Dr. Kishimoto Talks about Hartford Public Schools being Selected as a Finalist For the Race To The Top Grant.

SPOTLIGHT on EXCELLENCE     Issue 21     December 7, 2012


Dr. Kishimoto Talks about Hartford Public Schools being Selected as a Finalist For the Race To The Top Grant.


From Our Superintendent, Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto:

Hartford Public Schools was selected as a finalist for the Race To The Top grant and we are thrilled that we are among the 61 finalists selected nationwide from 372 applications that were submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. The $30 million grant that we have requested, if approved before the end of this month, will help us carry on the aggressive implementation of our strategic operating plan that is delivering record increases in student success in Hartford's State Capital Portfolio District of Excellence.

This exciting news, along with the $5 million dollar Gates Foundation Grant we were awarded, proves that our strategic work places us among education reform leaders at the national level. At the press conference announcing the grant, the representative from the Gates Foundation was asked why Hartford– as the smallest school district to be awarded– received the largest allocation of funds.  He answered that it was because the Gates Foundation could see that the hard work was already being done here in Hartford.

We continue to move forward on our goals.  We are engaged every day in the schools and with families in achieving our goals of the Third Grade Promise, Middle Years Redesign, and College Readiness.  Our Early Literacy & Parent Engagement Team is working hard, and their great successes are visible — just this month the" Get Greedy for Writing Contest" (with sponsor Mega Education) saw stellar results.  This Fall, we had three community dialogue conversations with parents.  We currently have 37 HPS employees who are Big Brothers & Big Sisters to our city's children.  And this month we release our Parents' Newsletter.  We look forward to involving more parents and families in their children's education and in their own as we launch the Parents Academy initiative.  Our Parent Engagement Task Force began this multi-year planning work last week.

It is through these conversations we have together that we continuously improve our practice: asking questions, studying test results and classroom work, the work of our literacy coaches, our ELL, answering the hard questions, then taking action based upon those answers.  This is the work that the Gates Foundation sees happening in Hartford. This is what we are doing together.  Congratulations to all the teachers, school administrators, the students and families of Hartford.



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