Keep Renzulli Academy for Gifted and Talented OPEN at 121 Cornwall Street in Hartford
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Keep Renzulli Academy for Gifted and Talented at 121 Cornwall Street
Hartford, Connecticut Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez and Assistant Superintendent Oliver Barton are making a colossal mistake by moving Renzulli Academy students out of their own school, their own small learning environment, to a small "wing" of another school. Here is why:
According to the Hartford Board of Education, these are the 5 Core Beliefs of the District:
Five Core Beliefs
1. We believe all students can learn at or above grade level.
["Can learn?" Renzulli students DO learn...ARE above grade level. And the small school and school-wide enrichment model designed by Dr. Joseph Renzulli enables them to thrive and grow beyond their current academic levels. Renzulli Academy is the only School of Distinction in the City of Hartford and the only urban school in Connecticut to be awarded Highest Overall Performance in 2014. Furthermore, since their move from their co-location in Simpson-Waverly to their own building at 121 Cornwall Street, it is a fact that the children in Renzulli have been able to demonstrate continual improvement as reflected in their yearly-increasing achievement scores. This is what has been possible in their own small-learning environment.]
2. We believe that the achievement gap must and can be eliminated, by all students reaching their learning potential.
[Superintendent Schiavino can "believe" all she wants, at Renzulli, IT'S HAPPENING! Furthermore, Renzulli Academy students, like all students, have the right to equal access to quality education suitable for their specific and unique needs. Picture a plant. The plant needs certain things for it to, not just grow, but thrive. It needs optimal sunlight, water, food, and given the kind of plant, specialized attention to make sure it blossoms just the way it needs to. Now, if you think the plant will prosper if you move it to a place with less sunlight, you'd be wrong. After all, there is SOME sunlight over there, right? If you think you can deprive the plant of the water and food it needs, you'd be wrong. After all, here's SOME water. That's enough for the plant, right? Finally, if your plant needs specialized attention and you don't give it that, it will die.
Schiavino thinks she can just move our students somewhere out of an environment that causes them to grow optimally expecting the same kinds of results.
We have a right to give our children what they require so that they can be the people they are meant to be.]
3. We believe schools have an enormous impact on students’ lives.
[So why do you feel you need to disrupt the single most accomplished school in Hartford's school district? Renzulli School students perform optimally in a small-school environment – in a building where they are the only resident. Equally as important as the academic development of a child is the social/emotion development. These students have particular social/emotional challenges that are being met occupying this small environment which is enabling them to perform optimally. Again, the plant will thrive when it’s in the right environment. ]
4. We believe that all parents must be empowered to play an active role in their students’ education.
[Really? So why circumvent and blatantly disregard our voices in the process. Why cut our parents and the state-mandated School Governance Council out of any dialogue to move our school? Schiavino has the opportunity to leverage this engaged parent community and our School Governance Council to really come together and collaborate to create real school reform. Renzulli School parents would like to engage with Hartford Public Schools in a transparent way: we want engagement, we have a right to have a say.]
5. We believe that community collaboration is fundamental to achieving and sustaining excellence.
[Is that so? Then why DID YOU NOT CONSULT THE COMMUNITY ON THIS MOVE? Schiavino was absent at all three official meetings following the notification of this move. More than 90% of Renzulli School parents are opposed to the move out of 121 Cornwall Street.]
The students at Renzulli Academy are the "jewel in the crown" of the Hartford School District. These children are the tip of the spear aimed squarely at the heart of accomplishment, passion, and the brightest of futures. Why do you want to disrupt a school that is working this well with children who are working this hard? Superintendent Schiavino, you should be FEEDING this learning experience, not depriving it of what it needs to survive.
MINDS OVER MONEY-LEAVE OUR HOME ALONE
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