HSC is one of the first four schools to become part of the Education Commissioner’s Network which was created under this year’s education reform legislation. HSC will receive up to $2 million in funding over a period of several years as part of the network.
“We are making an effort to get much needed resources to these network schools and alliance districts,” said Governor Malloy. “Everything we are doing, from additional funding for school readiness slots to working closely with high schools like HSC, is a down payment towards the future of better education for all children in Connecticut.”
“It’s remarkable to see this school and the model they are using coming together,” said Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor. “New Haven has led the way in proving that a labor and management working together can lead the way in improving education for students.”
“We are very impressed with the changes and partnership taking place here at HSC and in New Haven,” said Melodie Peters, president of AFT Connecticut. “We are looking forward to continuing that partnership statewide to the benefit of public school students.”
HSC, a magnet high school which has been teacher-led since its founding, has adopted a law and social justice theme. Law schools and law firms will be brought in as partners to help with the new themes.
“We are working with the state, community and regional organizations to make innovative changes at HSC,” said David Cicarella, president of the New Haven Federation of Teachers. “At the forefront has been the commitment of the teachers working here. They are absolutely committed to making this work.”
Grading policy has changed with students beginning in a “Core Academy” and moving to a “Community Bridge Academy” that focuses on community-driven work. Students progress from stage to stage based on their portfolio of work and graduate when they are ready. The school is also bringing back the “Family Group”, a mandatory freshman class that focuses on social development and team building.
The school has extended its day by one hour. Teachers are involved in the extended day through professional development and collaboration within their departments. Students are benefiting from additional instructional assistance two days a week to help them achieve their mastery goals.
HSC is looking at making some capitol improvements to the school including constructing a model courtroom for the students to use as part of their law theme. The school is also participating in the Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools Program. The hallmark of HOT Schools is its comprehensive approach to training and professional development to utilize the arts as rigorous academic subjects, each with its own sequential curriculum that conveys knowledge not learned through other academic disciplines.
HSC is also participating in the League of Innovative Schools, a regional professional learning community for schools. The League will give HSC access to a growing network of learning institutions working to strengthen their programs, exchange professional expertise, and create better learning opportunities for their students.