During his State of the Town Address on Wednesday afternoon, First Selectman Timothy Herbst thanked Supt. of Schools Ralph Iassogna for his many years of leading Trumbull Public Schools and expressed optimism over the town's new superintendent, Dr. Gary Cialfi. The following is an excerpt from his speech on education.
The quality of the Trumbull Public School System is important to me. It is personal to me. I am proud to say I am the son of public educators and a product of the Trumbull Public School System. And the state of the Trumbull Public School System is strong. Trumbull students are consistently out performing students in other Fairfield County communities that are spending more per pupil.
Our graduation rate is 99.4%, with 94% of our graduates pursuing higher education. Trumbull kids are getting into some of the finest colleges and universities in the nation. Our two middle schools have been cited this year by the Connecticut State Department of Education as schools of distinction and our elementary schools have been recently cited for exemplary CMT scores.
This does not happen without a strong foundation and over the course of the last four years I have spoken at great length about the importance of early childhood intervention and technology in the classroom. I firmly believe that the foundation that we provide to Trumbull’s children in their early, formative years will propel them forward as they graduate, pursue higher education and enter a global economy.
Four years ago we told the people of Trumbull we would make full day kindergarten a top priority and technology in the classrooms a core focus. This afternoon I am pleased to report that we are well on our way.
Trumbull now has one of the strongest early childhood education models in the state of Connecticut. Our teachers and building principals are already telling us that student achievement is improving at incredible levels because of the investment we made in full day kindergarten last year. Without question, the foundation is strong but how do we make it stronger?
The Gibson Report that studied system efficiencies between our Town and our Board of Education revealed that our classroom technology is woefully inadequate to meet the needs of our students.
Next month the Board of Finance will be presented with a technology package that repurposes our school computer labs, puts more laptops and IPADS directly in the classroom and equips a greater number of our classrooms with SMART boards. These types of investments directly and positively impact children and I am asking the Board of Finance to approve this important technology initiative. Learning begins with strong engagement and technology is a powerful took to drive engagement for the way today's students learn.
We can pursue efficiencies and protect the Trumbull taxpayer without compromising the delivery of education. There are huge drivers in the education budget that do not directly relate to teaching and learning. This is where our collective focus should be to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. This year we have begun that process.
Health care is one of the biggest drivers in our Town budget. This year, working together, the town and the Board of Education will work to implement a self-insurance model that will save Trumbull taxpayers 1.8 million dollars while maintaining quality health care for our employees.