by marcia chambers | Jun 10, 2013 7:44 am | Comments (2)
Back on March 15, Branford First Selectman Unk DaRos and Schools Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez signed a letter of intent agreeing to apply for a competitive school readiness grant, a program that expands early learning for families unable to afford pre-school for their child. The letter was sent to the Connecticut State Department of Education. To get the grant process rolling the top town official and the top school official were required to agree. And they did.
But the grant-writing task fell to Hernandez, and the deadline, May 31st, came and went. Hernandez didn’t submit the grant application or even have it fully written because he said he learned the state did not have the school readiness funds for Branford. In addition, he told the Eagle, the school system has no official grant writers, though others could have done the job.
by marcia chambers | Jun 3, 2013 7:47 am
Parents may register their child for pre-kindergarten at the elementary school in their district if the child is 4 years old or will be by January 2014.
The only catch is that enrollment is by lottery. Space is limited.
How many slots are open? Education officials gave no figures.
Pre-K registration for Branford residents will take place in the resident’s school district on June 3 and 4 from 9 a.m. to noon.
by Diana Stricker | May 17, 2013 7:47 am
Branford’s Board of Education (BOE) voted unanimously to recommend major renovations at both Walsh Intermediate School and the former Branford Hills Elementary School. The board is asking town officials to form a building committee as one of the first formal steps in the process.
Two options for the elementary school involved either renovating the aging Sliney school, or renovating and expanding the former Branford Hills School to serve as the new Sliney School. The board on Wednesday chose the Branford Hills option.
by marcia chambers | May 6, 2013 8:23 am | Comments (2)
School Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez (pictured) last week outlined a variety of challenges facing the Branford School district: a declining student population, increasing special education needs and the absence of an official talented and gifted program in the elementary, intermediate and high schools.
He also repeated what he told the Board of Education (BOE) at the April 24 meeting, that the state is contemplating eliminating the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT). Teachers have complained for years that they were required to teach to the test.
by Diana Stricker | May 1, 2013 8:11 am
Poison ivy is not conducive to learning.
So the principal at Tisko Elementary School on Damascus Road is leading a mission to turn the school’s weed-filled, poison ivied courtyard into a learning center.
by Diana Stricker | Apr 25, 2013 6:55 am | Comments (1)
A feasibility study indicates it could cost $109.8 million to renovate and expand Walsh Intermediate School—an estimated $97 million after state reimbursement. The total cost to upgrade Sliney Elementary School would be $29 million—an estimated $23 million after reimbursement. The two combined after state reimbursement would come to a whopping $120 million.
“It’s certainly a lot to think about,” said BOE chair Frank Carrano.
by Diana Stricker | Apr 10, 2013 11:06 am | Comments (1)
What can you make out of a box?
“Everything you want,” answered a 4-year-old at the Branford Early Learning Center.
by Diana Stricker | Mar 21, 2013 12:37 pm
Branford’s top school officials said major renovations at a school with few interior walls and doors may be on the fast track. The board also got a green light from most board members regarding a proposal to bring a school resource officer to Walsh Intermediate School.
As the Board of Education (BOE) discussed school safety issues at a meeting last night, a Branford parent who has spearheaded the push for renovations at Walsh asked if the state task force for school safety is addressing open-concept buildings.
by Diana Stricker | Feb 22, 2013 12:26 pm
The Branford school superintendent wants to upgrade security cameras at school buildings, improve lock systems and evaluate public address systems. And he wants to make sure high school students are not leaving the building for coffee breaks.
Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez told the board (pictured above) Wednesday he will have specific recommendations and funding requests for security upgrades at next month’s meeting. He will also give a report next month on the progress that architects are making in their cost analysis of major renovations for Walsh Intermediate School and Sliney Elementary School.
by Diana Stricker | Feb 15, 2013 7:29 am
The Branford School District’s proposed $51.6 million budget addresses a major statewide concern—implementing the new state-mandated teacher evaluation program.
But the budget may need to be amended to address another dilemma schools are grappling with—- security upgrades.
There is currently no money in the proposed budget for improving security at the district’s five school buildings. Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez is expected to make a report on security issues at a board meeting later this month. Board chair Frank Carrano said any major expenses for the upgrades would be an addendum to the capital budget.