All across the state, students hopped on big, yellow school buses and bid adieu to summer. A new school year has begun and more than 23,000 students in Hartford are back in class. The pressure is on for teachers, students and administrators in Hartford Public Schools where test scores have steadily risen for two years. When Superintendent Dr. Steven Adamowski arrived 2 1/2 years ago, he promised change. Even his critics now agree, he delivered.
"If you look at our portfolio of schools, it's a much higher achieving portfolio of schools," Dr. Adamowski says. "Our students are doing much better."
That's why there is so much pressure this year.
Can Dr. Adamowski do it again in the midst of a recession, when resources are tighter than ever?
He says, we don't have a choice.
"We have to continue to close the achievement gap," Adamowski says. "I'm confident we can do that."
Today, he and other school officials including Mayor Eddie Perez went on a bus tour of schools to celebrate the success stories.
Schools like University High School, a joint effort where the school shares resources with the University of Hartford.
Senior Joshua Sibblies lives in Windsor and go to high school anywhere, he chose University High School because he found like-minded students who love and excel in the sciences.
"The atmosphere was just incredible," Sibblies says. "They had so many great teachers. I just had to come."
Sibblies just came back from an intense summer program at MIT in Massachusetts. He says he felt prepared for their rigorous program because of the work he did at University High School.
UHS is one of the best known and best performing schools in the Hartford Public School district.
On the other side of the spectrum was Parkville Community School. Just three years ago, it was one of the worst performing schools.
But that has changed.
In the past three years, test scores have improved.
English is a second language to most of the students who go to school there, but last year the school placed second in third grade reading and first in fifth grade reading.
That announcement brought cheers.
Students, teachers and administrators alike celebrated their rising scores... and promised themselves, they'd work even harder in the year ahead.
Heading Back To School
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