The Board of Education last night received a report from the Redistricting Committee, detailing several recommendations to improve and simplify the registration and enrollment processes for neighborhood and magnet schools. The presentation was the culmination of a six-month long review of the current system by a committee of parents, teachers, principals, administrators, Board of Education members and aldermen.
The committee has recommended that the City be divided into four quadrants that would serve as attendance zones for K-8 neighborhood and choice schools. Families in each quadrant would have priority for seats in their quadrant's neighborhood and magnet schools.
The committee has also recommended several measures to improve the efficiency and transparency of the registration process. Recommendations include:
• Creation of a unified registration and school assignment process for ALL schools with a common timeline that is more user-friendly for families.
• Providing school capacity and seat availability information to parents in a more timely fashion.
• Establishment of a task force to examine the current sibling enrollment process.
• Expansion and relocation of the school registration center to one or two locations that have easy access to public transportation and parking.
• Expansion of online services to increase efficiency and convenience.
• Reexamination by the Magnet School Office of the school choice lottery protocols to determine if changes could increase the number of students placed in a school requested by their parents.
This has been a transparent and open process over the past six months, including public meetings and public hearings. As the Board of Education reviews these recommendations there will be additional opportunity for public input. For more information on the report and recommendations, visit the redistricting committee website at http://www.newhavenschoolenrollment.com/
Report Card Nights Tonight (Wednesday) and Tomorrow (Thursday)
Tonight is report card night for elementary and middle school parents. Tomorrow is report card night for high schools. Parents, please make every effort to attend report card night to meet your child's teachers and talk about your child's progress.
Parent involvement is a critical component of student success, and the district has been focusing efforts this year on improving parent engagement, including organizing community canvasses to speak to parents at their homes about New Haven School Change, New Haven Promise and Boost! support services. Earlier this month I had the pleasure of welcoming parents to the inaugural Parent University, a daylong series of free workshops for New Haven parents.
Parents interested in staying on top of school news can now "like" the New Haven Public Schools on Facebook. If you're interested in getting more involved at your child's school, Report Card Night is a good first step toward learning more about opportunities for parents such as Parent Teacher Organizations. Check with your child's school for more ways to get involved and support your child's education.
Fallen Flags Project on Display at City Hall
I had the honor of joining Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and the Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee last Sunday for the City's Veteran's Day Ceremon. This year's ceremony was particularly special as we unveiled the Fallen Flags Project by Connecticut artist Rebecca Fellows. Inspired by the loss of a friend serving in Iraq in 2007, Fellows has pieced together the images of 6,389 fallen soldiers in chronological order of their deaths. When viewed together, the images form six large American flags. The flag was unveiled at Sunday's ceremony and will remain on display in City Hall indefinitely. I encourage all to come see this powerful work of art.
Althea Marshall Brooks Appointed New Community Services Administrator
I want to welcome Althea Marshall Brooks as the City's new Community Services Administrator. Althea fills the vacancy left by Dr. Chisara Asomugha, who is currently serving as the Senior Advisor and Medical Officer at the Center for Clinical Standards & Quality in the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services. As Community Services Administrator, Althea will be responsible for coordinating City departments and initiatives that directly impact the social well-being and physical health of New Haven residents, including the Health, Youth, Vital Statistics and Elderly Services departments. As CSA, she will also oversee services to the homeless and re-entry populations, substance abuse and teen pregnancy prevention, State-Administered General Assistance programs as well as the New Haven Resident Card. I worked with Althea Marshall Brooks in her role at Empower and with the City's Re-Entry Initiative. I am confident she will be terrific as Community Services Administrator.
Althea previously served as the City's Re-Entry Initiative Coordinator, where she was responsible for initiating, developing and implementing policies and practices to address the needs of those returning from incarceration. Prior to her entry into City government, Marshall Brooks served as the President/CEO of Empower New Haven, the implementing agency for the Federal Round II Empowerment Zone Initiative.
Althea also serves as adjunct faculty at Gateway Community College. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Family Studies from the University of Connecticut, a Master's degree from Southern Connecticut State University in Sociology, and a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University.
Wooster Square Parking Lots to Become Homes
The City is seeking to sell four parking lots in the Wooster Square neighborhood, hoping to turn the underutilized lots into four two-to-four family homes. The properties at 494 Chapel Street, 109 Olive Street, 176 Chesnut Street and 9 Brown Street are all owned by the City and managed as surface lots by the New Haven Parking Authority. The properties exist within the Wooster Square Historic District and any structures must be designed and constructed in accordance with historic district requirements.
These parking lots are not well used right now. Selling these lots will produce revenue for the City and will help provide new housing for families in a beautiful historic area.
The request for proposals were posted and advertised beginning Sunday, October 27. Bids are due next week. Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by a five member committee consisting of representatives from the Board of Aldermen, City staff and Wooster Square residents. The committee will make a recommendation to Erik Johnson, Executive Director of the Livable City Initiative, who will then submit the recommendation to the Board of Aldermen for final review and approval. Selection criteria include experience with historic projects similar in nature, past performance, proposal completeness and compliance, references, purchase price and the estimated development schedule.
Contact Phone: 203-946-8200