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Capitol Region Education Council

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CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School Selected as Amazon Future Engineer School for 2021-22

(East Hartford, Conn.) CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School, a grades 6-8, STEM-themed school, is pleased to announce that it has been selected as an Amazon Future Engineer (AFE) school - a partnership between Amazon and Project STEM to improve access to computer science education in communities currently underrepresented in the technology field.“This opportunity, to be an AFE school, is an absolute game-changer for our students,” said Jill Wnuk, Two Rivers’ principal. “Building more engineering and computer science focus into our already science and technology-rich curriculum will create limitless experiences for Two Rivers students.”According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, there are a projected 1.4 million computer science-related jobs available and only 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills to apply for those jobs. Many students eager to fill that gap and obtain a high paying job in technology do not have access to computer science in their middle and high schools. Often schools want to offer these courses to their students but do not have access to curriculum and/or teacher support materials.Amazon and Project STEM are partnering to address this gap by sponsoring teachers and administrators who demonstrate this need and are committed to bringing computer science to their school with access to content such as: CS Explorations 1: Fundamentals in Scratch, Computer Science Fundamentals, AP Computer Science Principles, or AP Computer Science A courses. This content also includes fully sequenced and paced digital curriculum for students, and professional development for educators new to learning or teaching computer science. Interested schools can learn more at www.amazonfutureengineer.com, including how students can access college scholarships and internships at Amazon. ###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 changing 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 and two magnet programs. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.

Connecticut Teacher Residency Program joins national initiative to recruit, develop and retain Black teachers for local schools

(Hartford, Conn.) The Connecticut Teacher Residency Program (CT TRP), in partnership with the RESC Alliance, has received a $340,000 grant from the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR) to expand and improve its efforts to recruit and develop Black teachers to support participating districts. The award comes through NCTR’s Black Educators Initiative, a five-year, $20-million effort to recruit and train 750 new Black teachers through NCTR’s nationwide network of teacher residency programs. 468376015557500This grant will allow CT TRP to provide funding relief to partner districts and support up to 40 Black educators as it expands to four cohort locations with up to 60 Residents across Connecticut. Grants will be used for tuition, materials, and assessment support to ensure candidates meet the state certification requirements, including Praxis, Foundations of Reading, and the edTPA Portfolio assessment. Additionally, part of the costs for mentor teachers will be covered as Residents work for a full year with their mentor teacher to gain hands-on experience in the classroom. CT TRP was one of eight residencies chosen to help launch NCTR’s Black Educators Initiative. This year, the program is expanding to the Regional Education Service Centers in Hartford (CREC), New Haven (ACES), lower Fairfield (CES), and New London (LEARN) counties. On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, forty-five new Residents were accepted into the program. “Thank you so much for such exciting news. I am thrilled and honored to be a member of the CREC cohort this year,” said applicant Alexa McCrae in response to her acceptance. This program is still accepting applications in three of the four cohorts and is offered at little to no cost for Residents while providing a salary and benefits during the residency year from a partnering district.  “As a superintendent in a diverse and dynamic community, I am indebted to the Connecticut Teacher Residency Program for providing an authentic opportunity to assist us in diversifying our staff. I see this program as a real game changer in assisting my district in taking the necessary steps forward in this critical initiative” said Jody Ian Goeler, Superintendent for Hamden Public Schools, a partner district looking to support four residents. “Now more than ever, we need to focus on recruiting and retaining Black teachers,” said Anissa Listak, NCTR’s founder and CEO. “We are so proud to be able to work with CT TRP through NCTR’s Black Educators Initiative.” The majority of school children in the United States are students of color, yet less than 20 percent of teachers are people of color, and only 7 percent of them are Black. Research shows that students of color do better in school and consider going to college at higher rates when they are taught by teachers with similar racial and demographic backgrounds. NCTR’s Black Educators Initiative aims to improve student achievement by increasing access to Black teachers.“I am pleased to see NCTR’s support of CT TRP. As a former teacher and a life-long educator, I have seen first-hand the impact a Black teacher can have on students in the classroom. Even more, the research shows that a diverse teaching population leads to students learning better,” said State Senator Doug McCrory. “It is incumbent upon us to not only encourage people of color to enter the teaching profession but ensure they have the mentorship and quality training opportunities available so they can take the skills developed into the classroom for the benefit of their students.” McCrory, a Democrat who represents the Senate’s 2nd District (Hartford, Bloomfield, Windsor), is the State’s Education Committee Senate chair.This grant demonstrates CT TRP has earned confidence in its success. To reduce the cost of these programs to districts and to expand the program, CT TRP renews its requests to Governor Lamont and the CT General Assembly to solve this state problem with much-needed state dollars by annually dedicating $4.5 million to CT TRP. This state funding will ensure the program continues to be successful in recruiting and retaining a workforce of teachers that better represents the diverse population of students. Teacher residency programs have proven effective at recruiting and developing teachers of color. In 2019-2020, NCTR’s network of partner residencies reported that 62 percent of their teachers-in-training identified as persons of color – more than twice the diversity rate of teachers nationally. CT TRP is focused on diversifying Connecticut’s teachers and assisting Governor Lamont in achieving his goals. In the first two years of the program, 100% of teachers training in CT TRP are people of color. CT TRP’s website is www.ct-trp.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 over five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changing 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 and two magnet programs. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.In the 1990s, Connecticut’s six RESCs formed the RESC Alliance to create greater access to resources and savings for all Connecticut public schools. Today, the RESCs collaborate to deliver an ever-growing variety of education resources and services that schools and communities couldn’t otherwise afford. The RESC Alliance also advocates at the state legislature for laws that address and respond to the education needs of all Connecticut residents.About NCTRNCTR disrupts historical educational inequities by advancing the teacher residency movement to prepare effective, diverse, and culturally responsive educators. About the Black Educators InitiativeThe Black Educators Initiative is a five-year, $20-million effort to train 750 Black teachers through NCTR’s nationwide network of teacher residency programs. NCTR launched the Black Educators Initiative in 2019 to help NCTR Network partner programs improve the recruitment, development, and retention of Black educators in their programs and partner schools. This year, NCTR awarded nearly $2.2 million in grants to seven programs. Funding for the initiative comes from The Ballmer Group.

CREC Selected as Inaugural Member of The Bridges Collaborative, A Nationwide Initiative to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Education

(Hartford, Conn.) Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) announced today that it was selected to join the inaugural cohort of The Bridges Collaborative, a first-of-its-kind grassroots initiative to advance racial and socioeconomic integration and equity in America’s schools. The Bridges Collaborative, which officially launches this week, is coordinated by The Century Foundation (TCF), a national think tank that has helped steer the conversation on school integration for decades.The collaborative is unique in the world of K-12 education for its size, diversity, and mission. CREC is joining 55 other organizations—including 27 school districts, 17 charter schools, and 12 housing organizations—which together represent more than 3.5 million children nationwide. Together, the collaborative spans more than 20 states and includes representatives from three of the five largest school districts in the country, along with other organizations of varying size, geographies, and student demographics.CREC’s core values — Demand Equity, Expect Excellence, Embrace Collaboration, and Act with Courage — are embodied in its everyday work for children and families. In the spring of 2020, CREC adopted a statement of diversity, equity, and inclusion:“CREC is an intentionally diverse social justice organization whose members work to acknowledge, respect, and empathize with people of all different identifiers, such as race, socioeconomic status, gender identity and expression, education, age, ability, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, language, nationality, and religion. We commit to affirm and honor the lived experiences of others, to willingly challenge inherited beliefs and ideologies, and consequently learn, grow, and serve.”Driven by this statement and the core values, CREC’s commitment to increasing access to integrated schools is continually demonstrated in work with students in the 16 CREC Magnet Schools and the partnership with 27 districts in the Hartford Region Open Choice Program. CREC Magnet Schools and Open Choice serve over 10,000 urban and suburban students from various ethnic, socioeconomic, and racial backgrounds.“CREC is thrilled to be joining this impressive group of organizations working around the country to ensure that all of our students benefit from the promise of public education,” said CREC Executive Director Greg Florio. “This year has not been easy for our students. We know that any effort to achieve successful school integration will not occur in a vacuum, which is why we are especially excited about the opportunity to connect with, engage and learn from other national school leaders. We are doing this for Connecticut’s children and our community’s future.”This unprecedented effort comes at a pivotal moment for the cause of school integration. Research has repeatedly demonstrated the myriad positive benefits for students who attend diverse and integrated schools, including higher test scores, higher graduation rates, and a host of positive social and civic outcomes. Despite the clear benefits, however, progress on integration has been minimal in recent decades—although those trends are beginning to change, especially with growing awareness on the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on students and schools.Over the next two years, the collaborative will serve as a hub for practitioners from across the country, providing school and housing leaders the opportunity to learn from one another, build grassroots momentum, and develop successful Capitol Region Education Council www.crec.org integration approaches. The initiative is led by Stefan Louis Lallinger, who most recently served as a Special Assistant to the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education and is a former school principal in New Orleans. Lallinger’s grandfather, Louis Redding, was a lawyer who argued the landmark school desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education, before the Supreme Court in 1954.“Never before has there been an organization like the Bridges Collaborative. The sheer breadth and depth of knowledge and experience represented by the 56 groups in this cohort sends a clear message: we will deliver the high-quality, integrated school experience that the next generation deserves,” said Lallinger. “COVID-19 and the racial reckoning we’re experiencing underscore that the fight for racial and economic justice is far from over. To have any shot at winning that fight, we must first tackle the rampant inequities and segregation in our nation’s education system. That’s exactly what the Bridges Collaborative was built for.” ###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 changing 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 and two magnet programs. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.

Five CREC Locations to Serve Free Breakfast and Lunch to All Students for 2020-2021 School Year

(Hartford, Conn.) The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) as part of the National School Lunch Program for school year 2020-21. Under this provision, participating districts and schools provide free breakfast and lunch to all students at all times. All students enrolled at the following schools will receive meals through the School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program at no charge. Household income applications are no longer required to determine eligibility for free or reduced-price meals at schools participating in the CEP. All students will be served breakfast and lunch at no charge at the following sites:CREC John J. Allison Jr. Polaris CenterCREC Civic Leadership High School CREC Ana Grace Academy of the Arts Elementary SchoolCREC Reggio Magnet School of the ArtsCREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School (grades 6-8) For additional information please contact:Jeff Sidewater, Food Services Program CoordinatorCREC (Capitol Region Education Council)147 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106 O: 860-509-3774 F: 860-524-4001Email: jsidewater@crec.org###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966 and is celebrating 50 years of academic excellence. 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 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 18 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.

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