GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ELLINGTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Although Ellington’s per pupil expenditure for education is quite low in the State of Connecticut (164/166), Ellington students perform well both in and out of the classroom. A brief snapshot provides the following:
In 2014, eighty-eight EHS students took one-hundred and thirty Advanced Placement Exams in calculus, chemistry, English Language, environmental science, German, psychology, statistics, U.S. Government and U.S. History. Eighty-five percent of students scored 3 or better. Two students were named AP scholars for taking 3 or more exams and scoring a 3 or better on each. One student was named an AP scholar with honor.
Annual results of the SAT show that Ellington students continue to perform well. A review of the SAT scores through March 2014 results in the following comparison:
EHS CT Nation Critical Reading 506 507 497 Mathematics 509 510 513 Writing 497 513 487
Annual results of the ACT show that Ellington students continue to perform well. A review of the ACT scores through March 2014 results in the following comparison:
EHS CT Nation English 23.9 24.2 20.3 Mathematics 23.8 24.1 20.9 Reading 24.2 24.5 21.3 Science 24.0 23.6 20.8 Composite 24.1 24.2 21.0
On the Connecticut Mastery Test, the state assessment used for science in grades five, eight and ten, Ellington students consistently score above the state. In the 2014 administration of the CMT for science, the following percentage of students scored at or above goals:
o Grade 5 Science Ellington 75.6%; State 59.6%
o Grade 8 Science Ellington 81.0%; State 62.5%
o Grade 10 Science Ellington 61.0%; State 46.8%
Since 2008 the following new Advanced Placement courses have been introduced at Ellington High School: AP Studio Art, AP Music Theory, AP Environmental Science, AP Psychology, AP Spanish Language, AP Economics, AP Statistics and AP English Language and Composition, AP Biology and AP Latin. Finally, Ellington High School has also added the UCONN Early College Experience American Studies program. In addition to the new Advanced Placement offerings the following programs have also been introduced at Ellington High School over the past several years: Jewelry and Metals, Sculpture and 3-D Design, Personal Career Planning, Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Playwriting, History of Musical Theater, Songwriting, Beginning Guitar, Intermediate Guitar, Steel Drum Band, Advanced TV/Video Production, Transportation Systems, Broadcast Journalism, Culinary Arts I, Culinary Arts II, Baking and Pastry, Fitness, Lifetime Activities, and Unified Physical Education. This year the following new courses were introduced: Screenwriting, Treble Chorus (H) and Journalism in the 21st Century, an interdisciplinary course offering credit in English as well as Technology Education.
In 2014-2015 the Ellington Public Schools introduced the Bridges in Mathematics program in grades kindergarten through grade five that was piloted the previous year. It is anticipated that this program will produce strong results for students similar to those achieved through the Math Innovations program that was implemented several years ago in grade six and expanded into grade seven and eight at Ellington Middle School.
Significant focus continues to be given to the achievement of special education students as well as all students performing below expectation in reading and mathematics. The process of reviewing IEPs to ensure that objectives were aligned with grade appropriate objectives continues. In addition, district staff continues to 1 develop Tier I, II, and III interventions for use with the SRBI model. The Ellington Special Education Department again planned and provided extended year services for students in need. Extended day classes are offered for students in kindergarten through grade four and grade six through grade twelve.
In the spring of 2014, the members of Ellington’s School Readiness Council expanded their efforts towards parenting education and outreach as they embraced the concept of creating a video that would provide a valuable resource to assist families and early childhood educators as they prepare children for kindergarten. The video, entitled “Kindergarten Readiness” is distributed to parents when they register their children for kindergarten. Copies were also distributed to various preschool programs throughout Ellington. Most importantly this video can be accessed through the website of the Ellington Public Schools at www.ellingtonschools.org. The video can be viewed in its entirety or can be viewed one chapter at a time. The Kindergarten Readiness video contains the following chapters: Introduction, Self Help and Independence, Behavior and Social Skills, Speech and Language, Early Literacy, Language Arts, Writing Process, Mathematics & Early Numeracy, and finally Concerns.
As a result of annual Brainstorming Sessions, the Board of Education in cooperation with the administration developed a Multi-Year Academic Support Plan to further enhance the educational program and opportunities available to our students. The Board of Education identified nine areas of interest which have the potential to further support the work of the Board and the success of our students. The nine areas of the Board’s MultiYear Academic Support Plan are: Technology Infrastructure; Technology Supporting Instruction, Curriculum and Assessment; Appropriate Level of Resources/Class Size; Administrative Capacity; Extended Day/Year Opportunities; Full-Day Kindergarten; Job-Embedded Professional Development; Board of Education Marketing Plan; and Career Planning. A complete copy of this plan is available on the district website.
As part of the Board of Education’s Multi-Year Academic Support Plan, 2013-2014 saw the initiation of extended day programs to provide personalized and engaging learning opportunities across a wide spectrum of student interest. Based upon survey results, initial programming was developed and offered in Theater Workshops and Lego Engineering and Robotics. Reader’s Theater is being offered in grade 3 and 4 while Intro to Drama is offered in grades 5 through 8. Simple Machines are offered for grades 1 and 2, We Do Robotics in grades 3 and 4, Simple and Motorized Mechanisms in grades 5 and 6 and Mindstorms EV3 Robotics in grades 7 and 8. This program was expanded in 2014-2015 to include an Introduction to German and a Young Inventors Club.
The Ellington Public Schools have been most active in providing technology to support curriculum, instruction and assessment. All schools with the exception of Crystal lake School now have wireless infrastructure. Wireless technology will be addressed at Crystal Lake School through the building project. Through the Town of Ellington’s Capital Plan the cycle for the upgrading of computers continues. In addition, through a state grant and the use of Hartford Choice funds the district provides approximately 1,500 Chrome Books for student and staff use in the educational process.
Last year, as part of their Core Values and Beliefs, staff provided students at Ellington High School with an exciting, enriching, multi-cultural experience. Guest artists included a storyteller a children’s book illustrator, and a memoir novelist. All three presenters had diverse backgrounds and they shared many experiences and accomplishments with students. Len Cabral, a celebrated storyteller presented a workshop on storytelling and writing. Eric Valasquez, author/illustrator presented his art to students studying art and design. Alephonsion Deng, one of three authors of the book They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky presented his inspirational story of surviving the genocide in Sudan based upon the experience of the three lost boys of Sudan.
Students and staff at all schools in Ellington actively support many worthwhile causes. The students and staff at Ellington Middle School collected and donated 2,465 items to the Crystal Lake Food pantry in its annual Fall Food Drive. The Ellington Middle School Faculty again raised funds for Common Hope which provides for education of students in Guatemala. The donation was $1,256. The Crystal Lake School PTO organized a Coin Drive that resulted in a $630 donation to the Crystal Lake Food Pantry. Crystal Lake fourth graders continued a tradition of community service by visiting the Evergreen Nursing Home in February. While at Evergreen students met with their resident buddies to share activities. Center School staff organized a most 2 successful Thanksgiving Day Basket Drive. The Center School PTO ran a pop-tab fund raiser to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Students and staff at Center School participated in a collection of gently used outerwear for Button Up Connecticut. Center School students participated in Trick or Treat for UNICEF which provides water, netting and books for needy students. The students studied a world map in identifying the regions of the world most in need. Center School students participated in the National Hat Parade sponsored by the Heavenly Hats Foundation. For one dollar, students had the privilege of wearing their favorite hat to school for the day. The school collected $582. Center School students created valentines to be distributed to recipients Meal on Wheels. Windermere staff participated in “Wear Red Day” in support of the American Heart Association raising $345. Windermere students and staff again continued their generous contribution to the Crystal Lake Food Pantry and the Cornerstone Foundation. Ellington High School students completed six-hundred and twenty-seven cards for members of our Armed Forces as part of Holiday Mail for Heroes.
The Board of Education is always looking for ways to seek outside financial assistance and reduce costs.
The district submitted a Technology Grant to the State of Connecticut that was approved in the amount of $206,723. Funds were used to provide Chrome Books for students and staff to support curriculum, instruction and assessment. A second grant request was filed but not awarded. The district also submitted a grant application to offset the costs of security measures implemented within the past year. As a result of the grant the district did receive $169,983 from the State of Connecticut to offset a significant portion of the $275,000 expended on security enhancements.
Ellington is participating in the CSDE pilot for the Algebra I Model Curriculum; participation will provide free professional development and curriculum materials to algebra teachers at Ellington Middle School and Ellington High School.
The district continues to work with the Town though the School Readiness Council that has been awarded a Competitive School Readiness Grant (in the amount of $74,500 in each of the last four years) to enhance early childhood opportunities in Ellington. This year the Ellington Board of Education approved submission of applications to the Zero Renewable Energy Credit (ZREC) lottery to begin the process of introducing the use of solar energy at our schools.
Other information about the schools of note is:
Ellington students do participate in a variety of locally funded programs to increase awareness of the diversity of individuals and cultures. A highlight of the intermediate school curriculum is culminated in Immigration Day. The middle school students continue with a most impressive and important program by visiting nursing homes. Among the other varied activities that Ellington students participated in were: Exploring Diverse Cultures Workshop, African Dance Program, Pequot Museum Field trip, Kids’ Character Education, Use Another Word, Responsive Classroom, Making Diversity Count, Teaching Children to Care, Anti-Bullying Program, Character and Respect Assembly, Camp Jewel, PAWS, Revolutionary War Encampment, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and grade four pen pals. Support for a number of these programs comes from our PTOs. Ellington Middle School students and staff continued Free to Be Me a student-led program that promotes tolerance and acceptance. The high school Peer Advocates sponsored school-wide activities such as Respect, Use Another Word, Just Kidding Hurts, and Work It Out.
Ellington is an Affiliate of the renowned Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, with staff developers on-site to support professional learning. Educators from the following districts have visited Ellington to observe our program: Glastonbury, East Granby, Suffield, Cromwell, Vernon, Wethersfield and Regional School District #5. In January specialist and administrators for Hebron, Bolton, Somers and Vernon came to Windermere School to learn about their most successful SRBI process.
Center School principal, Trudie Roberts, continued to offer the very popular parent workshop series Parenting with Love and Logic to discuss common family concerns, learn strategies to reduce conflict, and encourage 3 responsibility in children. Crystal Lake teacher, Jessica Giroux was selected by the Connecticut State Department of Education to participate on a state –wide committee to review the validity if the Early Childhood and Reading Specialist certification assessment for candidates seeking this certification.
Rachel’s Challenge continues at Windermere Intermediate School with outstanding work being done by Rachel’s Challenge Chain Links Clubs that are filled with many students eager to help others. The Ellington High School Mock Trial Club continues to grow in popularity as has had considerable success in just its third year of operation.
Ellington High school students Anne Fulton, Katherine Lee, Annika Nordmark and Katherine Snyder were named Commended Students in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship program. The Ellington High School Boys Soccer Team and the Ellington High School Boys Cross Country Team both won state championships. Ellington High School students Erin Wardrop, Danielle Markowski, Erin Meaney, Brandon, Bogrette, and Nick Toper conceived and developed the most successful “U-Knighted Week” program that celebrated diversity.
Ellington Middle School continues its college visitation program. Called College Power, the program works closely with seventh and eighth grade students providing pre-college planning activities that are then coupled with actual on campus experiences. Forty EMS students attended the “Multiply Your Options” conference at the University of Connecticut. This conference, for grade eight females, is aimed at bringing student together with role models in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The Ellington Public Schools continues its strong tradition of honoring our veterans in a variety of Veterans Day Ceremonies. All schools invite veterans to attend school ceremonies. Many veterans are given the opportunity to share their experiences with our students and answer well-prepared student questions. Veterans share experiences of having served in various assignments around the world. One veteran stated, “I was fortunate to travel to many countries and learned a lot about other cultures.” Veterans spoke to students about respecting others, working together as a member of a team and the importance of relying on those you serve with.
The Ellington Public Schools continued to partner with the Ellington Youth Service Bureau to offer quality programming to students in kindergarten through grade 4. This year’s programs included conflict resolution, self esteem, TEAM building, communication skills, stress management, and recognizing and coping with feeling.
A comparison of per-pupil expenditures provides evidence that Ellington spends less per pupil in all categories when compared to K-12 districts, our District Reference Group, and the State of Connecticut. A comparison to neighboring districts reveals that if spending per pupil in Ellington, were at the level of those districts, significant funds would be required. Specifically, additional funds as listed would be required to match the per pupil spending of the following:
Tolland Add $ 1,494,640
Granby Add $ 2,885,189
Somers Add $ 4,099,584
Suffield Add $ 5,100,459
Vernon Add $ 5,444,760
Coventry Add $ 6,523,036
East Windsor Add $ 9,045,241
South Windsor Add $ 9,328,155
Bolton Add $ 9,982,060
Stafford Add $11,300,546
Windsor Locks Add $14,393,917
The above provides a snapshot of the achievements of the students and staff of the Ellington Public Schools. The entire list of achievements and accomplishments would certainly be quite extensive. This document also provides important financial data related to comparative expenditures and cost saving efforts of the district and town.
Ellington High School
Ellington Middle School
Crystal Lake School
Ellington Public Schools grows exceptional learners and leaders who are courageous, reflective, and contributing citizens of the world.
Ellington Public Schools creates a culture of learning that challenges and inspires all students on their personalized educational journeys.
CORE VALUES AND BELIEFS
- We empower students and staff with the skills to discover and pursue their own passions and to embrace opportunities to be courageous, reflective, and contributing citizens of the world.
- We create an equitable, inclusive and supportive culture where people are safe, accepted, and valued.
- We value learning as an enlightening, lifelong process that happens in multiple ways.
- We believe that positive relationships among all stakeholders create synergy and are the foundation for our learning community.
- We celebrate innovation, collaboration, creativity and multiple forms of success.
- We ensure that our learning environments are flexible spaces that encourage interaction, co-creation and independence.
- We have an unrelenting commitment to the belief that everyone can continually learn and grow.