Superintendent’s Message February 18th, 2016
Dear Hartford Public Schools Families, Friends and Colleagues,
Student voice. Two words that encompass so much; our students’ reflections of their pasts, presents and futures, their aspirations, disappointments and the resilience that develops between those twin pillars; Learning about how Hartford Public Schools has been able to support them, and learning about how we can support them better.
February is Black History Month. In our newsletter we bring you three examples of student voice. Our students discuss race and equity with Senator Chris Murphy, a student inspires others to “take responsibility,” and a student shares the benefits of her internship as part of her education.
We invite all of Hartford, joining our students, in raising its voice, your voices; parents, families, and community partners to join us in a practice we call Dual-Capacity. It is a fancy way of saying, “Two heads are better than one,” “Learning and doing together,” or “We can’t do this without you.”
On December 5th we saw over 400 people including families, teachers, administrators and community partners come together to talk about Family Friendly Schools; what would make our schools “family-friendly?” How do we get there in all of our schools? Together we arrived at some great answers; and, those answers guide the work that we continue to do together. We are moving forward in planning two more community meetings where we will engage in dual-capacity work to explore race, racism and equity and the connections to education. The first event is scheduled for Saturday, March 19th, 2016 at Bulkeley High School and the second is scheduled for Saturday, April 30th, 2016 at Hartford Public High School. We look forward to seeing you at these sessions as we engage in conversations and reflection and as we continue to build relationships and community with one another.
Please save the dates of more upcoming events helping our students achieve excellence and prepare them for college and career success. On February 20th, 2016 at Trinity College, the City of Hartford is partnering with us to host Rock your Future 2016 where students, and parents and guardians can gain career readiness skills in free workshops covering resume writing, interviewing skills, and professionalism, including getting free head-shots (professional portraits.) They can also complete the pre-application for summer employment through Capital Workforce Partners, and embark on tours of Trinity College. There will be separate morning and afternoon sessions.
Also on February 20th join Hartford’s Police Athletic League, Hartford Public Library, and Hartford’s Proud for a Black History Month event called “Stomp the Violence: Focusing on Solutions,” a collaboration between the community and our police to brainstorm effective changes and solutions to violence in the city of Hartford, while building relationships, mutual understanding, and inspiring youth and families about how they can make a difference in their community. It takes place from 9:30am to 2pm at 50 Williams Street, Hartford.
Hartford Public Schools is parents, is teachers, is children, is partners, is administration. Let’s put our minds and our voices together to make Hartford a finer world to live in.
Yours in partnership,