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Waterbury Public Schools school buses
Franke Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A new report from Connecticut’s Child Advocate finds staff at Waterbury Public Schools have called the police hundreds of times on elementary and middle school students experiencing mental health crises.

Some of these children were as young as five years old.

Some of the computers Bridgeport Public Schools received this summer to help students still learning at home.
LINDA CONNER LAMBECK / HEARST CT MEDIA

With most school districts in Connecticut requiring that students learn online at least part of the time, the Lamont administration announced Tuesday that 20,000 of the 81,000 students who need a laptop for classes will receive one in the next few weeks.

A toddler looking at a play pen
Pikist

Many Connecticut families have faced a child care crisis during the pandemic and it hasn’t changed despite most schools opening. Remote learning during the school week has some parents struggling to balance work and child care.

This hour, we talk with Beth Bye, the state’s Early Childhood commissioner. How are you managing childcare and remote school while working? 

First, we talk with a Fairfield woman who ran for the Connecticut General Assembly in 2018 and wanted to use public election funds to pay for child care while she campaigned. A recent court ruling has sided with the former candidate. What does this mean for working parents in Connecticut who see child care as a barrier to running for elected office?

Max Pixel

As the nation faces a public health crisis with the coronavirus pandemic, we are also amid a long overdue and urgent national reckoning with the ongoing effects of systemic racism.  And that also profoundly affects public health and the health of children.

Still, many parents struggle to talk about racial bias with their kids.  Coming up we explore why, and talk about preparing for these important conversations. Guest host Diane Orson speaks with a developmental behavioral pediatrician, and with a TV critic about ways media shape views of race.

Pixnio

The first day of school is just around the corner for many Connecticut students, but “back to school” will look very different for families across Connecticut. 

This hour, we hear from from students, parents and educational leaders.

Courtesy: Wilton Public Schools

The Wilton Board of Education has voted to postpone the start of in-person learning for a week, saying the town needs more time to prepare. Hamden has also pushed back the start of school for a week, citing a shortage of teachers.

Vanessa de la Torre / Connecticut Public Radio

Central Connecticut State University students returned to learning Wednesday, with a list of pandemic requirements that include wearing masks in the classroom and taking multiple coronavirus tests this semester.

Gov. Ned Lamont joined Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities system, on campus to kick off what they both said will be a different year of learning and having to adapt. Lamont stressed that if the public health metrics change, the system will adjust to remote learning. 

IowaPolitics.com / Flickr

Some Connecticut school districts across the state are getting ready to reopen their doors, but with coronavirus cases rising across the country, more parents are considering keeping children at home, 

CPTV

Whether students return to the classroom or learn online, how should parents and schools weigh concerns around health and equity?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

How does a national teacher of the year - turned Congresswoman - view school reopening plans in Connecticut? This hour, we talk with Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, who represents Connecticut’s Fifth District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The freshman lawmaker is nearing the end of her first term in Congress.

Hayes is a member of the House Education and Labor Committee--we ask her to weigh in what measures need to be in place for students and teachers to return to school safely.

Smaley / Wikicommons

When we talk about going back to school, we usually focus on what will happen when K-12 students return to the classroom. But what about the students coming from across the nation to return to campus? 

Empty desks in a classroom
Don Harder / Creative Commons

The school year starts soon, and teachers and parents still ask: How will schools open safely?
This hour, we talk with Jeff Leake, the president of the state’s largest teachers union, the Connecticut Education Association.
The union says the state should only open school buildings if CDC and other safety guidelines are met. Some teachers worry that crowded classrooms won’t have sufficient measures to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.
And if schools become fully remote, how can districts ensure that all students are able to access online learning? We, hear from a Columbia University researcher who is helping districts plan ahead for the possibility of returning to fully-remote education.
Are you a teacher or a parent? What fears or concerns do you have for this upcoming school year?

Barbara Dalio makes a point at second meeting of the Partnership for Connecticut in December.
Kathleen Megan / CTMirror.org

Two months after abandoning its private-public education partnership with the state, hedge fund giant Ray Dalio’s philanthropic group Dalio Education announced Monday that it would work with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities to give another shot at ensuring students across the state have access to computers and internet connectivity.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

State lawmakers in Connecticut’s House of Representatives have passed a major police accountability bill in the middle of a national conversation about police violence and racism.

This hour, we check in with CT Mirror reporter, Kelan Lyons to learn more, as the bill heads to the state Senate this week.

Summer vacation is traditionally a time for kids to step away from academics and spend time with family, at camp or poolside. But the coronavirus upended this school year and Connecticut students have not physically been in class since mid-March, and that's posing fears for many families that their kids could suffer from summer learning loss. 

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET

President Trump spoke in the White House Rose Garden on a broad range of topics on Tuesday, pitching himself as the stronger competitor over rival Joe Biden to manage the deadly coronavirus pandemic and steer the U.S. economy to prosperity.

His remarks come amid mounting concerns raised by public health officials about his administration's aggressive pitch to return the United States to normalcy, including pushing guidance for schools to reopen for in-person classes this fall.

Admissions Quest

College campuses across the country are preparing to reopen in the fall. But with the potential for a second wave of coronavirus infections, students and staff are being asked to be flexible. This hour, we’re speaking with students, faculty and leaders throughout the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities system on what it will take to reopen campus in the fall. 

Fiber optics
Groman123 / Flickr

COVID-19 has shown the Internet is more important than ever. From Google Classrooms for distance learning to endless Zoom meetings for some professionals, the Internet has become even more essential during the pandemic.

But how many Connecticut residents still don’t have access to a high-speed connection? This hour, we look at Connecticut’s digital divide.

How does the lack of broadband in communities exacerbate existing disparities in education and economic opportunity? We talk with experts and hear how some communities want to address the issue.

We want to hear from you, too.  Have your children struggled to access remote learning?

When asked if he could imagine a college party where everyone is wearing masks, Jacques du Passage, a sophomore at Louisiana State University, laughs.

"No. I don't think they would do that," he says. "I think [students] would just have the party and then face the repercussions."

That's exactly what Apramay Mishra, student body president at the University of Kansas, is worried about when it comes to reopening campus amid the pandemic. "Right now it's kind of slipped from most people's minds," he says. Students "don't really think it's a big deal."

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The academic school year has just ended, but parents, students and teachers are already wondering what next year will look like. This hour, Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona joins us to talk about the state's plan to reopen schools in the fall.

Courtesy: Shardé M. Davis

Shardé M. Davis, a communications professor at the University of Connecticut, is the co-founder of the Twitter hashtag #BlackintheIvory. Along with Joy Melody Woods, a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas at Austin, Davis sparked a public conversation about racism in academia when she tweeted out some of her own experiences as a Black scholar.

After the death of George Floyd, demonstrators rallied outside police departments, on highways and through downtowns across New England calling for police reforms and racial justice.

Amid these protests, Alicia Thomas, a special education teacher in Springfield, Mass., posted on Facebook about the role of teachers in dismantling racism — and how school administrators could do more to support teachers of color.

John Billingsley / Vermont Public Radio

COVID-19 has driven New England’s higher education sector into financial "survival mode." Now colleges and universities must adapt or risk major — if not catastrophic — loss from the crisis.

Join us for an America Amplified special from the New England News Collaborative. We'll bring together voices from across the region, and we want to hear yours.

Pixabay

Daycares have continued to stay open throughout the quarantine, but many parents have opted to keep their children at home. When Connecticut starts to open up this week and more parents head back to work, many will need childcare. This hour, how are daycares taking care of kids in a pandemic? Later, going to camp can be the highlight of any child’s summer.

Kenneth C. Zirkel

As the school year winds down for students, universities and colleges across the state are starting to make a plan for the fall semester. This hour, we’re talking to college faculty and students about what their online learning experience has been like so far, and what their hopes are for the next academic year. How are universities preparing for an outbreak on campus? College isn’t just academics; what will collegiate sports and student organizations look like in the 20-21 academic year? 

We want to hear from you. Are you a student or a faculty member at a Connecticut college or university ? How will your school hold classes during the next academic year? 

ccarlstead / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s schools will stay closed for the rest of the academic year. This hour, we talk about what two more months of distance learning will look like and what needs to happen before students return to school in the fall. State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona and Jeff Leake, the president of Connecticut’s largest teacher’s union, join us.

Later: as we approach the end of the Governor’s closure order, what might re-opening the state look like? We hear from a TIME Magazine reporter about the steps scientists and public health officials say the country must take in order to reopen and return to a “new normal.”

Thomas Katsouleas
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Colleges and universities around Connecticut are wrestling with what the country is wrestling with: how and when to get back to business amid a global pandemic.

Pixfuel

One day, we might view online learning as a normal part of any curriculum. But right now, it’s anything but that. 

This hour, we discuss challenges faced with K-12 online learning, and homeschooling. What barriers are students running into when it comes to the Zoom classroom? Do school districts need to prepare for academic regression in the next school year? 

We want to hear from you. Are you a parent? What guidance did you receive from your school district before switching to online learning?

Despite cranky computers, conflicting schedules, shaky Internet connections and stubborn software glitches, Danielle Kovach got her whole class together a few Fridays ago for a video chat.

Kovach teaches special education in Hopatcong, N.J., and this Friday class session was a celebration: They'd made it through the first few weeks of distance learning.

Video: Hartford Public Schools Distribute Food And Laptops For Distance Learning

Mar 29, 2020

Families of school students waited in line for hours at Hartford's Alfred E. Burr Elementary School Friday, March 27 only to be told there were no more laptops.  According to Superintendent Leslie Torres Rodriguez, educators are striving to meet the needs of families in their district, but they only have an estimated 10,000 devices for 19,000 students. City schools start distance learning on Monday, March 30th through e-learning and tech-free learning. 

 

 

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