Today, the State Department of Education announced that they have invited four districts to establish turnaround committees and begin developing turnaround plans for schools that will be considered for selection into the Commissioner’s Networkfor the 2012-2013 school year. The districts have proposed the following schools for participation in the Commissioner’s Network:
- Bridgeport: James J. Curiale School
- Hartford: Core Knowledge Academy at the Thirman L. Milner School
- New Haven: High School in the Community
- Norwich: John B. Stanton School
All four schools have been designated as “In Need of Improvement” for four or more years and at least 75% of their students qualify for free and reduced lunch.
The four districts will establish a turnaround committee, comprised of parents, teachers, administrators and the Commissioner. The committee’s first responsibility will be to assist the State Department of Education in conducting an operations and instructional audit of the proposed school. Using the results of the audit, the turnaround committee, with input from school governance councils, will develop a turnaround plan that is based on one of five approved turnaround models. Common strategies amongst the district’s initial visions for the schools are extending learning time and strengthening partnerships between the schools, families and the community. In the event that the committee does not develop or submit a plan, fails to reach consensus or the Commissioner deems the plan to be deficient, the Commissioner can develop an alternative or new plan – and if deemed necessary, appoint a special master to implement the turnaround plan. The turnaround plans will be assessed on their quality and viability, with the final selection of the Commissioner’s Network schools to occur by early August. In addition, Waterbury and Norwalk have been invited to apply for planning grants that will enable them to prepare for possible selection into the Commissioner’s Network for the 2013-2014 school year. The State Department of Education’s press release can be found here.