The New London Public School District was one of 13 statewide to receive Alliance District funding approval last week, receiving $809,001 for teacher-development, teacher-evaluation and extended learning time initiatives.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and state Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor announced the approval of the district's reform plan, which was submitted during the summer for consideration.
“As one of the central elements of this year’s education reform effort, Alliance District funding will position additional, needed resources in schools that have struggled to build momentum around student achievement," Malloy said in a news release announcing New London's approval. "These plans, which require individual school districts to create a strategy for turning around struggling schools, have the potential to drastically improve student outcomes, so that geography will no longer be a hurdle for a student to overcome.
"It’s not simply a matter of new funding — this is about embracing the reforms that we know improve student achievement, so that all of our children have the chance to succeed."
Alliance Districts are the 30 lowest-performing school districts in the state. The districts had to apply for the extra funds during the summer and submit detailed plans on how they would spend the money.
In New London, the funds will be allocated to the following initiatives, according to the release:
- New London will implement a new curriculum aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Coordination of instructional practice and curricular standards will be achieved through active professional development. In addition, the district is increasing efforts to support English language learners by increasing professional coaching for ELL teachers.
- New London will align its teacher evaluation plan to include criteria for successful performance connected to student data and use the results of those evaluations to drive job embedded professional development.
- New London will partner with National Center for Time and Learning to create extended learning time teams in all elementary schools and Bennie Dover Middle School. This initiative will also increase learning time by 80 hours at Jennings and Winthrop Elementary in this academic year.
- With the restructuring of its Central Office, New London will augment its focus on developing a high quality teacher corps by bringing on a Human Resources/Talent Director to spearhead the implementation of a systematic talent development plan.