EASTCONN Annual Board Update 2023-2024 Supplemental Report

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2023-24 ANNUAL BOARD UPDATE Supplemental Report

Table of Contents

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EASTCONN, one of Connecticut’s six, public, non-profit, Regional Educational Service Centers (RESCs), provides high-quality, competitively priced educational and related services to the 33 towns and 36 school districts in northeastern Connecticut that comprise our region.

what we do.

The agency is governed by a Board of Directors, who are also members of locally elected Boards of Education. Agency funding comes from the fees EASTCONN charges for its programs, schools and services, supplemented by competitively awarded grants and contracts.

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Adult & Community Programs

EASTCONN’s 21-town, northeastern Connecticut Adult Education Consortium offers residents a wide range of free adult education services, ensuring that Consortium members can afford to provide mandated education programs. Programming is held both virtually and on-site at our regional Community Learning Centers, co-located in partnership with EWIB’s American Job Centers in Danielson and Willimantic. Adult and Community Programs includes 3 branches: Adult Education; Workplace Education; and Employment and Training. We offer free education classes to residents, ages 17+, which include high school completion, English Language Learners (ELL), American Citizenship, life and basic skills, and college transition support. Workplace Education offers certificate training programs and workplace ELL, HSE, and skills training. Employment and Training manages 2 regional American Job Centers, oversees the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title I programming for adults and dislocated workers including free employment assistance and training for job-seekers, and provides In and Out of School Youth programming and job training for the region’s youth (ages 14+).

• Served 2,208 individuals in programs throughout the region.

• Enrolled 149 adults who participated in our Adult Workplace Education certificate classes and work-site education and training programs.


High School Completion

Our pathway to high school completion begins with Basic Skills instruction for individuals functioning at the elementary or middle school level or those transitioning in from ELL programming. Intended for adults who are at least 17, are not enrolled in high school, and lack a U.S. high school diploma, this program helps students improve their math, reading, writing and technology skills. The program offers a free evaluation, individual guidance, and convenient day/ evening in-person or virtual classes. The goal is to help students obtain a high school diploma and prepare for employment, the military and/or post-secondary training. Our counselors can help adults select between our

three alternatives for high school completion, determining which program will best meet their needs: GED Preparation, Adult High School Credit Diploma Program (CDP) or the National External Diploma Program (NEDP).

• 289 adults sought to improve their basic skills and/ or earn their high school diploma through one of EASTCONN’s three high school credentialing options.

• GED: English and Spanish GED classes will graduate 51 students in June 2023.

• NEDP: 5 students are expected to graduate in June from this individualized program.

• CDP: Virtual course options are popular; 5 students are expected to graduate.

For more information, contact Kristin Hempel, Director of Adult & Community Programs

860-455-1562 • khempel@eastconn.org

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Adult & Community Programs

English Language Learners (ELL) Instruction

Our Adult Education certified staff provide free instruction for non-English-speaking adults who are 17 and older, with beginner- to intermediate-level classes. Daytime, afternoon, and evening classes are offered both virtually and in-person at convenient locations throughout northeastern Connecticut. Direct instruction is supported by on-site learning labs and self-paced, online platforms to extend learning opportunities and provide tailored access to industry contextualized lessons.

• EASTCONN served 213 ELL students this year.

American Citizenship Preparation

These classes and individualized programs prepare non-native adults to pass the American Citizenship Test, with a special emphasis on questions used by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

• Many of our students are non-U.S. citizens who benefit from efforts to incorporate preparation for the Immigration and Naturalization Service exam into their English language classes.


Program Enhancement Project (PEP) Grants

We were awarded 7 competitive PEP grants from the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), totaling $320,000. Through partnerships with the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB), CT State Community College-Quinebaug Valley (QV), school districts, Family Resource Centers, libraries, and other non-profit and social services agencies, these funds provided specialized services to 157 eligible students. Highlights included:

• English Language Learners (ELL) Family Literacy: EASTCONN Adult Programs partners with Head Start to provide Family Literacy classes to eligible Windham families. This regional, multi-generational program combines academic instruction, workreadiness, and positive parenting strategies for parents with high-quality educational programming for children. This program allowed us to provide instruction to 17 English Learner parents.

• Non-Traditional Learner: EASTCONN provided 15 non-traditional clients with technology-rich classes in hard to reach locations to prepare them for the GED exam and/or improve their English reading, writing and speaking skills. Participants also develop problem-solving, decision-making and other criticalthinking skills all within a workplace-readiness context.

• Transitions to Post-Secondary Education: This program supports students who are completing one of EASTCONN’s high school or English Language programs as they transition into a variety of postsecondary education and training programs. Through a partnership with QV, adult education students can co-enroll in college-level courses and earn credits while receiving support and tutoring through EASTCONN. We anticipate students completing 23 classes and earning 48 credits.

• Integrated English Language and Civics Education: Through a collaboration with Norwich Adult Education and EASTCONN Transportation, we increased access for high-level ELL students to a rigorous curriculum that integrates workforce readiness skills, citizenship preparation, leadership, and college preparation. 15 students are participating, including 9 students who are also enrolled in certificate programs for CNA or the Bridge to Manufacturing certification.

• Transitions to 21st Century Careers: Workforce Readiness: This multifaceted program provides support and guidance for adult education students and graduates. These services include: embedded classroom support for career pathway development; program-wide transitions events; integrated digital literacy and workplace communication skills; and contextualized academic instruction in manufacturing and healthcare content areas. 65 students accessed these services.

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Adult & Community Programs

IET (Integrated Education & Training)

IET is an innovative education model that integrates basic-skills adult education with technical instruction. The curriculum is designed by certified adult education instructors and specialists in the industry. Classes are co-taught by adult education and technical training instructors and help students prepare for the GED or master the English language while earning certification in customer service, entrepreneurship, and/or the food industry.

• 11 learners participated in the program.

Volunteer Literacy Tutoring

Volunteer tutors work with adult learners on basic reading, writing, math or English Language (EL) skills. Tutoring, provided free of charge, can be on a one-to-one basis or in a classroom setting. Tutoring is offered at multiple sites in EASTCONN-region towns. Adults interested in volunteering are encouraged to apply.

• 42 students were supported by 8 community volunteers.

Distance Learning Initiative

To support our region’s learners, we offer a full range of online and virtual instruction supported by certified staff. These distance learning opportunities provide access to high quality instruction for those who otherwise would not be able to enroll in classes due to barriers such as transportation, child care, or work schedules. In order to set our distance learners up for success, we continued to provide both a Distance Learning Orientation and a technology loan program for students without adequate technology.

• 111 students took distance learning classes and 42 accessed our technology loan program.


Customized Workplace Training

Local businesses can customize cost-effective training packages in literacy and English Language Learners (ELL) instruction, customer service, Microsoft Office or manufacturing that meet their workforce development

needs. Training can be provided in the workplace or at a convenient EASTCONN adult education site. In addition to pre-designed virtual training, which served 6 individuals, staff developed contracts for customized, on-site and/or virtual workplace education programs, including:

• ServSafe and First Aid/CPR: Trained 15 individuals in both Hartford and Fairfield counties through partnerships with youth correctional residential services.

• Provided transition to College Services for 19 BRS enrolled individuals, supporting content mastery and/or adjustment to the college academic environment.


American Job Center Services

In Partnership with the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB), EASTCONN continued as the regional leader for workforce development providing oversight of the American Job Center locations in Danielson and Willimantic and collaborating in the design and delivery of remote programs for economically disadvantaged individuals in need of vocational training and/or employment. The American Job Centers provide employment assistance to job seekers, such as employment/career guidance, job search information, potential training funding for eligible applicants, an ongoing connection to employer recruitment opportunities and on-the-job training opportunities. To extend services throughout the eastern Connecticut region, EASTCONN subcontracts with Thames Valley Council for Community Action.

• Ticket to Work: EASTCONN served 4 adult jobseekers with disabilities through Ticket to Work, ensuring access to job search, training funding and support services.

• Jobs First Employment Services (JFES): Case management services and job search assistance were provided to 82 Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) customers.

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Adult & Community Programs

• Workforce Innovation and Opportunity (WIOA Adult/Dislocated Workers) Case Management: Case management services and job search assistance were provided to 250 newly enrolled jobseekers, an additional 179 continuing their services with us from prior year enrollments, and supporting 288 job seekers with retention services their first year after program exit. 98 completed job skills training and achieved an industry recognized credential. 109 job seekers achieved new employment.

• Eastern CT Healthcare Pipeline: This allows eligible job seekers to begin and advance in a healthcare career at no out-of-pocket expense. Through this program, 68 adults received person-centered case management, support services and job development.

Connecticut Youth Employment & Training Program

Our EWIB-funded, regional employment and training program for young adults, aged 14-24, provides an opportunity for youth to participate in paid, work-based learning opportunities, at individual and group community work sites to learn career pathway, communication and financial literacy skills. Partners include New London Youth Affairs and Norwich Youth, Family and Recreation. Participants must meet guidelines. Internship areas include Health, Manufacturing, Retail, Human Services, Day Care, Landscaping and more.

• 575 youth participated.

• 96% of the participants achieved an attendance rate of 80% or better.

• 95% of youth participants returned to school or found jobs.

In-School & Out-of-School Youth Programs for 17-24-year Olds

Funded by the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB) and in collaboration with New London Youth Affairs and Adult Education and Norwich Human Services and Adult Education, the COOL Directions and JET (Jobs, Education & Training) programs offer intensive career pathway programming and wrap-around case management services to 165 young adults from nine high schools, three

Adult Education offices and various community partners. Participants explore career options and participate in paid internships and on-the-job training. Work-readiness skills include resume writing, dressing for success, interview techniques, and more. Education and training classes help participants complete a high school diploma/equivalent and/or earn a nationally recognized Customer Service credential, as well as other industry recognized credentials.

• Data showed that 80 graduated or earned their GED; one year after graduation, 77% had jobs, were enrolled in the military, or were attending a postsecondary school.

• A total of 165 youth received supportive services, such as transportation and technology assistance, food and tuition payments.


Healthcare Seminar

This two-week course prepares prospective participants in Eastern CT’s Healthcare Pipeline by working on the contextualized communication and professional skills for the healthcare industry.

• 9 adults attended the Healthcare Seminar.

Mobile Manufacturing Lab

This program, first piloted last year, brings the excitement of a career in manufacturing to middle schools around our region. The Lab includes a library of relevant manufacturing tools and highlighted related career pathways, including key maritime manufacturing jobs. Various engagement options have been developed to allow school districts to select from an ala carte menu of programs, such as large group activities, an experience in the mobile lab, classroom activities, and teacher professional development and training, all facilitated by EASTCONN staff. The programs offer instruction on multiple facets of the manufacturing world, including inside/outside machinists, pipefitters, mechanical assembly and fabrication, electricians, welding, carpentry, shipfitters, grinders, lead bonders, and structural design.

• 10 community engagements

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Early Childhood Initiatives

Early Childhood Initiatives (ECI) focuses on children, prenatal to grade 3, offering a wide array of consultation, professional learning (PL), technical assistance, coaching and direct services to the region’s early care and education programs, school districts and communities. PL includes support for strategic planning, program development, accreditation and professional learning on standards, curriculum, assessment and instruction. Parent education is also provided to the communities we serve. ECI administers and provides direct services to children and their families as the grantee for the state-funded Birth to Three program and the federally-funded Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Windham and Tolland counties.

Birth To Three Program

Building on the support and skills of families, this early-intervention program was designed to meet the developmental and health-related needs of infants and toddlers who qualify for services, based on delays or a diagnosis that impacts development. Intensive services are also provided for children with more significant needs, such as medical complications, autism and Down Syndrome. Staff help families and caregivers support children’s learning and development, using practical strategies, research-based and evidence-based practices. The use of a coaching model which includes joint planning with family members and caretakers as well as natural learning environment principles helps to promote 24/7 support for the young learners. Birth to Three continues to serve children and families across 21 towns in the EASTCONN region. Visits are provided in-person in the child’s natural learning environment, which may be at home, childcare location or community setting. Because coordination of services is essential, our team of providers work closely with the greater EASTCONN community - this includes school systems, healthcare providers, DCF, and public service agencies. Throughout a child’s time in Birth to Three, the staff work with families to ensure a smooth transition out of Birth to Three services into local school district programs, and other community programs.

• Our monthly, program-wide caseload averaged 200 children and families, with 400+ participants

For more information, contact Diane Gozemba, Director of Early Childhood Initiatives 860-455-1518 • dgozemba@eastconn.org

receiving evaluations and/or services within the last year.

• Of the infants and toddlers with Individual Family Service Plans when compared to same-aged peers, 81% demonstrated improved social-emotional skills, including social relationships; 92% showed improved acquisition and use of knowledge and skills, including early language/communication; and 84% improved their use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs.

• Birth to Three Annual Family Survey: Families enrolled for more than six months were surveyed and reported feeling more confident and competent; 95.3% reported Birth to Three helped them effectively communicate their child’s needs; 95.3% reported Birth to Three helped their child develop and learn; and 95.3% felt informed about their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) law.


EASTCONN administers Head Start, a comprehensive, federally-funded program for income-eligible preschool-age children and their families in Windham and Tolland counties. Center-based programs are available in Killingly, Plainfield, Putnam and Windham, while a home-based

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Early Childhood Initiatives

program is available to families in Tolland County. Head Start programming looks to educate children and prepare them for future learning, through the implementation of school readiness goals, social emotional development, and family involvement.

• For the 2023-2024 program year, EASTCONN Head Start programs, including contracted programs in Windham Public Schools have 39 open concerns, 7 in PPT process, and currently 58 children with an IEP. Of the children receiving services 23 are for speech and language, 21 for autism, and 9 for developmental delays.

• Program wide areas of improvement: data analysis, numbers and counting, measurement, pattern recognition. Gains of up to 1.5 points in these areas from Period 1 to Period 2. Likely attributable to successive PD sessions with Terry Surprenant and Emily Hayden focused on math.

• There are gains across the program in dimensions of SEL (i.e., building relationships with students/ adults). This could be attributable to a sustained emphasis on behavior-specific praise and improved praise/correction ratios per our partnership with Psychological and Behavioral Consulting (PBC) Services.

• Partnerships with the local community libraries and CT Storytellers have brought such joy to the classrooms, and as seen here an overall surge in literacy and book sharing.

• The Education team implemented two new supplemental curriculums this year to continue strategic work on literacy and language acquisition. This includes Heggerty and Learning without Tears.

EASTCONN Early Head Start

EASTCONN administers the Early Head Start program in Windham and Tolland Counties. This program serves income-eligible pregnant women and children, birth to age 3, and their families, in home-visiting and year-round center-based programs. We offer EHS programming in northeastern CT and Windham County, while Windham

Public Schools provides a center-based program for the greater Windham area. Benefits of Early Head Start include strong family involvement and support with health, dental, nutrition and mental health needs.

• For the 2023-2024 program year, EASTCONN Early Head Start programs, including contracted programs in Windham Public Schools, have had 15 open concerns for children identifying possible delays in development. EASTCONN had a total of 15 children and Windham currently has no open concerns. Supports are provided to staff and families serving children with open concerns in the hopes that a referral and services are received if deemed eligible for early intervention.

• An Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is provided if a child is found eligible for early intervention services by a local intervention agency, such as Birth to Three. We encourage families to think of the IFSP as the foundation - and road map - for a family’s involvement with early intervention services.

• For the 2023-2024 program year through March, EASTCONN Early Head Start serves 29 children from age birth to three that had an IFSP in place.

• Support from the Education team continues to build partners and knowledge within the staff to better work with children. This year we implemented a music focus and contracted with one of the ECI specialists to train, model, and support the classrooms with the Music Together curriculum. We also brought in an Occupational Therapist who has been observing, supporting, and implementing developmental strategies in all the EHS classrooms.

• An approved change in scope from the Office of Head Start, has allowed us to restructure and expand the Head Start program. Home-based slots were reduced to better meet our enrollment numbers as well as staff caseloads, while center-based was increased with 8 new EHS slots and expansion of an additional classroom at the Danielson location.

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Early Childhood Initiatives

Early Childhood Parent Education/ Parenting Workshops

Workshops on a range of topics are available to help parents increase their parenting skills, improve their knowledge of children’s growth and development, and learn how to support learning. Early childhood specialists are available to provide regional or on-site training. EASTCONN is also able to provide age appropriate activities for districts in a Play Lab format or Transition to K activities.

Play-Based Learning and Executive Function

Our staff works with school districts to increase the executive function skills of preschool through grade 1 students. We provide training and on-site coaching to administrators and teachers in implementation strategies that support children’s executive function skills and purposeful play scenarios to address content standards.

• EASTCONN provided a combination of in-person and virtual trainings and coaching in 7 communities statewide. This past year, early childhood specialists have presented 4 times at CT Association of Schools (CAS) as a means of bringing this work to a broader audience. Coaching supported teachers as they considered the whole child in all domains of development, including higher-order thinking and supporting their executive function skills development through evidence-based practices. Additionally, Play-Based Learning was used as a means to support children’s executive function skills and social competence.

Nutrition & Physical Activity Initiative

RESC Alliance early childhood partners are collaborating on Go NAPSACC (Nutrition and Physical Activity SelfAssessment for Child Care) and PALS (Physical Activity Learning Session), funded through a contract with the state Department of Health (DOH) to emphasize nutrition and increase physical activity in early childhood programs.

• EASTCONN provided support to 10 family child care programs in the region through a mini grant process that our team developed to provide free training,

technical assistance and resources for outdoor play. RESC Alliance early childhood staff also provided the DOH with technical assistance on nutrition and exercise for 35 programs statewide.

Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER)

As the pandemic impacted classrooms across Connecticut, the Commissioner of the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) asked EASTCONN to extend services with GEER funding to provide statewide professional learning to early-care programs and families, using individualized supports and the development of training resources. Our proposal for GEER 2 focused on advancing equity through access to technology, done through the continued distribution of iPads and Chromebooks and by creating an online learning hub, Tech-to-Go Tutorials, Pint-Sized online PD and a Parent Academy to ensure that lower-income families, young children and ECE staff had these supports during the pandemic, and beyond. In Year Four of this initiative, the focus shifted as programs were back to in-person teaching.

• Coaches provided 230 hours of personalized coaching and technical assistance focused on the implementation of new learning at the start of the school year to onboard new staff across ECE programs.

• 85 programs participated statewide, including 15 from the EASTCONN region.

• This year, programs also received funding for DOTS (Documentation & Observation for Teaching System) Online and technical assistance in its use. Each program also received a dedicated coach to support meaningful application of the CT DOTS Online functionality, specifically with regard to communicating with families about their children’s progress and ways to support ongoing learning at home for 64 hours and EASTCONN took over the integration of CT DOTS supports in house with ECI and Tech Solutions collaborating around these supports.

• Over 30 Tech-to-Go Tutorials to make available on the GEER Online Learning Hub. These tutorials are intended to be short, digestible opportunities

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for learners to close technology skills gaps, or troubleshoot issues they may be having on their device.

• Through GEER, ECE specialists tried to provide professional learning with a technology focus in person strategically across the state with limited success, perhaps due to lack of sub coverage.


Early Childhood Continuous Quality Improvement Grants (CQIS)

EASTCONN continues to support the CQIS Grant from the CT Office of Early Childhood, which started in January 2023-June 2026.

Coaching Framework

EASTCONN is creating a coaching and mentoring framework for the OEC and has worked with ECI to do the research in other states. EASTCONN has been facilitating a small and diverse team to develop the mentoring framework and piloting the key components through the Workforce Pilot in six agencies across the state. Stakeholder meetings have been held to get input and mentors in programs have received an orientation and coaching supports through RESC partners.

Technical Assistance

Provider Supports

This grant provides support for technical assistance providers under the CQIS contract including coaching supports for novice coaches and for experienced coaches, pilot mentoring supports and to recruit diverse, bilingual providers to engage in the Office of Early Childhood TA system. Professional Learning Communities have been developed and facilitated through EASTCONN and continue to lift the voices from the field to share insights, perspectives and coaching strategies to support the TA Provider’s professional development.

Accreditation Quality Improvement System (AQIS)

The Connecticut Accreditation Quality Improvement System (AQIS) is an established resource system of regional

teams providing critical leadership and support for the achievement of quality standards and excellence in early childhood programs. AQIS services include overviews of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Program Standards and Accreditation Performance Criteria; technical assistance with the process of accreditation; and individualized support for programs engaged in the self-study.

• Provide “intensive supports” to programs seeking accreditation or reaccreditation through AQIS. This past year 24 programs have been supported by our services.

• Provide training, self-study, portfolio supports and on-site supports to programs pursuing accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

• Offer study-group discussions based on the NAEYC Early Learning Program Accreditation Standards and Assessment Items.

School Readiness Grants, SR Liaisons and Monitoring

School Readiness liaisons work with School Readiness Councils to help them meet grant requirements. A comprehensive, staff-designed tool is used to monitor School Readiness programs, based on requirements set by the state OEC. Districts receive feedback, ongoing resources and PD to ensure program quality.

• Staff provided School Readiness liaisons and monitoring services in 13 districts.


Early Childhood Administrators Networking Meetings & AQIS Supports

Early Childhood Administrator Networking meetings, facilitated by ECI staff, help districts share resources, receive updates on statewide and EASTCONN initiatives, and strategize on how to best meet the needs of their pre-K children and families while improving program quality.

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Early Childhood Initiatives

CT DOTS (Documentation & Observation for Teaching System)

Our early childhood specialists work with classroom teams to utilize CT DOTS. Support can include coaching teachers to consider how to use the tool to better understand their students’ current levels of development and approaches to learning. Staff assist classroom teams in planning how to document growth and to consider how to partner with families to gather input. Specialists provide technical assistance in developing systems to organize observational notes and other evidence. Staff assist teachers to use data to make informed decisions about supporting early learning while also reflecting on their own practices. CT DOTS provides online tools that help early-care and education providers monitor children’s progress across criteria defined by the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards (CT ELDS).

• Funding is through the GEER Initiative and the Quality Improvement Supports Grant.

• 73 total active programs; 15 in EASTCONN districts.

Social Emotional HealthExecutive Function

The Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children is implemented in school districts in Connecticut, primarily in preschool. Teachers self-assess their goals on Pyramid Model practices and work with the coach to implement those changes.

• This year, Killingly contracted with ECI to move the Pyramid Model into Killingly Central Elementary School.

• Work in New Britain continued to support both EF training and Pyramid Model efforts.

• Our staff has trained team members to utilize standardized observation tools to provide objective feedback related to classroom interactions and teacher practices.

Professional Learning for Community-Based Early-Care Providers and Public Schools

Staff provided workshops for hundreds of communitybased, early-care providers on a wide variety of content and pedagogical topics. Attendees included pre-K and kindergarten teachers, paraprofessionals, teacher assistants, curriculum coordinators, early childhood administrators, infant/toddler teachers and paraprofessionals, Birth to Three providers, program administrators and Related Services staff.

• Staff developed a four-part series for Kindergarten teachers to rethink how they can integrate playbased principles into their daily schedule. Twelve districts participated as they planned to meet this legislative mandate.

• 10th Annual Infant/Toddler Conference, Meeting the Needs of Infants and Toddlers Through Responsive Caregiving, provided 100 participants in shared learning around communication, understanding brain development and the caregiver role in serve and return, as well as strategies to engage parents in their child’s language and communication skill development. In addition, participants were also able to consider how the environment supports young children to learn about themselves and others and learn to develop positive relationships with adults and peers.

• The Power of Reciprocity in Culturally Responsive Communication participants were invited to think about cross-cultural communication skills as an essential for fostering healthy communication with the families and children in early care and education programs. Discussing the differences in non-verbal and verbal communications influenced by culture can be a challenge to educators and families as they negotiate moving through cultural dynamics and the role of reciprocity. This was developed for our Head Start program with a guest presenter and attended by 8 external invitees.

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• The Classroom Environment: Designing and Organizing to Support Children’s Learning offered 20 participants an opportunity to think about effective design to stimulate exploration in a classroom environment as well as outdoors.

• Developed a four-part series through funding from Putnam on play, which was open to the community with 60 participants. Session included: Using PlayBased Learning Activities in Pre-K and Kindergarten to Promote Higher Order Thinking, Facilitating Play: The Teacher’s Role in Supporting Guided Play Experiences for Children, Adapting Play, and How to Engage Families in the Value of Play.

Connecticut Early Learning & Development Standards (CT ELDS)

Training and consultation are available for educators on the CT ELDS, with an emphasis on linking curriculum development with ongoing assessment to monitor each child’s development to create meaningful learning opportunities for young children. Technical assistance on planning developmentally appropriate activities for individual children, classrooms, and programs is available. Our specialists can help identify areas of professional learning so that all children benefit from rich learning experiences in their homes, communities, and early care and education settings.

Early Childhood Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)

Our certified CLASS staff are available to observe, record and provide feedback for pre-K classrooms on the dimensions of emotional support, classroom organization and instructional support. The CLASS tool scientifically identified specific early experiences that children need in order to succeed in school and life. It has organized these experiences into teacher classroom behaviors that are observable and that support high-quality care and education as it provides data for program planning and classroom support systems.

• Provided services in 3 districts and 6 Head Start sites.

Regional Early Childhood Planning

In collaboration with seven member districts, our Early Childhood staff served on the Northeast Early Childhood Council Leadership Team, supported the Regional School Readiness Council and ensured the structure of the council was meeting new legislative requirements. EASTCONN also coordinates two other regional councils made up of Hampton and Scotland and, for the first time, Hebron and Lebanon.

• This work provided a regional approach to setting goals for improving the transition to kindergarten; improving overall preschool experiences in our communities; closing the preparation gap for birth to age three; continuing to provide opportunities to attend the Mental Health Task Force meetings; advocating for equitable access to preschool; and providing professional development for faculty, staff and families.

• EASTCONN was represented on a regional panel supported through the NE Chamber of Commerce to discuss the crisis in child care shortages and a call to action.

Early Childhood Facilitation & Strategic Planning

EASTCONN staff with experience in community collaboration, early childhood policy and practice, as well as comprehensive services, works with communities to support the development and implementation of state mandates. This past year we invited the region and beyond to get ready and plan for the change in age for entry into Kindergarten. We were the first RESC to initiate this service and support interested districts to create an assessment plan for waivers, plan for family communication and prepare for the upcoming year. Play legislation created another dilemma for districts. ECI rose to the occasion, creating opportunities for training, coaching and shared learning among districts. In addition, our second ECI conference, Playful Minds, Joyful Hearts: Fostering Play-based Learning for All, was held in April.

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Early Childhood Initiatives

Early Childhood Training, Consultation & Coaching

Early childhood specialists provided a range of professional development services customized to meet district program needs. Professional development related to curriculum, teaching and assessment, and learning environments is directly connected to state and national standards. On-site training and coaching is aimed at accomplishing program improvement goals that lead to improved child outcomes. Our early childhood specialists can help to create or improve early childhood programs, birth through grade 3. Consultation can include program and curriculum design, as well as facility and learning environment design and evaluation with feedback loops, reports, or technical assistance.

NAEYC Accreditation Consultation

Our expert Early Childhood staff provides information, consultation and training to preschool and kindergarten programs that want to pursue accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Language & Literacy Assessment Practices

EASTCONN staff works with your school district to review its current practices in language and literacy assessments so they align with critical, grade-level reading skills and Connecticut Core Standards for kindergarten through second grade.

PreK-Grade 3 Alignment

EASTCONN staff facilitate a review of components of aligned pre-K-grade 3 structures and components that address the alignment of standards, instruction, assessment, family engagement and transitions, using a research-based tool. Staff works with local schools, districts or community teams to develop improvement plans.

Pyramid Model Supports

The Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children is a widely used framework for addressing the implementation of practices that support social and emotional development through a prevention and promotion lens. EASTCONN ECI has provided training and coaching to a wide range of early childhood educators on the framework and practices.

• Continued services in Killingly, Lisbon and New Britain.

Transition Planning: Preschool-to-Kindergarten

Early childhood specialists offer consultation to communities and schools regarding best practices for transitioning children into kindergarten. By facilitating a broad-based group, we can assist communities and schools in developing comprehensive transition plans that support successful, positive experiences for children and families.

• Provided services in 8 NECC communities.

Early Childhood Public School Administrators Networking Meeting

Early Childhood staff continued to facilitate network meetings for EASTCONN-region administrators of publicschool preschools to keep them informed about state and national policies, best practices and professional learning options for program staff.

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K-12 Student ServicesMagnet High Schools

In collaboration with member districts that elect to be our partners, EASTCONN operates 2 regional magnet high schools: Arts at the Capitol Theater (ACT) in Willimantic and Quinebaug Middle College (QMC) in Danielson. Both expand the public school choices available to students in EASTCONN’s 33-town/36-district region, and beyond. Our magnet schools are designed for students with special interests, whether through a performing arts-infused curriculum (ACT) or a unique college campus experience with a STEM and humanities focus (QMC). Other options include EASTCONN’s after-school programming, academic enrichment, and school-to-career programs.

ACT - Arts at the Capitol Theater Performing Arts Magnet High School

ACT is a full-day, comprehensive, public, performing arts magnet high school located in the Capitol Theater in downtown Willimantic. Curriculum and instruction are guided by a personalized, competency-based framework. Students engage in integrated arts projects and instruction is personalized to address individual learning needs. Students study with certified academic teachers and professional artists in this small, arts-focused learning community. Each grade is limited to approximately 35 students, making this an intimate, focused, artistic learning environment for students in grades 9-12. Enrollment is open to all Connecticut residents.

• 121 full-time students (grades 9-12) attended from 42 sending towns. This June, ACT will graduate its 13th class of full-time students with 19 seniors from 14 towns accepting their diplomas.

• Among awards and recognitions in 2023-2024: 6 students were inducted into the ACT chapter of the National Honor Society; Media Arts and Creative Writing students collaborated to enter

For more information, contact Diane Dugas, Director of K-12 Student Services 860-455-1591 • ddugas@eastconn.org

videos in the first ever ECSU Film Festival; and many creative writing students participated in the scholastic writing competition. ACT’s Acapella Choir earned recognition from the CT General Assembly for excellence in performance during their community carol sing in December.

• 79% of the senior class applied to four-year colleges or universities, and 21% applied for a two-year community college; all seniors have actively applied for formal post-secondary schooling.

QMC - Quinebaug Middle College Magnet High School

Located on the peaceful campus of CT State at Quinebaug Valley (QV) in Danielson, QMC offers high school students a middle college experience that enables them to earn a high school diploma while taking college courses for transferable college credits from QV. Our scholars select from one of our six learning pathways: Liberal Arts and Humanities, Education, Business Leadership, Engineering, Manufacturing, and Allied Health Sciences. Core academic and elective courses and mentorship opportunities are aligned to the individual learning pathways. In addition,

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K-12 Student Services - Magnet High Schools

our scholars gain real-world experience in project management, public communications, and community organization and leadership.

• QMC enrolls about 147 students, grades 9-12, from 18 towns across northeastern Connecticut. Enrollment is open to all Connecticut students.

• Students have free course access to QV and UConn college courses, and could earn transferable credits. In 2023-24, students took 187 classes at QV. As tuition and books are free of charge for QMC students, our families saved about $121,000 in college credit costs.

• Seniors created a range of meaningful Capstone projects that allowed them to show their progress on research and presentation skills. This self-directed project allows students to research and present on a topic of interest to the community.

Professional Learning, K-12 Services

During the 2023-2024 school year, QMC and ACT have collaborated to continue developing and implementing their personalized, competency-based learning focus. Through the identification of essential standards and the development of competencies and aligned assessments, a 9-12 learning continuum has become the curriculum foundation.

Interdistrict Program Design & Management

EASTCONN collaborates with area school districts to respond to CSDE-funded Interdistrict Grant opportunities designed to boost students’ academic skills and increase their understanding and experiences of diversity. If selected for funding, programs are limited to districts that have signed on to participate in that funding cycle.

• Our grant facilitators led 3 state-funded grant programs that provided integrated learning experiences for more than 871 students,

representing 11 rural and urban Connecticut school districts, 18 schools, 40 teachers and 44 separate classrooms.

• Students engaged with racially, culturally and economically diverse peers from different regions.

• This year’s themes included diversity and cultural competency; mindful practices to develop social and emotional understanding and self-regulation; the food cycle from growth, production and distribution; and cultural explorations through the arts.

Community Arts Connection After-School Program

This program, which is housed at the Learning Center in Windham Heights in Willimantic, is led by our professional staff, who offer homework help, dramatic arts productions, and outdoor nature adventures for the complex’s young, school-aged residents.

• We have resumed community partnerships with UConn, Adult Services, Goodwin Forest, Windham Library and local storytellers. Through a partnership with EASTCONN’s ACT magnet school, students performed on stage for their families and the community.

• This year, 27 students attended regularly in-person.

• Students took 25 Friday field trips to UConn between October and May.

16 EASTCONN • 2023-2024

K-12 Student ServicesSpecial Education

With highly regarded special education programs for children and young adults, EASTCONN provides options and opportunities for students with unique learning needs and special interests. Among the direct professional services EASTCONN provides to its own students and to districts across the EASTCONN region are its high-caliber professionals in Psychological and Behavioral Consultation and Related Services (Assistive Technology, Occupational and Physical Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology).

Clinical, Developmental & Therapeutic (CDT) Services

Offered at two conveniently located sites, EASTCONN’s well-respected Clinical, Developmental & Therapeutic Programs are designed for K-12 students who need a highly structured, supportive, and therapeutic environment in order to achieve academic and behavioral success. The main goal of these programs is to help students acquire the academic, social, emotional and behavioral skills necessary to successfully return to their local public schools, or to a less restrictive environment. Our dedicated, caring staff offer individualized instruction with a multi-modality approach and high-interest materials. Four core components are at the heart of this program: educational services, clinical support services, vocational services and family/community involvement.

• Operating five classrooms at our Educational and Vocational Center (EVC), seven classrooms at our Northeast Regional Program (NRP), and serving approximately 75 students from 25 sending districts, our CDT programs merge best practices in academic, transition, and clinical and behavioral programming to meet the needs of K-12 students with significant social, emotional and behavioral issues.

For more information, contact Amy Margelony, Director of Special Education Services 860-377-7650 • amargelony@eastconn.org

• We continued our work with clinical interventions through a research-based, trauma-informed approach at both sites.

• 37 students participated in the extended school-year services during the summer 2023.

• We graduated (7 students at NRP and 6 at EVC) seniors this year.

EASTCONN EXCELS (Excellence in Community, Employment and Life Skills)

EASTCONN’s regional EXCELS classrooms provide transition and functional skills support for middle and high school students in grades 6-12+ at our Northeast Regional Program (NRP) building in Danielson. EXCELS offers staff expertise and quality programming in explicit instruction, data-based decision-making, team collaboration, tiered behavioral supports and transition supports and services. The goal of EXCELS is to maximize students’ independence as they prepare for the transition to adulthood and life beyond the classroom. The classrooms offer a comprehensive approach to education, consisting of one certified Special Education teacher, an ABA Instructor,

EASTCONN • 2023-2024 17

Adult & Community Programs

an Instructional Assistant and the added expertise of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Assistive Technology/ Assistive Augmented Communication Specialist. With this multidisciplinary team approach, EXCELS has demonstrated a strong collaboration between Special Education Case Managers, Related Services Clinicians and Transition Coordinators.

• NRP currently has one EXCELS classroom.

• The high school classroom serves 7 students and is staffed with 1 Special Education Teacher, 2 ABA Instructors, and 3 Instructional Assistants. Additionally, this classroom is currently supporting a student with transition and related services until age 22.

• NRP is currently servicing middle school EXCELS students with a push-in model. Students are placed within CDT classrooms and are receiving discrete trial instruction (DTI) through highly skilled ABA Instructors and receive BCBA support within those classrooms.

EASTCONN Transition Academy (ETA)

ETA provides transition services to young adult students ages 18 through 22 who qualify for Special Education. Students at ETA learn and explore in many different areas, including various professions and skills that support their ability to gain and maintain employment; resources within the community; tasks related to daily living skills; and the numerous pathways towards adult and post-secondary learning.

• ETA provided transition services for 13 young adults from 10 districts with a broad range of disabilities ranging from mild to severe.

• ETA students are working in 10 community based employment sites within the Willimantic and Columbia areas. Our students are employed in a variety of fields aligned with their interests including recreation, food services, hospitality,

automotive, animal care and farm work. ETA also offers in house employment opportunities for students who are working on pre-requisite skills or work tolerance.

• The ETA team has developed strong partnerships with our students’ support systems including partners from the CT Department of Aging and Disability Services: Level Up program and the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) to ensure students are able to sustain appropriate services and aids as they transition into adulthood.

• ETA has hosted a variety of guest speakers throughout the school year that have presented on topics such as self-advocacy, work readiness skills, college prep and disability services.

• ETA staff has received training in student centered planning and has had a strong focus on including student “voice and choice” into all aspects of programming.

Neuropsychology Services

Psychological and Behavioral Consultation Services (PBCS) offers comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations to identify a child’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses, determine how a child learns best, and outline appropriate and beneficial intervention strategies. Assessments are selected to address specific referral questions and could evaluate attention, memory, language, problem-solving, visual skills, executive functioning and other cognitive functions. Results and recommendations are shared with the child’s family and with the school team. Consultation services are also available to facilitate the implementation of recommendations and to consider how to proceed when a comprehensive evaluation may not be warranted.

18 EASTCONN • 2023-2024
- Special Education

K-12 Student Services - Special Education

Psychological & Behavioral Consultation Services

This professional group is committed to assessmentdriven intervention practices, using data-based decisionmaking to provide a continuum of support for students, teachers, teams, programs and systems. Assessment services include: Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA); psychoeducational assessment; ecological assessment/ needs assessment; and diagnostic assessment. Services are delivered through a consultative framework and areas of support often include: Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) in the areas of academic, behavioral and socialemotional supports and supports for alternative education settings and complex learners. EASTCONN is staffed with licensed psychologists, Board Certified Behavioral Analysts (BCBAs), school psychologists, speech pathologists, special education teachers and intervention specialists. Services are delivered to districts and schools across Connecticut.

• Our team presented outcomes from technical assistance, coaching and training at regional and national conferences as virtual invited speakers. PBC staff continued to publish findings in prestigious, peer-reviewed journals.

• Services were accessed by more than 40 districts, benefitting more than 10,000 students district region/state-wide.

• Neuropsychological assessment and consultation services have continued to develop in response to requests from LEAs across our region, with more than 50 assessments completed during each of the last three years.

• Through RESC Alliance projects, we expanded support to districts in the areas of traumasensitive practices, engagement and professional learning opportunities for building and district administrators.

• PBC partnered with and presented to Boards of Education regarding priority practices and initiatives to maximize student success.

Assistive Technology & Augmentative and Alternative Communication Services

EASTCONN offers specialized services to meet student needs, including assessment, training and consultation. Assessment Services: AT and AAC specialists are available to assess students’ needs in their customary learning environment and identify potential AT and/or AAC solutions from low- to high-tech. Assessments include a review of relevant educational records; consultation with the education team; trial use of AT/AAC solutions; the generation of an assessment report; and findings at a PPT. Consultation/Support Services: specialists provide support in educational environments to ensure effective use and integration of AT and/or AAC tools. Consultative services are designed to provide observation and suggestions regarding the use of current tools as well as to assist with the exploration of options available to meet the student’s needs. Results range from improved effectiveness and integration of current tools to the potential addition of a tool that is a better fit for the needs of the student.

A recommendation might be made for further staff or student training or in complex cases, an assessment might be recommended to determine whether new AT or AAC solutions are needed. Training Services: staff offer a range of AT and AAC training at EASTCONN’s facilities or at a location of your choosing. Training can be focused on the individual needs of a student or a specific technology solution, such as programming an AAC device. Training may also be adapted to explore a broader range of solutions for academic needs, such as AT tools to support reading or writing.

• In addition to providing Assessment, Consultation and Training Services to districts, the EASTCONN AT Team also provides these services for adults with disabilities who are working with the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS). These consumers are able to utilize AT to assist with performing essential functions of their jobs. One such consumer has benefited from an overbed workstation that has been custom made to his unique needs.

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K-12 Student Services - Special Education

Adult & Community Programs

Assistive Technology (AT)/ Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Private Pay Services

AT & AAC Private Pay Services are primarily for individuals with disabilities who are no longer in school (age 22+) and who are not receiving these services from other sources such as an adult services agency or an academic institution. Consumers and/or their legal guardians contract with EASTCONN to provide consultation, training and assessments related to AT and/or AAC needs. An initial meeting is held to determine needs and develop a plan that outlines services, timeline and costs. The consumer and/or legal guardian reviews the plan and decides if they would like to move forward with services.

• This is the second year that we are providing these services. We are currently working with 2 consumers to address communication needs. In one instance, we have helped the individual to receive a replacement device through insurance, set up the new device and provided training for the consumer, family and staff members who support her in employment and community settings.

Assistive Technology (AT) & Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Consortium Membership

The Consortium is offered as the result of continued collaboration between EASTCONN and the Connecticut Tech Act Project, and is offered to districts who utilize a minimum of four days of EASTCONN’s AT and/or AAC services. Membership provides districts with a flexible, customizable package of both AT and AAC services to meet the needs of students and staff. Packages include assessment, training and consultation. Consortium members can access EASTCONN’s continually expanding Assistive Technology Lending Library and are offered priority scheduling of services. Training videos on the

use of effective education technologies are provided to families of students with multiple and complex needs to aid in supporting Continued Learning Opportunities at home.

● 8 EASTCONN Districts and 3 districts outside the region had memberships in the AT/AAC Consortium.

Assistive Technology (AT) Lending Library

AT Consortium member districts have full access to the Lending Library, a continually expanding collection of AT and AAC tools. These tools can be borrowed for student trial, ensuring that the device is a good match, or as a loaner when a student device needs repair. District staff can borrow AT and AAC tools in order to familiarize themselves with these devices and their features. The AT Lending Library, an initiative with the CT Tech Act Project, is housed at the EASTCONN Administrative Offices and Conference Center facility in Hampton.

• The AT Lending Library provided 72 loans to 44 representatives of education.

Related Services Group (RSG)

Related Services includes Assistive Technology, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and SpeechLanguage Therapy. EASTCONN’s RSG team has 5 occupational therapists, 5 physical therapists, 3 speechlanguage pathologists, and 2 speech-language pathology assistants on staff that support 31 districts associated with either EASTCONN’s 6 internal programs or directly in the districts. Our experienced professionals are committed to providing the most current, evidenced-based interventions and data-driven progress monitoring strategies to enhance the participation of 685 students’ preschool through young adulthood. In addition to providing direct and indirect services to the students, RSG members work collaboratively with the academic team members to provide specific student and topic training.

• The RSG provided services to 30 districts during the 2023-2024 school year.

20 EASTCONN • 2023-2024

Leading & Learning Programs

EASTCONN’s vision is to integrate learning opportunities for educators so that professional learning is embedded in district culture and is no longer limited to events that occur periodically each year. We create opportunities for administrators and teachers to participate in regional professional learning communities, and have expanded our capacity to provide coaching to districts that are engaged in personalized, competency-based learning. We support the implementation of systems and structures to provide deep and impactful learning, both in our region and beyond.

Center for Educational Leadership

The EASTCONN Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) offers professional learning communities, cohorts, coaching and customized learning opportunities for educators that examine the nature of leadership in today’s world. Through research-based professional learning experiences, the Center supports district leaders as they consider and analyze a range of leadership options, actions and instructional methods. Administrators and other district leaders benefit from interactive, experiential activities that are dedicated to evidence-based practices and personal reflection.

Leadership Development

We provide professional learning opportunities that are grounded in the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) and Standards for Teacher Leadership. Through a variety of administrator groups, teacher-leader cohorts, online learning and job-embedded leadership coaching, we provide customized support to district administrators as they develop leadership capacity within their own district learning communities.

Online collaboration and on-site coaching contribute to this work, maximizing time.

• CEL staff provided in-person, customized coaching to over 50 school and district leaders, addressing their unique needs and challenges.

• We utilized the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders to guide professional learning discussions, while supporting new and veteran leaders with their current initiatives, challenges and opportunities.

• District-Based Teacher Leadership Academy: 15 aspiring leaders from a member district engaged in a multi-year cohort of professional learning, leading to increased coherence and the systemic alignment of key district initiatives.

• As the lead RESC in supporting the implementation of the new TEVAL Guidelines, three multiple-day sessions were designed and implemented to roll out the new guidelines and provide training that included a focus on feedback to over 400 leaders and educators.

For more information, contact Diane Dugas, Director of Leading & Learning

860-455-1591 • ddugas@eastconn.org

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Adult & Community Programs

RESC Alliance Igniting Change Conference

EASTCONN, in collaboration with the RESC Alliance, hosted the Igniting Change Conference, focused on equity to integrate equitable teaching, learning and leading.

• The Fall and Spring Conferences saw 700 attendees. Each conference had 10 breakout presenters and over 150 pathway participants.

Strategic Planning for School Communities

Long-range planning involving the entire school community is essential for district coherence and continued advancement. Strategic planning is a process that engages multiple stakeholders in identifying priorities and developing an action plan to accomplish specific goals and outcomes. In this multiple component process, including focus group conversations, surveys, a scan of current data and work group sessions, a shared vision and road map are accomplished to achieve identified outcomes.

• Staff facilitated strategic planning support in 2 districts, resulting in customized plans for district advancement.

Personalized, Competency-Based Learning

EASTCONN offers districts support through multiple entry points as they pursue a personalized, student-centered learning system. We provide professional learning and support in developing the Portrait of a Graduate (or Learner); competency-based curriculum; instruction and assessment. Advancing the integration of SEL and academics is a key focus.

• Staff uses competency-based instruction and assessment as a method and lens to plan and implement workshops and work within districts throughout the state. Currently we are using these methods and processes with 15 districts in planning, professional learning and methods throughout the state.

• A partnership with Mastery Based Transcript was established to offer a statewide community of practice to address the successes and barriers of the personalized, competency-based journey and to access tools for evaluation and mastery of competencies. Nine districts are involved.

• As a pathway to the RESC Alliance Igniting Change Conference, we facilitated Grading for Equity 5 series session for two schools resulting in transformational changes.

Curriculum Development

Our expert staff help educators research, design and develop curricula in a variety of content areas, utilizing extensive experience with state and national standards, and assisting with developing a quality, comprehensive curriculum.

• Our team supported over 100 educators in 5 districts in the writing of and adoption of new programs in literacy and under the Science of Reading legislation.

Educator Supervision, Evaluation & Professional Development PlansConsultation & Support

EASTCONN provides training, workshops and on-site support working with leaders, teams or individuals to develop quality supervision, evaluation and professional learning plans. Based on the new 2023 Guidelines and grounded in high-yield practices of reflection and feedback, we provide assistance for educators at all levels.

• EASTCONN, in partnership with the CSDE and RESC Alliance, served as the development team to create the state model educator and leader evaluation and support plan adopted by the state BOE in February.

22 EASTCONN • 2023-2024
Leading & Learning Programs Leading & Learning Programs

Leading & Learning Programs

• Three trainings providing an overview of the 2023 Guidelines for Educator and Leader Evaluation and Support including PDEC training. Evaluation of Educators and Evaluation of Leaders were developed and implemented over the course of the year impacting all 169 districts and more than 800+ educators and leaders.

• A regional PDEC was developed to support the transformational shifts of the new Guidelines engaging 8 districts.

• Two districts are receiving in-depth on-site PDEC support

Literacy Professional Learning/ Science of Reading

Professional development, technical assistance and coaching are available for schools seeking to align their literacy curriculum, instruction, assessment and intervention with current research and best practices to strengthen their literacy program. We also support districts in learning about new state legislation on the Science of Reading.

• Supported 125 staff and educators in 7 districts throughout the state of CT to meet the needs of students and school leadership with delivery through multiple demonstration lessons and teacher workshops. This work has impacted all grade levels K-3.

• In partnership with the RESC Alliance, a statewide project providing affinity groups for adopted programs meeting the parameters of the Science of Reading legislation. We will be providing opportunities for 3 programs with an estimated 20 districts participating.

• Inter EASTCONN: Workshop on Science of Reading to Early Childhood Department, impacting 5 teacher leaders with the goal to align work in the Science of Reading between divisions.

Regional Groups & Councils

Our free councils offer EASTCONN-region districts with opportunities to network and explore a wide variety of content areas. Participants connect with peers, share strategies and new resources, and learn about new developments at the state level and in their respective fields.

• English Language Arts: 75 educators from 20 districts attended this council. In addition to receiving updates from the CSDE, participants shared knowledge on effective culturally relevant curriculum and assessments.

• Social Studies Council: 136 attendees from 31 districts were impacted by this council.

• Math Council: 64 educators from 27 districts participated regularly, receiving up-to-date information, resources and professional development around assessment, accountability and math progressions.

• RESC Curriculum Council: Representatives from EASTCONN’s 36 districts participated in RESC Alliance meetings, receiving updates on state education initiatives from CSDE officials, and engaged in collaborations around professional learning opportunities, current challenges and shared resources.

• Science Council: 90 educators from 36 districts gained information and resources for advancing scientific thinking, curricula, assessment and instruction; educators benefitted from regular CSDE updates and collaborative sharing.

EASTCONN • 2023-2024 23

Leading & Learning Programs

Coaching Community of Practice

We facilitated a cohort of instructional coaches deepening their skill to develop the capacity of our educators.

• 10 coaches participated in 5 days over the course of the year, which had a direct impact on over 100 elementary, middle and high school teachers.

Increasing Educator Diversity Consortium

• Through a partnership with the CSDE and the RESC Alliance, EASTCONN improved its knowledge and application of equity practices. EASTCONN provided assistance to public schools in our region to recruit, support and retain a diverse educator workforce by supporting completion of our own and district’s IED plans. Two in-person support sessions were held, along with individual feedback and coaching sessions reaching 20+ districts.

• Provided School Climate support to increase awareness and plan development and implementation for Equity and Diversity Inclusion among 5 districts, 120+ administrators and educators, impacting over 6,200 students throughout CT.

Advocacy for Equitable State Funding

As it has for decades, EASTCONN continued to host meetings for northeastern CT’s University Region Superintendents Association/Northeast Area Superintendents Association (URSA/NASA) council. Representing EASTCONN-region school districts, this high-powered group collaborates with EASTCONN’s leaders, as they share valuable resources and strategies for managing common challenges across a range of topics. With EASTCONN’s assistance, URSA/NASA advocates in Hartford for more equitable state funding for northeastern Connecticut schools; the group also demonstrates the many long-standing, cross-district and municipal collaborations and partnerships that already exist to save resources.

Regional Consortia

EASTCONN’s Leading & Learning group continued to facilitate regional consortia, providing member districts with access to funding and resources that they would not otherwise be eligible to receive. Among them:

• Perkins Consortium: six districts gained access to $80,000 in federal funds, as we surveyed industries to gather insight into workforce success skills. Findings were used to help educators define goals for their Continuous Improvement Plans, strengthening their Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.

• Title III Consortium for English Learners: 18 districts participated in our regional Consortium, providing over $48,000 in resources and PD to teachers of English Learners.

In-District Support & Training

EASTCONN staff provided 150 days of on-site, embedded professional development and support in 12 districts for more than 500 educators.

• Staff also implemented customized, local, professional learning plans for a variety of education reform initiatives and leadership work, including personalized competency-based teaching, SRBI, Science of Reading, content literacy, Executive Functioning, leadership coaching, teacher leadership, and more.

24 EASTCONN • 2023-2024


Organizational Support services are delivered by agency departments that support not only day-to-day EASTCONN operations, but also supply assistance wherever needed to member school districts and other external partners, including governmental, non-profit and select organizations. Organizational Support includes: Conference Services; Cooperative Purchasing; ECHIP; Facilities; Finance; Food & Hospitality Services; Human Resources; Marketing & Communications; and Transportation.


Regional Cooperative Purchasing Program

Through EASTCONN’s regional Cooperative, members have the opportunity to purchase quality products from established providers at competitive pricing. Open to school districts, municipalities and non-profit organizations, the Cooperative saves its members time and money. Current contracts exist for custodial and cleaning supplies; grocery, cafeteria supplies and food service items; and paper and office supplies.

• This year, thanks to rates negotiated by EASTCONN, more than 177 schools and nonprofits collectively saved an average of more than 20% on a range of discounted products.


Eastern Connecticut Health Insurance Program (ECHIP)

This regional health insurance collaborative enables its municipal and public school members to more effectively manage and reduce costs for their employees’ health insurance. Subject to approval by the collaborative’s executive board, public school districts and municipalities may apply for membership. Learn more at www.echip-ct.org.

• The ECHIP collaborative includes four municipalities, four school districts and EASTCONN; in partnership since 2012.

• ECHIP continues to help its members effectively maintain stability using a proactive approach to the health insurance renewal process. The medical plan is reviewed year round, providing transparency to its members for a prepared approach to manage renewals and budgets.

• ECHIP’s employee wellness program provides access to an Employee Assistance Program featuring a teacher’s platform and a first responder’s platform. The wellness program also looks to keep staff engaged and educated on ways to maximize their employee benefits; remaining focused on the needs of the population.

• As employee health insurance costs continue to rise, ECHIP provides a practical, holistic approach to employee benefits.

• Working together, and with a common insurance carrier, ECHIP’s nine northeastern Connecticut members have been able to cost-effectively navigate the healthcare and pharmaceutical rating systems to save taxpayer resources.

For more information, contact Eric Protulis, EASTCONN Executive Director 860-455-0707 • eprotulis@eastconn.org

EASTCONN • 2023-2024 25


Facilities Audit Services

EASTCONN supports school districts that do not have the on-staff expertise necessary to make determinations about long-range facilities needs, including maintenance and overall improvement planning.

Facilities Supports for Member Districts

EASTCONN offers a wide range of facility supports to member districts, including on-site inspections; recommendations to increase efficiency and costeffectiveness; and personnel interviewing support.

Agency Facilities Management

This year, Facilities staff managed and maintained all details related to the safe and effective operation of all EASTCONN sites located in seven towns across a 33-town service region.

• Staff updated and installed health-and-safety equipment and reconfigured classrooms and work spaces agency-wide to help ensure safe working and learning spaces.


Back Office Fiscal Management & Support

EASTCONN’s Finance Office provides back-office, financial expertise in a cost-effective manner, saving districts both time and money. We offer assessments of finance department needs and can develop a plan of support; supervise current staff; provide business management support to administrators; assist with state report preparation; manage end-of-year fiscal close-outs and more.

• Finance staff supports all grant and non-grant financial functions of the agency, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll, as well as provides cost analysis for all programs to run more efficiently and effectively.

• Staff processed approximately 40,000 financial transactions in the management of the agency’s

$46 million operating budget; provided fiscal management for approximately 65 grants and contracts, totaling approximately $17 million; and provided fiscal management for the Student Activity Fund, supporting activities in our schools.


Food Services

EASTCONN’s experienced, creative and professional staff provides organizations, groups and school districts with a wide variety of services, the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program or After School Snack Program, and program administrative supports.

• Food Services managed 6 member districts under their National School Lunch Program sponsorship agreement.

• EASTCONN’s Food Services Coordinator is the acting director for all of the agency schools and programs.

• Staff planned, prepared, packaged and served more than 375,000 fully reimbursable school meals from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024.

• The CSDE’s implementation of STABLE funds enabled all children to eat breakfast for free and reduced children to eat lunch for free. STABLE Funds will continue through June 30, 2024.

• A new kitchen is being opened at the Head Start location on Westcott Road in Danielson. CACFP compliant meals will be served to approximately 56 children in the Moosup and Danielson locations.

• The Food Services Coordinator and Executive Chef both instruct and proctor the ServSafe exams to kitchen staff in need of food safety training throughout the year.

• Food Services is working with the CLICK organization in applying grant funding to supply our schools with locally sourced produce from area farms.

26 EASTCONN • 2023-2024
Organizational Support

Conference & Meeting Support

Professional conference staff plans and manages events, either virtual or at an EASTCONN facility. From initial event planning to assisting with on-site logistical support, we offer comprehensive event management that includes online and onsite registration, sourcing facilitators and presenters, materials production and mailings, registrant fees and event fiscal management, sourcing and supplying support materials, catering and vendor exhibit management.

• Conference Services has facilitated agency virtual workshops and in-house meetings, including maintaining registration and payments for participants, with ZOOM meeting connection support, and in-house IT and Facilities coordination.

• As of June 30, 2024, the Conference Center has had more than 865 booked events with over 9,000 guests attending in-person and 900 participants attending online workshops.


Electronic Fingerprinting Services

EASTCONN offers electronic fingerprinting services to Local Education Agencies and their job applicants in compliance with Connecticut state law. These services, provided by EASTCONN experts, provide fast results and help to ensure a smooth hiring process for potential employees.

• Human Resources staff implemented and provided new and enhanced electronic fingerprinting services for approximately 820 individuals.

• Employees and job-seekers used our fingerprinting services, including individuals hired by area Boards of Education and employees of organizations outside of Connecticut’s school districts.

Shared Staffing

EASTCONN offers professional resources to handle the recruitment and selection of qualified personnel for district staffing needs. Staff works directly with districts to provide specialized paraprofessionals for both short- or long-term needs.

• Human Resources provided over 25 alternative staffing solutions for 3 member districts this year, eliminating the need for school personnel to manage the complexities of hiring critical staff.

Human Resources Consulting & Training Services

Human Resources provides virtual mandated training solutions and tracks mandated training requirements for employees as well as HR consulting services/ information upon request to member districts in the areas of confidential personnel issues, training and related technical assistance.

Human Resources Recruitment & Hiring

Staff members assist both external and internal customers interested in employment opportunities with EASTCONN, while also managing recruitment and hiring efforts necessary for our programs to achieve their mission and goals.

• Staff processed more than 1,000 applicants in response to 241 EASTCONN job postings.

• Recruitment strategy for certain positions was changed to continuous recruitment.

• Direct contact/outreach to 85+ minority, nonprofit and religious organizations in our area was conducted periodically to promote available job opportunities in all EASTCONN divisions.

• In addition to outreach via Applitrack, Schoolspring, CTREAP, K-12 and Job Spot, we expanded our outreach efforts by subscribing to and utilizing Indeed, which allowed us to recruit and source candidates directly for positions.

EASTCONN • 2023-2024 27
Organizational Support

• EASTCONN Marketing provided targeted promotional and social media recruitment announcements utilizing print, community partners, radio, billboards, email and Career Fair participation.

Benefits Administration

Staff manages our employee benefit programs, which include group health, dental and vision plans, life insurance, disability insurance, workers’ compensation, health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, retirement options, COBRA, Employee Assistance Program benefits and more.

• Staff internally managed Open Enrollment and resulting benefit election changes for all benefiteligible employees.

Labor Relations

Human Resources prepared proposals, participated in negotiations for expiring contracts and managed the implementation/administration of EASTCONN’s three collective bargaining agreements representing Teachers, Instructors and Instructional Assistants (IAs):

• EASTCONN Federation of Teachers

• EASTCONN Federation of Instructors

• EASTCONN Federation of Educational Personnel


Marketing & Graphic Design Services

Experienced marketing and graphic design staff offer professional consultation or hands-on assistance for the rebranding of district schools, agencies or organizations. Backed by years of experience in graphic design, brand development, advertising and copywriting, staff can assist with all district communication needs.

• In January 2024, M&C contracted with the RESC Alliance SPED leads to create materials for workshops that are ADA compliant. A new workflow was designed, streamlining both the requests and approval processes.

• Staff designed, developed and executed email marketing campaigns and event peripherals for the RESC Alliance Igniting Change Conferences, held in Fall 2023 and Spring 2024.

• Staff continued to provide graphic design, writing, editing and ADA-compliant e-blast distribution for the state-funded CT Tech Act Project’s quarterly newsletter, which is dedicated to promoting and providing access to information and resources for state residents with disabilities.

Media & Communications Support

Experienced staff can help manage and increase positive press as part of day-to-day operations, helping improve your school PR, teaching how to publicize newsworthy topics, write successful press releases and/or distribute those press releases to appropriate media outlets. We are also able to assist with media requests during unexpected events.

Spanish Translation Services

Translation services are available to help improve communications with Spanish-speakers of all ages. Experienced and accurate, these services will ensure that districts are able to communicate clearly with Latino audience/s whenever needed to share either day-to-day or critical information.

Marketing & Communications with Web Development through www.eastconn.org

The EASTCONN website continues to function as a critical information hub supporting K-12 Student Services’ multi-pronged effort to communicate with students and families about education resources and much more. The agency’s website, managed by internal Marketing and Tech Solutions staff, was released in February 2024 on a new, upgraded platform.

• Since July 2023, eastconn.org has experienced nearly 219,000 page views from over 68,000 users looking to learn more about EASTCONN’s programs and services.

28 EASTCONN • 2023-2024

Ongoing Internal Marketing Support

Staff continues to support all EASTCONN divisions while marketing events, professional learning workshops, schools, programs and services. Graphic design, photography, writing, editing, website management, radio, digital and social media marketing options, video, and more were provided.

• All external flyers are designed to meet ADA Compliance standards

• In 2023-2024, staff conceptualized, designed and presented hundreds of digital and printed standalone pieces and numerous widely encompassing campaigns to support EASTCONN programs and to help meet program goals.

• Over 35 press releases/media alerts were distributed to media partners throughout the state, increasing awareness of agency programs and events.

• Live interviews with leadership and staff took place in 2023-24, on local radio stations WILI, WINY and the Connecticut East podcast.

• 57 videos were uploaded to YouTube with 5,620 views and 49,266 Impressions and 83 Subscribers.

• Facebook reach, paid and organic, hit a high of 179,000.

Digital Ads

EASTCONN’s use of digital marketing continues, utilizing affordable Google ads, boosted Facebook and Instagram posts, YouTube ads and Craigslist ads, resulting in hundreds of measurable data points of customer engagement; these efforts have saved thousands of dollars, compared to more traditional advertising options.

• Digital Subscribers: Our list of 31,800 email subscribers was used to generate 45 e-blast communications to market a variety of agency events, workshops, newsletters, recruitment messaging and professional learning opportunities for divisions agency-wide.

• Media: Staff issued press releases to newspapers, generating free print and digital publicity, and wrote and distributed three agency Connections newsletters.

• Social Media: Our growing presence and engagement on social media supported our overarching strategy that leverages Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn to build a heightened awareness of, and support for, EASTCONN’s work, educational resources and services.


Transportation Services

With a fleet of 150+ vehicles that includes sedans, minivans, SUVs, mobility vans & buses, and 77-passenger yellow buses, EASTCONN manages transportation needs for our districts and beyond. We supply day-to-day transportation services for both general and special education students traveling to destinations ranging from local areas to neighboring states. Our drivers and aides are trained carriers of both medically fragile riders and those with behavioral challenges. Charter bus transportation is available for during- and after-school field trips and athletics as well as special events such as weddings, family reunions, employee trips, and private excursions.

• Each day, we transported 286 special-needs students and 2,420 general education students from 43 districts, using our cost-saving, outplacement destinations database.

• Our Safety and Training Coordinator conducted safe driver training for all EASTCONN drivers.

• We helped districts and other public agencies reduce barriers for special-needs individuals who attended their programs, using a fleet of 150 vehicles, among them wheelchair-accessible buses and vans.

EASTCONN • 2023-2024 29


Technology Solutions provides districts with a comprehensive array of services that support and enhance the effective implementation of technology in teaching and learning. Technology Solutions also provides professional development for educators in effectively integrating the latest technology tools and applications into classrooms; provides infrastructure and network support; and develops customized, cloud-based software solutions for efficient data collection and analysis.


Teacher Education and Mentoring Program (TEAM)

EASTCONN provides regional and in-district professional learning support to districts implementing the Teacher Education and Mentoring (TEAM) program. The TEAM Collaborative provides support and professional learning for beginning teachers and mentors, along with district and school leaders. This model enables districts to continue using the online TEAM workspaces to meet statutory requirements, and facilitates support for beginning teachers.

• Staff continued to make system and program improvements for 2023-2024 in conjunction with the CSDE.

• There are over 10,333 active TEAM users.

• This year, we’ve celebrated over 396 successful TEAM completions.

eObserve Data Management System for Classroom Observation

eObserve is a customizable online observation tool for classroom assessments and/or informal or formal teacher observations. Designed to be used on a tablet or computer, this web-based program allows school staff to observe and input evidence as it’s happening and run real-time reports.

• eObserve is continuously being updated to maintain compatibility with current web browsers & devices.

GEER Fund Partnership Supporting Connectivity Statewide

The Office of Early Childhood’s (OEC) work under the Governor’s Education Emergency Relief (GEER) Fund project is a statewide initiative to support connectivity for families with preschool-age children by providing them with an iPad, digital resources and other supports. EASTCONN Technology Solutions serves as technical lead for the project, overseeing the OEC’s ambitious, logistically challenging, statewide technology roll-out. Tech staff also provides statewide Help Desk support mechanisms for families, while our Marketing and Website group designed, built and hosted the GEER website on behalf of the OEC.

• EASTCONN currently supports a fleet of 2,697 iPads, 349 Chromebooks, and 205 Hotspots.

• EASTCONN supports 182 early childcare providers.

CT DOTS (Documentation & Observation for Teaching System) Online/eObserve

The eObserve platform, or CT DOTS Online, is the only system specifically designed to meet the data entry and analysis demands required by the state’s DOTS child-

For more information, contact Andrew DePalma, Technology Solutions CTO/Director 860-455-1620 • adepalma@eastconn.org

30 EASTCONN • 2023-2024

Technology Solutions

progress framework. With CT DOTS, early childhood professionals have a paper-free method of observing children, collecting evidence/artifacts and evaluating their skills against a standard set of indicators. CT DOTS Online is available anytime, anywhere and from any device.

• This year saw 23 new program enrollments and 76 continuing programs with over 1,200 students added to the platform.

Connecticut Teacher of the Year Portal

Since 2015, the staff software development team has supplied a statewide online system for the submission and scoring of CT Teacher of the Year applications. The system, as it stands, provides self-registration, data entry, supporting-document uploads and scoring. The application process can easily be adapted to handle just about any type of application collection system.

• Work continues, in close partnership with the Connecticut Teacher of the Year Council and the CSDE, to improve the application and scoring process.

School Lottery & Admissions Management

Using an online platform, staff can create custom student applications for district schools, featuring customized questions, specific parameters for priority groups (if any), and delivered results. Staff can validate applicants, verify the random selection and provide the results, managing all communications with applicants, and ensuring compliance with all procedures as an impartial agent.


Information Technology Support Services

Our staff offer support services with all computer and mobile devices, from deployment and set-up to preventive maintenance and repair. We provide trained Information Technology (IT) staff on a temporary, full- or part-time basis or for help with short-term projects. Services

include: troubleshooting peripherals, desktops, laptops and chromebooks; networks; set-up for technology labs; preventive maintenance; desktop and server support; technology equipment repair; IT diagnostic services and audio/visual equipment support; end-user support and Google administration.

• In 2023-2024, staff provided IT support to 7-member districts.

• Staff customized ticketing services for internal Marketing and Facilities departments as well as for Andover and Hampton. Created custom response option for CT-SEDS.

Network Management

EASTCONN networking experts provide on-site or remote support services, ensuring that networking equipment and servers stay running and are optimized, while improving network availability and overall performance. Staff provide support for Windows and Mac networks, servers, switches, routers, WAN connections and wireless networks. Team is available to supplement in-house staff; for long-term assignments; and for ad-hoc projects, including server and networking equipment upgrades, server migrations and wireless network upgrades.

• This year, staff upgraded phone line infrastructure throughout all EASTCONN locations.

• Installed enhanced email spam filtering.

• Added multifactor authentication to internal mail.

Student Information Systems Management & Support

EASTCONN’s Student Information Systems team consults on focused initiatives, or provides part- or full-time, on-site staffing. Services include needs analysis; implementation consultation and setup; application management and customization; system integration; user support and training. Supported solutions include PowerSchool; Versatrans; Google Classroom; Google Workspace management and rostering; and Tyler Technologies’ student information product suites; other learning

EASTCONN • 2023-2024 31

Technology Solutions

management, assessment, communication, transportation and education-focused systems; state reporting; and locally-developed applications.

• We currently support 10 districts and have created custom elementary school report cards for 10 districts.

• Staff assisted two member districts with new implementation of the ClassLink rostering system.

Student Data Analysis & Consultation

EASTCONN’s Student Information Systems team supports all school personnel roles involved with student data: administrators and teachers, counseling, student services and office staff. Staff assist with new curriculum, intervention and evaluation initiatives; develop custom screens, reports and analyses; evaluate and improve operational procedures; and provide application training at all levels of your organization. Core products include PowerSchool and Tyler SIS, as well as related and integrated applications.

• Staff currently supports 10 districts.

• Our team has created custom pages and dashboards for districts.

State & Federal Reporting Compliance

EASTCONN’s experts help districts interpret State and Federal education reporting requirements and determine appropriate sources and tools to meet submission deadlines for student, personnel or financial areas. We verify the collection of necessary information and extract, validate, and format data for easy submission. Staff can assist with CSDE reports such as PSIS, TCS, ED165 and ED166, EDS and EEDC; legislative initiatives such as the Student Data Privacy Act; and Federal reports such as the Civil Rights Data Collection.

School Readiness

The School Readiness online portal accepts applications, provides processing, and stores results for School Readiness programs. Our system offers a fully customizable application process; multi-language application support; and a full archival system for record retention, and is currently used in Windham and surrounding towns.

• Hundreds of student applications have been processed using this software.

Technology Council

The Technology Council offers technologists and administrators the opportunity to come together in a collaborative forum and share information and effective practices. Experts in the field and outside consultants regularly attend meetings and provide valuable insights into the latest developments.

• The Technology Council meets 5 times a year. The most popular topic this year has been security and disaster recovery planning.

Technology Professional Development

Knowledgeable staff provides professional development opportunities and can teach districts new and/or advanced technology skills. Subjects include gaming in the classroom, robotics, Maker Spaces, STEM resources, Google apps for education, malware awareness, database creation, and Google training, as well as customized topics upon request.

• This year, staff offered 12 in-person, technologybased trainings which have been focused around cybersecurity, Google Workspace, and Microsoft Suite.

Classroom Technology Integration

EASTCONN assists districts in achieving the best possible results from technology, from planning to implementation, including lesson integration and training.

• Staff installed Pantheon Touch Display Boards at EASTCONN’s Bridges program, and trained teachers on their use.

32 EASTCONN • 2023-2024

Technology Solutions

• Installed new systems switches at ACT.

• Continued to facilitate and support video conferencing services at EASTCONN.

• Continued support of the 1:1 Chromebook initiative.

Digital Accessibility

According to the CDC, 1-in-4 adults in the United States live with a disability. Staff teaches how to create accessible documents in Word, PowerPoint, PDFs and web-accessible content using the tools already built into these programs, ensuring that screen readers and other accessible technology can properly scan and read text and photos properly. Ensuring content is accessible allows families and staff to more easily access products, services and information.

Web-Content Management

EASTCONN web experts assist districts with website needs, from brainstorming to buildout. Our experts can teach districts how to design and organize websites that provide efficient and effective access to relevant and up-to-date content. We can instruct local teams to manage their own content, while building in approval processes prior to publication to the website. Updates to a safe and secure site are quick and easy, and managing updates locally will also saving both time and money.

• EASTCONN currently manages websites for 2 member districts and our own ECHIP.

Video Production Services

Video Production engages students and enhances projects by creating visuals that speak for themselves. Our team can record class events; advertise a product, project or program; or create a webinar or a video for a training class. This can all be done through EASTCONN’s Video Services. We have all the tools necessary for recording, editing and creating a final product for your use.

• Staff produced a live/recorded demo course on the features of the WebEx Calling system that was integrated through EASTCONN.

HABILIS Learning Suite

The staff-developed HABILIS Learning tool is used to provide training modules for school and business use.

• Developed 25 self-paced modules for TEAM mentor, reviewer, and trainer-professional learning.

• Designed 2 cybersecurity awareness learning modules.

• Over 3,000 TEAM modules have been completed using HABILIS.

• Over 500 Cyber Security modules have been completed by staff and partners.

Virtual High School

This program offers more than 200 core and elective courses for middle and high school students, preparing them for college and careers. Courses are available in all content areas, including a selection of Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

• In collaboration with the RESC Alliance, EASTCONN coordinated the delivery of online VHS courses to Coventry High School.

EASTCONN • 2023-2024 33
Hampton Location Administrative Offices & Conference Center Killingly Locations (from top): Killingly Head Start Northeast Regional Program (NRP) Northeast Learning Center Quinebaug Middle College (QMC) Windham Locations (clockwise): Arts at the Capitol Theater (ACT) Community Learning Center
Transition Academy
Early Head Start Home-Based 1 2 3 1 5 4 6 2 3 4 5 6 EASTCONN Locations
Head Start


Eric S. Protulis, Executive Director 860-455-0707

ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES & CONFERENCE CENTER 376 Hartford Turnpike, Hampton, CT 06247 860-455-0707; 860-455-8026 FAX

Adult Programs, Assistive Technology, Conference & Food Services, Early Childhood Initiatives, Facilities, Finance, Human Resources, K-12 Student Services, Leading & Learning Services, Marketing & Communications, Organizational Support Services, Technology Services


Kristin Hempel, Director of Adult & Community Programs 860-423-2591


Tyler Square. 1320 Main Street, Suite #25 Willimantic, CT 06226 860-423-2591; 860-450-0853 FAX


562 Westcott Road, Danielson, CT 06239

860-779-3770; 860-779-3384 FAX


Diane Gozemba, Director of Early Childhood Initiatives 860-455-1518

• EARLY HEAD START & HEAD START AT MOOSUP 10B Gorman Street, Moosup, CT 06354 860-564-7199; 860-564-2630 FAX

• KILLINGLY EARLY HEAD START & HEAD START 562 Westcott Road, Danielson, CT 06239 860-779-0410; 860-779-1377 FAX

• KILLINGLY HEAD START AT KILLINGLY HIGH SCHOOL 226 Putnam Pike, Dayville, CT 06241 860-779-6793; 860-774-0846 FAX

• PUTNAM HEAD START 33 Wicker Street, Putnam, CT 06260

860-928-0004; 860-963-6922 FAX


860-455-1586; 860-455-1005 FAX

• WINDHAM EARLY HEAD START HOME-BASED 1320 Main Street, Willimantic, CT 06226 860-455-1586; 860-455-1005 FAX



Amy Margelony, Director of Special Education


EASTCONN BRIDGES COMMUNITY SCHOOL 10 Commerce Drive, Columbia, CT 06237 860-228-3240; 860-228-3206 FAX

Erin Crosby, Program Director

EASTCONN TRANSITION ACADEMY 1320 Main Street, Suite 27, Willimantic, CT 06226


Jessica Miglio, Program Director

EDUCATIONAL & VOCATIONAL CENTER (EVC) 14 Route 66, Columbia, CT 06237 860-228-4317; 860-228-1147 FAX

Gregory Biggs, Principal


79 Westfield Avenue, Danielson, CT 06239 860-779-6794; 860-774-0006 FAX

Kurt Mias, Principal

EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY, EMPLOYMENT AND LIFE SKILLS (EXCELS) 79 Westfield Avenue, Danielson, CT 06239 860-933-1257; 860-774-0006 FAX

Kurt Mias, Principal


Diane Dugas, Director of K-12 Student Services 860-455-1569

• ARTS AT THE CAPITOL THEATER (ACT) PERFORMING ARTS MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL 896 Main Street, Willimantic, CT 06226 860-465-5636; 860-465-8115 FAX

Sarah Mallory, Principal

• QUINEBAUG MIDDLE COLLEGE (QMC) MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL 742 Upper Maple Street, Danielson, CT 06239

860-932-4100; 860-932-4950 FAX

Ted Keleher, Principal



109 Route 6, Columbia, CT 06237

860-228-6751; 860-228-6756

Kimberly Bush, Director of Transportation

EASTCONN Locations
EASTCONN • 2023-2024 EASTCONN will provide equal employment opportunities to all persons without discrimination with respect to race, color, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, genetic information, gender identity or expression, veteran status, disability or any other classification protected by state or federal law. Further, it is the policy of EASTCONN that no person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise be discriminated against under any program because of race, color, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, genetic information, gender identity or expression, veteran status, disability or any other classification protected by state or federal law. EASTCONN will neither knowingly use the services of, nor otherwise deal with, any business, contractor, subcontractor, or agency that engages in unlawful discrimination. 376 Hartford Turnpike, Hampton, CT 06247 www.eastconn.org 860-455-0707 inforequest@eastconn.org inforequest@eastconn.org EASTCONN Proudly serving the education needs of eastern Connecticut’s schools and communities since 1980 #WeAreEASTCONN 376 Hartford Turnpike, Hampton, CT 06247 eastconn.org 860-455-0707 inforequest@eastconn.org eastconn.org/socialmedia Address Phone e-Contact Social Proudly serving the education needs of eastern Connecticut’s schools and communities since 1980 #WeAreEASTCONN EASTCONN

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