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CT-N Civics News & Events 
Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 12:42:57 PM 

CT-N News & Events information relevant to Civics education and Connecticut State Government. 

CT-N Civics News & Events : CT-N News & Events information relevant to Civics education and Connecticut State Government.
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CT-N State Civics Toolbox New Release Info 
Tuesday, January 05, 2010, 4:10:32 AM 

The Connecticut Network wants to help your social studies and civics classes gain greater understanding of both state government and the political process with our on-line catalog of free teacher resources.  Visit the CT-N State Civics Toolbox today to energize your civics curriculum!


CT-N is proud to release its latest additions to our Legislative Debate unit;


New “Hot Topics” with Distilled Debates.  We’ve added three new themes to our popular unit using current issues including:


·        Paintball Safety

·        Dissection in the Classroom

·        School Crisis Response Drills


We’ve taken the extraneous material out of our original State House and Senate recordings, so you can fast-forward less and get to the heart of the arguments faster.  Partner a debate with any one of six lesson plans tailored for use with legislative debate, or use the video as a springboard to your own curricula to help engage your class in the issues that matter to them while they learn about the function of state government.  For more information on the Legislative Debate Exercise click here.


Remember, all of our educational materials are available to educators free of charge.  To explore these and the rest of our resources, visit www.ct-n.com and click on See CT-N’s Educational Resources, or for more information feel free to email or call me.  I would also appreciate any comments or suggestions for future materials that CT-N can create for your school.


Campaign Finance Lesson 
Tuesday, September 22, 2009, 11:17:49 AM 

Tuff topic right?  Yes, but there are some great resources to help you make this topic come to life and exciting for your high school students.  First, the CT General Assemble recently posted a webpage with decisions, news articles, press releases and video in the wake of the U.S. District Court Ruling declaring Connecticut's public campaign finance law unconstitutional. Click here to view that page.  Second you can use one of CT-N's template lesson plans to help guide your discussions.  Check out CT-N's Campaign Finance Unit for ideas.  And click here for another great lesson covering bias in the news and how your students can evaluate the presentation of materials. 


2008 Great Connecticut High School Debate Champions 
Wednesday, November 19, 2008, 3:55:27 PM 

CT-N would like to congratulate the 2008 Great CT High School Debate State Champions Nick Beaudoin and Margaret Muirhead from Northwestern Regional 7 High School.  The pair of debaters from Northwestern did an excellent job advancing their arguments and responding to impromptu questions from the opposing team during the debate held in the Senate Chamber of the State Capitol building.  This years' debate topic involved the use of government incentives for the development of alternative clean energy.  The Great CT High School Debate is run by the Connecticut Consortium for Law and Citizenship Education and sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of the State.  For more information on this program click here.


Crime, Courts and the Community 
Friday, September 19, 2008, 10:47:36 AM 

Norwich NAACP Courts Forum: Crime, Courts and the Community

Recorded on 8/5/08                      Length 2 hours 13 minutes


In this program the NAACP wants to educate Norwich’s diverse community about Judicial Branch diversionary programs that might help them avoid prosecution or incarceration if they know to apply for them.  Panels and guest speakers will also address the topics of using the sex offender registry and navigating the Judicial Branch web site.  An informative question and answer session closes the forum.  To watch this program click here.  For more information about the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch visit www.jud.ct.gov


Back-To-School Convocation 
Wednesday, September 10, 2008, 1:26:14 PM 

Preston Back-To-School Convocation with Jo Ann Freiberg

Recorded on 8/27/08                              Length 2 hours  


Guest speaker Jo Ann Freiberg, education consultant to the State Department of Education, speaks about school violence and bullying and talks about solutions incorporating teachers, parents and students.  To watch this program click here.


Elections Tools for the Classroom 
Friday, September 05, 2008, 7:15:28 PM 

As this election year heats up, CT-N offers you helpful tools to use in your classroom.  Visit our elections web page for lesson plans surrounding the elction of 1896 and Connecticut's election reform plus quick classroom activities exploring the power of a vote and campaigning. 

Wishing you a great school year, 

Your Friends at CT-N, the Connecticut Network 


Back To School Briefing With Commissioner McQuillan 
Wednesday, September 03, 2008, 6:08:43 PM 

State Dept of Education Back To School Briefing with Mark McQuillan

Recorded On: 8/21/2008                         Length: 35 min   


Commissioner McQuillans' yearly back to school update with statistics on decline of student enrollment, new initiatives, legislative goals, and issues for public schools.  To watch this program click here.  For further information you can access the state's publication of "The Condition of Education in Connecticut" 


Civics Organizations in Connecticut 
Tuesday, May 20, 2008, 2:25:03 PM 

CT-N recognizes the work of other civics organizations around the state whose mission, like ours, is to educate and engage the public and students in the process of democracy.  The Connecticut Consortium for Law and Citizenship Education, Inc. is a private, non-profit association that promotes and conducts law-related education programs and projects in Connecticut's public and private schools, courtrooms and communities.  They offer programs such as mock trials and debates, classroom visitation, and administer the We The People curricula.  For more information visit their website at http://www.cclce.org 


"Tools for Schools" Indoor Air Quality Program 
Friday, May 16, 2008, 3:47:09 PM 

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) recommends that all Connecticut schools participate in the “Tools for Schools” program, a national program with demonstrated success in reducing exposures to indoor environmental contaminants in schools through the voluntary adoption of sound indoor air quality management practices.


This simple, inexpensive, team-oriented way to improve school indoor air quality calls upon administrators, parents, school nurses, teachers and custodians to act as a collaborative team, investigating and prioritizing indoor air hazards in their facilities. The team then develops short and long-term strategies to help solve these problems.


A regional meeting, sponsored by the Connecticut School Indoor Environment Resource Team, the Quinnipiac Valley Health District, and the Amity School District, will be held at Miller Library in Hamden on May 22, 2008 from 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The program will include a case study presentation as well as successes and hardships for programs throughout the state. School administrators and staff, local health professionals, and interested parents are encouraged to attend. 


For more information on the regional meeting, please contact Kenny Foscue or Joan Simpson of DPH at (860) 509-7740 or via email at kenny.foscue@ct.gov.  For more information on Tools for Schools, or on asthma, please visit http://www.ct.gov/dph/ and click on “Programs and Services” and then Asthma.  

CT Council for the Social Studies Fall Conference 
Thursday, May 15, 2008, 4:08:09 PM 

The Connecticut Council for the Social Studies announces its fall conference taking place on November 7, 2008 at Central Connecticut State University in the Student Union Building.  This years conference is called "Choosing Our Future: Defining the Role of Social Studies".  For more information visit http://www.ctsocialstudies.org/


Roundtable on Gangs in Connecticut 
Friday, April 11, 2008, 12:50:58 AM 

CT Commission on Children Quarterly Meeting

Recorded on 4/8/08                 Length 2 hours


The CT Commission on Children heard from Department of Correction gang expert, John Aldi about the current extent of gang activity in the state, in an effort to learn how to recognize, identify, understand, and respond to gangs.  Click here to watch this program.


CT-N's Legislative Letter Writing Exercise 
Thursday, April 03, 2008, 8:38:11 PM 

Many civics teachers use legislative letter writing to help develop their student’s persuasive writing skills and instruct them in the foundations of citizenship while meeting content standards and goals.  Inside the CT-N State Civics Toolbox students can find their state senator or legislator, obtain their contact information, see a sample of a properly formatted letter, and review a list of do’s and don’ts when writing to legislative leaders.  All these tools are brought together in one place to make your job easier.   Click here to see this activity.  

39th Northeast Regional Conference on the Social Studies 
Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 7:49:58 PM 

Just a reminder that the Connecticut Network will be participating in this weeks conference, so stop by and say hello.  We will be on the exhibit floor and we will also be offering a Thursday afternoon session entitled “CT-N and State Civics: Engaging Students, Empowering Teachers” where we will detail how our materials can be integrated into your curriculum.  Looking forward to seeing you there!


2008 American Civic Education Teacher Awards 
Thursday, February 14, 2008, 9:04:34 PM 

The Center for Civic Education, the Center on Congress at Indiana University, and the National Education Association are accepting applications for the 2008 American Civic Education Teacher Awards until March 7, 2008. ACETA recognizes three educators annually for their exemplary work in preparing young people to become informed and engaged citizens. The awards are given to elementary and secondary teachers of civics, government, and related subjects who have demonstrated special expertise in motivating students to learn about the Constitution, Congress, and public policy. Click here to download a 2008 ACETA application.


CT-Ns Continued Coverage of the Governors Task Force on Teen Driving 
Friday, February 08, 2008, 11:03:55 PM 

Governor’s Task Force on Teen Driving Meeting ( watch it now ) 

Recorded on January 25, 2008                 Length 2 hours 50 minutes  


This meeting included a report on a statewide survey on teen driving, a report on DMV tracking of teen driving violations and consideration & approval of proposed changes in teen driving laws to recommend to the legislature.  For further research, click here to watch the Task Force on Teen Driving Public Hearing recorded on January 31, 2008 where public input was solicited.


Department of Education High School Reform Public Forum 
Friday, February 08, 2008, 11:02:22 PM 

Department of Education High School Reform Public Forum ( watch it now ) 

Recorded January 30, 2008                     Length 1 hour 46 minutes


The State Dept. of Education is holding a series of public forums to detail the proposals to improve state high schools & raise performance standards, and to hear the public’s view.  The proposals recommend new state requirements for graduation including increasing minimum credits to 24; a core curriculum of required courses; a senior year project; and state end-of-course exams.  Designed to raise standards and better prepare students for college & the workplace, the new proposals also require locally administered end-of-course performance tasks & student plans for career paths.  Parents, educators, school board members and business and community leaders are being asked for their views on the high school reform proposals before they are sent to the legislature.  This year the State Board of Education will ask the legislature to fund a study to determine the costs of the new graduation requirements both to the state and local and regional school districts.  The State Board of Education expects to make its recommendations for high school changes including the costs associated with them next year for the 2009 General Assembly session.   Click here to read more.


OLR Major Issues Publication 
Wednesday, January 30, 2008, 3:32:44 AM 

The Connecticut General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Research annually publishes its’ list of major issues that it identifies as important issues that the General Assembly may face in the upcoming legislative session.  This is a great starting point for students looking for issues that they can research and track.  Click here to access the “2008 Major Issues” publication from OLR. 


Governors Task Force on Teen Driving January 11th meeting 
Tuesday, January 22, 2008, 9:41:42 PM 

Governor's Task Force on Teen Driving January 11th meeting ( watch it now ) 


This task force was charged by the Governor to revise current teen driving laws and make recommendations to the legislature for the 2008 session.  This is a great issue that your students would have a vested interest in and can start tracking now.  In this meeting, the task force receives a presentation from Dr. Jack Thaw, an adolescent physiologist.  The task force will meet again on January 25thClick here to view the Governor’s Teen Driving Task Force web site. 


Governor Rell Announces Online Courses For High School Students 
Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 8:47:46 PM 

Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced the launch of the CT Virtual Learning Center, a statewide program for High School students to take online courses. Enrollments are being accepted now for students to begin coursework in January 2008.  “We want to use online courses to increase access to high quality content so that every student in Connecticut will have access to the courses they need when they need them,” said Governor Rell.  “In preparing our young people for the 21st century workforce, it is necessary that we employ these same powerful tools to improve access, equity and employment readiness.”  


Funded by the General Assembly within the 2008 budget, this pilot project will be available at no cost to school districts.  Students will remain enrolled in their current schools, but will have the option to take online courses that meets their academic needs. (See http://www.ctvirtuallearning.com for listing of available courses).   


“The state has created a high speed optical computer network, called the Connecticut Education Network that connects all the school districts in the state,” said Governor Rell. “The Connecticut Virtual Learning Center will be using this state resource in the delivery its online content.”


The primary focus for the program will be twofold:


  1. Courses for students at risk of falling behind or failing will be offered in Algebra, Geometry, English, Civics or Health.  Students can avoid summer school and recover credit by taking these online courses during the school year. 
  2. Interesting electives that may not be available at many schools, such as Mandarin Chinese, Biotechnology and International Business.

The curriculum for these dynamic, fully interactive online courses have been approved by the State Department of Education’s Bureau of Curriculum and Instruction and will be taught by CT certified teachers.   “Online learning is an option for students that need the flexibility to learn something at their own pace,” Governor Rell said. “The online experience is relevant and transferable to future opportunities.”


That necessity is recognized by Michigan, the first state to require every student to take at least one online experience in order to graduate high school.  Other states across the country are actively working to implement policies and programs for online learning options that open educational choices to their students.


The CT Virtual Learning Center is being run by the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC).  Ed Klonoski, President of the CTDLC said, “Over the past six years, the CTDLC has been developing programs and services that support education through online learning, centrally developed and distributed content, and resource sharing.  These programs include the Connecticut Adult Virtual High School and other partnerships with the Connecticut Department of Higher Education to develop online college preparation courses.”


Please contact Gretchen Hayden, Project Manager, with any questions about the CT Virtual Learning Center. ghayden@ctdlc.org  (860)-832-3891


CT General Assembly Education Committee Bill Record for 2008 
Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 8:42:42 PM 

The Connecticut General Assembly Joint Committee on Education has posted it’s Bill Record Book which offers a list of proposed bills for the upcoming 2008 session, status of bills and resolutions to help you and your students track bills and issues.  To view the committee’s bill record click here.


Department of Education Connecticut Reading Summit 
Wednesday, January 09, 2008, 3:09:30 AM 

Department of Education Connecticut Reading Summit ( watch it now ) 

Recorded November 29, 2007        Length 3 hours 2 minutes


A discussion of root causes behind  the stagnation and/or decline of reading skills in K through 12 classrooms.  Includes status report of current research; panel discussion on the achievement gap; strategies for problem readers; and success stories around the state.


The 39th Northeast Regional Conference on the Social Studies 
Tuesday, December 18, 2007, 11:04:22 PM 

The 39th Northeast Regional Conference on the Social Studies is convening in March 2008.  CT-N will be presenting a session on our educational materials and also be on the exposition floor.  Stop by and tell us how CT-N has impacted your school.  Click here for more information on the conference.


Governors Early Childhood Education Cabinet November meeting 
Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 1:47:03 AM 

Governor's Early Childhood Education Cabinet November meeting ( watch it now ) 

Recorded November 19, 2007        Length 3 hours 


Created by the legislature in 2005 at the request of the governor, the early childhood cabinet oversees the state's pre-school programs emphasizing expansion, improving quality, and evaluation. This cabinet is advising the education commissioner on school readiness, conducting a long-term evaluationof readiness, developing a budget for early childhood programs and overseeing preschool quality. To visit the cabinet’s website click here.


Connecticut Commission on Children and the Office of the Child Advocate Stand Up To Bullying forum 
Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 1:45:34 AM 

Connecticut Commission on Children and the Office of the Child Advocate Stand Up To Bullying forum ( watch it now ) 

Recorded October 22, 2007            Length 3 hours 51 minutes


Over 300 students, teachers, school administrators, police offices and social workers along with community & government leaders and legislators participated in this forum to discuss the many different faces of bullying, current and future remedies and to hear a keynote presentation from Dr. Ken Rigby, an expert in the field.


Legislative Update 
Wednesday, December 05, 2007, 12:52:14 AM 

Public Act 07-138 AN Act Concerning Democracy Education in Elementary Schools.

Click here for more information  

Center for First Amendment Rights annual high school conference 
Wednesday, December 05, 2007, 12:49:55 AM 

Center for First Amendment Rights annual high school conference ( watch it now ) 

Recorded October 16, 2007            Length 2 hours 17 minutes


The Center for First Amendment Rights is a public foundation which promotes public education about the First Amendment for students and citizens throughout New England.  The purpose of this conference is to help students and educators learn how to avoid legal confrontations over 1st Amendment issues in schools by learning how to communicate & build consensus.  Guest speakers discuss legal issues and a special performance of  “Voices of Conflict”; a play written by Wilton High School drama students as a class project using interviews, letters and essays by Iraqi civilians and American soldiers in Iraq that was banned for it’s controversial content.


Shelton Convocation with Dr. Jo Ann Freiberg on building a positive school climate & eliminating bullying 
Wednesday, December 05, 2007, 12:42:57 AM 

Shelton Convocation with Dr. Jo Ann Freiberg on building a positive school climate & eliminating bullying  ( watch it now ) 

Recorded August 24, 2007             Length:  2 hours 40 minutes


An education consultant specializing in bullying, school climate and character education, Jo Ann Freiberg addresses teachers, administrators and staff about school climate in this professional development setting.   For more information, Ms. Freiberg can be reached at 860 -713-6598 or  joann.freiberg@ct.gov 


The Connecticut State Cantata 
Saturday, October 06, 2007, 1:26:07 AM 

The "Nutmeg" composed by Stanley L. Ralph in 1962 was adopted as the official state cantata during the 2003 legislative session (PA 03-63). The lyrics (pdf) of the "Nutmeg" tell the story of Connecticut’s history and heritage. Listen (mp3 file) to the live performance given by the Seven Angels Theatre Youth Program with comments from Dr. Ralph recorded on April 15, 2004 in the State Capitol. To watch the performance, click here.