by Diana Stricker & Mary Johnson | Mar 6, 2014 9:45 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 11:07 am | 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 8:12 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 4:54 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 7:19 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 1:20 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.
by marcia chambers | Jan 23, 2014 6:18 am
Michele Krumenacker became the Branford’s Early Childhood Collaborative (BECC) new executive director this week, a position that seems ready made for her experience in developing programs for children and families.
“My experience in developing programs and working collaboratively with children and families fits well with the BECC’s focus,” she said in prepared remarks.
by Melissa Bailey | Dec 12, 2013 6:07 pm
Just a year and a half after taking over New Haven’s Edgewood School, Principal Raeanne Reynolds shocked parents by announcing she plans to leave within weeks to take a job in Branford.
Reynolds said she will officially leave Jan. 1 to take a job as the new principal of Branford’s Mary T. Murphy Elementary School. Reynolds will replace Michael Rafferty, who has been leading the school in an interim capacity since longtime Principal Anthony Buono got promoted to the Branford superintendent’s office.
by marcia chambers | Dec 11, 2013 9:33 am | Comments (2)
Sometime on Tuesday, Oct. 15, a Walsh Intermediate school girl was surprised to find a disturbing statement inside a bathroom stall at her school. Written on a toilet paper dispenser were the words: “Walsh is in for a bombing tomorrow at 2 p.m.” Above the writing, a police report says, were a series of numbers: “/15/13.”
The girl, parents said later, did the right thing. She informed her guidance counselor of the words she found inside the stall that day. When those words were written remains unclear because the day before was Columbus Day and school was closed. The girl and two of her friends, all in the 8th grade, were in the bathroom at the same time.
by Diana Stricker | Oct 28, 2013 7:10 am | Comments (2)
School board members are asking why third-grade scores on state mastery tests at Mary Murphy Elementary School dropped so drastically in the past year. And they want to know what steps are being taken to help the students.
“I was taken aback by Mary Murphy scores in reading, writing and math,” said board member David Squires (at left in photo), who started the discussion at a recent Board of Education (BOE) meeting. He was particularly concerned about the drop in third-grade math from 78.9 percent at or above goal in 2012, to 30.1 percent on the 2013 Connecticut Mastery Tests. “Can you tell me why?”