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Commission to Vote on Tech School Expansion


HARTFORD — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy recently  announced that the State Bond Commission on Wednesday will vote to approve $5 million for the continued expansion of the Connecticut Technical High School System’s  manufacturing programs, as well as funds for a new extended-hours program.

The State Bond Commission is scheduled to vote on the items at its Nov. 19, 2014, meeting at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

The governor said that this funding will help students to be  “better prepared for careers or to continue their studies in college as a result of these improvements.

State offificials said that the funds are requested to finance installation of equipment and machinery, alterations and improvements to buildings and computer and technology upgrades.

“Students in our manufacturing cluster receive the technical skills and training necessary to operate complex machines and produce high-quality products,” said CTHSS Superintendent Dr. Nivea Torres.  “Today’s manufacturing jobs require specialized computer training and Connecticut’s educational system is prepared to train young people to enter this exciting field.”

The technical system has 17 diploma-granting techinical high schools, one techical education center and two aviation maintaenance programs in the state.

Also, $434,000 is sought for extending school hours at A.I. Prince Tech in Hartford and Eli Whitney Tech in Hamden to “allow expansion of weatherization, carpentry, gas pipeline, cement masonry, and manufacturing programs,” officials said.

 

 

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CT Lawsuit Against Malloy Set for Oral Argument


HARTFORD  —  Three Connecticut parents recently sued Gov. Dan Malloy and other state officials to stop a union leader from serving on the State
Board of Education.

The group, Connecticut Parents Union, on Monday will head to Hartford Superior Court for oral  arguments.

The parents seek the removal of Erin D. Benham, President of the Meriden  Federation of Teachers and Executive Committee Vice President of the
Connecticut American Federation of Teachers to the State Board of Education. The group said she can either serve as a union official or a public official, but not both.

“Classroom teachers have the best interest of kids at heart. Union leaders start to forget that. They focus on protecting the union instead
of teachers and children,” plaintiff Gwen Samuel said. “I’m not anti-good teacher, I’m anti-bad teacher, and the unions don’t know the
difference.”

Gwen and the other plaintiffs will be available for interview at the courthouse after oral arguments at approximately 11:30 a.m.

The lawsuit HHD-CV14-5038194-S SAMUEL, GWENDOLYN Et Al v. MALLOY, DANNEL P. Et Al, alleges that the appointment of the AFT Connecticut local president is clearly a conflict of interest and raises questions  about a quid pro quo for the teachers union’s contributions to Malloy’s re-election campaign. According to the complaint, before the appointment, the teachers union contributed $10,000 to Malloy’s campaign via the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee and $250,000 to support Malloy through the Connecticut Forward  Super PAC.

For more information visit:

http://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/CaseDetail/PublicCaseDetail.aspx?DocketNo=HHDCV145038194S

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Gifted and Talented School Now Enrolling


HARTFORD — Selected city residents now have the opportunity to attended a school that’s designed for the gifted and talented children.

One hundred twenty-five students received offers this week to attend the Renzulli Gifted and Talented Academy, the only Hartford Public School, where enrollment is by invitation.
Parents do not have to participate in a lottery and bus transportation to and from the school will be provided.

The academy, at 121 Cornwall Street, will accommodate up to 50 new students in the fourth through eighth grades during the current school year (2014-2015), at the beginning of the second trimester on Dec. 8.

To be invited to attend, students must score at least three grades above their current grade level in all three categories. The tests are administered to all students from third grade up.

The invitation to apply is only the first step in the process of enrolling at the Renzulli Academy. The district follows up the application with a thorough examination of the prospective student’s grades, attendance and discipline record. Recommendations from each candidate’s classroom teachers are also required.

The student candidate must also demonstrate advanced levels of knowledge, outstanding communications skills, creativity, curiosity and resourcefulness in solving problems.

Open House at Renzulli Academy will be held  Nov. 24, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., and on  Dec. 1, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Further information can be obtained by visiting the school’s website at http://www.renzulliacademy.com.

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White Connecticut Frat Goes Unpunished after Harassing Black Sorority


By Breanna Edwards, The Root.com

UCONN-STORRS — Members of University of Connecticut black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha are speaking out against how they’re being treated by the historically white Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, especially after the frat went unpunished after alleged racist and sexist attacks, the school’s Daily Campus reports.

“We were called whores, and after establishing that I was a university professional I was verbally accosted, and intimidation tactics were used,” AKA Graduate Advisor Brittney Yancy said, speaking at a town hall meeting hosted by the African American Cultural Center On Monday. “They called me a fat black bitch, not just a fat bitch but a fat black bitch.”

“I have to deal with the fact that the student who has verbally accosted me received no punishment,” Yancy added of the late September incident.

According to the Daily Campus, the fraternity was subject to sanctions including loss of rock-painting privileges after allegedly painting a spirit rock with racially charged words while verbally harassing soror members, however individuals were not punished.

“Privilege will ruin our reputation,” the sorority graduate advisor added. “And if it goes unchecked, this is how it impacts our community. It will determine who matters, who is protected, who gets access and who is worthy of justice on this campus.”

According to the report, Yancy only learned at the town hall meeting that they could file individual complaints against members of the fraternity, as well as a complaint against PIKE as a whole.

“I think what is nauseating is the lack of transparency. It would have been great to know that someone needs to follow up on an individual complaint so we can take the appropriate actions,” she added.

The Daily Campus noted the absence of any of the historically white sororities as well as any member of PIKE at the meeting.

Read more at the Daily Campus.

Photo Credit: Facebook

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Simsbury Land Trust to Hold Family Hike


SIMSBURY — The Simsbury Land Trust is holding family-hike to the Indian Council Caves and Beaver Pond on the Tunxis Trail in Barkhamsted on Saturday, Oct. 18.

Hikers are asked to meet at Legeyt Road Trailhead at 10 a.m. The hike is about two miles around trip on fairy easy terrain.

Participants are asked to wear sturdy shoes, bring a vater bottle and a snack and plan for the hike to take about three hours.

The hike is free, but registration is required. Call 860-658-6530.

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Bike Week to Begin at Old State House


HARTFORD — How did a Civil War veteran become the father of the American bicycle and turn Hartford into the bicycle capital of the world?

Join Steve Goddard, author of Colonel Albert Pope and His American Dream Machines, on  Sept. 16 at noon to discover how one Hartford factory became the largest employer in New England, producing everything from high wheelers to bicycles to electric cars.

Following  Goddard’s talk, join in a panel discussion about making Connecticut more bike-friendly and promoting bike racing among Connecticut kids with Goddard, Aidan Charles, the Founder and Executive Director of the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program, and Kelly Kennedy, Executive Director of Bike Walk Connecticut. TheConnecticut Network’s (CT-N) Diane Smith will moderate the conversation.

Following the program, enjoy Wheels for All, a temporary exhibit that showcases six bikes dating from 1869 to 1914, on loan from the Connecticut Historical Society.  This will be on display at Connecticut’s Old State House from Sept. 16-20.

General admission rates apply to this exhibit.

The American Dream Machine: Bicycles Past, Present & Future begins at Noon, attendees are encouraged to enjoy their lunches during this free event inside Connecticut’s Old State House.

For more information on admission prices, upcoming events and parking discounts nearby, visit online at http://www.ctoldstatehouse.org.

 

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State Approves Schools for Commish’s Network


HARTFORD — The State Board of Education on Wednesday approved two Commissioner’s Network plan revisions for the embattled Dunbar School in Bridgeport and Walsh Elementary School in Waterbury.

Moving forward, Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor stressed the difficulty of school turnaround work, saying it requires “a continuous commitment from teachers, students, parents, administrators and the surrounding community.”

He added that Walsh and Dunbar have “demonstrated the grit and determination to build systems designed to last and have successfully navigated unexpected challenges.”

Dunbar has made attempts to improve its profile by revising its plan to include extending the school day and the addition of a new pre-Kindergarten program, state officials said.

And to help shepherd its way to success, Dunbar officials  selected Cooperative Educational Services (CES) to hire and manage academic assistants for the school and to provide high-quality professional development and coaching for Dunbar teachers, among other responsibilities.

Waterbury’s Walsh School has identified a partner to help with implementation and to ready the school for “transformative changes,” state officials said. The district also selected a new principal to lead the school’s turnaround. Innovative Educational Programs (IEP), chosen at the local level through a competitive process, will assist in the implementation of the improvements.

 

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Group Seeks Volunteers to Help Veterans


HARTFORD — Several agencies want to help Hartford veterans, the men and women who served in the armed forces.

Rebuilding Together and the Livable, Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative has teamed up to perform exterior home and yard clean-up aimed at renovating the homes of twelve Hartford veterans.

The group is looking for volunteers to assist in the project, which is scheduled for Sept. 13  from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The 12 homes of these honored veterans are located throughout the city.

Officials said that volunteers are needed “to help serve those who have served.”

Individuals interested in volunteering can register on-line at www.rebuildingtogetherhartford.org.c When you go to the website, click on the green box that says: “Click here to Register.”

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Hartford Police Investigate Car Crash


HARTFORD — Hartford Police are still investigating a night crash that happened on Friday and left one person with serious injuries.

The identity of the victim was unable at press time.

According to reports, the crash occurred at about 11:00 p.m. at Park and Broad streets after a driver of a  SUV collided with a compact car. That driver then struck a third car and then tried to escape on northward on Broad Street, hitting  other vehicles and injuring several people.

Onlookers cornered the driver and held on to him until police arrived on the scene.

Those injured were treated by firefighters and medics and then were taken to hospitals.

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New CT Grants for Arts in Schools


HARTFORD — Connecticut students will now have access to more arts program, thanks to a grant from the Connecticut State Department of Education.

State officials said that this new grant program—up to $250,000, is to strengthen the arts in education by exposing young people to the arts, so that they can explore a world beyond their immediate surroundings.

The Department of Education is collaborating with the Department of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Office of the Arts and the Connecticut Arts Council to provide mini-grants of up to $50,000.

Officials said this money is for schools to enhance arts instruction “through partnerships with local and state arts institutions, organizations, and artists.”

“These cultural investments will directly enrich lives of students and allow us to preserve and enhance the humanities across Connecticut schools,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

The grant was announced at the state’s recent annual Back-to-School meeting for superintendents. Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor announced that the grant will be made available to schools statewide in this first round of funding.

Successful applications should include plans for how the funding will help the school deepen and sustain their arts programming in concert with a partner institution or artist. Applications that include parent and/or civic engagement will receive preference.

More information is available on the State Department of Education’s web site.

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