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Waterbury Public Schools Partners with BloomBoard to Address Teacher Retention Crisis

Job-embedded professional learning partnership will equip staff with continuing education and credits toward a master’s degree through innovative “Waterbury U” program

WATERBURY CONN. & PITTSBURGH (PRWEB) — Waterbury Public Schools and  BloomBoard today announce a partnership to create  Waterbury U. This innovative initiative addresses the current teacher retention crisis while supporting the unique needs of all students. Waterbury U offers educators on-the-job professional learning opportunities to prepare, promote and advance them in their professional journey. The program allows educators to earn graduate credit, which can lead to a full master’s degree and salary advancement. In addition, Waterbury Public Schools will cover all costs associated with participation for up to 800 staff members.

“This partnership gives our hard-working educators a voice and a choice in their learning,” stated Dr. Verna Ruffin, Superintendent of Waterbury Public Schools. “I see BloomBoard as a partner in helping us grow our own talent, including the number of paraprofessionals who aspire to become teachers or aspire to be better paraprofessionals. An effective and happy teacher is paramount to ensuring student success. Therefore, supporting teachers with Waterbury U is the key to supporting the unique needs of all students.”

A recent  CT Insider article reported anywhere from 1,200 to 1,600 current open teaching positions throughout Connecticut. Therefore, this program aims to provide a special incentive that encourages current education staff to stay within the district while encouraging new teachers and staff to join the school community.

The current offerings through Waterbury U include:
●    Foundations of Leadership
●    Foundations of Instruction
●    Foundations of Attending to Equity
●    Foundations of Addressing Student Well-Being
●    Classroom Management

“BloomBoard’s innovative solutions support our belief that professional development should be driven by our teachers based on their individual needs or interests,” said Janet Frenis, Elementary Math Supervisor of Waterbury Public Schools. “I see this partnership as a critical tool to best meet the needs of our current employees and attract new talent. We are optimistic that this will be a solution to address a teacher retention crisis that is not just unique to us, but nationwide.”

Waterbury is able to offer this program at no cost to staff by leveraging ESSER/ARP ESSER funds. Schools applying for federal funding  must spend at least 20% of the funds to address learning loss through evidence-based interventions that respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs. Moreover, districts that employ teachers with postsecondary degrees are eligible for increased state funding. BloomBoard offers support for districts to navigate the funding application process.

To learn more about Waterbury U, visit  this page.

For more on BloomBoard, visit

About BloomBoard
BloomBoard is a talent development provider that enables K-12 school districts to grow, advance and retain educators by making professional education a benefit of employment. We offer turn-key programs for school districts to move educators forward at all points of their professional journey. Our platform connects districts to higher education institutions that offer apprenticeship, certification, and degree programs using a unique, on-the-job instructional model. We help to assess needs, build and implement plans, and celebrate educator success.

About Waterbury Public Schools
Waterbury Public Schools offer a comprehensive educational program to over 18,000 students in grades Pre-K through 12. This program includes core academics, fine and applied arts, health and fitness, and career pathway offerings as well as special education, magnet schools, Early College High School, Academic Academy, International School focused on Dual Language, an alternative school, and several enrichment programs. Waterbury Public Schools mission is to inspire and prepare every student to be successful in and beyond school. Learn more at

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