Adult & Community Programs Early Childhood Initiatives K-12 Student Services Organizational Support Teaching & Learning Technology Solutions
ANNUAL BOARD UPDATE 2017-18 AGENCY GOALS & HIGHLIGHTS
2017-2018 ANNUAL BOARD UPDATE
Table of Contents:
Executive Board Officers Executive Board
2 3 4 9 17
EASTCONN Organizational Chart Letter From EASTCONN’s Executive Director Agency Goal 1 Highlights Agency Goal 2 Highlights Agency Goal 3 Highlights
Chairman, Mr. Herbert Arico, Willington Public Schools Vice-Chairman, Ms. Joan Trivella, Brooklyn Public Schools Secretary/Treasurer, Ms. Katherine Paulhus, Mansfield Public Schools Dr. Judy Benson Clarke Regional District #8
Mr. Michael Morrill Putnam Public Schools
Mr. Murphy Sewall Windham Public Schools
Ms. Terry Cote Eastford Public Schools
Mr. William Oros Coventry Public Schools
Ms. Valerie May Pomfret Public Schools
Ms. Mary Ellen Donnelly Hampton Public Schools
Mr. Walt Petruniw Canterbury Public Schools
Ms. Anne Stearns Scotland Public Schools
Amy Blank Union Public Schools
MaryBeth Malin Griswold Public Schools
EASTCONN’s Leadership Team Gary S. Mala Executive Director
Larisa Carr ECHIP Administrator
Michael Akana Facilities
Thomas F. Cronin K-12 Student Services
John Baskowski Finance
Maureen Crowley Research & Development
Kimberly Bush Transportation Services
Andrew DePalma Technology Solutions
Diane Gozemba Early Childhood Initiatives Melanie Marcaccio Human Resources Scott Nierendorf Teaching & Learning Services
Eric Protulis Special Education Services Toni Ryan K-12 Student Services Teddie Sleight Marketing & Communications Rich Tariff Adult & Community Programs
EASTCONN’s SIX DIVISIONS ORGANIZATIONAL CHART
ADULT & COMMUNITY PROGRAMS
• Adult Education & High School Completion • Community Education • Employment & Training Programs • English Learner Services • Parent & Family Programs
EARLY CHILDHOOD INITIATIVES • Early Childhood Coaching & Consultation • Early Childhood Materials & Products • Programs for Young Children & Families
SCHOOLS & COMMUNITIES
K-12 STUDENT SERVICES EASTCONN EXECUTIVE BOARD
EASTCONN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
• Academic Enrichment • Clinical Day Treatment Programs • Magnet Schools • Programs for Students with Developmental Disabilities • Psychological & Behavioral Consultation Services • Related Services (AT, OT, PT, SL) • School-to-Career Programs • Schools for Non-Traditional Learners • Summer, Vacation, After-School Programs • Transportation Services • Other Student Services
ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES • Administrative Support for Schools • Business & Employer Services • Facilities Services • Human Resources Management • Marketing & Communication Services • Personnel & Staffing Solutions • Research & Development • Transportation Services
TEACHING & LEARNING SERVICES • Center for Educational Leadership • Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment • Professional Learning • Regional EASTCONN Groups & Councils • School Improvement Strategies
TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS • Data Solutions, Support & Training • Educational Technology Integration • Technology Infrastructure Support • Technology Products • Video Services
2017-2018 ANNUAL BOARD UPDATE
A note from EASTCONN’s Executive Director Dear Executive Board Members, I am honored to share EASTCONN’s 2017-2018 Annual Board Update, my first such report as the agency’s new Executive Director. Within the report are summary highlights of the work we’ve accomplished this year, along with information about many of the initiatives currently being implemented to support our member districts. There is no question: It has been a year of change and challenges for everyone in the field of education, as Connecticut’s financial crisis has affected us all. These challenges primarily manifested themselves as significant reductions in state aid for education across all cities and towns. EASTCONN, too, has felt the loss of state funding and contracts, and as a result has begun to refocus its business plan to counteract anticipated losses.
Gary S. Mala, Executive Director
Despite formidable budgetary challenges, however, all of us in northeastern Connecticut have rallied to continue providing highquality services that benefit all students and the staff we value so much. It is safe to say that this is our region’s “non-negotiable.”
As northeastern Connecticut’s non-profit education partner for 38 years, EASTCONN will continue to seek new ways to mitigate the financial strain facing its member districts. To that end, EASTCONN will: continue doing more for member districts with fewer resources; pursue newly released federal grants to support STEM and computer science in the region; expand transportation services; and facilitate resource-sharing discussions through the Northeast Connecticut Regional Summit. Our Agency’s ability to remain relevant and become ever stronger is the direct result of the many talented and gifted professionals who deliver the vast array of programs and services we provide. I deeply appreciate the dedication and commitment to excellence exemplified by those who choose to be a part of the EASTCONN family. In closing, I wish to extend my sincere appreciation for the opportunity to lead EASTCONN and serve you, our most valued stakeholders. I look forward with great enthusiasm and optimism to meeting your identified needs. Sincerely,
Gary S. Mala and the EASTCONN Team
EASTCONN MISSION 3.
EASTCONN will initiate, support and facilitate partnerships, collaborations and regional solutions that are responsive to the needs of all learners through exemplary programs, products and services.
AGENCY GOAL #1 To provide exemplary programs and services for learners, especially those with significant barriers, so each can achieve individual success. 2017-2018 HIGHLIGHTS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Young Children & Their Families Birth-to-Three Program
EASTCONNâ€™s Birth-to-Three Program for children with developmental delays or disabilities served families in all 33 towns in the EASTCONN catchment area, with referrals increasing significantly as we served a caseload of 145 children and families each month. Child outcomes: 97% of children exiting from Birth-to-Three met their Individual Family Service Plan goals; all children made gains. Family outcomes: 98% of parents provided positive feedback about their childâ€™s progress on the Federal Guidelines survey. Our program also serves children with autism and significant delays.
Head Start & Early Head Start
Head Start & We served a total of 390 Birth-to-Three children through our served federally funded Head Start (215 children) & and Early Head Start their families (175 children) child development programs, delivering comprehensive services, including health, nutrition education, dental, mental health and family support, to lowincome children and their families at 9 sites in Tolland and Windham counties. Child outcome analyses continued to show significant growth in school readiness gauges.
AGENCY GOAL #1
17 ACT arts magnet high school students were honored for their creative writing works by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, a highly competitive national contest that attracts thousands of entries.
School-Age Children & Their Families Schools of Choice
EASTCONN operates 2 regional magnet high schools for grades 9-12 in collaboration with member public school districts in our region: • Arts at the Capitol Theater (ACT): ACT enrolled 120 students from 24 towns in a NEASC-accredited, rigorous, interdisciplinary and arts-infused academic program with a 96% graduation rate; 73% of seniors plan on post-secondary study. Among student awards and recognitions in 2017-2018: 17 students won 26 regional awards, including 7 Gold Keys, in the prestigious, annual 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards contest; poetry by an ACT sophomore was published in Rattle Magazine’s 2018 Anthology of Young Poets; 19 students received awards for writing and poetry from UCONN’s 2018 Connecticut Writing Project; and an ACT junior got an Honorable Mention in the national 2017 Future of Technology Essay Competition. • Quinebaug Middle College (QMC): QMC enrolled 182 high school students from 18 towns in its rigorous, humanities-rich and STEM integrated program. Intended for non-traditional students and located on the campus of Quinebaug Valley Community College, QMC enables students to earn free college credits at QVCC and UCONN. Eighty nine (89) QMC students enrolled
Quinebaug Middle College (QMC), EASTCONN’s magnet high school for non-traditional, capable learners, offers its students a democratic learning community that includes a STEM- and Humanities-infused curriculum. Students build self-confidence and academic success by focusing on critical thinking, social and civic responsibility, making
responsible choices and personal wellness.
directly in 114 QVCC classes, excelling with a passing rate of 94%. Another 13 students enrolled in a UCONN writing class, earning 52 free UCONN credits. Student enrollment was high (averaging 22 per course) in our UCONN Early College Experience classes in reading, writing, statistics, medical terminology and healthcare. Twenty-six (26) of our 34 seniors (77%) have applied to college, among them Quinnipiac, UMass-Amherst, UCONN and the University of Hartford.
Transported 166 students daily from 16 districts to the region’s 3 public magnet schools, including EASTCONN’s ACT and QMC, as well as to Head Start and Department of Children and Family (DCF) sites. Of note: Overall, our transportation fleet of 110+ specially equipped vehicles daily transported 567 students, 322 of whom were special needs children, from 26 member districts to 80 different sites. Our buses drove nearly 2 million miles in 2017-2018.
Regional Programs For Students With Special Education Needs K-12 Student Services offers a continuum of services throughout the region for students with a wide spectrum of challenging academic, behavioral and social/emotional needs. From on-site professional development, training and consultations for district professionals supporting in-district students, to our regional clinical day treatment programs, we build district capacity toward the ultimate shared goal of least-restrictive environments. Some examples: • Clinical Day Treatment (CDT): Our 2 regional programs served 120 students, ages 5-19, from 28 different sending districts, with significant social, emotional and behavioral challenges, providing highly individualized and structured academic instruction and clinical support. About 10% of our students returned to less restrictive settings in their home districts. Nearly 60 CDT students participated in last
AGENCY GOAL #1
summer’s extended school-year program. We expect 7 seniors to graduate in June 2018. Regional Autism Programming: Our inclusion-driven autism program provided comprehensive, center-based educational and behavioral services to 15 students from 11 districts, an increase of 25% over last year. Our multidisciplinary, wrap-around model followed best practices in applied behavioral analysis; staff provided in-district coaching for school personnel across the region. • Related Services Group (RSG): Working with 21 districts to support more than 600 students from preschool to age 21, our professional staff provided direct and/or classroom-based therapy, including physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT) and/or speech-language (SL) services. More than 100 students received OT; 300+ got PT; and 186 received SL services. • Assistive Technology (AT): AT staff provided direct services to 64 students from 24 districts, as well as 20 adult clients from 2 Connecticut Bureau of Rehabilitative Services programs. AT provides technology tools and resources to lessen educational challenges that hinder students’ ability to access, participate in and advance in school. The AT team also delivered 75 trainings to 443 participants on a range of AT topics, and provided 18 AT device demonstrations to 40 participants. • Psychological & Behavioral Consultation (PBC): Supported school-based teams in 30 districts through multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), benefiting more than 3,000 students. PBC also delivered comprehensive, in-district supports for students with autism spectrum disorders. Another 16 districts used our neuropsychological assessment services, and we delivered 30+ PD sessions in 15 districts for a variety of special education staff. The PBC group presented its first regional conference in fall 2017, attended by 75+ professionals. • Transition Services for Young Adults: EASTCONN’s Regional Transition Services (RTS) program, located on the campus of QMC/QVCC, served 12 young adults,
“QMC has been great for me. This school has so many fantastic opportunities for all students.
Whether you want to advance your education and save money by taking college classes or just want an accepting community, QMC has it all.” – QMC Senior
ages 18-21, with a broad range of disabilities. RTS services offered socially appropriate settings, college supports and hands-on work experience with age-related peers.
A Willimantic Public Library librarian assists young students on-site at the Community Arts Connection after-school program select age appropriate and engaging reading material from among the 2,000 titles held at this satellite library location.
Regional After-School & Enrichment Programs Community Arts Connection
More than 65 elementary and middle school youth and their families participated in this Windham public housing-based after-school program, which provided academic tutoring, arts education, family engagement and wellness activities. Creative monthly themes incorporated academic learning and child-centered arts activities like painting, puppetry, photography, crafts and gardening, as well as science-based learning. Overall, 80% of the program’s students showed an increase in overall knowledge of world geography through creative games and crafts. All children read daily for 20 minutes, often with college tutors from UCONN and ECSU. Parental involvement included on-site family activities and field trips to UCONN’s Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, parks and other events. Last fall, the program site became an official Willimantic Public Library satellite, offering families year-round access to library resources and 2,000 books, curated by Willimantic librarians.
AGENCY GOAL #1 Interdistrict Grant
A CSDE-funded Interdistrict Grant, “Farming the Land and Sea,” enabled 234 students, grades 2-3 from 4 public school districts, including Hartford, to learn about Connecticut agriculture and aquaculture, as they explored the life cycles of plants and fish, and learned about balanced nutrition. Interdistrict grants enable students from different schools and communities to meet and make friends and develop a greater understanding of diversity. Our grant program incorporates multi-cultural educational programming with core disciplinary studies to improve students’ academic skills.
Regional Employment & Training Programs For In-School & Out-Of-School Youth COOL Directions Program for In-School Youth
Eighty-seven (87) youth from 11 high schools received services throughout their junior and senior years and in their first year as post-graduates from this program, funded by the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB). EASTCONN collaborated with New London Youth Affairs and Norwich Human Services to provide students with a continuum of services, including assistance with post-highschool education and jobs. As a result, 85% graduated from high school or received their GED; and one year after high school, 86% of exited youth were employed, enrolled in the military, or attending a post-secondary school.
Summer Youth Employment
Our EWIB-funded regional employment and training programs for 150 youth involved numerous collaborators, including New London Youth Affairs and Norwich Human Services. In spite of state funding cuts due to the state budget crisis, generous donations from local agencies and foundations made an abbreviated summer program possible. Of note: 100% of in-school youth returned to high school, obtained jobs or enrolled in post-secondary school after completing the program.
EASTCONN’s free GED classes focus on helping adult students regain their educational momentum, as they build their confidence, earn their degree, and increase both their job prospects and earning potential.
Adult Learners & Their Families This learning division served a total of 2,639 adults, including 738 who attended free classes in high school credentialing, English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL), American Citizenship preparation, life/basic skills instruction and employment/ college transition support. A total of 527 EASTCONN-region adult residents participated in our Community Education classes and trip events.
American Citizenship Preparation
Many of our students are non-U.S. citizens, who benefit from our integrating preparation for the Immigration and Naturalization Service exam into their English language classes.
“I am in English classes and Citizenship and both teachers
who have taught me are spectacular, especially my English
teacher … She has a lot of consideration and cares about the individual teaching of each one. I love study in EASTCONN
and love my teacher.” – Cesar Zubiaga Altamirano, ESL and Citizenship student
of our adult English Learners improved their literacy skills
High School Credential
A total of 325 adult students pursued their high school diploma by participating in one of EASTCONN’s 3 high school credentialing options, which are designed to match students’ unique needs, life experiences and educational goals. Across all 3 programs, 84 are expected to graduate in June 2018.
English Learners (EL)
The English Learner (EL) population continued to increase across our region; 317 students were enrolled in our English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) classes this year, an increase of 19% over last year; 75% of EL students improved their English reading and listening skills.
Multi-Generational Learning Initiative
Provided multi-generational, regional programming with GED, Spanish GED, and/or ESL instruction for parents, including childcare, through partnerships with Head Start, Early Head Start, family resource centers, Windham Public Schools, other member districts and UCONN. Partnerships enabled parents and children to access essential educational services, while parents also developed work-readiness skills. This family-centered model creates opportunities for the collaborative delivery of other services like transportation and credentialing classes. EASTCONN providers use an internal database to more effectively connect multi-generational adult participants and their families with the services they need.
Windham Parent Partnership
An evening ESL multi-generation initiative supported through a Program Enhancement Project (PEP) grant, UCONN Jump Start, Windham Head Start and Windham Public Schools, enabled us to offer instruction to 13 higher-level EL adult students in need of childcare. While parents increased their English language skills, their children received high-quality childcare, supervised by Head Start staff and UCONN Jump Start students. The parent class expanded its hours this year to include the full academic calendar.
Employment & Vocational Training
Continued to be the largest provider of employment and training programs for economically disadvantaged adults in northeastern Connecticut through the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB). Through our programs, 1,021 unemployed and under-employed, economically disadvantaged adults attained the educational and vocational skills and credentials needed to access further training and/or get better-paying jobs.
AGENCY GOAL #1 After finishing their programs, 50% found jobs. Some highlights: • Program Improvement Project (PEP) Grants: The CSDE awarded us 7 new competitive PEP grants, totaling $258,000. Through partnerships with EWIB, Quinebaug Valley Community College, school districts, family resource centers, libraries, and other non-profit and social service agencies, these funds provided specialized services to 150+ eligible students. Programs of note: – Transition to Post-Secondary Opportunities: Launched 3 new courses contextualizing academics for in-demand manufacturing and healthcare career pathways, benefiting 50 adults, who also got assistance with college and career placements. – Integrated Education & Training: Through this manufacturing academy, 4 students are earning their GED, a nationally recognized manufacturing certificate and receiving vocational training.
2nd Co-Location of Adult Education Programs & American Job Center (AJC)
EASTCONN and EWIB blended resources to open a second co-located facility in Danielson to house our Adult Education programs and AJC employment services. This 2nd, combined education/employment center gets thousands of visits from adults who benefit from free, seamless access to basic education classes, skills instruction, employment resources and job placement assistance. The first co-located EASTCONN Adult Education/AJC program opened in Willimantic in fall 2016, the first of its kind in Connecticut.
Workforce Development Basic Skills Education
Using federal funding through EWIB, EASTCONN provided basic skills education to help adult job-seekers develop and find new work skills and career paths. Highlights include: • Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG): EASTCONN provided case management and job development opportunities to 22 low-income job-seekers pursuing health careers. A total of 14 basic-skills “boot camps” prepared 97 students for industry skills training and employment. • Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF): EASTCONN provided 2 basic-skills “boot camps” for WIF, preparing 18 students for industry-related training and employment.
AGENCY GOAL #2 To engage in strategic collaborations that result in positive outcomes for learners. 2017-2018 HIGHLIGHTS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Member District Partnerships & Collaborations Eastern Connecticut Health Insurance Program (ECHIP)
This regional health insurance collaborative of 4 municipalities, 4 school districts and EASTCONN produced an average savings of 3.6% for all ECHIP members, in a year that produced higher regional medical and pharmacy costtrends industry-wide.
Regional Cooperative Purchasing
All 36 of our member districts have access to our regional purchasing cooperative. Collectively, members spent
$11 million on discounted products through the Cooperative, a 22% increase over the previous year. Among the many items available at a reduced cost were food, cafeteria supplies, custodial supplies, fuel, office supplies and copiers. This year, the Cooperative offered reverse auctioning, in which vendors bid against one another to fill district orders.
District Collaborative Initiative
Brought together EASTCONN-region Superintendents and Boards of Education representatives this spring to explore new ways to collaborate, maximize regional resources and save money across districts. Thirty-five (35) people attended the first meeting, and 25 attended the second. The group will continue to explore new ways of providing regional, highquality programs and services in the most cost-effective way.
AGENCY GOAL #2
Back Office Support
Continued to offer back office support for school districts; last year, we provided budget management, accounts payable and payroll functions, as well as services in Human Resources, facilities and technology to EASTCONN-member districts.
A total of 1,085 job-seekers used our fingerprinting services, including applicants for district jobs and candidates in university-based teacher preparation programs; we provided fingerprinting services in our Hampton office, as well as onsite at UCONN’s Storrs campus.
Information Technology (IT) Support for Member Districts & Municipalities
Provided on-site IT support to 7 school districts and municipalities, assisting them with network infrastructure and wireless projects. We offered a diverse range of affordable technology expertise that was especially beneficial to smaller member districts that either didn’t have IT staff, or that required more advanced, specialized IT skills.
Truancy & Residency Services
This group partnered with member districts, the judicial system, students and their parents to implement strategies to address attendance and truancy issues. Provided truancy, residency and investigative services in 11 districts and supervised 2 full-time truancy professionals, who together investigated 400 cases, resulting in district savings and improved student attendance.
Adult Education Consortium
EASTCONN’s long-standing Adult Education Consortium of 21 northeastern Connecticut towns continued to offer residents a wide range of free, basic adult education services, ensuring that Consortium members were able to provide a breadth of education programming that they could not afford to provide individually. This year, thanks to an expanded partnership with the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB), we were able to enroll 2,639 individuals in programs throughout eastern
Our Adult Education Consortium enables hundreds of northeastern Connecticut adults to improve their education and/or job skills for free.
Connecticut, including 325 in our high school credential programs and 317 in our ESL classes, 107 of whom participated in our new community-based classes. Across our region, and in collaboration with 81 local businesses, we also served 87 In-School Youth, and 45 Out-of-School Youth with educational and work opportunities, as well as job-skills training. Locations for all Adult Programs ranged from local high schools, community centers and online platforms to our regional Community Learning Centers, which are co-located with EWIB’s American Job Centers.
We increased our Early Childhood staffing to meet the growing need for School Readiness liaisons and monitors in our communities. We acted in these roles for 12 communities and were responsible for working with their School Readiness Councils to help them meet Connecticut’s School Readiness Grant requirements. Staff ensured that each town’s grant submissions met the highest standards and were submitted to the state Office of Early Childhood (OEC) on time.
“[Your staff member] is an incredible resource for any educator. She has extensive experience with instructional resources for EL students and strategies for teachers learning about accommodating ELs in their classroom. She is a true asset to our field…”
– Megan Alubicki Flick, CSDE English Learner Consultant, EL Consortium participant 10.
AGENCY GOAL #2 6 high-school-age students from 3 districts who have intellectual and other significant developmental disabilities. All students participated in regular education courses and in unified courses, including music and extra-curricular unified sports. Community-based field trips and other options focused on increasing independent living skills and providing vocational and career experiences.
Regional Professional Development Consortia
Clinical Day Treatment students enjoyed learning about First-Aid techniques during a recent workshop that taught them a practical, new skill, which also promoted their positive cooperation with peers.
Collaborative Clinical Day Treatment (CDT)
In partnership with member districts across the EASTCONN region, we continued to build our district-based, regional clinical day treatment programs to accommodate the needs of students with significant social, emotional and behavioral issues. By locating our CDT programs in the western and eastern tiers of the EASTCONN region, we made it easier for enrolled students to participate with their non-disabled peers in hometown district activities and community events. EASTCONN currently offers 2 CDT programs: the Columbiabased Educational and Vocational Center; and the Danielsonbased Northeast Regional Program. This year, both programs served a total of 120 students from 28 sending districts, in grades K-12.
Woodstock Academy Cooperative
This collaborative program between Woodstock Academy and EASTCONN provided services to facilitate student growth in educational areas and transition planning for
We continued to facilitate regional consortia, providing member districts with access to funding they would not otherwise be eligible to receive and/or resources that they would not otherwise be able to afford. Among them: • Perkins Consortium: 7 districts participated, giving them access to $79,000 in professional development and networking opportunities for 48 Career & Technical Education teachers, administrators and school counselors. • Title III Consortium for English Learners: 21 districts participated in our regional Title III Consortium, providing $40,000 in extra resources and professional development to teachers of English language learners.
Regional Community Collaboration Employment & Training
• Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB): Worked in close collaboration with EWIB in the design and delivery of programs for both youth and adults who were economically disadvantaged and in need of vocational training and/or employment. Regionally, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act program (Adult/Dislocated Worker, In-School Youth, and Out-of School Youth) served 728; 419 have found jobs. EASTCONN also served Jobs First Employment Services (JFES) customers referred from the Department of Social Services, and helped 410 JFES-program adults build valuable employability skills. Specialized Human Services Navigators referred 94 adult job-seekers to community programs through Ticket to Work, a provision of the Social Security Administration.
“EASTCONN is, without a doubt, the very best decision that has ever been made for our child.
Her time out chart has gone from 150+ in her first marking period to 0. Her home behavior has improved immensely. Her academics have skyrocketed. Her overall anger has diminished. She has become an age appropriate, regularly pleasant child…I truly cannot imagine where this family would be without the love, structure and consistency offered by this amazing community of professionals.”
– Grandparent of Northeast Regional Program student
AGENCY GOAL #2
• Regional Collaborations: – Community-Based Work Readiness Partnerships: Students over the age of 14 in our Clinical Day Treatment Programs engaged in a variety of vocational activities that included building job skills, vocational tours and internships for high school credit. Forty-two (42) high school students participated in paid, community-based internships at 40 local and national employers, including Big Y, Tunk City Revival, Killingly Historical Society, Price Rite, Truck Country, Quasar Internet Solutions, among others. – Youth Summer Program: Our EWIB-funded regional employment and training program for 150 youth involved numerous collaborators, including New London Youth Affairs and Norwich Human Services. Lower-than-anticipated state funding for the program was supplemented by donations from partners like the Windham Regional Community Council, local foundations and the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Of note: 96% of the participants achieved an attendance rate of 85% or better; and 100% of in-school youth returned to high school, obtained jobs or enrolled in post-secondary school after completing the program.
• Windham Multi-Generational Learning Initiative: Provided regional programming with GED, Spanish
GED, and/or ESL instruction for parents, including childcare, through partnerships with Head Start, Early Head Start, Family Resource Centers, Windham Public schools, other member districts and UCONN. Partnerships enabled parents and children to access essential educational services, while parents also developed work-readiness skills. This family-centered model creates opportunities for the collaborative delivery of other services like transportation and credentialing classes.
Community Arts Connection After-School Program:
Provided literacy and arts programming to 60+ students, as well as their families, in one of Windham’s low-income housing complexes. This popular program provides UCONN and ECSU student tutors, who help youngsters do homework and improve their academic skills, and exposure to the arts. A partnership with UCONN’s Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts provides free
Family Support & Parent Training
• Family Nights at Schools: Adult Programs partnered •
with an EASTCONN-member school district to provide a collaborative, family-friendly educational event. Grit and perseverance, as well as home-based educational activities, were the focus of the night. About 100 parents, students and teachers participated, along with a state legislator. Social/Emotional Health: Our staff participated in a regional service agency collaborative with Department of Children and Families (DCF), Generations Health Center, Family Resource Centers, public schools and dental services in an effort to identify and coordinate support for area families in greatest need of services.
Partnerships among many regional agencies and schools enable EASTCONN to provide education and work-skills classes for non-Englishspeakers, who also use our early-learning programs for their children.
“[My daughter] has been no issue at all in the morning! Something so simple like the alarm clock and your explanation to direct her irritability towards it - not me - worked!
I wish we had met [EASTCONN’s Director of Security] much earlier! It would have saved my family a lot of aggravation!” – Donna D., parent
AGENCY GOAL #2 Northeast Health District Work Group
Representatives from QVCC, Day Kimball Hospital, Generations, the Northeastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, EASTCONN and others worked to develop strategies and plans to promote health-related options for the region.
Regional Magnet School Transportation
Collaborated with 16 district partners to transport 166 students daily to the region’s 3 public magnet schools, including EASTCONN’s Arts at the Capitol Theater (ACT) and Quinebaug Middle College (QMC), as well as Windham’s STEM Academy. Our 130-vehicle fleet is equipped with GPS, cellular communication, First-Aid kits and assistive technologies, as well as other safety features.
tickets to children’s performances for students and families. A new collaboration with the Willimantic Public Library has resulted in a curated library satellite being housed with the after-school program, opening up a world of expanded learning resources to students and all residents of the complex.
Early Childhood Roundtable
Early Childhood Initiatives staff continued to facilitate these networking meetings for administrators of public school preschools to keep them informed about state and national policies and best practices, while also promoting discussions about topics of local interest, shared resources and professional learning opportunities.
Regional Early Childhood Planning
A regional approach to setting goals for developmental screenings, vision and hearing screenings, mental health and school readiness resulted in opportunities for communities to address issues that impact young children. In collaboration with 6 member districts, our Early Childhood staff served on the Northeast Early Childhood Council Leadership Team, supported the Regional School Readiness Council and met regularly with family resource centers.
RESC And/Or RESC Alliance Partnerships
Connecticut Documentation & Observations Teaching System (CT DOTS)
EASTCONN’s Early Childhood Initiatives and Technology staff collaborated with the OEC and the RESC Alliance to pilot this newly developed assessment system that allows providers to make common observations in an electronic format. The system gives early care and education providers a process for monitoring important steps in children’s developmental progress, as defined by the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards (CT ELDS).
16 district partners to transport 166 students daily to the region’s 3 public magnet schools
“From the drivers to the managerial staff, [EASTCONN Transportation] is always available to address issues and have turnkey solutions, suggest ride shares where appropriate and accommodate student needs in a timely manner. We have partnered with EASTCONN for many years with minimal increases and look forward to a continued partnership.” 13.
– Todd V. Giansanti, Director of Pupil Services & Staff Support Services, Coventry Public Schools
Accreditation Quality Improvement System (AQIS)
In collaboration with ACES, we supported nearly 30 programs seeking accreditation or re-accreditation through AQIS, which supports programs that receive state funding. EASTCONN provided training, self-study and portfolio assistance to 17 sites working on re-accreditation and 2 sites pursuing National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation.
Teacher Education and Mentoring (TEAM) Collaborative
After the elimination of state funding for TEAM activities last fall, EASTCONN led a statewide initiative involving the RESC Alliance that enabled 169 districts/schools to enroll more than 2,600 beginning teachers in the new TEAM Collaborative, an interactive induction, support and retention program for Connecticut’s new teachers. The EASTCONN-built-and-maintained online TEAM platform and support network enables District Facilitators and Mentors to collaborate with and support beginning teachers.
Virtual High School (VHS)
The RESC Alliance maintained its statewide VHS partnership, managed by CREC, offering online instructional opportunities to districts across the state. Coordinated the delivery of online VHS courses to 3 participating EASTCONN districts, providing access to more than 200 semester-long and full-year online classes, in addition to AP courses.
Foundational Skills for Evaluators of Teachers 3.0
Continued our collaboration with RESC Alliance partners to re-design and deliver focused professional development for school administrators. Created a new online registration system that accommodated more than 95 registrants statewide, including scoring and feedback for participants. In the EASTCONN region, 11 education leaders from 10 districts attended the 3-day Foundational Skills series, which provided details about the educator evaluation and support
AGENCY GOAL #2 systems, and helped attendees make connections to their own district plans. All components of the teacher evaluation guidelines were addressed and 97% of participants demonstrated proficiency in conducting observations.
RESC Alliance Conference: “Personalized Learning; Future or Fad?”
All of Connecticut’s Regional Educational Service Centers, including EASTCONN, collaborated to plan, market and present a mid-year conference attended by 205 educators from districts statewide. Keynote sessions led by Will Richardson and Benjamin Riley were followed by presentations on differing personalized-learning approaches to student learning.
Student Information Systems (SIS) Support
In collaboration with LEARN, we continued to facilitate a PowerSchool users group in eastern Connecticut, serving 30+ districts and nearly 100 school personnel across the region. Participation expanded to 16 districts in EASTCONN’s service area. Also provided on-site consultation and PD for 9 EASTCONN PowerSchool Consortium districts and 3 regional districts.
Minority Teacher Recruitment (MTR)
We continued to work with our RESC Alliance partners to recruit, support and retain a racially, ethnically and culturally diverse workforce of teachers and administrators for schools across Connecticut.
EASTCONN led a statewide, online collaborative with the RESC Alliance to
EASTCONN managed the new TEAM Collaborative website for thousands of Connecticut’s new teachers, and provided multiple trainings for TEAM Mentors and Facilitators, to support new teachers’ efforts to build and improve their professional practice.
AGENCY GOAL #2 process (2017), the system handled 97 applications and 699 scoring sessions, saving time and eliminating both paper and mailing costs.
Connecticut Department of Children & Families (DCF)
Our Early Childhood Initiatives and Birth-to-Three staff worked closely with DCF in an effort to provide coordinated support for the most vulnerable families in our region; the group established joint goals for serving children under our mutual care. Staff attended quarterly DCF state-level Head Start meetings and collaborated with the liaison for DCF Birth-to-Five, which coordinates the DCF regional meetings.
Centers for Disease Control 2017-18 Connecticut School Health Profile
A partnership with Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC) invites EASTCONN’s Quinebaug Middle College (QMC) high school students to take free, transferable QVCC college-credit courses side-by-side with college-age peers. QMC is located on the campus of QVCC in Danielson.
State-Level Partnerships & Statewide Services Connecticut Administrator Test (CAT)
Teaching & Learning staff continued to coordinate the statewide CAT planning team in support of the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) test for aspiring school administrators. This past year, the online, proctored eCAT test was completed by 2,025 educators statewide.
Teacher of the Year (TOY)
Technology Solutions, in collaboration with the Connecticut TOY Council and the CSDE, continued to provide a statewide online system for the submission and scoring of Connecticut’s TOY applications. For the most recent, complete TOY
On behalf of the CSDE, provided technical and logistical support for the delivery of a statewide survey of 300+ schools on health education policies and practices, which was submitted to the Centers for Disease Control.
Connecticut Bureau of Rehabilitative Services (BRS)
Our Assistive Technology (AT) team provided BRS adult programs with assessment services and support for 20 adult clients with disabilities who are seeking to obtain or maintain employment, and continued to provide assistance to persons with hearing and visual impairments.
Connecticut Department of Mental Health Services (DMHAS)
Our ongoing, successful collaboration with DMHAS provided educational support and oversight for more than 150 students who were admitted to 5 mental health facilities in the region. We assisted DMHAS in providing a continuum of educational services, while addressing students’ mental health needs.
Connecticut Department of Developmental Services (DDS)
In close coordination with DDS, our Regional Transition Services (RTS) program worked to address the needs of RTS students who are transitioning to adult services. The
“Thanks so much for presenting information at the initial TEAM meeting for year 1 Beginning Teachers in Windham. It was great to have you share information
about the tech side of TEAM and trouble shoot for some of the Beginning Teachers. As always, your positive approach to the information you gave was a huge help!
We are lucky to have you!” – Sharon Bartlett, Windham Public Schools
AGENCY GOAL #2
RTS program serves young adults with a broad range of developmental and other disabilities.
Statewide Data Systems Support
Continued to develop user-friendly, customized, online, database solutions designed to streamline data collection and analysis. Among them:
• CTPAF (Connecticut Pre-School Assessment Framework): Maintained and supported the
EASTCONN-designed system of reporting tools used in 700 pre-school classrooms, which provided detailed reports on 14,000 preschoolers statewide. • Kindergarten Inventory: On behalf of the CSDE, we continued to manage the Kindergarten Inventory, an online tool used in all Connecticut schools. The Inventory provides critical data on the developmental progress of approximately 35,000 kindergarten students. • Lighthouse Survey: In partnership with CSDE and the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), this online survey measures beliefs around student achievement potential in high-achieving and low-achieving districts, and also supports training for best-practices for boards of education. • TEAM: Continued to manage the online new-teacher support platform for districts statewide.
Higher Education Partnerships & Collaborations UCONN Collaborations
• Early Childhood: Our Head Start staff continued its
collaboration with UCONN’s School of Human Development and Family Studies. Together, we collected data through a multi-dimensional Family Functioning Scale (FFS), measuring the achievement of family-defined goals and stress factors. The scale measures domains related to basic needs, understanding child development and caring for a child. Results helped guide interventions, program improvements and staff professional development.
Managed the CSDE’s
Kindergarten Inventory tool, tracking 35,000 kindergartners
• Psychological & Behavioral Support: Continued our
collaboration with UCONN’s NEAG School of Education in supporting doctoral students who, with supervision, provide academic and behavioral consultation and coaching to school-based staff to improve outcomes for students. Also developed a partnership with Dr. Sandra Chafouleas and the UCONN Collaboratory on School and Child Health, focused on trauma-informed service delivery in schools and fostering trauma-sensitive practices for students, families and staff.
College Opportunities For EASTCONN Students • Quinebaug Middle College (QMC) Magnet High School: 89 QMC students enrolled and
earned free college credit in 114 QVCC classes, achieving a passing rate of 94%. • Regional Transition Services (RTS): Located on Quinebaug Valley Community College’s Danielson campus, our RTS program enables 5th-year students to take a college class each semester that helps them develop the self-advocacy skills needed to take college classes and seek appropriate learning accommodations.
Regional Transition Services supports young adults who have a broad range of disabilities, helping them develop realworld skills as they move toward independence.
A collaboration between EASTCONN’s Early Childhood Initiatives and Technology Solutions culminated in the state-wide use of EASTCONNdeveloped-and-managed online database solutions, such as CTPAF and Kindergarten Inventory, resulting in the efficient data collection and analysis of early childhood program outcomes.
AGENCY GOAL #3 To enhance the knowledge and skills of educators and the whole community, so they can effect change and facilitate positive outcomes for learners. 2017-2018 HIGHLIGHTS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Teaching & Learning Initiatives Professional Learning Support In-District Support & Training
Provided 93 days of on-site, embedded professional development and support in 15 districts, for 147 educators. We implemented customized, local professional learning plans for a variety of education reform initiatives, including performance task development, differentiated instruction, applications of Connecticut Core, social studies and science standards.
Provided district-embedded professional learning, modeling and coaching to 18 math educators in 4 districts, addressing Connecticut Core Standards for mathematics, and readiness for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) assessment. A 4-day Math Recovery training course is scheduled for summer 2018.
Partnered with the CSDE to host 21 teachers and administrators from 14 EASTCONN-region districts, so they could engage in a session with the CSDEâ€™s Chief Performance Officer. Participants reviewed EdSight Secure, a new state portal featuring tools for district data visualizations, secure analysis and student-level data.
AGENCY GOAL #3 EASTCONN’S Center for Educational Leadership (CEL)
Opportunities for professional learning in a variety of content areas present themselves through the Center for Educational Leadership, Teaching and Learning, and EASTCONN-facilitated groups and councils.
Professional Learning for Music Teachers
Provided professional development to 16 teachers from 11 districts on approaches to elementary music instruction. The program immersed participants in stories, as they explored how to use them to encourage musical creativity and promote literacy in their students.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Through a range of services, we supported 6 districts and 50 educators as they continued to adopt the NGSS. Activities included sessions on NGSS curriculum alignment, rubric development, assessments and administrator support. Also delivered 3 Curriculum Unit Development Institutes to 25 educators from 14 districts.
Minority Teacher Recruitment (MTR)
In collaboration with Connecticut’s 6 RESC Alliance members, we continued our work on the MTR program, whose goals are to recruit, hire, develop, support and retain a racially, ethnically and culturally diverse teaching and administrative workforce for Connecticut schools.
Our Center for Educational Leadership continued to provide deeply reflective professional learning experiences for educators as they examined the characteristics of leadership in the world today. Through research-based professional learning approaches, 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 Coaching: Provided customized coaching to 13 school and district leaders, addressing the unique needs and challenges in their schools. Utilized the Connecticut Leadership Framework to guide discussions. • Strategic Advancement Planning: Facilitated strategic planning in 3 districts, leading to customized action plans for district advancement. Also led focus groups that included 60+ district stakeholders from across the region and generated 3-year advancement plans for each district. • Student-Centered Learning: 18 leaders from 15 districts participated, gaining insight into the essential components of the student-centered learning approach to instructional design. This interactive session included an overview of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation tenets and related practices.
• Focusing Community Conversations on Resilience: Using a documentary titled “Resilience”
as a starting point, we collaborated with the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) to examine the impact of adverse childhood experiences and trauma on student learning and lifelong outcomes. We aired “Resilience” in several EASTCONN-region communities, and facilitated conversations with 140+ educators, parents and community service professionals, who discussed strategies for fostering social-emotional learning in children and adults.
“Our school has partnered with EASTCONN’s [Center for Education Leadership] to develop a Strategic Plan. At the sessions in February, I was impressed with how inclusive the process was, and it led to some great discussions with school staff and community members. I really appreciated the variety of activities to address the opportunities for students and families in Sterling.” – Lincoln Cooper, Town of Sterling Selectman
AGENCY GOAL #3 Statewide Professional Learning & Support
More than 200 educators attended the statewide RESCsponsored “Personalized Learning; Future or Fad?” conference to learn more about opposing viewpoints on this hot topic in education. EASTCONN collaborated with its 5 sister RESCs (ACES, CES, CREC, EdAdvance and LEARN) to organize, host and present the mid-year conference.
Educator Evaluation Support & Training Foundational Skills for Evaluators of Teachers 3.0
Eleven (11) educational leaders from 10 districts attended this 3-day series, which provided them with details of the educator evaluation and support system and helped them make connections to their own district plans. All components of the teacher evaluation guidelines were addressed and participants were able to demonstrate proficiency in conducting observations. More than 97% of participants achieved proficiency. EASTCONN’s 5th Annual Infant/Toddler Conference brought early childhood professionals from across the state to Hampton learn more about trauma’s effects on children and their ability to learn.
• Book Studies: Began offering 3 online book clubs
to the region’s educators to engage them in learning more about topics like student-centered learning, fostering resilient learners and creating effective teams.
Professional Certification Collaboration
EASTCONN Educational Services and Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) partnered to offer a new cohort for the Sixth Year Certificate in Educational Leadership. Eleven (11) cohort members worked both online and in person with CCSU faculty and EASTCONN professional staff to prepare for their Intermediate Administrator 092 certificate. Content for this two-year-plus program, which includes a projectbased internship, is customized to meet the needs of future administrators of small districts in our region.
Professional Development & Evaluation Committee (PDEC)
EASTCONN’s Center for Educational Leadership continued to support the PDEC in 6 districts, contributing to increased coherence between teacher evaluation, student performance data and professional development, leading to better alignment of strategic initiatives across the districts.
New Teacher Education and Mentoring (TEAM) Collaborative
This past year, in collaboration with the RESC Alliance, EASTCONN managed the new TEAM Collaborative website that was accessed by 2,600 new teachers from across Connecticut. TEAM is the program that supports beginning teachers’ new practice. The TEAM online platform provides new teachers with an anytime, anywhere opportunity to reflect on their day-to-day classroom performance and to interact with experienced Mentor-teachers and Facilitators who support their development. The TEAM process also supports teacher-retention efforts statewide.
“The EASTCONN online platform for FSE (foundational skills for evaluators) is extremely
user friendly and easy to navigate. My kudos to [EASTCONN] and [your programmer] and whomever else worked on this. It makes it much easier to review and score the participant activities.” – Ellen M. Dalton, Interim Director of Educator Professional Development and Services 19.
TEAM Field Staff/RESC Minority Teacher Recruiting Alliance Representative
AGENCY GOAL #3
Statewide Early Childhood Professional Development
different coaching models that support early childhood providers and parents, and practice-improvement strategies.
Our Early Childhood Initiatives (ECI) staff support many regional and statewide early childhood initiatives, delivering workshops and coaching across a range of topics, including instructional strategies; Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards (CT ELDS); social-emotional competence; collaboration and team-building; executive function; homeschool connections, and more. Some highlights:
We delivered professional learning on trauma-informed care to 75 teachers of infants and toddlers, with a focus on building relationship-based competencies that can provide consistent care and communication with young children.
Our Early Head Start and Birth-to-Three programs co-sponsored the 5th annual, statewide Infant/Toddler Conference, held at EASTCONN’s Conference Center in Hampton. Seventy-five (75) early childhood educators, mental health professionals, administrators and state officials attended. Presenters and break-out sessions concentrated on the effects of trauma on early relationships and identifying new strategies that reinforce resilience among family members, young and old.
Regional & Quality Recognition Improvement System (QRIS)
Touching upon richly varied content and early-childhoodspecific pedagogical topics, we provided 72 workshops for 1,200 participants, ranging from early childhood educators and related services staff to program administrators and social workers. EASTCONN’s ECI staff also hosted a regional listening tour on Family Engagement for the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) as they began creating an early childhood quality improvement system in Connecticut. The Director of ECI serves on the BUILD Think Tank, supporting the OEC as it creates a system of best practice. ECI staff and consultants conducted QRIS pilot visits at 20 sites statewide.
Collaborated with the OEC, All Our Kin, Birth-to-Three, the Hartford Foundation and Head Start Training to host a 2-day Coaching Institute, attended by 100 practitioners examining
Trauma-Informed Care & Social-Emotional Competence
Improving Executive Function, Language, Literacy & Math Skills
A total of 1,611 children received focused attention in order to increase their executive function and social skills, as a result of the trainings and on-site coaching we delivered to educators and providers in 96 classrooms in 14 communities. We continued to see increases in executive function, social skills, literacy and math in our collaborative programs, where integrated curricular approaches and strategies are being used to support positive child outcomes.
Professional Learning for Community-Based Early-Care Providers
Provided 17 different workshops for 525 communitybased, early-care providers, on a wide variety of content and pedagogical topics. Attendees included preK 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, as well as social workers, DMHAS and DCF workers.
Also of note this year, EASTCONN Early Childhood Initiatives staff: • Collaborated and supported the development of
Connecticut Core Knowledge & Competency (CT CKCs) Framework, the online self-assessment tool for professionals working with young children and their families. The framework provides a foundation for professional learning decisions, PD design and quality improvement efforts.
EASTCONN professional staff delivered both local and statewide professional learning workshops, conferences, in-district coaching and PD events to improve the practice of hundreds of K-12 educators and early childhood teachers.
AGENCY GOAL #3
• Continued piloting the EASTCONN-developed,
preschool-student assessment system, Connecticut Documentation & Observation Teaching System (CT DOTS) that gives early childhood providers and teachers an improved, common format to monitor, analyze and report observations about children in their care.
Playful Learning Pilot
With a focus on the cognitive benefits of play, 19 schools used Purposeful Play and executive function methodologies to inform PD for early care/teaching professionals, and other materials used in preschool through 1st grade. Participating teachers implemented Purposeful Play aligned with standards, including science and social studies, in their classrooms, positively impacting more than 1,000 youngsters. The Supporting Educational Success Through Playful Learning training modules, developed by EASTCONN in collaboration with the Hartford Area Child Care Collaborative with funding from the Lego TM Community Foundation and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, are designed to help teachers and families collaborate around Purposeful Play that supports learning standards.
• Executive Function & Purposeful Play: EASTCONN provided training and on-site coaching in 11 communities statewide to promote: increased child outcomes and success in school; teacher support as they consider the whole child in all domains of development; engagement in evidence-based practices; promotion of higher-order thinking and cognitive rigor; accountability and child progress.
Preschool Development Grant
In collaboration with the state Office of Early Childhood (OEC) and the Early Childhood Consultation Partnership (ECCP), we developed and coordinated statewide PD and coaching services for 13 communities involved in the Preschool Development Grant, reaching nearly 200 earlychildhood educators and paraprofessionals in 65 classrooms. Formative assessment and pedagogical leadership emerged
EASTCONN’s Mobile STEM Lab travels across northeastern Connecticut to bring its fully equipped, state-of-the-art lab to outdoor spaces like fields, parks and streams, where students can conduct hands-on experiments, using sophisticated STEM Lab equipment.
as priorities in the third year of this 4-year federal grant. EASTCONN provided a framework for professional guidance and support to coaches.
Other Regional Professional Learning Initiatives EASTCONN Mobile STEM Lab
The EASTCONN Mobile STEM Laboratory provides authentic learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for K-12 teachers and students. This year, 10 districts (including EASTCONN schools) and more than 1,500 students benefited from the opportunity to work on a mobile laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art scientific tools. More than 20 teachers from 11 of our region’s districts received separate science trainings on the Mobile Lab, where 20 at a time can sit at stations inside the Lab and conduct inthe-field experiments with help from high-end equipment like the on-board electron microscope.
Psychological & Behavioral Consultation Services (PBC)
Our neuropsychological assessment, behavioral consultation and professional development services were accessed by 30 districts, benefiting thousands of students and their teachers. Comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations were conducted to support districts as they worked to create appropriate intervention strategies. Neuropsychological services have continued to develop in response to increasing requests from districts. Of note this year:
• Regional Conference: Created the first regional
• Professional Learning Sessions: Delivered
conference (fall 2017) on breaking through barriers for students with special needs. With 12+ sessions and 75+ special educators, administrators, related service providers and mental health professionals, the conference supported districts in building their capacity to serve all students with special needs.
30+ professional learning sessions in 15 districts for
AGENCY GOAL #3 paraprofessionals, special education teachers and other school-based mental health providers and administrators. Many PBC staff were invited by prestigious regional and national conferences to present their research outcomes on topics ranging from technical assistance and coaching to training.
School districts across the region relied on our PowerSchool and programming specialists for best practices in student
Provided on-site PD and consultation for 9 PowerSchool Consortium districts and 2 regional districts and facilitated workshops to improve the student information skills of 100 personnel through workshops and regional user-group meetings. Participation expanded this year, enabling our on-staff, nationally recognized expert to assist 16 districts not only in EASTCONN’s service area, but in more than two dozen districts throughout the state.
In-District Professional Development
Technology Solutions provided in-district PD for 4 districts, and staff from 2 private schools, on topics like Documentation and Observation for Teaching System (DOTS), STEM Robotics Instruction and Google Classroom.
Safety & Security
Our school safety coordinator, a certified Governor’s Task Force on Justice for Abused Children instructor, trained EASTCONN clinical day treatment staff on how to properly respond to abuse disclosures. He also trained 50+ EASTCONN employees in American Red Cross CPR/FirstAid, and another 30 in security protocols at the Willimantic American Job Center. • Supers & Troopers: Held 2 sessions attended by 50 Connecticut State Troopers and local law enforcement officers, as well as 50 school administrators, who learned about truancy and residency laws, police response to students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and child human trafficking. Sessions help connect the groups, building understanding and creating a shared language.
information system management and state-mandated student-data report creation.
Assistive Technology (AT) & Related Services Our professional learning opportunities gave school personnel an opportunity to try the latest assistive technologies for their students. Direct AT services and technologies improve disabled students’ access to the general curriculum, helping them reach their potential.
• Professional Learning & Site-Based Support:
The AT team delivered 75 trainings to 443 participants on a range of AT topics, and provided direct services to 64 students from 24 districts. Fourteen (14) districts have joined our AT Consortium, giving them priority scheduling and access to our AT Lending Library and AT trainings. – Related Services staff worked with 21 districts to support in-district professionals, benefiting 600 students, preschool to age 21. Related Services include AT, OT, PT and SL therapies.
Regional Groups & Councils
Professionals representing nearly all 36 EASTCONN-member districts participated in one or more of our 12 free regional councils, as they met to explore a wide variety of content and job-related areas. Each council is designed to provide EASTCONN-region district staff with opportunities to connect with peers, share resources, learn about state requirements and increase their professional learning.
“[EASTCONN’s PowerSchool Specialist] has communicated with us on a regular basis …
They have provided valuable training to our staff in an organized but flexible manner, and
have assisted us in organizing our systems and protocols. Thank you very much for everything thus far!” – Charles Hewes, Director of Teaching and Learning, Colchester Public Schools 22.
EASTCONN Sites In The EASTCONN Region
Northeastern Connecticut, often called “The Quiet Corner” because of its deeply rural character, is home to 33 towns, among them some of the state’s smallest and most economically challenged. These are the towns that EASTCONN serves. Amidst the farms and forests of this area lie pockets of affluence and poverty, including towns that are not only among the state’s poorest, but are also home to students scoring among the state’s lowest on standardized tests. Attributes of this 240-square-mile region include small schools, a strong sense of community and a long history of voluntary collaboration and resource sharing. Challenges include long-standing, high unemployment rates, inadequate public transportation, limited access to local educational enrichment, social resources, recreational options and other impoverishing conditions.