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WHAT’S NEW 2019 

In November 2019 we issued our report entitled “Cost-Effective Special Education Strategies: Successful Management by Connecticut School Districts”. After researching how school districts deal with rising special education costs – how they balance the services they provide in house versus paying tuition to providers out of district – our report showcases strategies both to make in-district services more cost-effective and to minimize out-of-district placement costs. Interviews for this report were conducted and compiled by pro bono attorneys from Robinson & Cole LLP.

In October 2018 we released “Cyberbullying and Social Media Abuse in CT Schools – Final Report” to showcase innovative implementation of Connecticut’s Public Act 11-232. This report features educators’ strategies to successfully respond to newer technologies and social media and thereby maximize the ability of public school children to learn. Copies were distributed at the annual joint convention of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) and the Connecticut Association of Board of Education (CABE).

Interviews for this report were conducted pro bono by members of The Hartford’s Law Department.

In November 2017 we released “Keep Kids in School: Improving School Discipline II”  which showcased innovative practices and classroom techniques that successfully solve disciplinary challenges without removing students from the school.  Copies were distributed at the annual joint convention of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) and the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE).

Interviews for this updated report were conducted and compiled pro bono by attorneys from Morgan Lewis & Bockius’ Hartford, CT office.

In February 2018 we began distributing copies of Appleseed’s “Protecting Assets and Child Custody in the Face of Deportation: “A Guide for Practitioners Assisting Immigrant Families“(hereafter “the Manual”) and Appleseed’s “ Immigrant Practice Guide” (formally titled “Getting Off the Assembly Line”) and to the three community partners with whom we have worked most frequently in recent years.  These organizations are Building One Community in Stamford, CT; JUNTA for Progressive Action in New Haven, CT; and the Spanish Community of Wallingford (SCOW) in Wallingford, CT.

CT Appleseed also extended its outreach to community partners throughout the state by distributing copies of both the Manual and the Immigrant Practice Guide to: Connecticut Legal Services in Middletown; the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants in Bridgeport; Community Immigration and Education Services in Danbury; and, the Migration, Refugee and Immigration Services offices within Catholic Charities’ offices in Hartford.  Since Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services in New Haven exclusively provides legal services, their office only received copies of the Immigrant Practice Guide.

In 2018 we are updating our 2012 report entitled “Bullying in Connecticut’s Schools: Implementation of Public Act 08-160” that highlighted particularly effective anti-bullying policies and strategies.  Since Public Act 11-232 expanded school district responsibilities to address cyberbullying and social media abuse, CT Appleseed has engaged a pro bono team from The Hartford’s Legal Department to interview administrators, principals and teachers from a representative sample of districts to find and feature Best Practices and successful strategies to protect students in accord with statutory amendments.  We expect to issue our new report in the Fall, 2018.

Our 2010 research in the Hamden, CT school district was included in a 5-state collaborative Appleseed report entitled “The Same Starting Line: How School Boards Can Erase the Opportunity Gap Between Poor and Middle-Class Children” that was released in 2011.

During 2010 Connecticut Appleseed spearheaded a collaboration of financial institutions, community partners, and state and federal banking regulators to connect unbanked and underbanked state residents with mainstream financial services – including affordable checking, savings, and credit opportunities.  The goal of this “Bank on Connecticut” project was to provide better banking products and services and wider financial education for state residents currently using fringe financial services.  Pilot tests in 2011-12 teamed CTE and Citi in Stamford, NEON, and Citi in Norwalk, Family Services Woodfield and both Citi and Chase Bank in Bridgeport, Start Bank and Junta for Progressive Action in New Haven and Webster Bank and Team, Inc. in Derby.

Our “Hartford H.E.L.P.” program provided free legal assistance to homeless individuals at two Hartford shelters from late 2009 through mid-2014.  Over nearly 5 years, free clinics alternating between Mercy Shelter and the House of Bread on Tuesday mornings assisted more than 650 individuals.  Connecticut Appleseed recruited local attorneys and law students, prompted and oversaw development of a training manual for volunteer lawyers and administered the program.


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