all Hartford Public Schools students
Boundless reflects a growing national trend toward school districts and library systems collaborating around student learning. It aligns with the Hartford Public Schools and Hartford Public Library strategic plans, and the national ConnectED Library Challenge in which districts pledge to provide students with easy access to information and educational resources.
For information about the Boundless partnership development and communications, please contact:
• Michelle Puhlick, Hartford Public Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Mary Tzambazakis, Hartford Public Library, email@example.com