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Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Hundreds of people packed into the Legislative Office Building in Hartford Wednesday ahead of a public hearing on a bill that would change the state’s childhood vaccinations laws.

Connecticut children can attend public school by either complying with required vaccinations or by obtaining an exemption from vaccination based on religious or medical reasons. A proposed bill would eliminate the religious exemption. 

Ryan Pascal, a 17-year-old student at Palos Verdes High School near Los Angeles, says when her school holds active shooter drills, it's "chaos." The first time it happened, not long after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in 2018, rumors started flying over Snapchat and text that the school was really under attack.

"We had some students trying to stack up desks to blockade the door. We had some students sort of joking around because they weren't sure how to handle this. There are other students who are very, very afraid."

Mike Mozart / Flickr

How often do you buy new clothing?

Stores like H&M and Forever 21 sell new styles at low prices, making it easy to constantly update your wardrobe. But, this hour: the environmental and social costs of "fast fashion". 

From unsafe garment factories to pollution in rivers, we hear about impacts of the fashion industry from journalist Jasmin Malik Chua.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Sheff v. O’Neill, the landmark desegregation case in Connecticut, has shaped school systems in the greater Hartford region for decades. The state of Connecticut has announced it reached a settlement with the plaintiffs. This hour, we hear more from CT Mirror education reporter Jacqueline Rabe Thomas.

Gillian Flaccus / AP

At 6:30 a.m. in January on a residential street in West Hartford, it was 18 degrees outside and quiet. Most houses disappeared into the pitch-black darkness, making the lights coming from inside Anna Shusterman’s home especially bright.

“Hey, Max!” Shusterman yelled up the stairs from the kitchen.

Pixabay.com

More than 4 million people, around 1 out of 5 undergrads, are raising children today. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Education. These student parents tend to have higher GPAs than traditional students. They’re often older, single, and women of color. But more than half of them leave school without getting a degree. 

rashida s. mar b. / Flickr Creative Commons

The stereotypes around homeschooling have existed for decades. Since the modern homeschooling movement began in the late 20th century, those who favored this educational approach have largely been perceived as white, anti-establishment, radically Christian, and ultra-conservative.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has named Maloney High School junior Haley Lespier its winner of the 2019 Michael H. Savage Spirit of Sport Award.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

It’s been seven years since a shooter killed 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. On Friday, a community drive was held in New Britain -- turning the time marking the tragedy into a day of giving.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A state audit requested by a leading Republican lawmaker revealed that funds meant to support workers present at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting did not go where they were supposed to.

wsilver / Flickr Creative Commons

For some kids, the playground is a place of fun and friendship. For others, it is a source of anxiety and fear. The fear of being left out.

Why do some kids struggle to make friends while others do not? And what can grown ups do to help?

We take an in-depth look with Why Will No One Play With Me? author Caroline Maguire. We also talk about the realities of adult friendships with NPR's Julia Furlan. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

On a typical day at East Shore Middle School in Milford, the library is where students spend time using the computers, working on projects and checking out books.

But on a recent Monday morning, about a dozen students sat at tables, each with a virtual reality headset strapped onto their faces and a controller in one hand. Instead of seeing each other, Tino Pavlat and his friends interacted with people at a virtual high school and played Space Cats, a shooter minigame.

John Atashian

The nonprofit Judy Dworin Performance Project harnesses the arts to build social awareness, staging performances that draw on issues ranging from incarceration to immigration.

And it has been doing this for 30 years.

This hour, we sit down with Judy Dworin to reflect on this milestone. We also talk with performers and colleagues, and we hear from you, too. How has the Judy Dworin Performance Project touched your life?

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

A large silver tank sits in the front of Cherry Brook Primary School in Canton. In it are gallons of clean, filtered water that pump into the school’s fountains, sinks and water bottle filling stations.

It’s been a fixture on school grounds since Nov. 6 when town officials notified parents that Cherry Brook’s well water could be contaminated with PFAS, a family of man-made chemicals that may be toxic to humans. That contamination is thought to have occurred after firefighting foam was used at the school five years ago.

Environmental Protection Agency

Classrooms across the state are becoming serious health hazards for teachers and students alike. That’s according to a report released this week by the Connecticut Education Association.

In the survey, teachers in 334 Connecticut schools reported dilapidated classroom conditions that they say are causing respiratory ailments, sinus issues, and in some cases vomiting.

Over 100 schools districts were represented in the report, including Bridgeport, Naugatuck and Orange.

Seth Wenig / Associated Press

A child in Fairfield County has contracted measles, public health officials announced Friday.

This is the fourth reported case of measles in Connecticut this year, and the first in a school-aged child, Department of Public Health officials said. This case is not connected to three previous cases in adults reported between January and April.

wsilver / Creative Commons

For some kids, the playground is a place of fun and friendship. For others, it is a source of anxiety and fear. The fear of being left out.

Why do some kids struggle to make friends while others do not? And what can grown ups do to help?

We take an in-depth look with Why Will No One Play With Me? author Caroline Maguire. We also talk about the realities of adult friendships with NPR's Julia Furlan. 

SETH WENIG / Associated Press

New state data show that vaccination rates among some of the youngest schoolchildren in Connecticut fall below federally recommended levels.

The Department of Public Health Monday released school-by-school immunization data from the 2018/2019 year, which showed there were 134 schools where less than 95% percent of kindergartners got vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella.

Courtesy: NEAG School of Education, UConn

At 27, he was a Connecticut school principal. At 44, he is the state’s commissioner of education.

This hour, Dr. Miguel Cardona joins us to talk about his vision for Connecticut's education future. 

John Brighenti / Flickr

A Connecticut town is dealing with another incident in which a student in the district is being accused of committing an alleged racist act.

RYAN CARON KING / Connecticut Public Radio

A Superior Court judge has dismissed a parents’ lawsuit against the Connecticut Department of Public Health over the release of school-level vaccination data.

Brian and Kristen Festa, of Bristol, challenged DPH’s decision to release school-by-school vaccination data in May. The report also included the percentage of kids with religious and medical exemptions at each school.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The University of Connecticut has a new leader. This hour, we sit down with UConn’s new president, Thomas Katsouleas, who stepped into the role this August.

Katsouleas is trained as a physicist and electrical engineer whose career has focused on plasma science. We hear about his path to Connecticut and ask him about his vision for Connecticut's flagship state university.

Matthew Lotz / U.S. Air Force

After months of prodding by lawmakers to take a stance on repealing Connecticut’s religious exemption from vaccines, state Health Commissioner Renee Coleman-Mitchell is expected to announce Monday that she is supporting the rollback. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Brian and Kristen Festa, of Bristol, sat beside their attorney in Hartford Superior Court Monday as they fought to advance their lawsuit against the state Department of Public Health over the release of school vaccination data.

Monday’s hearing centered around the state’s motion to dismiss the entire case. 

Christiaan Colen / Wikimedia Commons

As students head back to school, teachers and administrators in Wolcott, Connecticut will start the school year without access to important files.

The Wolcott Public School system computers were attacked by ransomware, a type of computer virus that holds essential data hostage unless the school agrees to pay attackers a ransom.

This hour, we take a look at why hackers have increased attacks on local governments and schools for ransomware. What does this mean for Connecticut, a state with hundreds of separate municipal governments and school systems?

Government of Prince Edward Island / Creative Commons

Fewer Connecticut kindergarteners are getting vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella, and more students are getting religious exemptions for mandatory vaccines, new data shows.

Tong: State Officials In Dalio Partnership Must Share Public Records

Aug 7, 2019
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A new opinion from Attorney General William Tong could lead to much greater transparency for the public-private partnership investing millions of dollars in Connecticut’s struggling schools. 

David DesRoches

Shawn and Shane Brooks had a problem. They'd been accepted into Morehouse College, excited to attend the same school as Martin Luther King Jr. and other black male leaders. 

But then they got their financial aid packages. 

mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

A state investigation into Norwalk's special education program has found that the district has not been following federal law, but the findings reflect deeper problems that the district has faced for years.

The complaint that sparked the investigation was filed on behalf of 14 Norwalk students, but Jill Chuckas, a special education advocate who filed the complaint along with two lawyers, said the problems impact all kids with disabilities in the district.

RHODA BAER / NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE / CREATIVE COMMONS

A civil lawsuit being brought by two Bristol parents against the state Department of Public Health over school vaccination data was delayed in court Monday as attorneys for the state try to get the case tossed.

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