Back-To-School Tips & Safety

August 18, 2023

The start of the school year is approaching very quickly. This week, I'm breaking down how the state legislature is funding our colleges and universities, providing tips on back-to-school routines and social media posts, as well as explaining how much support our district will receive for summer mental health programs.
Click on any of the links below to jump to that section of the email:
Delivering For Higher Education
We have made significant strides in supporting higher education and ensuring a brighter future with opportunities, support, and financial relief for our students.

During the 2023 legislative session, we allocated over $135 million more for higher education in our biennial state budget than initially proposed. We did this in order to support initiatives that reflect our commitment to addressing the challenges faced by students and graduates. 

Some of this year's priorities include Public Act 23-204, which expanded our debt-free community college program to incorporate subsidies for returning students and established a student loan forgiveness program that offers up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness for individuals who meet certain criteria and volunteer at a local nonprofit.

We also streamlined the eligibility requirements for the Roberta Willis Scholarship and enabled the program to notify students of their scholarship awards earlier in the year, so they’ll have full knowledge of their financial aid before choosing which school to attend in the fall.

Additionally, we passed several other measures to support higher education: 

  • Lower state-backed loan refinancing rates for nurses (Public Act 23-60)
  • Prohibiting colleges and universities from withholding transcripts due to outstanding debt (Public Act 23-14)
  • Providing student loan subsidies for paraeducators, school counselors, police officers, and EMS personnel (Public Act 23-70

I will continue working with my colleagues to find opportunities that will provide those interested in obtaining a college degree with the necessary tools to help them achieve their goals. 

Back-To-School Sleep Schedule
We're approaching the end of the summer, and some children need to get into a routine before heading back in the classroom. Some adjustments require getting more sleep at night.
According to doctors, kids need more sleep than adults. Children aged 5-12 should be getting 9-10 hours of shut-eye per night and teens should bet getting 8-9 hours per night.
Helpful Techniques For Your Child's Back-To-School Sleep Schedule
Back-To-School Social Media Safety
The first day of school will be here before you know it! Parents should be aware of one simple social media safety tip before posting that back-to-school photo.
While I know this photo trend is fun to take and look back on, keeping your child's personal information at a minimum is important. By sharing your child's school, grade, teacher, and interests, you are giving predators unique information about your child and where they can find them.

Here are some reminders of what not to post:
Teacher's Name
School Name

I'm wishing you and your families a happy, healthy, and safe school year!

Summer Mental Health Grants For Schools & Camps
It is no secret the pandemic has had a lasting negative effect on our children. As a result, the state is providing more than $4.5 million in summer mental health grants for schools and camps over a three-year period.

The 114th district will receive a total of $135,275.40. Our students deserve year-round support, and this critical funding will help address their social and emotional needs in the summer months. 

Here is a closer look at the funding:

Lead applicant: Orange School District
Total grant award: $102,222
Lead applicant: Recreation Camp Inc.
Total grant award: $33,053.40

This funding will allow students to seek out the mental health services they need to acclimate, grow, and prosper in and outside of the classroom.
Learn More About Mental Health Grants For Schools & Camps
Bradley Road Closure
Drivers should be aware that Bradley Road in Woodbridge will be closed from Monday, August 28 through Friday, September 8. Construction crews are working at the intersection of Litchfield Turnpike and Bradley Road. The Amity Road end of Bradley Road will be open so that drivers can access businesses in that area.
Derby Events Calendar
Check out the events below to see what's going on in Derby, and click the button at the bottom of this section to access the community calendar.
Derby Community Calendar
Upcoming Events in Hamden
Take a look at the fliers below and click on the button to learn about upcoming events in Hamden:
More Hamden Events
Orange Events and Community Calendar
Check out the upcoming events in Orange, and please click the button below to access the community calendar.
Click Here to Get Your Tickets

Join the Elderly Brothers on Saturday, August 19 from 2 P.M. - 3 P.M. at Case Memorial Library for some oldies Rock ‘n Roll. Enjoy a program of groovy and upbeat ‘50s and ‘60s Rock-Hop music.

Click Here To Register
Orange Community Calendar
Woodbridge Events and Community Calendar
Check out the event below, and click the button under that to access the community calendar.
At 9 A.M. get ready to inspect for colony health, observe mite count/thresholds, and prep for cooler months by securing supplies early. 

These workshops are focused on hobbyists, backyard beekeepers, and those considering beekeeping. Suggested donation of $10 per person at the door.

Woodbridge Community Calendar