CFSA has been working 24/7 to provide our membership with support and advice covering a large scope of educational needs across the State. Our team consists of: Mr. Paul Stringer, V.P., Ms. Elaine Papas, Treasurer, Mr. Richard Cavallaro, Secretary, Mr. Steve Bent, State-Wide Organizer, Steve is proactively supporting CFSA recruiting efforts. CFSA has five negotiators: Dr. Wayne Ranhosky, Dr. Anthony Salvatore, Mr. David Scata, Mr. Howard Sheldon, and Mrs. Fran DiFiore. Ms. Reign Brawley, Senior Operations Manager teams with us to manage our fiduciary controls, strategic and program planning for our efficacy on a state-wide level. CFSA team is strong, unyielding and actively working to help all school administrators state-wide. Our collective efforts have resulted in many positive changes in the evaluation system and have brought back the PEAC committee for input on the evaluation process.
The 2013-2014 school years have been quite interesting. The Districts are busy implementing their new State approved educational plans. The interesting part is how the plans do differ from town to town. CFSA would appreciate your input throughout the year on how your plan is working or not working. Your input will help us to collect data and report the information to the State educational committees with appropriate recommendations.
Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Educational Funding- The CCJEF case came to trial in July. It is a very positive action that has impacted on legislators to seriously think about educational funding mandates. There will be a judgment coming down in the next month from the summer hearing. There will be further hearings on this important area of educational funding in the coming months. The latest update as of January 2014 the judge has ruled in our favor for a court hearing this summer dealing with the funding of State mandates.
CONNECTICUT STATE STANDARDS COMMITTEE
The committee meets six times a year to discuss and make recommendations on administrative standards. The committee consists of administrators from around the state, board of education chairperson, a member from the SDE, and the president of CFSA. Our latest discussions have been focused on the amount of time an administrator needs to complete all of the teacher evaluations while oversee testing, student learning objectives, school climate, school governance, bullying, parent involvement, safety, and maintaining the plant. We have invited SDE members to discuss these concerns and help administrators balance a school day. Update as of February 2014– The committee had a joint meeting with a representative of SDE and the AFT & CEA to discuss the impact of the new evaluation process across the State. There was a strong consensus that school districts were all in different places in their implementation of the evaluation. There were several questions on why there was a need for the several observation required. The conversation did lead to more discussions at the commissioner’s level which caused a PEAC meeting which led to the easing of the amount of observations.
EPAC (EDUCATOR PREPARATION ADVISORY COUNCIL)
This statewide committee has been working the last two years to produce a higher education plan to improve teacher preparation in our state colleges and universities. The planned program has brought national attention which has resulted in financial support for 7 states in the country. I will report out the latest information at this meeting. Update 2014– EPAC- has met with Ct. higher learning educators to develop programs for beginning educators. The plan also provides better communication between colleges and universities with the school districts across the state. The committee is being divided to accommodate three committees- Data Gathering, Program Approval, Assessment. The committees will be meeting very soon. We will keep you updated as committees meet.
Update 2014-PEAC was called back to a session by the Commissioner to discuss the evaluation program He also had the Governor report on the request he was making to the State Board of Education easing the evaluation process. It was voted at the PEAC meeting that PEAC would meet on a continuous basis to discuss future plans and decisions.
The project has been in existence for the last five years. The successes and lessons learned from the project were documented in the 2012 report entitled, CommPACT Lessons Learned. Now in 2013, The CommPACT board has determined that it is time to transition CommPACT, in conjunction with AFT -CT and CEA, to join a new collaborative called the Coalition for Community Schools. The CommPACT board members are from AFT-CT, CAPSS, CEA, CFSA, and UCONN.
The Coalition for Community Schools provides resources, materials, technical assistance, and evaluation frameworks to guide the establishment of community schools. The program change is still in the discussion stage. Update 2014- It looks very good for the compact schools to still be funded with the Coalition for Community Schools. This is very positive news for the districts that have had great success with the CommPACT. More information will follow this spring when the planning is completed.
WELCOMING SCHOOLS- HOW TO HAVE EFFECTIVE TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION
CFSA is the newest organization to team with the CEA, AFT-CT., PTSA, Ct. Dept. of Ed., Urban League of Greater Hartford, to conduct Parent Teacher Community Forum Series during the school year. The first meeting took place on November 12, 2013 at 4:30 P.M. at the Sheraton South on 100 Capital Blvd., Rocky Hill, Ct. The featured speaker will be: Anne Henderson Coauthor of “Beyond the Bake Sale”. Update 2014– On January 25, 2014 part two of this workshop went very well. There were over 250 people in attendance. Thanks for your support. These forums have been growing more popular with each presentation. It has been a very positive and professional way to inform parents of what public schools are doing.
CFSA – OUR ROLE IS TO IMPROVE JOB CONDITIONS- PLEASE REFER TO OUR DOCUMENT: CFSA Working for You!