by marcia chambers | Jul 24, 2014 8:19 am | Comments (1)
Back in January, a Superior Court Judge in Hartford rejected the state’s effort to delay a lawsuit that challenges the way Connecticut funds its public schools. Judge Kevin Dubay ruled the lawsuit would head to trial Sept. 9.
Now the educational coalition that initially fought the state’s delay has agreed with the state attorney general’s office to a five-month postponement. The trial is now slated to begin Jan. 6, 2015, two months after the gubernatorial and other statewide elections are held.
by Emma Zehner | Jun 23, 2014 8:34 am | Comments (1)
Branford High Principal Lee Panagoulias and Board of Education Chairman Michael Krause had a story to tell, one that ties the Branford High graduating class together in a unique way. They shared the story with hundreds of graduates, their parents and friends as they gathered on the town Green as the class of 2014 for the last time.
The story centers on Chris Frione (pictured above with his family), who suffered a devastating head injury during a middle school baseball game when a line drive hit him in the left temple. He was in eighth grade at the Walsh Intermediate School when his brain injury occurred.
by marcia chambers | Jun 17, 2014 12:33 pm | Comments (2)
The national debate over Common Core has landed in the Shoreline race for the open 12th State Senate District seat, with Republican candidate Bruce H. Wilson, Jr. calling for the state to reconsider its plan to require all school districts to adopt new academic standards along with new standardized tests.
Wilson said he believes in having standards in place but not “a central standard that is non-negotiable.”
His opponent, Democratic candidate Ted Kennedy, Jr., too, called for caution on rolling out new standardized tests, saying his sense is that “it is too much, too fast.” Kennedy said he is in the process of talking to parents, teachers and boards of education in the district to get their points of view.
by Diana Stricker | Mar 20, 2014 3:46 pm
Branford High School students have been airing their concerns with the Board of Education (BOE) on two separate issues: Pro-life displays of fetuses and standardized tests.
—Members of a pro-life club, who claimed they were being discriminated against, have reached an agreement with school officials regarding the use of displays. This action was taken in private meetings with school officials. The pro-life students were not present at the BOE meeting held last night.
—High school juniors told the BOE at the meeting that field tests for the state’s new standardized tests are interfering with their classwork and college preparation.
by Diana Stricker & Mary Johnson | Mar 6, 2014 10:45 pm
“They know what art is.”
John Prins, a member of the Branford Board of Education, was lavish in his praise for students in kindergarten through 12th grade whose art is on display at the Blackstone Memorial Library.
by Diana Stricker | Mar 3, 2014 12:07 pm | Comments (2)
Branford students and teachers will face new challenges as they participate in a field test of the state’s new “Smarter Balanced Assessment” from March 18 through June 6. But the district is ahead of the game when it comes to rolling out the new Common Core state standards, on which the tests are based.
The new Smarter Balanced achievement tests will measure how well students are learning lessons based on the Common Core standards, which districts are already supposed to be using.
Millions of students across the country will participate in computerized field tests in the next few months to help the test-makers fine-tune the assessment process. No scores will be reported this year, but states are mandated to begin the real testing during the 2014-15 school year. The field tests will include a variety of questions at all skill levels.
by Diana Stricker | Feb 28, 2014 9:12 am
Branford’s Board of Education (BOE) is revising the district’s bomb threat policy after parents expressed concern that school officials failed to report an alleged bomb threat to police last October.
The BOE unanimously approved a draft of the new policy Wednesday, and is expected to give final approval as soon as the proposal is reviewed by the Branford Police Department and state officials.
The policy change comes after an incident in October when an alleged bomb threat was found in a girls’ bathroom stall at Walsh Intermediate School. The threat said that Walsh was in for a bombing the next day at 2 p.m. Above the writing, a police report says, were a series of numbers that appeared to be a date: “/15/13.”
by Sally E. Bahner | Feb 26, 2014 5:54 am
Students preparing for advanced education and adult high school credit diplomas will get a helping hand, thanks to a $20,000 donation to the Branford based Eastshore Region Adult & Continuing Education Program (ERACE).
The funds will support ERACE’s Transition to a Post-Secondary Program, which provides students with skills to navigate the college system and the application process, learn college vocabulary, and understand financial aid. Students will also learn how to write a resume and cover letter. They will have hands-on experience in the interview process with a member from the Branford business community, and learn “soft skills” that make them desirable employees such as dependability, decision-making, ability to work well with others, and critical thinking.
by Diana Stricker | Feb 11, 2014 8:19 am
The Board of Education (BOE) unanimously approved an operating budget Monday that is slightly less than the original request; and also approved a capital budget that includes money for safety upgrades and computers for the new state tests.
As budget deliberations began last night, BOE chair Michael Krause announced that the $52.7 million the superintendent requested last week could be reduced to about $52.66 million because of another teacher retirement. Click here to read about the superintendent’s budget presentation.
by Diana Stricker | Feb 5, 2014 2:20 pm
Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez presented a proposed $52.7 million budget Tuesday, an increase of $1.4 million over last year, which equates to 2.73 percent.
Hernandez said the 2015 school budget proposal is realistic. “We are doing this in a very smart way. … We’re not asking for an insurmountable amount of money,” he said.
The town’s budget, the other side of the overall financial equation, is not yet finalized. First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove has asked his department heads to prepare three budget scenarios which would reflect their wishes, a 0 percent increase, and a 2 percent reduction. Hernandez was not asked to follow the same plan. Click here to read that story.