A big change for the leadership of Killingly schools amid a state inquiry into the district.
Democrats took control of the Killingly Board of Education following wins in the November election.
They were swept into power following controversy with the district and its response to students’ mental health concerns.
“Really happy about the changeover. I was originally very upset about the state of mental health with the school system and I think this new board is going to make a lot of changes, changes for the better,” Chloe Markley, of Killingly, said.
Parents and students have been pushing for more resources, especially since a previous board rejected a mental health center at the high school last year.
With families believing additional services are badly needed, on Wednesday the state Department of Education continued its look into whether the district is meeting the needs of its students.
“CSDE would be extremely happy if we were to find that they were implementing material interventions, but right now we haven’t seen that,” Michael McKeon, Department of Education attorney, said.
The district’s attorney said they have beefed up some programs. The board’s new chairperson said she will move forward in the best direction for the kids.
“I can’t say how that is going to look or what will plan out but I do think we will get through it. We need some time and we will give our students the resources that they need,” Susan Lannon, Killingly Board of Education chairperson, said.
Parent Kristine Cicchetti was among those who originally filed a complaint with the state and said the board could reach an agreement with the Education Department or take steps to make sure needs are met.
And a new board could mean progress.
“Very hopeful. Very hopeful,” Cicchetti said.
As the new board’s work gets underway, the state is planning more hearings in the coming weeks before finally making a decision.