The Commissioner’s Network established by the Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) Section 10-223h (2016) represents a commitment between local stakeholders and the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) to dramatically improve student achievement in 25 low performing schools. Network schools remain part of their local school districts, but the districts and the CSDE secure school-level flexibility and autonomy for the schools in exchange for heightened accountability.
- CSDE releases an expression of interest application for eligible schools to express their interest to participate in a planning year for possible entrance in to the Network. Eligible schools are those classified at the time of selection as category four schools or category five schools, as part of Connecticut’s Next Generation Accountability System.
- After the Commissioner initially selects a school for possible participation in the Network, the state provides for a planning year during which time the district prepares a Turnaround Plan.
- The local board of education establishes a Turnaround Committee. The Committee is composed of a parent and administrative representative selected by the local board of education, two teachers and a parent representative selected by the local teachers’ union, the superintendent of schools, or his or her designee, and the Commissioner, or his designee. The superintendent is a non-voting ex-officio member who serves as chair of the committee. As necessary, the committee may involve other non-voting participants to assist in their work and deliberations.
- CSDE conducts an operations and instructional audit of the school. The audit generally consists of a one day site visit, whereby auditors collect qualitative and quantitative data through stakeholder surveys, interviews, focus groups, classroom observations, and school-wide observations. The Turnaround Office uses a consistent rubric and report template to provide a summation of school strengths and growth areas. Once the audit is performed, the Turnaround Committee develops a Turnaround Plan for the school by completing its application.
- The Commissioner may select not more than five schools in any single school year from a single school districtto participate in the Network.
- Turnaround plans developed and supported by the consensus of the Committee may be submitted to CSDE for consideration. If such a plan is not submitted or if the plan is deficient, a Commissioner-developed plan may be implemented.
- Before a school can officially enter the Commissioner’s Network, their plan must be approved by the State Board of Education.
- Schools are accepted into the Network for a minimum of three years.Subsection (h) of C.G.S. 10-223h establishes that the Connecticut State Board of Education may allow schools to continue in the Commissioner’s Network for an additional year, not to exceed two additional years, if necessary.
Cohort VII: joined the Network in Fall 2018
Wexler-Grant Community School, New Haven
Windham High School, Windham
Cohort VIII: joined Network in Fall 2019
Roosevelt School, Bridgeport
Cohort IX: joined the Network in Fall 2020
Derby Middle School, Derby
Hartford Public High School, Hartford
Pulaski Middle School, New Britain
Slade Middle School, New Britain
Smalley Elementary, New Britain
Michael Wallace Middle School, Waterbury
North End Middle School, Waterbury
West Side Middle School, Waterbury
* Exited from Commissioner's Network