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Seth Wenig / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Democratic lawmakers are getting ready to take on child vaccination legislation in the next session, which won’t start until January or February.

Gunshots And Lockdowns: When Nearby Gun Violence Interrupts The School Day

Jun 21, 2019
A sign is posted outside of Eagle Academy Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., requesting information regarding the shooting death of 15-year-old Maurice Scott, who was killed near the school over Memorial Day weekend.
Tyrone Turner / WAMU

In the daylight hours of a recent Wednesday afternoon, a 33-year-old man was shot and killed in Southeast Washington, D.C., just a short walk from where children at Savoy Elementary School were in their afternoon classes. Hendley Elementary School, roughly a mile away, was recently hit by bullets, reportedly for the second time in a month.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

With Connecticut's legislative session now over, there were a few bills passed that impact education issues in the state, and some that didn’t make it through.

Every time Jennifer Tidd's son was secluded or restrained at school, she received a letter from his teachers. Her son has autism and behavioral issues, and over three years — from 2013 to 2016 — Tidd got 437 of those letters.

"I see this pile of documents that's 5 inches tall that represents hundreds of hours of being locked into a room, and I feel, you know, horrible," Tidd says.

She's sitting in her living room in Northern Virginia, her head hanging over the stack of papers. Tears are in her eyes.

David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

A textbook being used in Hartford middle schools gives equal weight to an argument against climate change, despite the vast majority of scientists who say the planet is warming and human activity is a contributing factor.

Cloe Poisson/Connecticut Public Radio

As she sat with her newborn in the hospital bed after a long and painful labor, an exhausted Corrine Walters held her son close, rocking him in her tired arms. Her first child. She smiled at him.

“Hi Jackson, you’re here, finally!” Corinne remembered saying. “I’m your mom!”

Read the full story, view videos in American Sign Language, and listen to the radio documentary at wnpr.org/makingsense.

Genome Research Limited / Creative Commons

Gilead, the biopharmaceutical company responsible for manufacturing Truvada, has come under scrutiny for its HIV drug pricing. This hour, we get the latest on this story. We also preview an upcoming Hartford rally, scheduled to coincide with AIDS Awareness Day. 

LA Johnson (Special To Connecticut Public Radio)

It’s still hard for Keyanna Tucker to talk about what happened to her when she was six.

“I was molested,” Tucker said. “I didn’t know how to cope with it … I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew it wasn’t right. So I started becoming a bully.”

Tucker, who is now 22, recalled other problems. Her father was incarcerated, which was another layer of stress. And as time went on, her behavior slowly got worse.

Pexels

A new report by the National Education Association, the nation's largest teachers union, says that Connecticut's charter school laws need to be improved.

GOVERNMENT OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND / CREATIVE COMMONS

New and corrected data on school vaccination rates were released Friday after the state gave out controversial and disputed information last week.

Officials from the state Department of Public Health said they worked with school officials to identify and correct errors in a report that shows the number of unvaccinated children attending every school in the state.

Elise Amendola / Associated Press

Four years ago, Hartford school officials decided to try to reduce the numbers of students being suspended. So they implemented what's known as a "restorative justice" model for discipline, but many teachers report that they haven't been trained on the new practice, and now many students are acting out, with no consequences.

Rhoda Baer/National Cancer Institute / Creative Commons

The state Department of Public Health has made public the number of unvaccinated children attending every school in the state. But some of the numbers have already been disputed as inaccurate. 

Jason Taix / Pixabay

For the first time, the state Department of Public Health has released to the public details about how many children at each school in the state are vaccinated.

Young people and their supporters gather in Hartford to protest climate change and ask for the Green New Deal.
David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

A large majority of teachers say that climate change should be taught in schools, according to a new NPR - Ipsos poll. But the same poll that found that most teachers don't teach climate change to their students. 

Bridgewater Associates Chairman Ray Dalio and his wife Barbara, of Greenwich, are donating $100 million to support public education and new businesses in some of Connecticut's most disadvantaged communities.
Ng Han Guan / Associated Press

When it comes to philanthropic giving to public schools, the hype is always big. Like when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced on Oprah Winfrey’s show that he was giving $100 million to Newark, New Jersey, schools.

But the results don’t always live up to the hype. 

sabianmaggy/flickr creative commons

Connecticut's Safe Haven Law has been on the books since the year 2000 -- but supporters say it needs to be better known. The law allows a parent to legally and confidentially leave an infant at a hospital emergency room within 30 days of giving birth, if they are unable to care for it. 

Butler County Sheriff's Deputy Doug Hale has worked as a school resource officer for 24 years in the Lakota Local School District near Cincinnati.
Matt Richmond / ideastream

Teachers or other school staff in districts in 31 states can legally carry weapons in schools, according to a review of state laws and local news coverage by Guns & America.

mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

A recent state investigation found significant problems with a special education program in Torrington run by EdAdvance, one of six regional educational service centers, or RESCs, in the state. RESCs are publicly-funded schools that offer a variety of programs, including specialized services for students with disabilities who can’t be taught at their home schools.

But a former social worker at EdAdvance’s Torrington location said the school was rife with problems, and a state investigation agreed.

Carlos Mejia / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

Venture into one New London, Connecticut nonprofit and you will find yourself surrounded by art. Not just any art, either. Art inspired by the rich cultures of Latin America.

This hour, we go inside Expressiones Cultural Center. We meet up with one of the nonprofit's co-founders, and wander through the mind of its current artist in residence: a forestry engineer from Lima, Peru. 

David DesRoches

About 200 young people and their supporters gathered at the capitol in Hartford on Friday to demand action on climate change.

Updated at 4:51 p.m. ET

Tens of thousands of students around the world skipped school school Friday to protest inaction on climate change. It was one of the largest turnouts so far in a months long movement that included the U.S. for the first time, in an event organizers call the "U.S. Youth Climate Strike."

School Regionalization Bills Sow Confusion, Spread Fear

Mar 11, 2019

Ever since Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney’s controversial school regionalization bill referenced realigning districts “in a manner similar to the probate districts,” the brightly colored map delineating those court districts has been shared widely on social media by alarmed parents and educators.

WBZ-TV

Hundreds are expected to turn out to the state Capitol Wednesday for a public hearing on Gov. Ned Lamont's bill to install electronic tolls on Connecticut highways.

But even those who favor tolls may not support another bill to create a transportation authority. Some think it would make state legislators less accountable when it comes to setting toll rates and deciding where toll gantries will be located.

This playground is made of recycled materials, and about a third of it is from recyled oral care waste.
David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

Third-grader Emma Hallett helped her mom manage the recycling bins, which were set up along a wall at the back of a noisy cafeteria at Kelley Elementary School in Southington.

How Are Lockdown Drills Affecting American Kids?

Feb 15, 2019
Adhiti Bandlamudi / North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC

Lockdown drills have become increasingly common in schools across the United States. Though drills differ from school to school, they usually require students to crouch in a corner of their darkened classroom, away from the door, and stay quiet until the teacher says it is okay to start talking again. Students start practicing these drills as early as pre-school, before they can truly understand what threat they are hiding from.

Sandy Hook. Parkland. Santa Fe.

If it seems like school shootings are becoming more common, there is some data to support that.

Matthew Powell / Flickr

When it comes to gambling addiction, what segments of the U.S. population are most affected? This hour, we look at a new report by Connecticut Public Radio and the Sharing America initiative, which shines a light on the issue of problem gambling within the Southeast Asian refugee community.

Later, we discuss a new report on weight-based bullying and its effect on young members of the LGBTQ community. Dr. Rebecca Puhl of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity joins us and we also hear from you. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Elections aren't for another nine or so months, but mayoral races are heating up across Connecticut. That includes those in the state's three largest cities where the top municipal leaders are Democrats, and challengers from within the party keep emerging.

Creative Commons

What happens when a community comes together to talk about issues of race and racism? This hour, we find out how one Southington, Connecticut group is helping facilitate conversations between residents and town officials.

Erica Roggeveen Byrne, founder of Southington Women for Progress, joins us. We also sit down with Oliver Scholes of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford, Connecticut. And we want to hear from you. 

Jason D. Neely

It began as a six-month assignment covering the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. But NPR reporter Adrian Florido has been on the ground in Puerto Rico for more than a year now.

This hour, we check in with Florido. What changes has he observed since arriving on the island?

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