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Business, Charities, Volunteers step forward during Ansonia education budget woes

October 22, 2018

ANSONIA-As budget cutbacks have forced the city’s schools to streamline their offerings, several community groups and businesses have stepped forward Superintendent of Schools Carol Merlone said.

Meanwhile she and Paul Giansanti, the new principal at the high school announced a partnership with Derby’s Griffin Hospital in offering offer a Patient Care Technician program for 10 students in the new freshman class.

For freshman to apply they must have a 90 average in a freshman science course and a 3.0 grade point average; less than 10 unexcused absences; write a letter to administrators at both the High School and Griffin expressing interest and be interviewed by both and volunteer 50 hours every summer at the hopsital.

In order for students to continue in the program they must take advanced placement biology in their sophomore year, honors or advanced placement chemistry in their junior year and anatomy and physiology in their first part of their senior. In January 2022 they will begin a 17-week course taught by Griffin Hospital instructors.

.“Before the start of the school year, the Valley United Way Corporate Volunteer Council provided school uniforms and supplies for 253 students in Mead and Prendergast School,” said Superintendent of Schools Carol Merlone. “Christ Church of Ansonia provided a donation of school supplies to Ansonia Middle School.”

She said last week BIC donated 100 teacher supply kits filled with BIC products to the middle school, while the Prudential Group conducted a food collection and put together 500 bags of food to be given out to students at Mead School and Prendergast School.

And third graders at Mead School were given free dictionaries from the Rotary Club.

“ I know that we continue to ask more and more of everyone each year, as budgets get cut and expenses continue to rise. And I know that this year is the most challenging ever for our staff.”

But, Merlone said she also knows “we have great people here in Ansonia. Nearly every day, as I get into the schools to talk with staff, I see great things happening.”I am excited to announce a partnership between Ansonia High School and Griffin Hospital for the Class of 2022. This partnership will give an opportunity to a cohort of students to complete the Patient Care Technician program (PCT). It is important to note that only ten students will be selected starting with the Class of 2022.

Below are the requirements:

Freshman requirements for acceptance into the Patient Care Technician program:

Have a 90 average or better in their freshman year science course.

Have above a 3.0 GPA overall.

Have less than ten unexcused absences by the end of the school year.

Be in good overall behavioral standings at Ansonia High School.

Write a letter to the administration from Ansonia High School and Griffin Hospital about why they want to pursue a career in healthcare.

Take part in a formal interview with staff members from Ansonia High School and Griffin Hospital.

Commit to fifty volunteer hours at Griffin Hospital starting the summer after their freshman year. The students will have to complete fifty volunteer hours every school year until they graduate.Student Track for the Patient Care Technician program:

· 10th-grade: Students will have to take Advanced Placement Biology and complete fifty hours of volunteer work. Students will also visit Griffin Hospital for shadow days and career exploration.

· 11th-grade: Students will have to take Honors or Advanced Placement Chemistry, ECE Medical Technology course and complete fifty hours of volunteer work. Students will also visit Griffin hospital for shadow days and career exploration.

· 12th-grade: Students will have to take a block period Anatomy and Physiology course ending at midterms. In January of 2022, they will begin a seventeen-week course taught by instructors from Griffin Hospital.

If you are interested in this track for your child, please email the 9th grade school counselor, Ms. Chin by November 1st, at wchin@ansonia.org or (203) 763-5060 ext. 2401. We will be having a mandatory information session in the future for all parents where more information will be provided.

She said every student is receiving free breakfast and lunch, thanks to a program offered by the State of Connecticut;

“Prendergast School is celebrating the very high average daily attendance rate of 96.57 percent (through Oct. 18). This month, they are raising money for breast cancer awareness,” Merlone said.

She said Mead School students e benefited from several programs led by community agencies and organizations which included a visit from Janet Fitol of the Ansonia Library as well as the Ansonia Police Department through its Officer Phil school safety program.

Ansonia High School has formed two partnerships to benefit our students: One with Griffin Hospital to start an Allied Health Program, and one with Southern Connecticut State University to mentor our students.

Merlone said mentoring programs will begin next month at Ansonia Middle School, Mead and Prendergast, with adult mentors from the community matched with students from each of these schools. Anyone wishing to volunteer for this program can contact Amy Cosciello, who serves as assistant principal at Ansonia Middle School.

Additionally Merlone said Lisa Glazer, vice chairman of Friends of Ansonia Education is coordinating an effort to get volunteers to help out in our schools

Merlone, the Board of Education and the Ansonia Federation of Teachers say the city schools have fallen on hard time following the removal of $600,000 from their budget by the Board of Aldermen. The action has led to a lawsuit filed against the city and an investigation by the state Board of Education.

The Aldermen claim the money was loaned to the school board to help get it through the 2017-18 state budget crisis. When the school district got $1.8 million from the state, the Aldermen voted to withhold the $600,000 as a payback.

The lawsuit is headed for a summary judgment hearing Nov. 13 in Derby Superior Court.