New Britain school officials meet to discuss district changes - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Britain school officials meet to discuss district changes

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New Britain officials discuss school district redesign(WFSB file photo) New Britain officials discuss school district redesign(WFSB file photo)
NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) -

New Britain Public Schools are looking to redesign their school year and implement some changes.

The changes are to improve the overall system and focus on three things: All students can learn at high levels; IQ is not fixed; equity and access.

The consolidated school district of New Britain is looking to redesign the upcoming school year.

The big change being talked about is shifting from a quarterly system to trimesters for kindergarten through eighth grade.

Currently, New Britain ranks 164 out of 166 in terms of academic achievement, also per-pupil spending, so Superintendent Nancy Sarra decided it was time for a change.

She focused on guiding principles; all students will have access to enrichment project-based learning, with a high focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

"Absolutely, my favorite two things were math and science. And that's the thing that runs the entire universe so yes,” said Delvin Sanchez, of New Britain.

The district will minimize half days to accommodate working parents and increase learning time for all students.

On top of that, staff will be getting more professional development throughout the school year.

Sarra got real with parents at the meeting about poor test scores and attendance rates as she discussed the district's need to help kids learn better. 

Parents generally seemed intrigued by the idea of balancing traditional models of reading, writing, and arithmetic with one-hour electives every day to encourage project-based learning. 

"Giving them time to learn to sit with one another, problem solve together, fail, try again, fail. It's teaching resiliency and grit for all of our students," said Sarra. 

Another change for the upcoming school year is that kids in middle school will be getting to take culinary, manufacturing, and IT so that when they get to high school, they may have a better idea of what career paths they want to choose. 

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