Commissioner's Network


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 district to 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.


Frequently Asked Questions

Commissioner's Network Schools 

Cohort I: joined the Network in Fall 2012

High School in Community, New Haven *

James J. Curiale School, Bridgeport * 

John B. Stanton School, Norwich * 

Thirman Milner School, Hartford *


Cohort II: joined the Network in Fall 2013

Briggs High School, Norwalk *

DiLoreto Magnet School, New Britain *

Paul Laurence Dunbar School, Bridgeport *

Crosby High School, Waterbury *

Walsh School, Waterbury *

Wilbur Cross High School, New Haven *

Windham Middle School, Windham *


Cohort III: joined the Network in Fall 2014

John C. Clark School, Hartford *

Lincoln-Bassett Community School, New Haven*

Luis Munoz Marin School, Bridgeport*

O'Brien STEM Academy, East Hartford*

Uncas Network School, Norwich*


Cohort IV: joined the Network in Fall 2015

East Hartford Middle School, East Hartford*


Cohort V: joined the Network in Fall 2016

Batcheller Early Education Center, Winchester*

Pearson Elementary School, Winchester*

Clinton Avenue School, New Haven*

Columbus School, Bridgeport*


Cohort VI: joined the Network in Fall 2017

New Britain High School, New Britain*


Cohort VII: joined the Network in Fall 2018

Wexler-Grant Community School, New Haven*

Windham High School, Windham*


Cohort VIII: joined the 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 School, New Britain

North End Middle School, Waterbury

Wallace Middle School, Waterbury

West Side Middle School, Waterbury


Cohort X: joined the Network in Fall 2021

Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School, New London

New London High School, New London

Wilby High School, Waterbury


Cohort XI: joined the Network in Fall 2022

Hamden Middle School, Hamden

McDonough Middle School, Hartford


Cohort XII: joined the Network in Fall 2023

Barnum School,Bridgeport

     * Exited from Commissioner's Network