On Wednesday, September 4th, the Connecticut State Board of Education (SBE) held its monthly meeting, which included the oath of office for the two non-voting student members on the SBE. As of this update, the Governor’s office still needs to appoint four more voting members to reach a full State Board. This was also the first official State Board meeting for newly appointed Commissioner Dr. Miguel Cardona.
The agenda included the voluntary surrender of the charter by the board of directors for Trailblazers Academy, a state charter middle school in Stamford serving 126 students in grades 6-8. Due to lack of financial viability, Trailblazers sought to suspend operations and surrender its charter. The Board initially granted the Trailblazers charter in 1999 and has been managed under a charter management organization (CMO) contract with Domus Kids, Inc. (Domus), a non-profit organization. The SBE last renewed Trailblazers’ charter in 2017, resulting in a four-year charter renewal through June 30, 2021.
On July 9, 2019, Trailblazers notified the State Department of Education (SDE) that Trailblazers intended to discontinue operations imminently, and thus the school would be closed for the upcoming 2019-2020 academic year. The Trailblazers governing board voted on July 17th to cease operations and terminate Trailblazers’ charter agreement with the SBE. As this item was on the Board’s consent agenda, there was no discussion and unanimous approval. The Department of Education has been working with Trailblazers, Domus and Stamford Public Schools to support the transition of students to other schools and the completion of closeout procedures. More information about the closure of Trailblazers can be found in this State Board resolution.
The agenda also included the approval of Roosevelt School in Bridgeport to the Commissioner’s Network, the state’s school turnaround program and an update on mid-term budget technical adjustments.