Message from the Superintendent February 2015

SPOTLIGHT on EXCELLENCE  February 2015

 

Message from the Superintendent February 2015

Dear Hartford Public Schools family and friends,

 
February is Black History Month, when stories of heroism, resilience, justice and injustices are told, and the recounting of our uncommon and powerful pasts is shared to help lead us to a common future of equity and justice for all.  In our schools, like Culinary Arts Academy, Annie Fisher STEM Magnet, and many others, our teachers and students are engaging in Black History Month events, traditional teachings about the battles against inequality that have been fought for over 300 years in our country.  Equity for all.  It is a value we must share and a goal we strive for together in Hartford.  The daily work of our administration, our teachers, students, parents and city officials that will bring equal education to all of our students is shared in this newsletter every month.
 
Our work in Hartford– the intentional actions we take to remove barriers that conflict with our values– includes the efforts we are taking in our initiatives to eradicate Chronic Absenteeism, to greatly reduce our Outside Suspensions, to attend to Special Education requirements and support for our students who need them, to provide extraordinary tools to our ELL students, to improve schools through strong partnerships, to educate all of our city's children, and to bring equitable and high quality services to our neighborhood schools.  Read on in our newsletter and stay tuned to our website to learn more.
 
To reach our shared goals, we must first reach an understanding of one another.  To do this, we must continue to share our stories with one another.  These stories cannot be written nor dictated by Hartford Public Schools only; they must be interactive, told by others, told by many, and gathered in one place.  Let's continue to tell, then listen, then tell more, then listen more.  Some of our senior students from Journalism & Media Magnet Academy have spent months in The Learning Lab, their CPBN satellite campus in Jim Moffet's Public Relations class interviewing and videotaping many of our Hartford Public Schools teachers.  Our students edited the shared stories into 3 minute videos you can see in the website we launched with CPBN and JMA, The Teachers' Stories Project
 
We also look forward to experiencing "Words to Give By," a collaborative, live-stories project of the Hartford Public Library and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
 
Monday, March 2nd is Read Across America Day and in all of our 1st and 2nd grade classrooms, volunteers from all over our city will be reading to our young students.  The day will kick-off at Batchelder School where for the last month, teachers have been working with students from Pre-K through 8th grade on literacy projects around reading Dr. Seuss books, writing about them, creating projects about the themes of the books.  From elementary students understanding and reflecting upon the message of equality in "The Sneetches" to middle-schoolers exploring their college paths using "Oh, the Places You Will Go," the Seuss lexicon brings meaning through literacy to all of the grades.  
 
Let's keep doing the good work together; may our differences make us stronger. May the paths of success we strive to pave for our students bring them joy and success.  And, please may Spring soon spring and bring days of warmth and sunshine to our fair city.
 
Yours,   
Beth

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