In This Issue - Nov. 7, 2014



Seventeen high school athletic programs have been selected as CIAC Michaels Achievement Cup recipients based on their exemplary conduct and performance for the 2013-14 academic year. Congratulations to Berlin, Bloomfield, Bunnell, Cheshire, East Catholic, Fairfield Ludlowe, Gilbert, Haddam-Killingworth, Joel Barlow, Lyman Memorial, Ledyard, Lyme-Old Lyme, Newtown, Simsbury, Staples, Weston, and Wilton. The seventeen schools represent all six classifications and were selected based on achievement in seven distinct areas, including: sportsmanship, participation, athletic scholarship, athletic personnel, equity, chemical free initiatives and athletic achievement. 
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The state's new Smart Start initiative is a grant program designed to expand and improve pre-K education in Connecticut. Smart Start offers school districts a stable funding mechanism for both capital improvements and operating expenses for pre-K programs. Capital grants of up to $75,000 per classroom are available. Towns can use these funds to renovate or reconfigure existing space into preschool classrooms. The program also provides operating funds in the amount of $5,000 per student (up to $75,000 per classroom with a maximum of $300,000 per district) for the expansion of existing preschool programs or the creation of new ones. All towns are eligible to apply for funding. Grants will be approved for five-year periods with the possibility of renewing for another five years.
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High school student leaders are invited to Newington High School on December 11th to learn:

  • the value of a student-centered approach to building a positive school climate; 
  • how social media can be an effective tool in shaping a positive school climate; 
  • how school climate is affected by bias, bullying and cyber-bullying; and, 
  • student designed, implemented, and proven best practices that can work in their school. 

This unique workshop will reveal what high school student leaders have to say about improving their school’s climate. Proven best practices and tested action plans will be shared from a panel of high school student leaders from three distinctly different districts. The workshop will conclude with a keynote presentation on “Using Social Media for Good” featuring national expert Eva Vega-Olds, Director of Research and Communication at the ADL! 
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BloomBoard continues to enhance its online platform to help streamline and improve the teacher evaluation process for Connecticut administrators. Outlined below are critical resources and tools that are readily available via BloomBoard. For assistance, contact BloomBoard Support at 888-418-1595 or support@bloomboard.com.

  • Boost Goal and Target Attainment in Just a Few Clicks! -
    As educators around the state work to set goals and targets for the year, they can instantly find and access resources that support accomplishing these objectives—and leaders can help! A library of both free and purchasable resources is available to all educators via the yellow highlighted “LEARNING RECOMMENDATIONS” link in BloomBoard. After a simple search to find an item that supports a particular target, educators can instantly consume the resource, add it to their queue for later, and/or recommend the resource to one or more colleagues! Consider making resource selection the closing step of every Goal-Setting Conference to bolster goal achievement this year.
  • BloomBoard Dashboards Can Help You Stay on Track -
    The BloomBoard Premium Data Dashboard available to all CT administrators this year can help you determine educator progress on important milestones. For example, you can gauge your district's progress with SLO completion by checking the completion rate for your users' Goal Setting meetings. To date, only 50% of educators across CT have begun to set their SLOs, so this is definitely a milestone you should consider checking into for your district. To do this: Log into BloomBoard; click the Reports link to access the Premium Data Dashboard; then select the “Observer Observation Counts” report to see the status of all scheduled events. In the lower left hand panel, you will see the proportion of scheduled Goal Setting meetings that have been completed. 

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Do you know a student who is involved in the arts and has demonstrated exemplary ‘heart’ – i.e., integrity, citizenship, good character – in his or her chosen activity; has exceeded normal expectations in assisting others within the school community; or, has overcome adversity or a challenging circumstance? If so, please consider submitting a nomination for the new “CAS Heart of the Arts Award”! This award seeks to recognize students involved in high school performing or visual arts programs who exemplify the core values of education-based activities. 
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Registration is now open for the popular Middle Level Student Leadership Conference, which will be held on January 7, 2015, at Trinity College in Hartford. This year's event will include a feature presentation by Dr. Michael Fowlin, noted actor/psychologist/poet, who will address the group on issues of race, discrimination and personal identity.

Throughout the day, student-leaders will:
• participate in team-building activities with students from other schools;
• respond to role-play situations;
• talk with recognized student leaders from Connecticut high schools and universities;
• share leadership experiences and ideas with peers; and,
• go back to their schools and share new knowledge, ideas, and initiatives with decision-makers.

Space is limited, so be sure to register early. 
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The PreK-3rd Grade National Work Group will host a webinar on Racial Equity at the District and Classroom Level on Wednesday, November 12 at 3:00 pm EST. The webinar, which will have a specific focus on early learning and the early grades, will feature four racial equity initiatives taking place across the country: Austin Independent School District (AISD); St. Paul Public Schools (SPSS); Erikson Institute's New Schools Project; and FirstSchool.
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The End Distracted Driving Student Awareness Initiative (EndDD) was created by Attorney Joel Feldman after his daughter, Casey, was struck and killed by a distracted driver in July 2009. Since then, he has parlayed what he describes as “telling a sad story” into an interactive, fun and impactful presentation that is changing teens’ attitudes and behaviors about distracted driving. EndDD employs research, facts, emotion, and humor to educate teens. Facilitators use a PowerPoint presentation and script, both downloadable at no cost from EndDD.org, to help teens understand what distraction is as well as engage in a discussion about its various forms, some of which are legal. The presentation includes humorous and tragic videos discussing real people whose lives have been affected by distracted driving to help teens examine how the choices they make can have life-long consequences. A recent report issued by the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration highlights EndDD as one of the most effective teen distracted driving initiatives in the country.  
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About CAS

Providing exemplary programs and services that promote excellence in the education of all children

Contact Information
30 Realty Drive
Cheshire, CT  06410
Phone: 203-250-1111
Fax: 203-250-1345
Website: www.casciac.org
Hours: 8am - 5pm, M-F



Connecticut Association of Schools | 30 Realty Drive, Cheshire, CT 06410 | P: 203-250-1111 F: 203-250-1345