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State To Open First of Several ‘Sheff Center’

HARTFORD — For many city residents, the idea of the school desegregation case, Sheff v. O’Neill, is simply that–an idea.

The idea is that thier children can learn only “if they sit next to a white child,” according to one parent.

That’s the perception.

In an effort to clarify the goals of Sheff, the state department, as mandated by the court, will open an information center on Friday at the Wilson Gray YMCA Center on Albany Avenue.

State officials said this effort is to help meet the demand of the court mandated Sheff. At 2:3 0 p.m., State Education Commissioner Mark K. McQuillan and Hyacinth Douglas-Bailey, Vice President of the Greater Hartford YMCA, will sign an agreement designating the Wilson-Gray YMCA as the first of several community centers that will help families with information and registration materials for students from throughout the region to enroll in a variety of public school choices.

In1996, the Court ruled that Hartford students must have access to quality educational programs in settings that are not racially or economically isolated.

The Greater Hartford Regional School Choice Office (RSCO) was established to provide opportunities for both urban and suburban students to attend schools outside their school districts in order to increase educational choices and reduce isolation.

McQuillan and representatives of the participating agencies will discuss how parents can use the new centers to access additional educational choices in the greater Hartford region. Community volunteers will be on hand to demonstrate the online resources that the RSCO is developing for use in more than a dozen planned satellite sites in Hartford and in the greater Hartford area. The Commissioner and RSCO officials will also detail other efforts to reach out to parents in Hartford and the region and to make available information and assistance in applying for the Greater Hartford Regional Choice Program, interdistrict magnet schools and programs, the technical high schools and an agriscience center.

School Choice Information Expo on Friday, Nov. 12 from 2:30 – 3:30 pm at the Wilson-Gray YMCA, 444 Albany Avenue, Hartford, CT 06120

Seven school “choice fairs” are planned to provide families in Hartford and from all over the Greater Hartford region the ability to obtain information from the Regional School Choice Office and its partners from each magnet school and become more informed.

Those dates and locations are:

November 20, 9:00-12:00 p.m., A.I. Prince Technical High School, Hartford

November 30, 5:30-8:00 p.m., Avon High School

December 11, 9:00-12:00 p.m., Mary Hooker Environmental Sciences Magnet School in Hartford

December 14, 5:30-8:00 p.m., Hebron Middle School

January 5, 2011, 5:30-8:00 p.m., University of Hartford Magnet School in Hartford

January 12, 2011 from 5:30-8:00 p.m., Granby High School

January 19, 2011 from 5:30-8:00 p.m., Cromwell High School

More information is available on the RSCO Web site at: www.choiceeducation.org

Email us: editor@thehartfordguardian.com
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