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Litchfield Schools Central Office
Superintendent's Spring Letter
April 23, 2013
Dear Members of the Litchfield Community,
As we return to school following our spring recess, I have exciting news to share with regard to the broadcasting of Board of Education meetings. You may be aware that we have struggled with some intermittent difficulties with the audio and video quality of our broadcasts, while waiting to receive news about our grant application to the PUC that will provide funding for specialized equipment. The good news is that Litchfield has now been notified of our successful application and will receive an award of $78,343.16 to purchase equipment and software that will enable us to improve the quality of our broadcasts and to broaden our educational opportunities for students as they expand their capacity in media production.
On May 6 the PTO and STPC will sponsor a second School Security Forum as a follow up session to our first meeting held in January. We will update parents and the community about actions that have been taken in the schools to increase security, and will revisit the questions that were raised during the first meeting. Please plan to join us on May 6 at 7:00 PM in the LIS auditorium for this important meeting.
Our students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 will soon participate in pilot testing that will provide the opportunity for us to garner information about the format and question design on the new Smarter Balanced Assessment. This test will replace the CMT and CAPT during the spring of 2015. In addition, we will participate in a CT State Department of Education (CSDE) "Practice Assessment". This assessment will provide feedback about student learning based on Common Core State Standards. Although the results of the assessment will be aggregated by grade, with no feedback on individual performance, we believe that the information we receive will be quite valuable. Our students will have the opportunity to experience the new computer-based testing protocols, and we will receive information that will inform our curriculum alignment with the CCSS. Although we hesitate to engage in additional standardized testing so soon after the CMT and CAPT administration, we believe that the benefits of participation outweigh the drawbacks regarding this pilot testing. Parents will receive information from their child’s school as applicable.
As part of our participation in the CSDE educator evaluation and development pilot program this year, the school district recently sent to parents a survey to garner feedback about your thoughts pertaining to our schools. I urge you to complete the survey if you have not already done so. This survey has been funded by the CSDE as part of the evaluation pilot program and is being managed by their vendor, Panorama. No one in the district will have access to disaggregated information; we will only receive data that is not individually identifiable. Please consider participating in this process.
Finally, tomorrow evening the Town of Litchfield will hold the annual budget hearing at 7:00 PM in the LIS auditorium. Information pertaining to the Litchfield Public Schools’ 2013-2014 Budget is posted on our website at www.litchfieldschools.org Briefly, our 2013-2014 budget now stands at $15,826,545. This is an increase of $174,794 or 1.12% over the current year budget. Members of the Board of Education and school administration will participate in the hearing and will be available to answer any
questions that members of the public may have about the school district budget. You are strongly encouraged to attend the meeting.
I sincerely welcome interest in our school community and cordially invite you to explore the educational opportunities offered by the Litchfield Public Schools. Additional information and data pertaining to the Litchfield Public Schools are available on the Connecticut State Department of Education website at www.csde.state.ct.us. In addition, I recommend that you bookmark our district website at www.litchfieldschools.org for up to date information about our schools and programs, including our district activities and athletic department calendars.
I can be reached at email@example.com . Thank you again for your ongoing support of the students and staff of the Litchfield Public Schools.
Deborah S. Wheeler, Ed.D.
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Central Office · 35 Plumb Hill Road · P.O. Box 110 · Litchfield, CT 06759-0110 · PH:(860) 567-7500 · FAX: (860) 567-7508