Special Education Student Samuel Wilson Honored – 6/7/09

Volunteering is not always a priority for students, but for Sammy Wilson, Jr. it has become a way of life. Sammy began volunteering for The Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity through his special education school, The Gengras Center.

Soon, he became a steady volunteer on his own. Sammy was recognized with four awards this week for his dedication to volunteer work. He says he wants to continue working with his hands after graduation.

Links:
The Gengras Center
Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity

Should Parents Be Concerned About Braeburn Swine Flu Case? – 6/5/09

Extended content is available for this story. Click here to see the full, uncut interview with Dr. Thomas Fromson.

Swine Flu, also known as H1N1, has made its way into West Hartford and West Hartford Public Schools. A letter was issued to parents letting them know a student at Braeburn Elementary School has been diagnosed with the illness.

The news here is perhaps there isn’t any news. Doctors in the Hartford area have been telling us for weeks to treat this like any other flu. No schools have been closed, and no extra measures are currently necessary.

If you think you have the flu, no matter the type, stay home. To prevent getting the flu, wash your hands regularly and use anti-viral wipes.

The Connecticut State Department of Public Health denied our on camera interview request for this story.

Links:
Full PDF of Superintendent Sklarz’s Letter to Parents
West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District
State of Connecticut H1N1 Information and Prevention
CDC Swine Flu Information Page

BREAKING: Braeburn Elementary Student Diagnosed With Swine Flu

A student at Braeburn Elementary School has been diagnosed with H1N1 Swine Flu. A letter sent home to parents today by Superintendent Dr. David Sklarz says the student developed symptoms out of state and has not been in school since becoming ill.

Here is the text of the letter sent home to parents today:

Dear Parent/Guardian,

We were notified this morning that a Braeburn Elementary School student was confirmed to have the Novel H1N1 virus. This student became symptomatic while out of state and has not attended school since becoming ill.

The ill student has been asked to stay home to fully recuperate for at least 7 days, or at least 24 hours after symptoms have gone away, whichever is longer, and the parents have been advised to contact their medical providers with any questions and concerns. The school nurse will be observing students and staff for any signs of
flu-like illness in students and will be available to answer questions. We will continue to communicate with local and state health officials for updates on the situation and any change in our plans.

The most important action you can take at this time is to keep your child at home if he/she shows signs of a flu-like illness (fever 100 ◦ F and a cough or sore throat); please see attached When to Keep Your Child Home flyer for more detailed information. When you call in your child’s absence, inform the school of your child’s symptoms and when the symptoms started.

The great majority of children recover from influenza quickly without treatment. However, you may want to contact your medical provider for advice, especially if your child has any underlying health conditions that may place him/her at higher risk of complications from influenza. Those at higher risk include:

• People over 65 or under 2 years of age
• People with chronic lung disorders such as asthma or emphysema
• People with chronic heart, kidney, liver or blood disorders
• People with diabetes
• People whose immune systems are compromised by illness or medication
• Pregnant women
• People on long-term aspirin therapy

Please continue to teach your family to use personal protective measures which include: staying home when you are ill, frequent hand washing (or sanitizer use if running water is not available), covering the nose and mouth with a sleeve or tissue when coughing or sneezing, disposing of soiled tissues appropriately, and avoiding persons who are ill.

We will continue to keep you informed as any additional information becomes available.

Sincerely,

Dr. David P. Sklarz
Superintendent

Mr. Steve Huleatt
Health Director
West Hartford/Bloomfield Health District

Links:
Full PDF of Sklarz Letter to Parents
West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District
State of Connecticut H1N1 Information and Prevention
CDC Swine Flu Information Page

Extended Content: Full Interview with West Hartford School Officials & Tom Murphy from the Connecticut State Department of Education

Below are the full, uncut interviews from our story on two West Hartford schools the State of Connecticut has identified as racially imbalanced.

Full, uncut interview with Tom Murphy from the Connecticut State Department of Education:

Full, uncut interview with Superintendent of Schools Karen List and West Hartford Public Schools Director of Finance and Planning Chip Ward:

West Hartford Educators Respond to Racially Imbalanced Schools – 6/1/09

Extended content with full, uncut interviews is available for this story by clicking here.

The Connecticut State Department of Education has identified two elementary schools in West Hartford, Charter Oak Academy and the Smith School, as being racially imbalanced. West Hartford is now under order from the State to come up with plans to correct the imbalance.

LocalOnlineNews.TV’s Anna Stonestreet met with West Hartford educators and the Connecticut State Department of Education to discuss plans to address the State order.

Links:
West Hartford Board of Education Report on Racially Imbalanced Schools (PDF)
Charter Oak Academy
Smith School

May 25, 2009 West Hartford News Brief

Kindergartners from the Norfeldt Elementary School have their artwork on display at the Uconn Health Center through July. You can see more of the images on Norfeldt’s website below.

A fundraiser for St. Francis Hospital and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center will be held on May 31st in memory of Benjamin Margolis. More information can be found at the link below.

The West Hartford City Council will meet on Tuesday, May 26th at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall. The agenda is light, although the Council will consider implementing parking changes that are already a part of the budget. Municipal surface lots that used to be free on Sundays will now be staffed with an attendant and will charge the usual fee structure.

Links:
Norfeldt Elementary School
Fundraiser in Memory of Benjamin Margolis
West Hartford municipal parking information
City Council Agenda for May 26, 2009

Northwest Catholic & The Intensive Education Academy Team up for Special Olympics’ Unified Sports

Northwest Catholic High School and The Intensive Education Academy are two private schools working on a unique project together. They have joined with the Special Olympics to play Unified Sports – combining students with intellectual challenges with those without disabilities.

Unified Sports is typically offered in public schools. The volleyball program in West Hartford is the first in the state of Connecticut to join two private schools.

LocalOnlineNews.TV’s Anna Stonestreet visited Northwest Catholic High School to learn more about this new program.

CORRECTION: We regret that we spelled student Ryan McCarthy’s name incorrectly in the piece.

Links:
Northwest Catholic High School
Intensive Education Academy
Special Olympics Unified Sports
Special Olympics of Connecticut

Conard Lacrosse Player Going to Division 1

J.T. Weber is taking his talents to Division 1 college athletics. The lacrosse player, #15, was offered a scholarship and has signed a letter of intent to play at Providence College next year.

Providence will see changes in their conference for the upcoming season. They have joined the Big East for the first year of conference lacrosse play.

The NCAA lacrosse final four will be played this weekend in Foxboro.

Links:
Conard High School
Conard Lacrosse Homepage
Big East Lacrosse
Providence College Lacrosse

Hall High Students Spend Spring Break in New Orleans – 5/18/09

Extended content is available for this story. Click here to see the full, uncut interview with the Hall High School students who traveled to New Orleans.

Twelve Hall High School students gave up their spring break to help reconstruction efforts in New Orleans. The students said it was hard work, but for them that was the best part. By the end of the week, they completed rebuilding a home destroyed by hurricane Katrina.

The trip was organized by Student Council President Bailey Proft as a senior project. Proft and school officials plan to make this an annual Hall High School activity.

Links:
Hall High School

Extended Interview With Sean Harris, Hall High School Theater Teacher

This extended content interview is from our recent story covering the Hall High School Theater Department’s invitation to perform in Scotland. You can see the full story on Hall High School’s upcoming trip by clicking here.