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It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!

Upton Sinclair

the height of irony

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Toboggan Run

The projections for the enrollment of students in Region 1 continue to decrease. The projections by NESDEC show the result of net aging and migration. They said, “K-8 enrollments in Region #1 are forecast to decrease by 110 students; and the high school level to decrease by about 36 pupils…all within the next three years – as the smaller classes move up the grades.” For Housatonic Valley Regional High School, this means that the enrollment will drop to 377 students next year, and 349 by 2020. However, having six towns in the Region does make a difference compared to Region 12 and Shepaug.

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Region 1 Assistant Superintendent of Schools

LisaCarter@carterteach111

On Thursday, February 16, 2017, the Region 1 Board of Education formally selected Lisa B. Carter as its new Assistant Superintendent of Schools, effective July 1, 2017.  Carter, an educator in Region 1 for more than 14 years, has served as Principal of Salisbury Central School since 2011. She began her education career as a Social Studies teacher at Housatonic Valley Regional High School, where, in addition to being an exceptional teacher, she collaborated with her colleagues to initiate the student exchange with China and the Civic Life Project.

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Region 1 Search Committee

At the Region 1 Board of Education meeting this evening [1/09/17], the Board accepted a Leadership Profile to guide the selection of a new assistant superintendent of schools. This action completes the first phase of the search process to fill the vacancy that will be created when Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain retires in June and Assistant Superintendent Pam Vogel becomes Region 1’s next superintendent. Mary Broderick, our consultant with the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education Search Services, presented the Leadership Profile to the Search Committee (comprised of Region 1 Board and ABC Committee members), last week. The report is based on conversations with over 60 individuals and 111responses to an online survey. The Search Committee deeply appreciates the time and commitment staff and community members demonstrated by participating in this process. The Leadership Profile will be posted on the Region 1 website on Tuesday, January 10. The website is located at: http://www.region1schools.org/. The Search Committee will conduct semi-finalist interviews later this month.

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Dishonest State Government Strikes

The governor of Connecticut, bless his heart, has cut the Educational Cost sharing funds to our towns at year end, long after the budgets are in motion.  The cuts for each town, with Salisbury taking most of the hit in Region 1.

Town ECS Cuts
Canaan ($9,421)
Cornwall ($16,523)
Kent ($25,634)
North Canaan ($19,984)
Salisbury ($49,305)
Sharon ($32,143)
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Two Questions

nesceckentenrollment

The Kent Board of Education faces two very urgent questions. First, how does Kent Center School change to better prepare their students for high school? Second, what is the staffing plan for Kent Center School when enrollment falls to 180-190 students in three to four years? At their regular meeting this week, Assistant Superintendent Pam Vogel asked them to understand the changes taking place at the high school and what that implied for Kent Center School. They also heard from a high school student from Kent who outlined the perceptive differences of the education in each elementary school as viewed in high school classes. The Board responded by verbally attacking Vogel while demanding local autonomy and input from local teachers.

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Toxic Grading Practices

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Region 1 Search Committee

regionmap

The Region 1 Board of Education and ABC Committee have named a search committee to seek a new Assistant Superintendent of Schools. They invite the communities that make up Region 1 to participate in the process.

On December 7, Dr. Mary Broderick, CABE Search Services consultant working with the Region 1 Search Committee, will conduct a series of focus groups to hear from the community on the qualities, experiences, and characteristics desired in a new leader. Town officials, teachers, administrators, other staff, parents, students, and community members will participate in focus groups. Members of the general public are invited to participate on December 7, 2016 at HVRHS, Room 133, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. or December 13, 2016 at Kent Center School, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

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One More Small Step

HVRHSHallway091415

Personalized Learning took small, but significant steps at Housatonic Valley Regional High School early this school year. Previously the Region 1 Board of Education had heard about student led conferences. This week, the Region 1 Board heard from two special education teachers, one of whom has expanded her classes into personalized learning on an experimental basis. The Board also heard an update from Principal Jose Martinez on the school improvement plan. Further, he said that the NEASC accreditation is scheduled to start in mid-November with an exploratory visit from a member of the accrediting committee. The Board explored the possibility of a new regional position for an English Learner Resource Teacher to help with an increasing number of non-English speaking students. And Board member John Sanders helped form a committee to increase communication with the community.

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Northwest Corner Migration

nesdecbirthkindergarten16

Every October 1, the schools in Connecticut report the number of students enrolled in their classes to the state. As usual, the enrollment in Region 1 is down. We are losing our children. For 2016, the total enrollment in Region 1 is 1481 resident students, down from 1527. Moreover, the number of births in the region, as reported by NESDEC, continues to plummet, now being half of what it was just ten years ago. The resident enrollment at the high school is down again to 401 students from 418 last year. Overall enrollment at the elementary schools was down as well. However, net migration of children into the region was still positive compared to the number of births. More families are moving into the region than are moving out, but have not compensated for the decreasing number of births. How will we get younger?

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

abc061313

Sometimes, the discussions of the educational leaders in Region 1 can be very informative and illuminating. Such were the discussions of the All Boards Chairs (ABC) committee when they met this week. They made a decision on the direction for the search for the Assistant Superintendent. They decided to recommend that the Region hire an English Language Resource Teacher to help with the increasing number of non-English speaking students. And they had a far ranging discussion of regionalization, especially as it applies to the Region’s declining enrollment. In particular, Doug Cahill, Chairman of the Sharon Board of Education, discussed their options as enrollment in Sharon hits a breakpoint in school structure.

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