We are happy to report that we now have four of our schools with restored Internet: Hamden High School, Hamden Middle School, Wintergreen School (which contains Alice Peck Learning Center and HCLC) and Church Street School. We hope to have the remaining elementary schools connected in the next two weeks.
This has been a long process, but our Network will be stronger than ever as a result. We are deeply appreciative of the patience of our parents, students and staff, who have now learned a new skill: How to live without much technology. :-)
On Tuesday, February 4, Superintendent of Schools Jody Goeler presented his proposed budget for the 2020-21 school year. View Superintendent Goeler's presentation and the 2020 HPS Superintendent's Proposed Budget Object Code Detail
The Board Of Education will now review and discuss the details of the proposed budget, make changes if desired and approve a budget to give to Mayor Leng. The final step is for Mayor Leng to present his town-wide budget (including his allocation for Education) to the Legislative Council for their review, discussion, adjustments and ultimately, approval.
Many of you have been waiting patiently for Hamden to deploy the FirstView Tracking app, which allows parents to virtually see where their children's bus is in real-time.
Unfortunately, the malware attack to the district's technology has delayed our launch of the FirstView app. We will notify parents when we are ready to operationalize this valuable tool.
On January 21, 2020, one of our fifth-grade teachers introduced her students to a play about the triangular slave trade. This was insensitive, inappropriate, and offensive. This play is not, and never has been part of our district’s curriculum.
Upon being contacted by a student’s parent, the play activity was cancelled.
We are very sorry. This incident has been very painful for members of our school and town-wide community.
The district and school administration have expressed their deep regret that this non-Hamden Public Schools approved play was introduced to students.
In addition, the administration has been facilitating communication among the parties involved and is conducting all the appropriate investigations.
In Hamden, we are proud of our diversity and believe this makes us a stronger community. In the past few years, Hamden Public Schools has placed significant emphasis on increasing the diversity of our curricular materials. We remain engaged in a major initiative to help staff and students develop a greater understanding of issues related to cultural sensitivity and equity. Last Spring, the Board of Education created an Equity Committee to supervise these efforts and keep the community involved and informed.
However, this incident reveals that we need to do more. We appreciate and welcome the constructive public input that has been expressed. We agree that we need to continue delivering training to our staff and develop inclusive curriculum that is culturally sensitive and reflects our diversity. For this reason, the Board of Education has asked the Superintendent to immediately start taking steps to assemble and establish an advisory committee to assess, develop, and implement culturally sensitive and inclusive curriculum.
Our district remains committed to this work. We will continue to build bridges. We will continue to engage in this dialogue. We will continue to listen and collaborate with our community to find constructive solutions and heal together.
Dear West Woods School Families:
Late last week district administration was made aware of an incident where a fifth grade teacher used non-Hamden Public Schools’ approved instructional resources that had students portraying characters from history, including slaves. The teacher’s introduction of this play about slavery raised serious concerns that are currently being investigated by the district’s Human Resources department and appropriate legal counsel.
The teacher has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is being completed.
I would like to reiterate that the play is not part of the Hamden Public Schools curriculum and administration did not support its use.
Teaching and learning continues in 5th grade and throughout our school. The Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, the district Director of Social Studies, a Board of Education member and I spoke with all 5th grade students together today, to help them understand the nature of this incident, the inappropriateness of the play, and the importance of caring for one another.
The education and well-being of the students entrusted to our care is of great importance to us all. It should be noted that in the past few years, Hamden Public Schools has placed significant emphasis on increasing the diversity of our curricular materials. We remain engaged in a major initiative to help staff and students develop a greater understanding of issues related to cultural sensitivity and equity. The Board of Education has created an Equity Committee to supervise these efforts and keep the community involved and informed. Our commitment to these efforts will help to ensure that our school is a welcoming, safe, and enriching environment for all of our students.
Daniel M. Levy