The state Department of Education is sending former Hartford Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski to New London in an effort to improve student learning and make the city public schools more efficient in the delivery of educational programs.
At its meeting Wednesday morning, the state education board appointed Adamowski as the “special master” of the New London Public Schools, making the Whaling City school district one a priority when it comes to creating overall improvement within the educational system.
“To this point, New London Public Schools have been unable to build sufficient momentum around policies that drive student learning,” State Board of Education Chairperson Allan Taylor said in a news release. “In concert with mandated Board of Education training, we expect that the appointment of a special master will focus the school district on creating outcomes that provide the greatest benefit to schoolchildren.”
“Dr. Adamowski is uniquely positioned to assist New London in the strategic planning and execution needed to improve student achievement,” Commissioner Stefan Pryor said in the release. “This collaboration between State Department of Education and local leadership will position New London’s students for success.”
Since September 2008, the state has monitored the New London Public School system’s district improvement plan. With little improvement – the city’s school district is one of the lowest performing districts in the state with just 63.9 percent of NLHS students graduating within 4 years – the city school board and superintendent asked for further state assistance in February this year.
The primary reasons for the requested are reported to be “lack of focus on student achievement and diminished school board functionality,” according to the state education department release.
Once in New London, his work begins July 1, Adamowski’s immediate priorities will include:
- “improving the governance structure of the district to support student achievement;
- immediate stabilization of the district’s finances;
- completion of New London’s Alliance District Plan;
- and the development, in conjunction with the local board of education, of a systemic, strategic long-term operating plan for improving student achievement."
Adamowski currently serves at the special master for the Windham Public School district and will continue in this role while also working with New London school officials.