Category: board of education

December 2014 Events

By , November 27, 2014 8:52 am

December 1

  • Getting a snack at the Kitchen Cafe at the Hartford Public Library? Show your library card during December and get a 10% discount.
  • Small Business Taxes: Local, State, and Federal. Is it something you want to do? Probably not. Is it something you need if you are running your own business? 6-8 p.m. Free workshop. University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center, 1265 Asylum Avenue.
  • Want to learn to solder? MakeHartford is hosting another intro class. They say: “Participants will learn to solder electronic components to a printed circuit board while assembling and testing a small electronic project kit. The finished project is useful for the further study of electronics and is the participant’s to keep. Instruction will include workbench safety. All tools and materials will be provided. Eye protection is required. Safety glasses are available for an additional $4.00.” There are no prerequisites. “Materials provided:  Commercially available kit containing printed circuit board and all necessary components. Solder. Liquid rosin flux. MH will also provide tools for each student (soldering iron and stand with sponge, needle nose pliers, diagonal cutters). Magnifying lens, “wall wart” power supply, and voltmeter for testing, these latter to be shared.” This $35 class is for teens and adults, 6:30-9 p.m. Confirm attendance and pay at door. MakeHartford is located at 30 Arbor Street, #B7.
  • Asylum Hill Congregation Church is holding a Service of Healing and Remembrance, in acknowledgement that it is especially difficult for those in mourning to experience the Christian holiday season. 7-8 p.m. AHCC is at 814 Asylum Avenue.
  • Venom Vintage is re-opening on 11 Whitney Street — party! Festivities begin at 7 p.m. in this art gallery/vintage boutique/community art space.
  • The Hartford Jazz Orchestra gives a free performance starting at 8 p.m. in the Arch Street Tavern.

December 2

  • The Connecticut Fair Housing Center is putting together a Renter’s Guide for Greater Hartford.  They say this is ” to help low-income and very-low-income households and individuals address fair housing and mobility issues. The guide will focus on low-income and very-low-income individuals but should also have broad enough appeal to apply to anyone who is looking to move. We believe that addressing community issues requires the help and input of community members, particularly those who are affected and could benefit from such information. For that reason we are hosting a meeting (dinner provided) at Hartford Public Library from 5:30pm-7:30pm where we are inviting community members to come and give us their input and feedback on the project.” An r.s.v.p. is requested but not required. They want to ensure there will be enough food for everyone in attendance. Contact caleman@ctfairhousing.org or call (860) 263-0728. Let him know if child care will be required.
  • Board of Education Workshop Meeting begins at the Milner School (104 Vine) at 5:30 p.m. All are welcome to come listen, but there is no public comment during workshop sessions.
  • CTfastrak (New Britain-to-Hartford busway) is holding a series of open houses so that potential riders can plan their trips and buy tickets. There will be some sort of hands-on demonstration. This first one is from 6-8 p.m. at the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street.
  • Real Art Ways hosts its monthly Real Board Games: They provide the games (but you can also bring your own), you just show up. 6 p.m. until closing. Free.
  • Happy, Healthy Holiday Shinding: monthly healthy food meetup at ArtSpace, 555 Asylum. Bring a dish that can serve seven others. List all ingredients on a notecard (important so that people with allergies and sensitivities know what to eat or avoid). Bring own plate, utensils, and so forth. Free parking behind ArtSpace for those participating in this event. 6:30-8 p.m. Meet in the gallery space.
  • The Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board, Hartford Hillel and Muslim Student Organization are sponsoring tonight’s Muslim-Christian-Jewish Songfest and Poetry Evening. This event is free and open to the public. It will take place in Auerbach Auditorium of Hillyer Hall (H125) at the University of Hartford, 6:30-9.
  • This event is just over the line into West Hartford –> 92Y Talks – “Global Muckraking: 100 years of journalism from around the world”: Watch this live broadcast at Congregation Beth Israel. They say: “Columbia professor and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics Joseph E. Stiglitz talks to Anya Schiffrin, editor of Global Muckraking: 100 Years of Investigative Journalism From Around the World, about a wide range of global issues from economics to journalism to politics. Selected by today’s leading journalists, the book collects gems of muckraking journalism from Britain to Burma.  Crusading journalists have played a central role in American politics. Muckraking journalism is part and parcel of American democracy. But how many people know about the role that muckraking has played around the world?  This groundbreaking new book presents the most important examples of world-changing journalism, spanning one hundred years of history and every continent.” All are welcome. Admission is $5 each. Pre-register to be guaranteed a seat: bethisrael@cbict.org or (860) 236-0580. This begins at 8:15 p.m. CBI is located at 701 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford.
  • Giving Tuesday: donate. Continue reading 'December 2014 Events'»

November 2014 Events

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By , October 26, 2014 7:09 pm

November 1

  • Free admission to the Connecticut Historical Society today, 9-5. If you have not checked out Pablo Delano’s Hartford Seen exhibit, there’s no time like now. Hartford Prints! will be running a family arts & crafts program from 10-1. CHS is located at One Elizabeth Street.
  • That squealing off in the distance? That’s another person finding out about the The Cats-in-Residence-Program, which opens today at Real Art Ways. Art. Cats. Cats you can adopt and take home with you. The reception is from 5-7 p.m.
  • Dia de los Muertos fiesta at The Dirt Salon: Day of the Dead costume contest, burlesque by Beat City Beauties, live music from Carlos Hernandez Chavez, and more. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. You must be 18+ to enter, 21+ to drink. Starts at 9p.m., goes into the wee hours of morn. The Dirt Salon is at 50 Bartholomew Avenue.

November 2

  • Connecticut Veterans Parade starts at 12:30, at the corner of Buckingham and Washington Streets.  This year’s grand marshals include Retired Master Sergeant Frank Alvarado of East Haven, Major Linda Cunha of Newington, Retired Staff Sergeant Chandler J. Howard of Farmington, Retired Sergeant Samuel Jacobellis of Danbury, and Retired Brigadier General (CT) Daniel J. McHale of Avon. The parade route includes Trinity Street through the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, Ford Street, Pearl Street, Main Street, Capitol Avenue, and ending on Hudson Street. Before the parade, there is a wreath-laying ceremony at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, beginning at 11:30.
  • The Hartt Trombone Ensemble presents its first concert of the 2014-2015 Season, “Hartt Trombone Philharmonic: Symphonic Works for Trombones.” This begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Millard Auditorium at the University of Hartford.

November 3

  • CSS/CON (Coalition to Strengthen the Sheldon/Charter Oak Neighborhood) meets at CREC, 111 Charter Oak Avenue at 5:30 p.m.
  • The Upper Albany Revitalization Zone Organization meets in the Albany Branch Library at 6 p.m.
  • Do you live or work in Asylum Hill, or just care about it? Come to an Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association meeting today, 6:15 p.m. The group meets at Asylum Hill Congregational Church, 814 Asylum Avenue.
  • Learn to Solder class is offered by MakeHartford. Participants will learn to solder electronic components to a printed circuit board while assembling and testing a small electronic project kit. The finished project is useful for the further study of electronics and is the participant’s to keep. Instruction will include workbench safety. All tools and materials will be provided. Eye protection is required; if you do not have safety glasses, they may be purchased for an additional $4.00. $35 per class. MakeHartford is located at 30 Arbor Street, #B7. Ages: Teen/Adult.
  • Sea Tea Improv’s 2-Prov Performance class students will perform two-person improv comedy based on audience suggestions. Tickets are $5 for this event which starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Carriage House Theater, 360 Farmington Avenue.
  • Hartford Jazz Orchestra plays every Monday at the Arch Street Tavern, starting at 8 p.m. No cover.
  • Spend Mondays enjoying live jazz at Black-eyed Sally’s from 8-11 p.m. $5 cover. 350 Asylum Street Continue reading 'November 2014 Events'»

Superintendent’s Transition Report Released

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By , October 21, 2014 8:53 am

Much of the school superintendent’s transition report is predictable, as its framework had been provided to the public in June. Since coming to Hartford, the new superintendent gathered input from meetings, focus groups involving 700 participants, and surveys completed by 1000 community stakeholders.

What is surprising about the report is not the content in itself but that what has been common knowledge — problems that have persisted for years — is acknowledged in writing by the new superintendent:

  • “Portfolio Strategy” used for most of the last decade has serious flaws, including that “schools were created with agreed-upon design specifications, but in several instances, core specifications have not been realized. Sometimes this appears to be due to limited resources, and on other occasions, this seems to be the result of ambiguity around what a redesigned school can expect from the district” (11).
  • Schools deemed to be high-performing are said to contribute to inconsistencies in curriculum: “Curriculum across schools lacks consistency and significantly more curriculum work is needed at all levels. Decision-making autonomy for high-performing schools has also led to more curriculum inconsistencies across schools” (8). Continue reading 'Superintendent’s Transition Report Released'»

G.E.R.M. in Connecticut Education

By , October 8, 2014 9:44 am

Robert Cotto, Jr.

What does it mean when changes to educational policy that begin in urban districts go on to shape the policy for schools statewide?

That was a question asked by Robert Cotto, Jr. in his talk: “Connecticut Catches a Case of the G.E.R.M.” at Trinity College as part of the Center for Urban and Global Studies’ Global Vantage Point Lecture Series.

The G.E.R.M. referred to is the global education reform movement, which he said “pushes a prescribed curriculum” and includes “test-based accountability and control.”

“We think the suburbs is where where the action” is in terms of changes to education policy, Cotto said, but cities are where the theories get tested.

In 2012, Gov. Malloy declared that it was the “Year of Education Reform” and unveiled six principles. Of those, three were already being practiced in Hartford and New Haven; New Haven was already using test-based teacher evaluations, and both cities had limited expansion of preschool programs and limited use of conditional funding.

The Hartford and New Haven models “appeared” to be successful, but Cotto chalked that up to what he calls “addition through subtraction,” or test scores getting an artificial boost when students with disabilities no longer had to take the same standardized test. Continue reading 'G.E.R.M. in Connecticut Education'»

October 2014 Events

By , September 26, 2014 8:24 am

October 1

  • Free gallery talk with Carole P. Kunstadt whose Between the Lines exhibit is currently at Charter Oak Cultural Center. Noon.
  • AK Smith Visiting Scholars Series: “Society, Gender and Politics in Iranian Documentary Films”: The long history of the Kurdish people reveals a tangled web of geography, covering large portions
    of the modern-day Middle East. Road to Kurdistan examines the relationship between Iraqi and Iranian Kurdistan after the fall of Saddam Hussein and the subsequent opening of the Iraqi border. The film follows a group of Kurdish travelers crossing the border in search of their dreams. A young musician wants to promote his music in Kurdistan, the filmmaker’s father wants to find the grave of a famous Kurdish poet, and they all want to witness a land that has been off-limits to Iranian Kurds for many years. Of Kurdish descent, Persheng Vaziri ‘81 was born and raised in Iran and lives in New York City. She directed several personal documentaries about Iran such as Women Like Us and A Place Called Home. She is a producer for Bridge to Iran series on Link TV, and has worked on documentaries in the U.S. and Iran. A graduate of Trinity College and New York University, she is completing her PhD at Temple University in Philadelphia. For more information, contact Christina Bolio at Christina.Bolio@trincoll.edu.This will take place in the Smith House Reese Room of Cinestudio. Lecture at 4:30, reception at 6p.m.
  • Get HYPEd, the monthly networking event for younger (generally in the 25-35 range) adults, will be at Nixs on Front Street from 5:30-8:30pm. There’s no need to register. Admission is free. There are typically some complimentary snacks, but if you want other food or to drink you will have to pay for yourself or sweet-talk someone you meet into picking up the tab. This is described as “casual,” but we have learned that this really means “business casual.” (Those of us who work from home or in non-corporate careers need to have that type of warning). Bring your business cards.
  • Want another type of networking event? Come to Faculty Lounge, a free after-hours social event for educators. 5:30-7:30p.m. at the Connecticut Science Center. Pre-registration required.
  • Take a Jamming 101 class with Kelly and Caroline at the Hartford Public Library. Billings Forge describes it: “This hands on class will cover the basics of making simple jams. Kelly and Caroline will share techniques for making lower sugar jams; cover the use of pectin; introduce savory jams; and briefly review basic canning practices.” This is $45. Participants will leave with jars of jam, recipes, and an instructional booklet. 6-8p.m.
  • MakeHartford Show & Tell takes place from 6-9p.m. at 30 Arbor Street, B7. Bring something that you are working on, or just stop by to check out others’ projects. Free.
  • Edward Quinlan will discuss the new book The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration Has Hijacked the American Dream. This free talk begins at 6p.m. in the Center for Contemporary Culture in the Hartford Public Library. Refreshments available at 5:30.
  • Trinity College Spanish Film Club will be screening La Yuma at 7p.m. in the McCook Auditorium at Trinity College. This is free and open to the general public. Post-film discussion will be in English and Spanish. Continue reading 'October 2014 Events'»

August 2014 Events

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By , July 28, 2014 8:23 am

Instructions: Skim list. Jot down items of interest on own personal calendar. Enjoy.

August 1

  • Dave Costa will perform at noon on the terrace of the Downtown Hartford Public Library. Free.
  • The Wadsworth Atheneum continues its Movies & Music Under the Stars series with Bombshell, starring Jean Harlow. Music by Criollo Clasico begins at 5:30pm in Gengras Court. Dinner available for purchase. The film begins at 8:15 (dark). Members receive free admission and one free drink. Regular admission prices apply for non-members.
  • BECK & CALL: The Servants Tour of the Mark Twain House, directed by Steven Raider-Ginsburg, starts at 7 tonight. Tickets are $22 for adults, $15 for youth. Reservations are required.
  • HartBeat Ensemble’s Youth Play Institute presents Change In Your Pocket, a play about food justice. The Youth Play Institute is a project that helps young people to brainstorm topics, develop a play, create the set, act it out, and more. Each play is on a different topic, with past ones exploring issues like violence and harsh punishments in schools. You can catch this three times– today at 7:30pm, on August 2nd at 7:30pm, and August 3rd at 2pm. Tickets are $5. Performances will be in the Carriage House Theater at 360 Farmington Avenue. Park for free in the Mark Twain Museum visitor lot (right across the street from the theater) or on street in legal spots.
  • There will be a free screening of Karate Kid in Goodwin Park at sundown. Bring a blanket or chairs and snacks.

    Goodwin Park

August 2

  • Stop into MakeHartford, MakerSpace to make a blinking light bracelet out of LEDs and duct tape. This is an all-ages workshop. $12. This space is located at 30 Arbor Street. 10-11am. Bring your own safety glasses.
  • The Taste of the Caribbean and Jerk Festival returns to the Riverfront from 1-10pm. Live music, children’s activities, food, and more. Raindate: August 3.
  • The backlash against the monster SUVs, McMansions, and other forms of conspicuous consumption is firmly here. Tiny: A Story About Living Small screens at Real Art Ways at 2pm. This documentary examines the movement to live in houses smaller than the average parking space. $10 general, $5 members. They say they are only showing this film once, so today is the day.
  • Watch the film Powered by Dreams, a documentary about the founder of the Dream Support Network and his steps to recovery after a near-death experience with kidney disease. This is hosted by The 224 (224 Farmington Avenue) at 3pm. Suggested donation $5.
  • Reception for artist Victor Pacheco at Real Art Ways, 6-8pm.
  • The Dirt Salon (50 Bartholomew) presents Deep Blue Rendezvous, a summer party and art show. Expect rooms decorated to match the theme, along with underwater trash art, video projects, and DJs. It’s suggested that attendees dress for the theme: pirates, mermaids, jellyfish, etc. This is an 18+ event. Advance tickets are $10; at door, $15. 9pm-1am. Continue reading 'August 2014 Events'»

July 2014 Events

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By , June 26, 2014 7:52 am

Do you need programmed events? Put on some sneakers and walk around. This photo was taken on a path along the Park River, accessible from where Lorraine Street turns. Park River trails are also accessible from Mark Twain Drive (near Plainfield Street) and Brookfield Street (near Flatbush Avenue).

Here’s some of what is happening in Hartford:

July  1

  • Love Wins on Oakland Terrace: free family festival from 5-7pm at Glory Chapel, 221 Greenfield Street.
  • Drop into Real Art Ways for Real Board (Games). Play the games they provide or bring your own. 6-10pm. Free.
  • Fed Up, a documentary about the food industry, screens at Cinestudio at 7:30pm. General admission is $9.

July 2

  • The Kid, a Charlie Chaplin film, will be screened in the Hartford Public Library at 1:30 and 5:30pm today. Free.
  • Love Wins on Barbour Street: free family festival from 5-7pm featuring haircuts, pony rides, face painting, music, and more. This will be hosted by The Hartford Project and the Citadel of Love, 167 Barbour.
  • Every Wednesday — as long as it isn’t raining — there will be free yoga in Elizabeth Park at 5:30pm. Bring your own mat or towel. Yoga is in the picnic area across from the Pond House.
  • Hartford 2000 is hosting what it calls an “informational meeting” about the proposed Rock Cats stadium. This will be held at the Hartford Public Library at 6pm. Mayor Segarra and other City officials are expected to be presented to answer questions and listen to public opinion. As of publication, only Segarra has been named as a speaker. Continue reading 'July 2014 Events'»

June 2014 Events

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By , May 27, 2014 9:43 am

Elizabeth Park

June 1

  • Free yoga in Colt Park at 10 am. Bring water, a mat or towel, and clothes you can move around in. The group will meet by a “large tree” near the playground that is by the Kinsella School.

    from the 2013 Puerto Rican Day Parade

  • Head to Main Street downtown: the Puerto Rican Day Parade begins at noon. After you’ve watched all the motorcycles, ponies, and pageant girls pass by, follow the parade into Bushnell Park for the Festival del Coqui, where there will be music and lots of food until 8pm.
  • Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia is the feature film at the 2:30 screening during the Connecticut LGBT Film Festival at Cinestudio. Tickets: $10 (discounts for 65+ and students, $7).
  • Who doesn’t need more burlesque in her life? Tonight, the Beat City Beauties present: “Beauties and a Bear: Almost All Girl Revue” at the Arch Street Tavern. Doors open at 6, show starts at 8pm. Get there early to grab the good seats! Not free. Consider getting tickets in advance. It’s helpful to bring cash.

June 2

  • Bring a towel or mat, some water, and wear comfortable clothing if you plan to try to some free yoga near the Pump House Gallery in Bushnell Park. 5:30 pm.
  • Once in awhile, we let an event that’s not in Hartford slip onto this list. It has to be somewhat unique or for a good cause. The Moishe House West Hartford will be hosting an event at the JCC: Shavuot Cheese Making. Learn about why all that dairy is consumed on Shavuot. Then learn how to make goat cheese. 6-7pm. Free. The Zachs Campus is located at 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford.

June 3

  • Celebrate the opening of the West End Farmers’ Market for the season, now, in a new location: the green on Farmington Avenue between Owen Street and the Mark Twain House & Museum driveway. The new location offers more space and more parking. 4-7pm. The market will only be operating on Tuesdays this season due to vendor availability.
  • Workshop meeting of the Board of Education will feature the annual School Governance Councils forum. This begins at 5:30pm at the Environmental Sciences at Mary Hooker School, 440 Broadview Terrace. Continue reading 'June 2014 Events'»

Twilight of the Kishimoto Administration (sans Kishimoto)

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By , May 22, 2014 4:28 pm

Tuesday night’s Hartford Board of Education meeting was well attended for two main reasons: the recognition of the late, great “Doc” Hurley and the appointment of seven new principals. The audience was filled friends, coworkers, and well-wishers. But once these agenda items passed, the crowd headed for the doors. But many were able to see the final, conflicted actions of a lame-duck, and now rudderless, administration.

The most agonizing of these was the discussion and debate of one of the hallmarks of the Kishimoto administration: the Teachscape teacher evaluation system. The program was on the agenda since the yearly contract was up for renewal. The annual fee for the evaluation system is $206,800. In discussing the evaluation system, the district pointed to the ease of managing well over 1,800 staff members and the wonders of a paperless system. They also pointed to the staff surveys, which found nearly 70% of the respondents happy with the evaluation system. But as board members Dr. Shelley Best and Robert Cotto pointed out, the district’s data revealed that well over 1,300 staff members were dissatisfied with the Teachscape evaluation system or did not even participate in the surveys.

Best and Cotto both pushed the district to explain the benefits of the system that went beyond the ease of electronically managing over 1,800 teachers and staff members. Best pointed out that at no point in the presentation did the district highlight how teachers were benefiting and growing from Teachscape, which is supposed to be the goal of any teacher evaluation system. She also preferred the $200,000 to be spent directly on the teachers in the form of professional development. Board member Mike Brescia also wanted to know why only teachers supportive of Teachscape were mentioned, especially since more than 50% of the entire teaching staff did not participate in the survey. Continue reading 'Twilight of the Kishimoto Administration (sans Kishimoto)'»

CREC Voted Lead Partner for Clark School

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By , April 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Clark School community resisting the plan to give Achievement First, a charter school network, decision-making power over the public school. / November 2013

Remember when the Hartford Public Schools ran ads to promote its school choice program and steer city students away from magnet schools? Now, Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) — which manages a number of magnet schools in the areas — will serve as the lead partner for the Clark School. The Clark Turnaround Committee reached this decision, unanimously, today.

No part of this process went smoothly, beginning last autumn. After parents protested the attempt to give Clark over to Achievement First, a charter network, Mayor Segarra stepped in to support the resistance.

During this months-long turnaround process, members of the Turnaround Committee claimed that an ultimatum was served up: vote for the Friendship School — a D.C.-area charter school system — or else Commissioner Pryor would step in and take over. There were denials that such an ultimatum had been issued, but multiple sources involved in the process claimed to have been told this or witness to it. The reality was that consensus was required; if no consensus was reached, then Commissioner Pryor would have been able to step in.

Parents and community members sit through a Board of Education vote that never needed to happen / April 2014

Then, there was the dog and pony show at the beginning of April in which the Board of Education voted in favor of…does anybody actually know what that was about? Even parents and community members who were brought out to rally beforehand were in disagreement over what their demands were, despite wearing shirts suggesting unity. One community member, wearing a t-shirt in solidarity, did not understand the issue, and wanted to see the public schools Continue reading 'CREC Voted Lead Partner for Clark School'»

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