A School Budget Without Dollars

by Sally E. Bahner | Feb 17, 2018 8:29 am | Comments (1)

Sally E. Bahner Photo .Schools Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez gave his FY19 Budget Presentation Wednesday night with the theme “Responsiveness.” Hernandez typically provides themes to his presentations, which, in the past, have included “Sustainability,” “Synergy,” and “Coherence.”

The PowerPoint presentation included various priorities, projected average class sizes and grade level counts, anticipated accomplishments, major “drivers” (salaries, benefits, etc.) as a percentage of the proposed budget, a list of previously requested increases (in percentages), enrollment numbers, numbers and percentages concerning students eligible for free and reduced meals and the English Language Learning population, and graphs concerning “critical data.”

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New Boys’ Swim Coach Looking To Build Team Roster

by Bill O'Brien | Feb 15, 2018 8:52 am

Bill O'Brien PhotoWhen former coach Ray Beaulac left as the boys’ swim coach at Branford last year to pursue his professional career in medical prosthetics the co-athletic directors, Sav Synodi and Jake Palluzzi, posted the position and went to work to find a replacement.

Bill O'Brien PhotoEnter Jennifer Amasino. “We were very lucky to find Jenn,” said Palluzzi. “She had a wealth of experience as a swimmer, aquatic director, assistant coach, and head coach and she was a great fit for our program.”

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Hornet Girls Get Revenge Over Sacred Heart Sharks

by Bill O'Brien | Feb 13, 2018 8:48 am

Bill O'Brien PhotoLess than a month ago, the Branford girls’ basketball team played Sacred Heart Academy (SHA) in Hamden and fell to the “Sharks” by nine points, 42-33. This past Friday night you wouldn’t think it was the same Hornets’ team as they crushed SHA by 35 points, 49-14. Here Sophomore Mikayla Brown looks to pass as she’s guarded by SHA’s Elena Farquharson.

Bill O'Brien Photo“It feels good to win tonight. It’s good to win any night,” said a smiling Coach Justin Henry. “I’m happy for the seniors.” Friday was Senior Night honoring the four senior girls on the team, (L-R):The four seniors are Mia Tomasello, Marisa Minore, Victoria Raffone and Emma Pierson.

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Parent and Son Sue Branford School Officials

by marcia chambers | Feb 12, 2018 12:15 pm | Comments (2)

File PhotoTwo Branford teachers along with top school officials have been sued for negligence after a fifth grade teacher encouraged students in his class to end their friendships with a mentally challenged 11-year-old boy, saying the boy was a “troubled individual to be avoided.”

A 15-page civil complaint filed in September in New Haven Superior Court states the classroom exchange took place last May, and was between Peter Montecalvo, a fifth grade language arts and social studies teacher at Walsh Intermediate School, and the students in his class. The disabled boy was not in the classroom at the time because he was receiving other instruction, the complaint said. While not addressing the boy directly, the teacher provided information to his classmates that led them to reject and shun him, the complaint says. 

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Co-Op Hockey Team Hot Streak Reaches 10 of 11

by Bill O'Brien | Feb 3, 2018 8:30 am

Bill O'Brien PhotoThe Branford girls’ co-op hockey team is made up of players from Branford, East Haven, and North Branford high schools. The team, whose nickname is the “Wings,” plays in the SCC South Division and is off and running with a 12-3 record including a streak of 10 out of the last 11 games played.

Bill O'Brien PhotoLast Saturday they defeated the co-op team from Avon-Southington-East Granby-RHAM 6-2 and followed that with an upset 2-1 win over perennial power Hamden on Wednesday.

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How Much Screen Time Is Too Much?

by Sally E. Bahner | Feb 1, 2018 8:00 am | Comments (1)

Sally E. Bahner Photo .Parents and educators all over the country are struggling with how to strike a balance between screen time and face time. A recent survey reveals that 50 percent of teenagers consider themselves addicted to their cellphones. Another survey found that kids spend 6.5 hours a day in front of screens.

Schools struggle with the distraction created by cellphones in the classroom. Some have strict policies, such as locking them away at the beginning of the day and giving them back at the end. Others leave it up to the individual instructors.

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Mindset Motivates Team’s Success

by Bill O'Brien | Jan 30, 2018 8:32 am

Bill O'Brien PhotoWhen there are 14 weight classes in a high school wrestling match, it would seem unreasonable to expect too much success if you don’t have the personnel to fill upwards of five of those spots. Well, that hasn’t happened with the Branford wrestling team and their new coach Jesse Hurlburt.

Bill O'Brien Photo“We wrestled with aggression and pride, which is all we have asked of our kids,” said Coach Hurlburt, after the Hornets’ loss to the Amity Spartans on Tuesday. “It’s very hard to win a dual (meet) when you are forfeiting five weight classes, but that has not stopped this team from winning 13 matches this year.”  Under these circumstances Branford’s record is currently an impressive 13-10 on the season.

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Selectmen Approve Walsh Labor Contract

by Sally E. Bahner | Jan 23, 2018 9:33 am

Sally E.Bahner PhotoThe Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a “Project Labor Agreement” (PLA) for the Walsh Intermediate School project at a recent meeting, despite opposition from the Associated Builders and Contractors of CT Inc. (ABC), a trade association made up of 200 companies that are supportive of the Merit Shop philosophy.

A PLA is a pre-hire agreement that covers terms and conditions for people performing work on a specific public works projects. According to Chris Fryxell, president of ABC, it stipulates specific requirements not found in most construction contracts, including adherence to union agreements.

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RTM Approves 3-year Teachers’ Contract

by marcia chambers | Jan 17, 2018 7:38 am

BCTVA three-year contract between Branford public school teachers and the Board of Education (BOE) gives teachers lower yearly salary increases than in past years, requires teachers to pay an increasing amount toward their health costs, and overall, makes significant changes in how the teacher salary system works.

The $22.4 million-a-year contract between the BOE and the Branford Education Association (BEA), the union for the teachers, runs from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021. The BEA represents 283 full-time teachers down from 310 teachers in 2014. This means in the first year the $22.4 million contract will increase by $526.000. In the second year the contract increases by an additional $629,000 and in the third year by an additional $656,000.

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