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The School System

Housatonic Valley Regional High School was opened in 1939 to serve the towns of Canaan, Cornwall, Kent, North Canaan, Salisbury, and Sharon. This legislative innovation became the prototype for regionalization in Connecticut and beyond.

Each of the six towns has its own K-8 elementary school governed by an autonomous board of education. Housatonic Valley Regional High School is governed by the Region One Board of Education. The superintendent, assistant superintendent, business manager, and director of pupil services provide educational leadership for seven school districts, governed by seven boards of education in the six towns.

The regional high school, with approximately 425 students in a typical comprehensive high school. In addition to general and college preparatory offerings, the high school course of study includes a vocational agriculture program. About 40 students from the six towns attend one of Connecticut's regional vocational-technical schools. The two smallest K-8 schools each house between 75 and 100 students. The five remaining elementary schools have between 180 and 300 students in attendance. Class sizes are generally small, with an average of 16 students per class; upper grades tend to be departmentalized. To provide a common experience for students an ambitious staff development program and an ongoing plan of curriculum development and improvement have been implemented.

Much of the work on instructional improvement and curriculum development is accomplished through region-wide efforts of the staff, which includes about 240 teachers and specialists. Although there are seven employing boards of education, the staff is organized into two education organizations, one at the high school, and one comprised of the six K-8 schools. Together with the superintendent, these staff associations help to provide regional unity. As a result of the cooperative efforts of the boards of education, administrators and the education associations, the region has been recognized by the State of Connecticut and surrounding school districts as having outstanding professional development and teacher evaluation programs.