Connecticut State Department of Education Kicks off the 2023-24 School Year at Annual Back-to-School Meeting with Superintendents
The theme for this school year is "Infinite Possibilities"
(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, “Infinite Possibilities.”
Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker and Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz thanked Superintendents for the work that they do and highlighted the State and Department’s initiatives and commitment toward a successful 2023-24 school year, which include the following focus areas for the year ahead:
- Recruit and retain a diverse workforce of educators.
- Support a safe and healthy learning environment for students and school staff and ensure students are present and engaged in learning.
- Elevate and continuously launch our curriculum frameworks and model curricula.
- Promote data transparency.
- Expand career pathways and workforce development initiatives.
- Evaluate, fund and sustain programs that work.
- Cultivate strategic partnerships that support all our students.
“As our students eagerly await the first day of school, our school districts and superintendents have been hard at work preparing lesson plans and readying classrooms for a successful year. To each of our superintendents, teachers, faculty, and everyone in between—thank you for the work you do every day to ensure our state’s most precious resources, our students, can learn and grow,” said Lieutenant Governor Bysiewicz. “I wish you all the best of luck, happiness and health in this new school year.”
“Our theme of Infinite Possibilities is a powerful message as we enter this new school year. I challenge all of us to be intentional in a mindset of seeing amazing possibilities as we look at our students, our educators, families, and education community," said Commissioner Russell-Tucker. “Education, as we all know, is not only about acquiring knowledge; it is the journey of growth our students undertake, year in and year out, preparing them for the future. Let’s work together to ensure a world class education system in Connecticut where students and educators are not limited in what they can achieve. Infinite possibilities abound!”
“As we welcome students back to school next week, our optimism and expertise lay the groundwork for infinite possibilities. But our hopes alone can’t meet all our students’ needs, especially in the face of a continuing teacher shortage crisis,” said Connecticut Education Association (CEA) President Kate Dias. “What students need the most is a highly qualified teacher. We must continue working together to solve the shortage crisis and focus on recruitment and retention to make education an attractive and competitive career.”
“The pandemic galvanized educators, administrators, parents and labor leaders to come together and advocate for what students need. Our union members will continue the work of the last two years and urge all stakeholders to support equitable investments in their learning.That means making school staff recruitment and retention a real priority. The worsening shortages are a call to action—Connecticut faces an escalating crisis fueled by teachers and support staff leaving the profession,” said American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Jan Hochadel. “Let’s devote our collective energy this year to reversing this harmful trend for the sake of the students and communities who count on us.”
“School board members are excited to support the policies and resources needed to have a successful school year for our students and staff,” said Patrice McCarthy, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE). “CABE will continue to help school boards fulfill their mission to provide a high- quality educational experience for all students.”
“We enthusiastically embrace the infinite possibilities for our new school year,” said Fran Rabinowitz, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS). “We are very aware of the challenges facing all of us, such as staff shortages, and we also know that this beginning needs to be positive and hopeful for our children, staff and families and we will work together to ensure that it is the very best year possible. As a team, we can do that!”
“CAS-CIAC and its member school principals enthusiastically enter the 2023-2024 school. We are committed to supporting our students, staff, and school communities in surpassing their goals and dreams for the upcoming school year. Together today, we will shape the leaders of tomorrow,” said Connecticut Association of Schools–Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CAS-CIAC) Executive Director Glenn Lungarini.
For Immediate Release: Thursday, August 17, 2023
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