Superintendent's Message

Plainfield Celebrates Inclusive Computer Science Pathways during CSEdWeek!

District CSforALL Team and 2022 National CS Teacher of the Year Grow Innovative Programs

Date of Publication

For Immediate Release During CSEdWeek, December 5 - 11, 2022.

CENTRAL VILLAGE - Plainfield is celebrating CSEdWeek December 5 - 11th, a “call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science (CS), advocate for equity, and celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners,” according to CSEdWeek.org. CSEdWeek is held annually to coincide with the December 9th birthday of Grace Hopper, the pioneering computer scientist who invented the first compiler and user-friendly programming language.

Grace Hopper’s legacy of innovation and inclusion lives on through Plainfield’s CSforALL Pathways. A popular App Creators for Android & iOS course adapted from Trinity College’s Mobile CSP curriculum welcomes all students, especially those with no prior coding experience. Student Angelina Giovanni developed an original mobile app for her mother’s chiropractic business; student Joe Morris developed his own Android Flappy Birds game; student Vivian Lash used MIT App Inventor to develop an art-bot that paints rainbow spirograph patterns.

A new Introduction to Data Science course adapted from Brown University’s Bootstrap curricula teaches students how to uncover secrets hidden within real-world datasets. Avid reader and aspiring author Angel Witsen-Diaz wrote a Pyret program to chart book publishing trends hidden within 5,000 GoodReads.com reviews; gaming enthusiast Kameron Smith chose to extract insights from a dataset of 6,800 video games for his final project. PHS students Branden Emmons and Anna-Marie Gomez teamed up during the 2022 QSIDE High School Datathon for Justice; Anna-Marie also received an NCWIT AiC Rising Star Award—a first for Plainfield!

Other CSforAll opportunities at Plainfield High School include Coding Club, Introduction to Java Programming, AP Computer Science A, and AP Computer Science Principles (with a >92% pass rate on the AP Exam!). An AP CSA student with no prior coding experience shares, “This class is a friendly environment and I don't feel afraid to ask questions.” Java students recently developed their own Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms for an autonomous AI vs. AI Mancala Tournament. Third-place finisher Colin Williams reflects, “The part of the project that I enjoyed the most was the testing and tournament aspect … it showed how my hard work paid off.”

Lead CS Teacher Nicholas Bousquet recently proposed three new courses for 2023-24, including Introduction to Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Bousquet and his PHS colleagues are also exploring transdisciplinary STEM + Computational Thinking opportunities like WPI’s BIO-CS Bridge curricula. Bousquet received the 2022 National NCWIT AiC Educator Award and the 2022 National CSTA Teaching Excellence Award in recognition for his dedication to growing equity in computing. For Bousquet, it’s all about empowering students to make personal, interest-driven connections with computer science: “YOUR Passions + CS = Impact!”

Plainfield’s CSforALL Team continues to expand PreK-12 CS-integration for all students in all schools. SHE teacher Bonnie Normandie’s first-grade students are piloting play-based problem solving with LEGO® Education SPIKE™ kits. After completing a summer MIT Master Maker Workshop, PCMS teacher Jim Tingle looks forward to integrating digital making with Arduinos into his middle school technology classes: “The long term goal would be to have students develop autonomous model cars that can self-drive with distance sensors, motors, and servos.”

In the last year, Plainfield’s CSforALL Team has made huge strides towards realizing their district vision: “We believe in CS because all students must be empowered to create technology in a personalized, interest-driven learning environment that grows engagement, persistence, problem solving, and marketable skill sets that open opportunities in an increasingly complex world.” Students and families can visit PlainfieldCodes.org to learn more. Happy CSEdWeek!

Caption: Angelina Giovanni creates a mobile app for her parent’s business (LINK to original HD image)

Caption: Joe Morris creates his own Flappy Birds app; the PHS CS Lab is now one of his favorite hangouts (LINK to original HD image

Caption: Vivian Lash develops their own rainbow spirograph app using MIT App Inventor and Logo (LINK to original HD image)

Caption: Winners of the PHS 2nd Annual Mancala Madness AI vs. AI Tournament: 3rd Place - Colin Williams (right), 2nd Place - Austin Jamrow (left), and 1st Place - Sage Quintin (center) (LINK to original HD image)

Caption: Nicholas Bousquet receives the 2022 National CSTA Teaching Excellence Award from Infosys Executive Director Katherine Maloney (left), and CSTA Executive Director Jake Baskin (right) (LINK to original HD image)

Caption: Infographic of current and proposed CSforALL courses at Plainfield High School (LINK to original HD image)

Quotes

“Computer Science drives so much of our society today. Innovation, discovery, even participation in politics is now computer science driven. When we grow our computer science programs, we grow our student’s ability to innovate and solve problems.”

— Paul M. Brenton, Superintendent

“Computer Science is a driving force of the next generation for our students not just within education, but within the workforce. In a vastly changing and evolving environment, computer science will become the glue that links our curriculums together. Computer Science will become a through-line that drives change and evolution within our school curriculum. As our computer science curriculums expand so do our opportunities and advantages to our students.”

—Scott Sugarman, Assistant Superintendent/Director of Talent and Instruction

“I came into computer science with preconceived notions that I wouldn't fit in because I was a girl who liked sports and had no coding or gaming experience before. But the truth is there isn't a mold of who computer scientists are and anyone can succeed in this space.”

—Hannah Irons, AP Computer Science A Student

“Everyone should take a CS class before they graduate. It's a great experience with flexible workloads and an amazing opportunity to learn something new. There are no requirements to get into CS, you don't have to be really smart nor fast, and I think more people should get into it.”

—Damien Logan, Intro to Programming, AP Computer Science A, and Coding Club Student

“Even for someone with no prior experience in coding, I was able to dive headfirst into this class and I am glad I didn't shy away from it. Although challenging, I feel like I am actually learning, understanding, and developing a passion for coding.”

—Quinn Hotchkiss, AP Computer Science A Student



12/6/2022

Dear Plainfield Parents,

As a reminder, In October we sent a notice home alerting families that the state funding that allowed our district to provide meals at no charge will run out at the end of December. Therefore, free meals for all students will end on Friday December 23rd, 2022.  When we return from the holiday break, school meals will return to their normal prices.  Breakfast for students will be $1.90 at all locations.  Lunch will cost $2.80 at the elementary schools and between $2.80 and $3.65 at the secondary schools depending on meal selections.

Free and Reduced-Price Meals Applications

Plainfield Meal application flyer.pdf 

We encourage families to review the FRL eligibility criteria and  to complete and submit the FRL priced meal application if you have not done so already.  

There are many reasons why qualifying families should complete the FRL application, even if they are not interested in school meals.  Qualifying families are eligible for other benefits such as college application fee waivers and free AP testing.  

Who Qualifies for free meals?   

Each year the Federal Government sets new guidelines for qualifications which can be found on our website: PPS Parent_Letter_FAQ_Free_Reduced_Meals_NSLP_.pdf    

Please reach out to Jana Livernoche at Plainfield Schools with any questions.  (860) 564-6459

 

Thank you for all you do for our students

Mr. Paul M. Brenton


10/4/2022

Plainfield Public School's K-6 reading program is among the first in the state to be approved by the Connecticut State Department of Education’s Center for Literacy Research


In June 2021, the Connecticut legislature passed the “Right to Read'' legislation which requires the Center for Literacy Research and Reading Success at the CSDE, in consultation with the Reading Leadership Implementation council to review and approve reading curricula/programs that must be implemented by all public-school districts effective the 2023–24 school year.

On September 29th, 2022 Plainfield Schools was notified by the State Department of education that the Wonders reading we submitted was selected through the Reading CORE process as one of Connecticut’s Approved K-3 Core Comprehensive Reading Curricula/Programs.

The CSDE developed the PreK–3 Reading Connecticut Review Process to Evaluate Curricula and Programs (Reading CORE). The Reading CORE rubric is designed for use by the CSDE, in consultation with the Reading Leadership Implementation Council, to review reading curricula and programs for use by local and regional boards of education for students in PreK–3, inclusive, that are evidence-based/scientifically based and aligned to the aforementioned areas of reading. The Reading CORE rubric was adapted from the CUrriculum RAtings by TEachers (CURATE) project designed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

See the letter here SDE Approval of Plainfield Application.

Paul M. Brenton

Superintendent Plainfield Public Schools.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Did you know...

School’s Back in Session with FREE Meals

for All In-School and Remote-Learning Students!

Free Meals include both Breakfast and Lunch!

(available through December 31st or until USDA funds are depleted)
 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that schools may extend the free meals program that our district participated in from March until August. Plainfield Public Schools have been approved to allow any child in the Town 18 years old or under regardless of financial eligibility status to receive FREE meals. This will begin Monday, September 14. This includes meals for students who are enrolled in our remote learning model and all students eating in school. Per the USDA, this program will be available through December 31, 2020, or until allocated Federal funding is depleted, whichever is sooner. We will continue to keep families updated if this occurs before December 31, 2020.

It is important that families submit updated free/reduced meal applications if there are any changes in household size or income. Confidential applications are accepted throughout the school year and, if approved, are effective through the last day of the 2020-2021 school year. Applications and instructions for applying can be found by visiting:

https://www.plainfieldschools.org/resources/school_lunch

Free meals for children 18 and under will only be provided as a complete meal per program

guidelines. Bagged meals picked up daily will include a nutritious lunch and a nutritious breakfast for the next day.

Students In-School Programs will receive meals in the classroom at their school.

Families with students on remote-home learning whether by choice or by the

alternate hybrid-day program may pickup meals at:

Plainfield High, Plainfield Central Middle, or Moosup Elementary

Monday –Friday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

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