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Lauren Francese and Anthony Battaglia were honored for their commitment to excellence in social studies education at the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) 2024 Spring Social.

Hosted at the New Haven Museum on May 23, the CCSS held its event to honor educators and supporters of its mission to advocate and build capacity of high-quality social studies by providing leadership, services and support to educators.

Francese, Westport Public Schools Social Studies Coordinator, was honored to both offer the event’s welcoming address and, along with her project associates, receive one of the CCSS Special Program awards for leading the development of Connecticut’s new social studies standards that replace the 2015 Connecticut Elementary and Secondary Social Studies Frameworks.

In response to receiving the award, Francese offered insight into how the standards, which are intended to assist in developing curriculum at the local level, were established.

“For two years, educators from across the state came together to create our new social studies standards,” said Francese. “The work included a steering committee, input from the public through surveys and focus groups, and standards writing teams. As project associates, we facilitated not only the development of the standards themselves, but the guiding principles related to justice, respect, inclusivity, global content, agency and local connections. These guiding principles ensured the standards development process honored Connecticut students and communities.”

In addition, Battaglia won the Pre-Service Excellence in Social Studies Education award which recognizes exceptional student teachers. Battaglia, a pre-service teacher from the University of Bridgeport, recently completed his student teaching in eighth grade at Coleytown Middle School this year with Dr. Erik Dey.

Dr. Francese gives the welcoming address
Mr. Battaglia holding his award for pre-service excellence in social studies