What's ahead in 2013 for the town of East Hartford?
By Evan Pajer - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Jan. 4, 2013
In many ways, 2013 will be a big year for East Hartford. Several major construction projects are expected to begin, the town will pass a new budget, and schools throughout the town will experience changes as new programs are put into effect.
Fans of high school sports will have both of East Hartford High School's varsity basketball teams to look forward to. Both the boys' and girls' teams have had a strong season so far, with the girls on a six-game winning streak that has left them undefeated as of press time. The boys' team has also had a strong showing, with a 5-2 record against tough opponents like Glastonbury and East Catholic, and an upcoming game against rival school Windsor. Both teams are aiming for a spot in the state tournament this year. The winter season is only halfway through, with seven home games left for both teams. The school's varsity boys' swim team also began holding meets on Jan. 4.
Superintendent of Schools Nathan Quesnel said that several changes are planned for the town's schools this year. "In 2013, we head into the real roll-out of our alliance plan," he said. Quesnel explained that the alliance plan is a $1.7 million grant from the state for improving the town's schools, and that the plan will likely be put into place in the fall.
Quesnel said the town is also putting into action a new teacher evaluation plan. "We're working closer with our teachers and unions to come up with a plan that is fair and has accountability to ensure all of our children are doing well in the classroom," Quesnel said.
Quesnel said the school system will also work on improving literacy for incoming elementary school students. "We're teaming up with other preschool providers to establish a new set of standards," he said. Quesnel said the Board of Education will also be working with O'Connell Elementary School, which implemented the use of the International Baccalaureate curriculum last year, to add 300 hours to its school year. "It's going to be an exciting year for us," he predicted.
Also coming up is the town's budget for 2013, which is scheduled for a vote by the Town Council in February. The town's Board of Education approved a proposed budget for the new year that will increase spending across the board. The education budget is expected to be sent to the mayor's office to be included in voting by the council. At a Jan. 2 Town Council meeting, Mayor Marcia Leclerc said that she will be making several announcements about what lies ahead for the town after the budget is passed.