Education board discusses opening day enrollment, bullying policies

The following stories a pair of news items from last Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting.

Opening day enrollment numbers

Superintendent Dr. Gary Cialfi said opening day enrollment was 6,655 students — 52 more than last year.

However, K-12 enrollment is 6,445 students, up 92 from the first day in 2014, which was offset by a drop of 40 students at Trumbull Early Childhood Education Center (TECEC).

The total elementary enrollment was reported to be 2,734 students — up by 47, but the mix was such that the schools required one fewer classroom than last year’s 136. The middle school’s population was 1,560 students, six over last year, and Trumbull High School came in at 2,151 students on Sept. 1, which was was 39 more students than the first day of 2014.

The official numbers will be reported to the state on Oct. 1.

Bullying policies

Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessments Dr. Jonathan Budd presented seven updated policies. The one that drew the most conversation was Bullying & Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Intervention. The policy defines bullying and dating violence and lays out resolution steps.

It was noted that bullying is a pattern of inappropriate actions, not an individual such act, while dating violence may be a single act.

Policies receive two readings. Tonight’s was the first for this policy. It will be revised and brought forward at the next meeting for approval.

Dr. Budd hosted three days of professional development. The keynote speaker for this faculty gathering was Dr. Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

Budd also offered an Opening of School Professional Development Experiences video he entitled A Non-Exhaustive Video Collage.

His slides showed K-12 visual arts teachers learning about adding Arts to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to make it a more broader based STEAM curriculum; K-5 teachers learning about teaching opinion writing; other K-5 teachers learning about reading strategies; K-12 music teachers taking an online seminar to learn to use SmartMusic software, and bring digital technology into their classrooms; and pre-K teachers learning to use SMARTBoards.

Cialfi talked to a growing need to address the social and emotional needs of today’s often highly stressed students, and said Dr. Brackett gave teachers a greater understanding of emotional intelligence to help them try to make “students available for learning” every day.

He said teachers gave Dr. Brackett a standing ovation in the hall after he spoke, and many stopped to press him for still more.