Happy New Year to you and your team!

Our Session Strategy 

Connecticut’s legislative session begins on Wednesday, February 5, 2020. The main legislative objectives of the Connecticut Charter Schools Association for 2020 include: achieving equitable funding for the more than 10,600 charter school students in our state; and advocating for the opening of the approved high-quality public charter schools in Danbury and Norwalk.

Our team has been hard at work preparing for session; hosting advocacy and leadership development training sessions across our state’s individual communities; and facilitating significant preliminary meetings with legislative leaders. Beginning in February, our team will host weekly trips to our state Capitol where school leaders and community members will have the opportunity to meet with legislative leaders and directly participate in our advocacy efforts.

The Connecticut Charter Schools Association will closely watch legislative proposals that would impact charters and monitor the activities of the legislature for bills we would support or oppose. We will also seek to take the lead on legislative conversations about transparency for charter schools.  Most importantly, we will keep our membership informed and seek your engagement in advocating for our great charter schools.

Updates & Resources

National School Choice Week 

Since 2011, National School Choice Week has been celebrating all educational options, because we know that no single option fits all children! This year, National School Choice Week is from January 26- February 1. There are several ways you can become involved; learn more and receive your free personalized event supplies here.

Many of you are hosting related events this week! Thank you for all you do to spread the good word about your schools.

You’re also invited to attend a free screening of “Miss Virginia” and a School Choice Discussion on January 21, 2020. Further information about the screenings can be found here.

Achievement First Navigator Program & Resources 

Achievement First offers free and open-source K-12 curriculum on its website and intensive math coaching for elementary and middle schools who adopt AF’s curriculum through the Navigator Program. Nearly 100 schools across the country are participating in the Navigator Program.

If you’re interested in the AF Navigator Program, applications are available on AF’s website and due Jan 31.

If you have any resources you’d like us to share across our sector, please send them our way and we will include in an upcoming email.

Events

Our team is excited to be facilitating a series of events in the beginning of 2020. If you are interested in participating in any of the following events, please feel free to notify us by responding directly to this email.

Every Wednesday during legislative session, beginning at 10:30 am (starting with Wednesday, February 5th)  the Connecticut Charter Schools Association will facilitate a Capitol visit which allows our member schools to directly participate in our state-wide advocacy efforts by meeting with our state’s legislative leaders. If you are interested in joining us for one of our weekly Capitol visits, please notify us by responding directly to this email.

On February 25, 2020, the Connecticut legislature’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus will host their annual public forum where they will hear from the public on any issue that impacts their communities. We are working to organize a group of speakers to testify to raise awareness about the Connecticut charter school sector as an important issue that affects our state. If you are interested in attending or testifying, please feel free to respond directly to this email.

On March 11, 2020, The Connecticut Charter Schools Association will host our first-ever Charter Student Day at the State Capitol! During this event, students will have the opportunity to participate in Capitol tours, learn about the state legislative process and interact with elected officials and other charter school students. We are excited to provide a space where our student’s voices can be heard! Please email us directly if you are interested in participating in this event.

An Official Introduction 

Towards the end of 2019, we welcomed our Associate Director of Communications, Kayla Paluch! Learn about her and her contributions to the charter movement below:

Kayla Paluch, Associate Director of Communications

Before joining the Northeast Charter Schools Network, Kayla served in various roles at communications agencies throughout the country. Most recently she served as an account manager and marketing director at Gramercy, one of New York’s leading public affairs firms. Prior to this, she opened her own consultancy firm, SKOPE Communications, where she worked with clients across the nation. Throughout her career, she has managed award-winning grassroots campaigns, including one focused on combating social stigmas facing Mental Health. In her spare time, she volunteers on various non-profit boards that serve the local community.

As she tours your excellent schools, her goal is to observe your school’s individualities and hear your stories so that she can amplify and promote them effectively. Please feel free to reach out to her with any communications questions at kpaluch@necharters.org.

Kayla will be working to spread positive news about our state’s great charter schools. To assist her and our team in sharing positive stories about your school, kindly utilize this short survey to keep us informed.

We look forward to providing you with updates as they occur.