Superintendent's Blog

Christopher Fray

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Christopher Fray

These last three months have disrupted schooling in Connecticut in a way that we have not experienced in over a century. We lived through it together and we will recover together.  Balancing the reopening of schools in our state will require flexibility, an awareness of the changing trends of infection, and a willingness to make disruptive decisions to promote the health and safety of our students, their families, and our staff. Since there is no playbook for this, and no previous reference, any planning will never answer all of the questions or satisfy all of the concerns raised. Much like the stay at home decisions, there is a great level of personal choice in our recovery. This is no different in education.

Over the last three months, our approach has been to listen to various perspectives. While there was great variance in the beliefs and recommendations, there were some common themes. Two repeated highlights were that health and safety matter most, and students thrive best in school. Navigating this balance is an imperfect science but one that we do not have the ability to ignore. Our plan acknowledges the challenges with this balance while also taking into account the belief that there is not one perfect solution that applies to every community in Connecticut. Infection rates varied greatly throughout the state.

As a result, our plan allows for local districts to make decisions based on consistent parameters established in conjunction with the Department of Public Health. Allowing for local or regional decisions gives districts the opportunity to hear from students, parents, teachers, community leaders, and others in order to acknowledge various perspectives in that community - - all while staying within the benchmarks identified by Connecticut’s public health experts.

We recognize and grapple with the uncertainty of having to predict two months out, but we have built into the process the ability for communities to make decisions based on their unique conditions.

There has never been an exercise in education that has been so complex. Maintaining a spirit of collaboration and togetherness, a willingness to adapt based on public health metrics, and the willingness to accept each of our individual responsibilities for being part of the best possible solution will be necessary as we move forward together.


Miguel A. Cardona, Ed. D.

Commissioner of Education
State of Connecticut


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Regional School District No. 7 is composed of four rural-suburban towns: Barkhamsted, Colebrook, New Hartford and Norfolk. The district, consisting of 157 square miles, is located twenty miles west of Hartford and has a population of approximately 12,700.

Northwestern Regional High School is a comprehensive public school which operated under a house plan. Opened in September, 1958, the school is accredited by the New England Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges. The school campus of 42 acres includes two 9-12 Houses. Enrollment in grades 9-12 is currently 749. Ninety five percent of the professional staff have a masters degree or equivalent.The average class size in the academic program is 20. Students in grade ten in Connecticut public schools participate in a mastery test (Connecticut Academic Performance Test)developed by the State Department of Education.

The school curriculum is both flexible and encompassing, offering numerous one-semester, as well as full-year courses at intriductory through advanced levels. The school operates on a fully rotating schedule which includes a 67 minute period for each class once every seven days, with the remaining periods being 43 minutes in duration. Classes meet five times weekly for thirty-six weeks per one credit course: 1/2 credit is given for a one-semester subject and a 1/4 credit for each year of physical education/health. Marking periods are every 9 weeks. Laboratory work is required in the college preparatory sciences as well as in German, French, and Spanish. The school also has an Agricultural Education Program.

The staff at Northwestern Middle School is comprised of dedicated professionals, many with long tenure at the school. We are complimented by a high-quality student body that works hard to achieve in the classroom and are also known for their exceptional level of community service. We participate in programs that provide Turkey Baskets for families at Thanksgiving, Holiday Angels at Christmas, and support programs for our troops. Northwestern Middle School is dedicated to an outstanding academic and student activity program. Please stop in for one of our programs or call us with any questions you may have.


Connecticut State Department of Education
SSP 2005-2006 District
SSP 2004-2005 District
SSP 2004-2005 High School
SSP 2004-2005 Middle School
SSP 2004-2005 Special Education


CAPSS A Look to the Future:  Personalized Learning in Connecticut


In accordance with Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 2010, Northwestern Regional School District no.7 is taking steps to ensure that it’s website, NWR7.com, is accessible and compliant with the standards as set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 AA).  NWR7 is continually working to ensure equal digital access to all members of the community.

If you have any questions or concerns with the content or accessibility of the site NWR7.com, please contact us at webmaster@nwr7.org.  Thank you.