Message from the Superintendent January 2014
Message from our Superintendent, January, 2014
Welcome back and Happy New Year!
Between the holidays and the snow fall at the start of the new year, we have had a wonderful extended break. As much as we all talk about maintaining balance in our life, our time inevitably shifts heavily toward our work life throughout the fall. I hope that you are well rested and have enjoyed family time over the break.
2014 promises to be a great year! On January 16th, our School Choice Department hosted the first Hartford Education Expo at Hartford Public High School's Field House. Parents were able to question principals and staff members from 21 schools about curriculum, uniforms, academic expectations, transportation and other subjects to help them make their decision. They were able to fill out the School Choice application on sight and identify the schools they would prefer to have their children attend. Remember, the deadline for submitting applications is Friday, February 28, 2014.
Our district State of the Schools event will be held on April 23rd where I will discuss the progress we have made in our reform and our continued strategy focus. Hartford Public Schools is hosting the 2014 Magnet Schools of America Conference this spring, with over 2,000 educators and parents from across the country participating in sessions and school visits throughout our City. Also, during the spring we will host our academic competitions and our annual STEM Expo.
Over the next few weeks, our high school seniors will be receiving college acceptance letters, sharing their aspirations with us as they make difficult decisions around which college they will attend next fall. Meanwhile, the Hartford Champions continue to meet to discuss the governance structure that will oversee the Hartford Promise program. Beginning with the graduating Class of 2016, all Hartford resident seniors with a 3.0 GPA and good high school attendance record will be eligible for a Hartford Promise scholarship. This student-focused program will provide our Hartford resident students with increased access to and success in college.
This spring our students will have the unique opportunity to take the new national assessment, the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC), instead of the CMT or CAPT. All students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 will be participating in the new Smarter Balanced Assessments for Literacy and Mathematics instead of the CMT or CAPT for Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Our schools, along with many other Connecticut schools are administering the SBAC Field Test this spring. Please note that students in grades 5 and 8 will still take the Science CMT and students in grade 10 will take the CAPT Science assessment. Students identified through the Planning and Placement process will continue to take the Skills Checklist this spring. The SBAC Field Test will be administered to all students via computers. The total testing time is similar to or slightly less than the CMT or CAPT. While this new test will not be officially administered to all students in Connecticut until the spring of 2015, all public schools in Hartford will be participating in the field test this spring.
In closing, I want to thank you for being a part of the Hartford Public Schools family, dedicated to the success of our students.
Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto