Connecticut State Department of Education Kicks off the 2022-23 School Year with Superintendents; Joined by NASA Astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris
The theme for this school year is “The Sky is NOT the Limit”
(Hartford, CT) – At today’s annual back-to-school event, the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) met with superintendents from across Connecticut to kick off and celebrate the upcoming school year and launch this year’s back-to-school theme, “The Sky is NOT the Limit.”
Commissioner of Education Charlene M. Russell-Tucker and Governor Ned Lamont highlighted several of the many supports available to districts from CSDE to help with educator recruitment and retention, student and staff mental and behavioral health, creating career opportunities and elevating student voice, as well as curriculum development tools and initiatives. These include the following priorities:
Promoting what’s right with education in Connecticut: We are making it a priority this year to help our districts showcase their successes and highlight positive outcomes across Connecticut.
- Launching into healthy learning: New guidance released on August 1, 2022, ensures that students are learning and staff are working safely in schools all year long. This year CSDE continues to work closely with public health experts to provide added supports for districts to help mitigate the risks of respiratory diseases with onsite visits, training, and the development of guidance on varying health related topics.
- Promoting the social, emotional, and mental health of students and staff: The CSDE is working to ensure that every district will have a coordinated and sustainable system of care for all K-12 schools. The CSDE is implementing several newly appropriated grants for districts to add school mental health staff to address the wellbeing of students and staff. See 16 Ways CSDE is Supporting Social-Emotional Learning and Behavioral & Mental Health.
- Providing access to high-quality curricula: The CSDE has launched multiple initiatives to create and make available high quality curricula through the updated CT Learning Hub and GoOpenCT platforms. These resources are essential to improve student outcomes.
- Supporting educator recruitment: The CSDE launched the Northeastern States Enhanced Educator Certification Reciprocity Policy which streamlines the process for out-of-state educators to receive Connecticut certification and therefore, encourages educators from other states to teach in Connecticut. Thus far, over 400 certifications have been issued to educators from other states. See 11 Ways CSDE is Leading Educator Recruitment & Diversification Efforts for other efforts.
- Supporting student success: The CSDE is committed to creating and expanding college and career readiness opportunities for our students in partnership with businesses and higher education institutions, so they are better prepared for postsecondary success. Additionally, this past year, the Voice4Change initiative mobilized more than 55,000 student voters to decide how over $1.5 million in federal relief funds are utilized. The winning projects will be implemented during this upcoming school year.
- An enhanced commitment to literacy: The CSDE’s commitment to evidence-based literacy instruction continues through multiple initiatives. This past June, the CSDE rolled out a Science of Reading Masterclass, which allowed teams from 11 districts to participate in professional learning and coaching to support K-3 literacy instruction. The CSDE will be expanding and offering this opportunity to more districts in the coming school year.
“The last couple of years have been challenging, but because of the leadership of our school superintendents, teachers, and staff, we have been able to ensure that students could continue to learn safely and receive the support they need,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “The strength of a state is dependent upon the health of its education system, and Connecticut’s schools are the best in the nation.”
“As our students launch into this new school year, we want them to know that there are no limits to what they can accomplish and that anything is possible,” said Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker. “With our Department, our State Board of Education, Superintendents and school leaders, policymakers, educational partners, and Connecticut’s talented educator workforce working together on their behalf, the sky in NOT the limit!”
“We're looking forward to a school year full of collaboration and inspiration that will allow us to bring our students to new heights,” said CEA President Kate Dias. “Educators are refreshed and energized for the new challenges ahead, and we must all work together to support our dedicated professionals, so that our children have the highly qualified teachers they deserve today, tomorrow, and in the future.”
“No one wants a successful academic and social-emotional experience for Connecticut’s students more than our member teachers, paraeducators and school-related personnel. They know firsthand how important that will be after two and half years of disrupted learning and are ready to rise to the occasion,” said AFT President Jan Hochadel. “As union leaders, we are prepared to support them every step of the way. That means demanding all public school stakeholders to - as U.S. Education Department Secretary Miguel Cardona recently told the news media - address the ‘teacher respect issue.’”
“Superintendents working with their boards of education are the leadership team that creates the opportunity for every student to find their passion and reach for the stars,” said Patrice McCarthy, Executive Director, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education.
“We are looking forward to a year of wonderful possibilities as we all work together to ensure it is the best year of learning for every Connecticut student,” said Fran Rabinowitz, Executive Director, Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents.
“CAS-CIAC and its member school principals welcome our teachers, staff, and students to the promise of a new school year and the exciting opportunities that await. Together, we will build meaningful relationships and soar to new heights of achievement. The sky is not the limit!” said CAS-CIAC Executive Director, Glenn Lungarini.
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Eric Scoville, Director of Communications
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