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CT Students Head Back to Class, Discipline in Schools, + PBS Stepping Up for K-3 Students in CO

This weekly segment by Democrats for Education Reform CT looks at the top education stories Democrats are watching, providing bite-sized analysis and links to recent articles. On the roster this week: Connecticut Students Head Back to Class, A New Look at Police Presence and Discipline in Schools and PBS Stepping Up for K-3 Students in Colorado.

Connecticut Students Head Back to Class

Students all over the state headed back to class this week - in many different forms. Some went full time, some in a hybrid model, and many online. Connecticut families are feeling grateful for all the planning and guidance from educators, and hopeful that the school year will be a return to some normalcy for all kids during these trying times. Just as school doors are reopening, Governor Lamont permitted the Commissioners of Early Childhood and Education to require the use of masks in school facilities and childcare settings in his extended Covid-19 Executive Orders. And, while there were some bumps in the road, like a cybersecurity breach in Hartford that delayed their opening, for the most part, things are looking promising for the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.

  • Governor Lamont Executive Order 9

  • ‘I sent him with 25 masks.’ Tens of thousands of more Connecticut students return to classrooms today. (Hartford Courant)

  • Hartford Public Schools Cyber Breach Delays Opening (NBC CT)

A New Look at Police Presence and Discipline in Schools

A report released last week from the Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate has shed new light on the continuing over-reliance of law enforcement in schools, sending an alarming number of minors into the custody of police when they are called to address behavioral disturbances. In the study, Waterbury was identified as making 25% of all law enforcement calls for students in the state. The calls disproportionately were made to address students of color and those with disabilities. In the last few months media coverage has increased on how school discipline policy and police brutality are directly linked, and that mistreatment is a cycle that often begins from early age. In fact, our DFER DC chapter hosted a webinar forum last month with the Progressive Policy Institute entitled Education and Justice: A Conversation about Police in Schools.

  • Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate: Waterbury Report

  • Coverage: OCA Report on Waterbury Schools Police Calls (CT Mirror)(Hartford Courant)

  • Listen to the Webinar: Education and Justice: A Conversation about Police in Schools

PBS Stepping Up for Students in Colorado

Connectivity and access to devices has been one of the most well documented challenges facing students during the pandemic. Recognizing the need for continuity and quality curriculum for young learners, our affiliate ERN Colorado is partnering with Governor Jared Polis, the Colorado Department of Education, and the Colorado Education Initiative to provide K-3 children direct-to-home remote lessons in literacy, science, art and math through Colorado Classroom: Learn with Me at Home. Launched on September 7th, Colorado Classroom will air for 15 weeks on PBS stations throughout the state. It's an inspiring and creative effort that makes access and high quality instruction possible for thousands of young learners, and was brought about through philanthropy, with both public and private support.

  • Colorado Classroom on PBS

  • Announcement of Colorado Classroom on PBS

  • Coverage: (Denver Post) (Chalkbeat CO)

Tweet of the Week

Following up on our report released just last week, Steady Habits, Stagnant Results: CT Solutions for Equity & Excellence in Literacy, check out Connecticut’s own State Treasurer Shawn Wooden on International Literacy Day yesterday:

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