The scene on February 13, 2014… Continue reading 'The Difference of One Week'»
Now that we have completed our three trips to each neighborhood, we wanted to share our absolute favorite pictures from this series.
(Blue Hills) This one was taken at the Watkinson Community Garden on Bloomfield Avenue, behind the Unitarian meetinghouse. This is more like a farm than a community garden. We have no idea why this wheelbarrow was perched in a tree; on other trips here, all equipment was stored in places one would expect it to be. The weather was changing from “vaguely Autumn” to “there’s frost”.
(Clay Arsenal) A friend tipped us off to some artwork in an area we were about to visit, but did not give an exact location. We do not even know if this was where he found the painting of a peacock. What we found — portraits — were more interesting than the simple scribbles that are common.
A school is determined to be in need of help; instead of consulting with the community about how improvements should be made, there is an attempt to turn it over to a quasi-public management company. When parents and community members speak out, this is dropped– for the time being — only for another school in a different neighborhood to be told it should be given away. Again, parents and community members speak out. The matter is not settled entirely, but it appears that the people will retain some control over their own schools.
In the neighborhoods where these schools are located, it is sometimes easier to get a beer than affordable, nutritional foods. Continue reading 'Hartford Rising to Create a Community Bill of Rights'»
Sometimes, we find dead critters. Usually this is unpleasant — roadkill. Other times, we encounter something we are not entirely convinced has died. An example of that is below the fold. Found on Charter Oak Avenue on New Year’s Eve.
After Board of Education members were sworn in without fanfare on Tuesday, the conversation picked up basically where it left off last year, but with some unexpected contributors to the dribs and drabs of critical thinking.
The Minimalist and Inadequate Explanation of What the Lighthouse School and Commissioner’s Network Are
The “Lighthouse School” is part of the new Sheff agreement. The Sheff v. O’Neill case agreement was approved in Connecticut’s Superior Court. That’s legally binding, folks. According to Kathleen England, “there’s ample funding across three years to support” the school chosen for a Lighthouse School redesign. The amount being promised is $750,000 per year for at least three years. England said that the school selected would be one making progress rather than at the bottom, but that the neighborhood the school is in would also need to be “on the cusp of improving.” To be eligible, the school would also need to be a neighborhood, non-magnet with what the Hartford Public Schools is calling “potential for natural diversity.” There is a tight timeline for the selection and application process. England says that “it’s a great opportunity” for schools “to get financial commitment,” to “maybe take a design you have in place and take it and make it more robust.” With this process, she said, it would “absolutely” remain a neighborhood school and not become a magnet school. This would be money to enrich existing design. The Global Communications Academy IB was named as a potential candidate.
The Commissioner’s Network, in contrast, has been around a few years and already taken in one of our public schools– Milner. For 3-5 years, the school district loses complete control over the public school, but according to State Department of Education documents, there will be a “transition” of the school as it leaves the Commissioner’s Network. Operating expenses must still be provided by the local school board while it is potentially “partnered” with another not-for-profit management organization. When Milner entered the Commissioner’s Network, the school was closed down, teachers told they would have to reapply for their jobs, and then re-opened as Jumoke Academy Honors at Milner. This time around, Superintendent Kishimoto says HPS is not necessarily suggesting a change in school leadership and not talking about a closure because there is not time for that. Kishimoto is continuing to push for America’s Choice at SAND and Clark Elementary School to apply to the Commissioner’s Network.
But It’s More Complicated Than That, So Keep Reading. This isn’t Reader’s Digest
There was insistence that a Lighthouse School would not be turned into a magnet model, but Kishimoto said that there is possibly legislation being drafted that could make this model a magnet. There are a number of unknowns. Continue reading 'Opportunity or Charade? BOE Talks Money for School Design'»
It was worth getting drenched to see State Representative Edwin Vargas (pictured above and below) make the ride down Park Street this morning in the Three Kings Day parade. Someone with less determination would have disembarked one block into that adventure. Continue reading 'Three Kings Day Parade Tradition Continues'»
The sidewalks downtown were nearly deserted at lunch time on Thursday, when there was a lull in the snow storm. The few people seen outdoors included a man practicing martial arts at the Riverfront Plaza, a woman wearing 4+ inch spiked heels outside of City Hall, police officers around a nail salon, and people tasked with snow removal.
The In Your Neighborhood feature will be delayed this week due to weather conditions.