Message from our Superintendent January 2015

Message from our Superintendent January 2015

 

Dear Hartford Public Schools Families and Friends,

The new year typifies a time of renewal and rebirth.  This year we continue to focus on our work of equity and excellence, we continue to move forward on our strategic plan with students as our focus, and we are re-energized by new partnerships, resources and events.  We look forward to the progress and successes that the year 2015 will bring!

More than 70 languages are spoken in Hartford; nearly one of five students in our schools are identified as English Language Learners.  We are so happy to announce that our students will benefit from a $3 million federal grant supporting an initiative that uses science education as a way to help our students learn English. Literacy and Academic Success for English Learners through Science (LASErS) will help approximately 2,000 of our Pre-K through 1st grade students who are not native English-speakers. Activities will include hands-on science activities in school, at home and in the community. The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has pledged $100,000 and in-kind to help. The William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund is also supporting this exciting initiative, and Yale University's Child Study Center will evaluate the program. This could not have come at a better time. The Hartford community has identified educational equity for English Language Learners as a priority.  

More exciting news comes from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation who is furthering the implementation of its District Level Systems Change initiative. They are renewing their grant to Hartford Public Schools for four more years.  The grant will support Centers of Innovation in our high schools, which will be technology-based laboratories of innovation and collaboration which provide continuous improvement in supporting and sustaining student-centered learning. The grant will also support our teachers' and principals' abilities to successfully implement student-centered learning, as well as the development of a systems-level approach to ensure educational excellence and equity for every student.

On Saturday, February 7th the Department of Families, Children, Youth and Recreation and Capital Workforce Partners bring us "Rock Your Future – Mayor's Youth Employability and Empowerment Day" from 10am to 3pm at the Arroyo Recreational Center in Pope Park.  About 500 of our middle and high schools students and their families will learn the skills they need to secure a summer job or internship and develop their employment skills. They will receive help in properly creating a resume, opening a bank account, preparing for an interview, building confidence for the workplace, and much more.

Also, don’t forget that on February 21st, our School Choice Department hosts our second Hartford Education Expo a tHartford Public High School's Field House.  Parents will be able to meet principals and staff members from many schools about curriculum, uniforms, academic expectations, transportation and other subjects to help them make their decision. They can fill out the School Choice application on-site. Remember, the deadline for submitting applications is Friday, February 27, 2015.

We also continue to tell the Story of Us, as we craft the next chapter of HPS together. Several Hartford Public Schools teachers shared their stories – who they are and why they teach– with Jim Moffet's Public Relations class of Journalism and Media Magnet Academy seniors working at CPBN's Learning Lab. The students recorded video interviews with the teachers at CPBN then edited the discussions into the 3-minute stories you can watch online here. The partnership shared by CPBN and the JMA Learning Lab proves invaluable. By sharing our stories we gain true understanding of one another so we may learn to work better, side-by-side, solving the urgent challenges we face.

As we begin the month of February, which is nationally recognized as Black History Month, let us engage each other and our students in learning and celebrating the rich history and contributions of Black citizens – particularly of unsung heroes and ordinary citizens – to our city, our state, our country and the world. And, perhaps more importantly, join me in reflection as we face the urgency of now—ensuring equity and excellence for ALL of our students.

Your Superintendent,

Beth Schiavino-Narvaez

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