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Milner Applies to Commissioner’s Network; Questions Remain

By Kerri Provost

July 30, 2012

As much of Milner’s future remains unclear, the Hartford Public Schools’ has begun to acknowledge some of the ways in which the school will change as it becomes part of the Commissioner’s Network and is managed by Jumoke Academy.

A memo sent to staff by David Medina on July 25th gives a slightly different impression than the formal press release sent by him on July 27th. In the memo about the changes as Milner, parents’ concerns are acknowledged, though only the issue of uniforms is actually addressed in this message:

There is no comment provided on whether or not the school grounds will be repaired, what will happen to the free breakfast program, what will be the wording of the discipline policy or if there will be a computer center. The parent education component is unclear, though the memo claims there will be a “strong family and community connection.”

This memo says nothing about if bilingualism will be sought after during the hiring process. In the announcement of job opportunities for “Jumoke Academy @ Milner School,” it is stated that they are seeking a “Bilingual Teacher,” but not that being skilled in both English and Spanish is desirable for all candidates. Beyond “Appropriate Connecticut Teacher Certification,” there is no indication as to what kind of experience is required or would be helpful for candidates to have.

The salary range is according to HFT; some employees at Milner have wondered how the possible expanded school year and expanded school week would be dealt with by the union.

Then, after 5 last Friday, Medina issued the following press release:

There is little new information in this, as the expectation for months has been that Milner would apply to become part of the Commissioner’s Network. Beyond the addition of noting that parents would be “trained” in the “Jumoke method,” there is nothing here that further addresses parent concerns outlined in the previous memo.

The “Additional supports for English Language Learners,” is vague and not reflected in the hiring notice. One bilingual teacher hardly seems like additional supports.

Minimally, it acknowledges that the Milner population is different from that of Jumoke, even if the claim was also made that both schools serve students from the “same area.” As clear through collected data, the schools have different populations in terms of number of English Language Learners and students requiring special education.

Reprinted with permission of Kerri Provost, author of the blog RealHartford. To view other stories on this topic, search RealHartford at http://www.realhartford.org/.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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