Changes To School Uniform Policy; Adult Education Protest

by Categorized: Christina Kishimoto, Schools Date:

Who says parent complaints don’t lead to action, at least sometimes?

Thais Ortolaza, a mother of three sons who attend Naylor School, was upset about Hartford’s school uniform policy, from the sole-sourcing to the fact that kids could be kicked out of class for not wearing their full uniform that can be expensive for a family to afford.

This week, after much persistence from school board member Robert Cotto Jr., the policy changed. Read all about it here. One of the benefits for families is that buying uniforms will likely be more affordable.

For a relatively light agenda, Tuesday night’s school board meeting had plenty of action, including that board vote on the policy. If you follow our Twitter account (@HtfdCityline), you might have read the live tweets describing how roughly 50 adult education students walked in with protest signs after the meeting started.

Adult education students walked into Tuesday's school board meeting to protest a possible move to the Capital Community College building. Photo by Vanessa de la Torre.

Adult education students walked into Tuesday’s school board meeting to protest a possible move to the Capital Community College building. Photo by Vanessa de la Torre.

Several students spoke during the public comments section, some with a Spanish translator, about their opposition to Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s proposal to move the adult education center from its location at 110 Washington to the Capital Community College building on Main¬†Street.

Among the concerns they cited was limited parking around CCC — the kind that is free, anyway — and safety for night students.

Damaris Bolorin, a community organizer, leaned into the microphone and sharply criticized Kishimoto for not speaking to students directly about the proposed move. While Kishimoto said she planned to explain her plan to students in coming weeks, Bolorin said it was too late.

“You disrespected us … using your power,” Bolorin told her. She and others made clear that the vast majority of adult education students were strongly against any move.

Hartford school administrators had hoped to move classes in March, which would free up the Washington Street building for other use.

But as school board Chairman Matthew Poland told the students, the board has not made a decision — and likely won’t do so for “months” as members learn more about the proposal.

UPDATE: According to the proposal, CCC would lease space to Hartford schools for almost $12,000 a month. CCC would provide “shared” classroom space and 70 parking spaces in the Columbus Boulevard lot for adult education faculty, staff and students. Also, the college would offer shared space for childcare after 5:30 p.m.

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