Connecting people that learn, work, and live in Hartford, CT.

HMTCA Student, Abigail Dresser, Performs with the Trinity College Instrumental Ensemble

On April 27, Abigail (Abi) Dresser, a senior-class student at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA), and Briana Daley ’18, performed with the Trinity College Instrumental Ensemble. Abigail is the first HMTCA high school student to be part of the Trinity College Instrumental Ensemble.

DSC_0892Abigail Dresser, HMTCA ’17, Briana Daley, Trinity ‘18

The Performances

The Instrumental Ensemble recital on April 27, 2017 included a performance by Abi on violin and Trinity College student Briana Daley ’18 on the flute, as well as Coordinator Nancy Curran on the harpsichord. They played two pieces by Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) entitled La Cupis and La Marais.

Last December 2016, Abi, Briana, and Nancy also performed together. This marked the second semester that Abi and Briana performed together for the Ensemble. Reflecting on her work in the Instrumental Ensemble, Abi stated it has been, “a great learning experience and something I have enjoyed going to every week.” (Watch part of the December recital here or below.)

The Partnership

As one aspect of the partnership between Trinity College and HMTCA, an interdistrict magnet school, Abi applied for and enrolled in Music 101. Her professor for the introductory course, John Platoff, noticed her musical skill and recommended that she tryout for the Instrumental Ensemble (Music 105), which was under the direction of Nancy Curran.

At first, Nancy was reluctant to accept a high school student. But having played violin for fourteen years, Abi demonstrated that she had the skill, maturity, and persistence required to participate in the Instrumental Ensemble. After seeing her audition, Nancy was very “enthusiastic” to have her join the Ensemble.

From September to April: The Instrumental Ensemble

Since September, the Instrumental Ensemble has met once a week to rehearse. Every week, Abi walks across the street to Trinity College for reheasal from HMTCA, which is located at the Learning Corridor. For Abi, the best part of the class was performing in recitals last December and this April. The most challenging was, “making sure my sound fit the two other instruments playing with me.”

Ensemble Coordinator Nancy Curran called Abi an “accomplished violinist”. In addition, she noted that Abi worked well with her Trinity partner and she, “was willing to take on the challenge of studying and performing French Baroque music, which is very difficult stylistically to play.”

DSC_0229 copy 2Nancy Curran, Ensemble Coordinator, Abigail Dresser & Briana Daley

 A Bright Future For Abi

After graduating from HMTCA this spring, Abi hopes to continue playing violin and studying music, perhaps as a minor. Having successfully completed Music 101 and Music 105 at Trinity College, she will have two possible course credits towards that goal. After college, she hopes to go into, “business, more specifically finance or possibly a real estate lawyer.”

Her musical partner, Briana Daley ‘18 wished her well in the future. Briana stated, “It has been an honor to rehearse and perform with Abi these past two semesters. She is an extremely talented musician, whose positive attitude and love for music shows every day. I know that a bright future is in store for her, and I wish her the best of luck on her future endeavors! She will be greatly missed.”


This video clip was from the December 2016 performance of the Trinity College Instrumental Ensemble recital. The players include (from left to right) Nancy Curran, coordinator, Abigail Dresser, HMTCA ’17, and Briana Daley, Trinity ’18.



SAGA Fellows Program: Looking for applications for 2017-18

SAGA Innovations (


The 2017-2018 SAGA Fellows program is a 10-month, full-time, post-grad service opportunity in an underserved Chicago or New York City public school. As a SAGA Fellow, you will serve as a tutor and mentor to the same 14 students every day in groups of 1 Fellow: 2 students. Want to transform American public education? Want to eliminate, not narrow, the achievement gap? Then apply to be a SAGA Fellow TODAY!

Meet Chay Reed

Chay Reed joined the Urban Educational Initiatives team in Spring 2017. She works concurrently with the Office of Study Away as an Administrative Assistant. Chay received her B.A. in Studio Arts from Eastern Connecticut State University. Her undergraduate studies also included world literature, Spanish language and Latin American history. She worked part-time in the university library as a student worker, which spawned an interest in a career in librarianship.

Chay is currently studying to receive a Masters in Library and Information Science, and takes courses to improve her Spanish language skills. A Connecticut native, her current hobby is latch-hooking (making hand-made rugs). She also enjoys yoga, zumba, and spending time with her family and pets.  Chay has traveled to Mexico and Canada, and looks forward to traveling to many more regions of the world.


LEARN Disability Summit for Parents, Caregivers, and Educators – March 11, 2017 at Mohegan Sun Convention Center

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The Disability Summit will be held on Saturday, March 11 at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center from 10:00am-4:00pm. This event is free and open to all families/caregivers of children with disabilities, students, and professionals who support students with disabilities from birth to age 21.

The event will connect families and educators with state and community resources by hosting 70 community organizations and breakout workshop sessions on informative topics. Workshop sessions include topics such as “Respite Care 101,” “Addressing Challenging Behaviors in the Home,” “Transition 101,” “Lighten Up: Student Panel Talking About Life with a Disability.”

All event attendees will receive a free Materials Bag with information and free giveaways. We are seeking to attract 700 attendees! Please visit our website for more info/directions to the Mohegan Sun Convention Center.

Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Upcoming Information Sessions 2017



The Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy is an interdistrict magnet school located at Hartford’s Learning Corridor (53 Vernon Street, Hartford, CT, 06106) which is adjacent to Trinity College. The middle and high school enroll students from grades 6-12. The school features a unique partnership with Trinity College that includes programs between the two schools. Learn more about the school at the following information sessions:

December 7 @ 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 28 @ 9:00 a.m.

Saturday, February 4 @ 9:00 a.m.

Monday, February 13 @ 6:30 p.m.

HMTCA Twitter:

HMTCA Facebook page here.

Community Conversations: Early Learning Success through Collaboration – January 9, 2017

Community Conversations:  Early Learning Success through Collaboration

Strategies To Prepare All Children To Be Successful In School

Sheraton Hartford South, Rocky Hill, CT

January 9, 2017 (8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

A free forum showcasing how community engagement, collaboration, and innovation can be harnessed to develop our youngest children into our strongest students.  Co-sponsors include:  The CT Early Childhood Alliance, CT Parent Power, CT Center for the New Economy, CT Family Resource Center Alliance, and the Teachers Policy Institute.

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Parents, policymakers, and practitioners will learn about practices and new strategies that are working well to address the unmet needs of families with young children. The agenda includes:

Plenary Roundtables with Parents, Community Leaders, and Practitioners:  Opportunities and challenges—what children need to start every day ready to learn.

 Deeper Dive Breakout Sessions: Strategies to address early learning, early reading success, 21st century community schools, implicit bias, positive student behavior development, and other critical topics.  Sponsors and presenters include:  Yale’s Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy, CT Voices for Children, CT  Early Childhood Alliance,  Parent Power, CT Family Resource Center Alliance, CT Center for the New Economy, Everyday Democracy, and others.

Plenary Lunch “Ed Talk”:  Featuring special guest Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig (pending final confirmation)

Julian Vasquez Heilig is a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State University, Sacramento; California NAACP Education Chair; and author of and numerous academic publications.  His work has been cited by the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, Education Week, and other print media outlets. He has also appeared on local and national radio and TV including PBS, NBCLatino, Univision, NPR, and MSNBC.

Town Hall Panel Discussion:  Audience Q&A.  What was learned? What are some next steps?

This forum is free and open to the public.  To register visit:

Connecticut’s new Teachers Policy Institute (TPI) is a research and innovation forum created by members of the Connecticut Education Association to advance equity and opportunity for all of the students teachers serve every day.  TPI undertakes research and action promoting equity and opportunity for all students in Connecticut public schools.  Visit for more information.

Community Conversations Forum flyer

Trinfo Partnership with HMTCA Brings New Bee Keeping Project to Community Garden, by Carlos Espinosa

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During the spring semester, Trinfo embarked on a new collaboration with a science class and after-school club at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA) that links to Trinfo’s community garden. Jared Lewis, the HMTCA teacher leading the class and club, has been beekeeping for a few years now, but in much smaller scale. The students in the original pilot developed a business model where they would harvest the honey and sell it in small bottles to raise funds for the project. Now with the additional colony, the club is doubling the size of the program and subsequently their harvest.
Read more at the Urban Planet Fall 2016 edition, which is published by the Center for Urban and Global Studies (edited/designed by Terry Romero).

The Sheff Movement is hiring a Director of Communications and Community Partnerships (part-time)


We’re Hiring! Director of Communications and Community Partnerships (Part-time)

Wednesday September 28, 2016
The Director of Communications and Community Partnerships will lead Sheff Movement coalition [“SMC”] efforts to build public support for its program of achieving quality integrated education in the schools of Greater Hartford. He/she will oversee SMC communications with and SMC organizing activities in the communities of Greater Hartford. He/she will have charge of coordinating SMC activities with school districts, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other institutions committed to providing quality integrated educated throughout the region.

Read the job description here. Please share this news with your networks!

We’re Hiring! Director of Communications and Community Partnerships (Part-time)