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Capitol Region Education Council

Press Room

Contacts

For Press inquiries:
Hilda Muñoz
Communications Specialist
Central Office: (860) 509-3663
Email: himunoz@crec.org

For other information:
Aura Alvarado
Director of Communications and Community Relations
Central Office: (860) 524-4065
Cell Phone: (860) 490-9676
Email: aalvarado@crec.org

Recent Press Releases

CREC Announces Free & Reduced-Price Lunch Guidelines

The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) today announced its policy for determining eligibility of children who may receive free or reduced-price meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Local school officials have adopted the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEGs) following family size and income criteria for determining eligibility....

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CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School Recognized as Model Professional Learning Community at Work

CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School Recognized as Model Professional Learning Community at Work™(HARTFORD, CONN.) For the second consecutive year, CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School, Hartford, was named by Solution Tree, an educational publishing and professional development company, as a Model Professional Learning Community at Work™ (PLC) for its sustained success in raising student achievement. It’s one of only approximately 200 schools and districts in the U.S. and Canada to receive this honor. PLC schools and districts are those in which educators recognize that the key to improved student learning is ongoing, job-embedded learning for the adults who serve them. Educators focus on learning, building a collaborative culture, and creating results.CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School was recognized for demonstrating a commitment to PLC concepts and for implementing them for at least three years. The end result was improved student learning. The school was awarded after submitting an application for consideration by the PLC Review Committee that showed measurable results and explained its school practices, structures, and culture.“We’re very excited to be named a national PLC model school,” said Principal Bo Ryan. “Our teaching staff has embraced the three PLC concepts, which are a focus on student and staff learning, creating a collaborative culture, and constantly looking at results in order to improve our school. We have a tremendous group of educators, who are not only great classroom teachers, but also exceptional leaders and great teammates. For more than 20 years, Solution Tree resources have helped K–12 teachers and administrators create schools where all children succeed in a Professional Learning Community. According to Richard DuFour, Rebecca DuFour, Robert Eaker, and Mike Mattos, champions of PLC at Work™, educators in the schools and districts selected for this recognition show a sustained commitment to helping their students achieve at high levels. They issued a statement that said, “They have been willing to alter the structure and culture of the organization to reflect their commitment. We applaud them and congratulate them for achieving this very significant milestone on the never-ending PLC journey.”Recognized model PLC schools are listed on allthingsplc.info, where they share implementation strategies, structures, and performance with other educators interested in improving their schools. Tools for team collaboration, articles, and research about PLCs, blog posts, and other related resources, are also available on the site.For more information about CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School’s commitment to PLC concepts, contact Principal Bo Ryan at 860-724-0685 or bryan@crec.org.###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings nearly five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changings needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 16 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org...

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Local Partners to Open Relief Center for those Displaced by Hurricanes

(Hartford, CT) Displaced families and children, who are relocating to the Hartford region from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands as the result of recent hurricanes, will now get services and supplies at no charge at a temporary center. Centro de Ayuda Para Nuestros Amigos Caribenos (Help Center for our Caribbean Friends) is located at 15 Van Dyke Ave., Hartford and opens Nov. 1. The goal is to help people start their new lives here as quickly and seamlessly as possible with the aid of volunteer staff, support services, and supplies from community, state, and city partners. The center expects to serve and support many individuals in the coming months. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Those interested in obtaining services can call 2-1-1 or the relief center at 860-422-7095 for more information.The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) donated space for the center at its former Two Rivers High School location and is coordinating the services. Many of us are anxious to help families as they transition here,” said Greg Florio, CREC’s executive director. “We’re excited that many concerned community partners will be together in one location to give them food, clothing, and other necessities.” “Many of our member districts and agencies are already providing much-needed services,” he continued. We’re not replacing what they’re doing; we’re just providing an additional option for these families. There can never be too much support in these situations. State Rep. Angel Arce is grateful that many in the Hartford region are anxious to help. “The one-two punch of hurricanes Irma and Maria dealt a devastating blow to Puerto Rico and the island’s 3.5 million residents,” he said. “It became clear after Maria that the recovery effort would be a massive undertaking over a prolonged period of time. That’s why I’m so grateful to the Hartford community and state agencies who are working together in a coordinated manner to help our families and friends in Puerto Rico who’ve lost so much.”The arriving families will also have on-site access to social services, employment, job search assistance, transportation, educational resources, and more. For example, a bilingual case manager will provide information on one-stop services. Capital Workforce Partners and the Hartford Public Library will offer families community identification cards, English as a Second Language class referral and registration, library cards, career readiness information (including referrals and registration), and backpack donations. The Charter Oak Health Center, Catholic Charities Institute of the Hispanic Family, and other organizations will work together to meet healthcare and insurance needs. We’re pleased that when CREC asked agencies around the region if they want to join forces with us, so many answered the call. This is not a job that one agency can do alone,” said Sandra Cruz-Serrano, CREC’s deputy executive director of operations. “This calls for partners who are interested in helping families during a crisis. We’re grateful to the agencies who answered the call.Joel Cruz, the director of Catholic Charities Institute for Hispanic Family, is excited to work with other organizations in this cooperative endeavor. “The collaborative efforts of every agency and every individual are the beauty of humanity at its best, “he said. The Capitol Region Education Council thanks the community for supporting the center and its relief effort. We know that in tough economic times, none of us could do this alone,” said Florio.But, when we come together, we’re certain to change lives.If your organization wants to be part of this humanitarian effort, contact MaryAnne Pascone at mpascone@crec.org or call 860-509-3645. ###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings nearly five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changings needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 16 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org....

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CREC River Street School to Celebrate 50 Years on Saturday

(Hartford, Conn.) The CREC River Street School in Windsor is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary of meeting the educational needs of youth who have a variety of behavioral, communicative, and neurological disorders, including autism. To mark the occasion, the school is hosting a special reception and reunion barbeque picnic this Saturday, Oct. 14, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Alumni, families, friends, and staff will share in the celebration at 601 River Street. In addition to distinguished speakers and guests, there will be a “50 Years River Street” special video tribute. An RSVP was requested. For more information, contact Aura Alvarado, Capitol Region Education Council communications director, at (860) 524-4065 or aalvarado@crec.org.During its 50 years, the school has provided exemplary educational services to thousands of students through the expertise of its staff and their use of research-based practices. It has been a resource for school districts across the state in meeting the needs of their most challenging students.The school opened in 1967 and became a member program of the Capitol Region Education Council in 1972. Over the years, it developed services that didn’t exist for students with autism. It continually expanded resources for those and other students. These include extended-day, extended-year, year-round, and outreach training services, as well as residential opportunities. Today it strives to improve the quality of life for children and young adults, ages 3 to 21, who have severe behavioral challenges. They’re provided with a caring environment, individualized programming, and the chance to develop the skills to be more productive, independent, and engaged members of society. Clinical services include behavioral supports, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work services, psychological and psychiatric evaluation and consultation, and other services. There are also programs and services for families.The school has received awards and recognition from numerous organizations, including the Council for Exceptional Children, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, the Computer Learning Foundation, the Governor's Coalition on Employment Opportunities for Youth with Disabilities, and the Northeast Communication Enhancement Group.###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings nearly five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changings needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 16 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org...

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Teachers from China Learn about STEM Education at CREC Academy of Science and Innovation

(New Britain, CT) CREC Academy of Science of Innovation hosted a group of 30 administrators and teachers from Qingdao #2 High School in the Shandong Province of China who were interested in learning about STEM education in United States schools. Principal Robert McCain welcomed them and gave a brief overview of the school’s philosophy, stating students are preparing for jobs that don’t exist yet.“Our students are the generation who has never been without technology and they are preparing for a workforce that hasn’t been invented,” he said. McCain was also very clear about the goal of the visit, “We need to learn from each other to stay competitive in the global market. I have lots of questions for you and would like to know more about how education works in China.The group of visitors included several administrators, as well as elementary and secondary music, art, math, science, history and physical education teachers. Their goal for the day was to learn about STEM education in a U.S. school: how STEM is integrated across the different disciplines and how teachers design their lessons and assess student understanding in these courses. After introductions, the group learned about CREC’s “theme specific” magnet schools and about how the CREC Academy of Science and Innovation is organized into three distinct pathways: biotechnology, environmental engineering, and computer science and robotics. In their sophomore year students select one of the pathways to focus on for their coursework. Seniors complete a capstone project based on their chosen pathway. Teachers spent time observing classrooms to see how STEM concepts are integrated into the general education classroom. Teachers observed a 10th grade genetics course, an 11th grade robotics course, a middle school robotics course, a 6th integrated science course, and a computer coding course, as well as several English and math courses. The teachers from Qingdao asked questions through an interpreter and CREC teachers explained the work that students were doing. After classroom visits, the group participated in a presentation put on by STEM theme coaches Lauren Amaturo and Crystal Caouette, who explained inquiry based instruction and three-dimensional learning aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards. CREC was invited to host the group and Innovation was one of several stops during the week for the group. The group had visits scheduled at several other schools around the state, including CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering and CREC Discovery Academy, as well as several universities. They were led by Daniel Gregg, who is the Director of International Programs at the Connecticut State Department of Education.Gregg has been organizing these learning exchanges between the U.S. and China for more than 20 years. He said the group got a great deal of information from their experience. He commented that it was rare to see a group “this engaged” as they participated in several small group activities planned to help them better understand what a typical science lesson aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards would look like in an American classroom.3566160171450000-43942032956500###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings nearly five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changings needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 16 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org....

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