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Waterbury Public Schools (Special Project)

District Partner Summer 2013

ERS partnered with the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) and three summer graduate student fellows to provide a school systems funding analysis for Waterbury Public Schools. This partnership represented a "special project"—a focused, abridged version of ERS' typical client engagements.

"I am very pleased [with this project]. It brings issues to the surface that need to be addressed."
- Dr. Kathleen M. Ouellette, Superintendent, Waterbury Public Schools

District Facts

Students: 18,152
1,336 (just classroom teachers)

Work Focus

Summer 2013:

  • School System Funding Analysis: Understand how the district is using its funds to identify opportunities to reallocate resources.

Findings and Outcomes

  • Resource Analysis: The summer project team, along with support from CCER and ERS, performed a detailed analysis of WPS' funding and staffing. Their analysis revealed the following:
    • Like many other large urban districts, WPS contends with high staff turnover and untracked expenditures on professional development.
    • WPS has a relatively high number of special education paraprofessionals, and low amount of spending on English language learners, given need.

Next Steps

  • ERS will continue to touch base with CCER to monitor progress in Waterbury Public Schools, particularly as they embark on a comprehensive PD plan specifically with the goals of:
    • Improving how IEPs are written to more effectively use paraprofessionals
    • Consolidating PD dollars to focus on teacher professional growth
    • Tracking PD spending
  • ERS will also offer advice and support to the WPS Superintendent as needed.

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