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Help Us Keep Our Students and Neighbors Safe and Connected

Update November 2017: We need your help! For years, CT Transit provided safe bus transport directly from downtown to Common Ground's campus. Last year, they changed the route -- making students spend an extra 20 minutes on the bus, or walk across a dangerous intersection and narrow bridge with no sidewalks to get to school on time. You can help

October 9, 2017|Categories: Featured, High School, In The News, Our Campus|Tags: , , , |
Latest from the Urban Farm
Latest from CG High School
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Warm, Dry and Ready to Play- All Winter Long!

By Rebecca Holcomb Director of Community Programs Fresh air, time in nature, and active play are still essential for children even as the days turn colder and darker. Children at Common Ground enjoy lots of

Common Ground Board of Directors- Minutes June 2017

Board of Directors Meeting 6/26/17 Present: Melissa Spear, Jane Lee, Frank Mitchell, Wendy Battles, Michael Doolittle, Kerry Lord, Monique Frasier Staff: Betsy Sneath, Elena Augusewicz, Joel Tolman, Kimball Cartwright, Rebecca Holcomb Guests: Cornell Wright Public

Common Ground Board of Directors- Minutes September 2017

Board of Directors Meeting 9/18/17 Present: Melissa Spear, Jane Lee, Frank Mitchell, Wendy Battles, Michael Doolittle, Kerry Lord, Bob Parker, Beth Klingher, Claudia Merson, Babz Rawls Ivy, Monique Frasier Staff: Elena Augusewicz, Joel Tolman, Kimball

Common Ground Seeks an Assistant Facilities Manager

Organization Overview Common Ground is a center for environmental learning and leadership in New Haven, Connecticut where a diverse community of children, young people, and adults cultivate habits of healthy living and sustainable environmental practice. 

Calling all artisans and crafters!

Winterfest is coming up on Saturday, December 9. from 10am-2pm. We are currently accepting crafters who'd like to table at this event. To register, please complete this form and then use the PayPal link below to pay for

DACA News and Resources

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has played an important role for 800,000 people brought to the United States as children. DACA is an Executive Order issued by then-President Obama, meant to provide some relief

The SFMNP Crisis: A Letter to the Public

To: Residents of CT From: Aziz Muhammad, a Student of Common Ground High School A question that was posed to me and fellow members of a farm crew I worked on followed as, "What is

CGHS Seeks a Part Time Special Education Teaching Assistant

The PART TIME Special Education Teaching Assistant (TA) position is responsible for supporting the Special Education teachers in general education and special education classes.  Support will include individual and small group instruction, facilitation of on-task

Seasonal Recipe: Roasted Garden Tomato Sauce

The tomatoes here at Common Ground are as big as softballs and we're scrambling to use them all before the Autumn cold sets in. I've been making different variations of this sauce over the past

Feast Auction Items 2017

Join us for the 10th Annual Feast from the Fields! Amid all the great food, fun and celebration, we will be having both Live and Silent Auctions. These will feature items and experiences that connect to Common

Summer Camp Slideshow

If a picture is worth a thousand words, consider yourself well read in adorable adventure! Summer Camp 2017

When to Plant Veggies for Fall Harvesting

By: Deborah Greig Farm Manager In the heat of the Summer, when the tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and squash start spilling out of your garden and fridge, it’s actually time to start thinking about what you

Common Ground Board of Directors- Minutes May 2017

Board of Directors Meeting 5/22/17 Present: Bob Parker, Melissa Spear, Cornell Wright, Deb, Jane Lee, Claudia Merson, Frank Mitchell Staff: Betsy Sneath, Elena Augusewicz, Joel Tolman, Kimball Cartwright, Liz Cox, Jesse Delia Guests: N/A Public

Growing lettuce and leaders

We are thrilled to welcome our summer farm interns, including Madison, a former camper who is coming home to the farm! She is joined by three others new to Common Ground: Haley, Marisa, and Sierra.

Student Work: Biology & Society, Spring 2017

By Kevin Sinusas, Biology Teacher & CGHS Introductory Bio students Students in Common Ground's introductory biology course ended the semester by conducting a set of extended investigations related to energy use in New Haven. They

Born to Float

By Ihsan Abdussabur CGHS Class of 2018 I was born by the river in a little tent Oh and just like the river I've been running ev'r since It's been a long time, a long

ED Reflection: Reaching Through The Divide

My Melissa Spear Executive Director A couple of weeks ago Kate Cebik, Common Ground’s Development Associate, forwarded an email she received in response to our most recent newsletter. The email lamented at how my recent

APPLICATION PERIOD CLOSED: Environmental Educator

WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THIS POSITION. PLEASE SEE OUR JOIN OUR STAFF PAGE FOR CURRENT OPENINGS. Program Description Common Ground offers children in grades K – 8 the opportunity to learn, explore, have adventures,

Honoring a Founder: Joanie Gillette

By Melissa Spear Executive Director These remarks were delivered at a ceremony honoring Joan Gillette which took place at Common Ground on May 8, 2017. Thank you all for being here today as we honor

To My Mother and First Teacher

By Cory Gillette Rinzler Daughter of Joan Gillette These remarks were delivered at a ceremony honoring Joan Gillette which took place at Common Ground on May 8, 2017. At this time of year when the

Poetry, Politics, and Passion

by Valerie Miller Joan Gillette's sister Note: These remarks were delivered at a ceremony honoring Joan Gillette which took place at Common Ground on May 8, 2017. Jack originally asked us both if we would like

Honoring Joanie Gillette: Environmental Justice

By Susannah Gillette Joanie's Daughter These remarks were delivered at a ceremony honoring Joan Gillette which took place at Common Ground on May 8, 2017. I'm awestruck and a bit emotional standing here and witnessing

Spring Farm Update & Gardening Tip

By Deborah Greig Farm Manager It has felt like a very cold and long Spring on the farm. For me, this time of year is always a bit of a struggle. My mind is picturing

Common Ground Board of Directors – Minutes March 2017

Present: Wendy Battles, Mike Doolittle, Monique Frasier, Beth Klingher, Jane Lee, Kerry Lord, Frank Mitchell, Bob Parker, Melissa Spear Staff: Kimball Cartwright, Liz Cox, Deborah Greig, Rebecca Holcombe Wendy called the meeting to order

Common Ground Board of Directors- Minutes April 2017

Common Ground Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting April 24, 2017 Present: Wendy Battles, Mike Doolittle, Monique Frasier, Beth Klingher, Jane Lee, Kerry Lord, Frank Mitchell, Bob Parker, Melissa Spear, Babz Rawls Ivy Staff:

Cell Biology & Society

By Kevin Sinusas Science Teacher At the end of the fall semester, students investigated a series of historical and current social issues related to cell division. In traditional biology curricula, this topic can often

Seasonal Recipes: Quinoa Pizza Egg Muffins

Each month we will be providing you with a great recipe that utilizes the farm fresh ingredients that are in season on our Urban Farm. This month's Seasonal Recipe is a simple option for a

ED Reflection: The Power of Food and Farming

By Melissa Spear Executive Director Volunteers at the Rock to Rock Day of Service plant across our campus. I am experiencing my 8th spring here at Common Ground. It is always a very

Guidance: The Heart of CGHS

How does a group of young people and a teacher who can’t stand one another  find a way to build trust, come together, and weather the tragic loss of a student? Mr. Dome tells the

Classes I Wish I took

By Kate Cebik Development Associate There are days when it is hard to get out of bed. And it's not just the thermometer reading twelve. Lately it feels like every morning I awaken to another decree

Meet Our New Farm Director, Deborah Greig

By Deborah Greig Farm Director When I was first learning to farm, I met a seasoned farmer who gave me some advice: Even if you’ve been farming for thirty years, you’ve only really done it

After-School Programs On the Line

by Ashton Killilea, Student Affairs Manager This month, the Connecticut General Assembly considers Governor Malloy’s proposal for a new state budget. One thing that’s on the line: the State After-School Grant Program, which funds opportunities

Common Ground Board of Directors- Minutes February 2017

Common Ground Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting February 27, 2017 Present: Wendy Battles, Mike Doolittle, Monique Frasier, Beth Klingher, Jane Lee, Claudia Merson, Frank Mitchell, Bob Parker, Babz Rawls-Ivy, Melissa Spear Staff: Kimball

Common Ground Supports the LGBTQ Community

Common Ground is committed to the fundamental right of the LGBTQ community to marry, work, and to live their lives with respect and with dignity, and without being subject to discrimination. Common Ground stands in

Learning and Leadership

Presentations of Learning and Leadership (PLL) happen at the end of each semester and are an opportunity for students (and staff!) to share what they’ve learned with our community. Most sessions are student-led and focus

Maxed Potential Leaving Minor Suspensions

Ihsan Abdussabur CGHS, Class of 2018   It's not a sudden surprise to me That reaming of the majority of the minority Have some type of history story To tell about their pass About how

ED Reflection: Combatting Misinformation

By Melissa Spear Executive Director On Monday Common Ground posted the following statement to its website in response to several of the Executive Orders recently signed by President Donald Trump: Common Ground stands firm in

The Construction Specifier: Cross-laminated Timber

The 1300-m2 (14,000-sf) addition to the Common Ground High School (New Haven, Connecticut) is one of the first buildings in the country to employ cross-laminated timber (CLT) as the primary structural material. Gray Organschi Architecture's

On Being Famous

by Jesse Delia Environmental Leadership Manager POWER Assembly at Common Ground, Jan 18, 2017 So today we’re going to talk about being famous. Jesse, center, with some of her "famous" friends, Diane Litwin (left)

New Haven Independent: Gertie Gets an Interpreter

by LUCY GELLMAN | Jan 30, 2017 12:23 pm, New Haven Independent Gertie the Common Ground Rooster was nervous about his first trip to the New Haven Free Public Library. Until he arrived, spread out on

Common Ground Board of Directors- Minutes January 23, 2017

Present: Wendy Battles, Mike Doolittle, Monique Frasier, John Jessen, Beth Klingher, Jane Lee, Kerry Lord, Claudia Merson, Frank Mitchell, Bob Parker, Babz Rawls-Ivy, Melissa Spear. Staff: Kimball Cartwright, Liz Cox, Rebecca Holcomb, Diane Litwin, Joel

What Now? Community Conversations at Common Ground

by Joel Tolman and Kimball Cartwright Keeping democracy alive means having conversations.  When New Haven activists Greg Grinberg  and Aly Heimer asked if they could use Common Ground to host a community conversation with New

Anti-Racism, at any age

By Rebecca Holcombe Director of Community Programs Our Environmental Educator team meets monthly to plan programs and do ongoing professional development. This team works with children ranging in ages from toddler and preschool (Seedlings, Field

Red, White, Don’t Shoot

By Ihsan Abdussabur CGHS Class of 2018 Another vicious gang seem to make an outburst An outburst in unlawful homicides That spread like damaging pesticides And because of the popularity of the clean color It

Untitled

by Nathaniel Dymond, Class of 2018 Rap & Poetry Club The love the energy in the movements that I see But the downside would be they don’t connect to me I feel pretty awkward with

Denali Blog: The Importance of Field Trips

BY AMY PARULIS · DECEMBER 8, 2016 I guess I should start off by saying I was an elementary school teacher for four years. We did not go on nearly enough field trips which was

New Haven Independent: Common Ground Receives EPA Support

“Fueled by a $75,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, New Haven’s Common Ground High School has launched Teaching Our Cities—a new project that will help urban public high schools grow a new, diverse generation

Common Ground Board of Directors- Minutes December 19, 2016

Present: Mike Doolittle, Monique Frasier, John Jessen, Beth Klingher, Kerry Lord, Claudia Merson, Frank Mitchell, Bob Parker, Melissa Spear. Staff: Kimball Cartwright, Liz Cox, Joel Tolman. Guest: Cornell Wright Bob called the meeting to order

FILLED-Job Opening: Camp Teachers & Environmental Educators

THIS POSITION HAS BEEN FILLED. PLEASE SEE OUR JOIN OUR STAFF PAGE FOR CURRENT OPENINGS. Camp Details: See www.commongroundct.org/camp to read about our camp. The camp blog at http://commongroundct.tumblr.com/ is full of pictures and videos

Welcome New Board Co-Chairs

This fall we said goodbye (with giant heaps of gratitude!) to our former board chair, Frank Mitchell. He has been a wonderful leader for us and for our larger community.We are thrilled to welcome our

Teaching Over Troubled Waters

By Keith Lamber English Teacher This year has been, to say the very least, a roller coaster. There’s been some good news: child mortality rates are declining all around the world, tremendous progress has been made against

#Unselfies for Common Ground

What's an unselfie? Glad you asked! The UNselfie is the antithesis of social media navel gazing, encouraging people to take their selfies to another level by including a note about an organization they love. We love

Schoolyard Habitat Community Grows

By Suzannah Holsenbeck Schoolyards Manager Headline news to all bees, butterflies and migratory birds: four new schoolyard habitats will be built and waiting for you to enjoy this spring throughout New Haven. We are happy

Knock Down Your Classroom Walls

By Jill Keating-Herbst Professional Development Coordinator How do you teach? Are  you a frog catcher,  bean planter or bird watcher?  Do you teach and learn best using your entire body, all of your senses and

Students Investigate Sustainable Design @ Common Ground

by Joel Tolman, Director of Impact & Engagement Chemistry students use a hair dryer to test the heat transfer properties of cross-laminated timber from Common Ground's new building. Earlier this month, students in Emily Schmidt's

Unplugging the Kids

Nothing to do after school? What about... Making pizza with vegetables and herbs from the farm Going on a hike and stopping to play a game or build a shelter Climbing through Judge's Cave Catching

Seasonal Recipe: Mashed Turnips and Sage

You've never tasted turnips like these! Think outside the potato and expand your produce vocabulary with this soothing, warm-you-up recipe for comfort turnips. Ingredients 4 large turnips, peeled and cubed 1 large russet potato, peeled

Feast 2016 in Pictures

This year's Feast from the Fields was a huge success. Many thanks to all our guests, sponsors, chefs, auction donors, volunteers, and students. Our 9th Annual Feast raised over $77,000 for Common Ground's valuable work!

Another Bountiful Season with the Mobile Market

By Jess Zielinski Mobile Market Manager This week, New Haven's mobile farm market makes its last round of stops for the growing season. Fall is here, and with it comes one final reconfiguration of the mobile market

Creating an Urban Oasis on Wintergreen Brook

by Joel Tolman, Director of Impact & Engagement If you’ve visited Common Ground this fall, you may have noticed the hand-painted crosswalk at the mouth of Common Ground’s driveway, leading into the woods across Springside

FILLED-Seeking Outstanding Social Studies/History Teacher

THIS POSITION HAS BEEN FILLED. PLEASE SEE OUR JOIN OUR STAFF PAGE FOR CURRENT OPENINGS. Common Ground -- the nation’s oldest environmental charter high school, creating the next generation of successful college students and powerful

Common Ground Board of Directors- Minutes Sept. 2016

Minutes of the September 26, 2016 Meeting of the Common Ground Board Present: Frank Mitchell, Mike Doolittle, Bob Parker, Jane Lee, Monique Frasier, John Jessen, Kerry Lord Staff: Joel Tolman, Rebecca Holcombe, Melissa Spear, Liz Cox, Guests: Cornell

Feast from the Fields Auction Items, 2016

Join us for the 9th Annual Feast from the Fields! Amid all the great food and fun and celebration, we will be having both Live and Silent Auctions. These will feature items and experiences that connect

FILLED- Spanish Teacher

THIS POSITION HAS BEEN FILLED. PLEASE SEE OUR JOIN OUR STAFF PAGE FOR CURRENT OPENINGS. Common Ground -- the nation’s oldest environmental charter high school, creating the next generation of successful college students and powerful

Feast 2016 Auction Items

Join us for the 9th Annual Feast from the Fields! Amid all the great food and fun and celebration, we will be having both Live and Silent Auctions. These will feature items and experiences that connect

The Buzz at Common Ground

By Kate Cebik Development Associate I believe it is nearly impossible to watch a group of pint-sized beekeepers tromping through the garden paths and not follow them. So, of course, I hurried to catch up and

FILLED-Farm Director

THIS POSITION HAS BEEN FILLED. PLEASE SEE OUR JOIN OUR STAFF PAGE FOR CURRENT OPENINGS. Organization Overview Common Ground is a center for environmental learning and leadership in New Haven, Connecticut where a diverse community

Fond Farewells and Warm Welcomes

By Melissa Spear Executive Director Hello good people of Common Ground, Common Ground is in full swing on this hot, rainy day in August. Soaked summer camp staff are coming down off of West Rock

Seasonal Recipe: Spicy Chard Soup

It's chard season. Give your summer a little kick with this tasty soup! Ingredients Photograph by Antonis Achilleos. 2 bunches Swiss chard (about 2 pounds) 1 teaspoon caraway seeds 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

FILLED-Part Time Administrative Assistant

THIS POSITION IS CLOSED. PLEASE SEE OUR JOIN OUR STAFF PAGE FOR CURRENT OPENINGS. Common Ground -- the nation’s oldest environmental charter high school, creating the next generation of successful college students and powerful community

Growing Change

By Kate Cebik Development Associate “So, what do you do on the farm?” Linette Mindoza, one of Common Ground’s summer farm interns, and CGHS graduate from the class of 2014, is always surprised that this

Inside CG Summer Camp

By Kate Cebik Development Associate The campus buzzes with the sounds of adventures, and I love it. Every morning starts with cheering and a song, followed by a flood of our campers moving into forts,

Seasonal Recipe: Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad

These hot summer days, standing next to a stove is likely the last thing on your mind. Good news! Here's a recipe for a NO-COOK tasty, fresh summer salad. Ingredients 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Changes to our campus

As you've heard, our beautiful new building is up and we are loving it! The new building brings many exciting changes to our campus, and we want to be sure our community understands them. And,

Class of 2016

Common Ground's class of 2016 will be headed to many wonderful places! Many students are off to college, going to Champlain College, Clark University, Gateway, Goucher College, Lincoln University, Mitchell College, Monroe College, Naugatuck Valley, Simmons College, Southern Connecticut State

Nyasia Mercer ’16: “So Much More Than A Bridge”

Nyasia Mercer, Common Ground '16, shared the words below at the grand opening celebration for Common Ground's new school building. Nyasia is attending Simmons College in the fall.   Nyasia Mercer, Common Ground Class of

FILLLED: Special Education Teaching Assistant

This position has been filled. Please see our Join Our Staff page for current openings. Organization Overview Common Ground High School, founded in 1997, is the nation's oldest environmental charter high school. We use our

NCSN: Graduation a True Family Affair

For Taylor Pauls, a 19-year old senior at Common Ground High School, attending graduation is about being there for her family. Taylor will be the first from her family to graduate high school and the

FILLED: Part Time Teaching Assistant

This position has been filled. Please see our Join Our Staff page for current openings. Organization Overview Common Ground High School, founded in 1997, is the nation's oldest environmental charter high school. We use our

FILLED: Full Time Teaching Assistant

Thanks for your interest. This position has been filled. Please see our Join Our Staff page for current openings. Organization Overview Common Ground High School, founded in 1997, is the nation's oldest environmental charter high

Celebrating Our New Building

By Kimball Cartwright Director of Development Photo Credit: Michael Doolittle We've opened the new building! Walking from the parking lot to my office in the farmhouse this past year has meant a winding

Common Ground Takes Over the JCC

By Kate Cebik Development Associate I was not what one would call a sports star. In fact, I will confess that, as a high school student,  I cringed at the words “physical education.” I dreaded

FILLED: Common Ground Seeks Biology Teacher

Thanks for your interest. This position has been filled. Please see our Join Our Staff page for current openings. Common Ground -- the nation’s oldest environmental charter high school, creating the next generation of successful

FILLED: Schoolyards Program Manager

Thanks for your interest. This position has been filled. Please see our Join Our Staff page for current openings. Program Description Common Ground’s Schoolyards Program is made up of two programs. The Schoolyards Manager manages

FILLED: Science Teacher Job Opening

Thanks for your interest. This position has been filled. Please see our Join Our Staff page for current openings. Common Ground -- the nation’s oldest environmental charter high school, creating the next generation of successful

This is your place

By Jesse Delia Community Programs and Outreach Manager A New England spring is the perfect time to enjoy the contradictory feeling of reflective anticipation. The slow emergence of buds. The fits and starts of weather.

Minutes – Common Ground Board Meeting – March, 28 2016

Present: Babz Rawls Ivy, Monique Frasier, Bob Parker, Beth Klingher, Frank Mitchell, Mike Doolittle, Kimball Cartwright, Shannon Raider Ginsberg, Betsy Sneath, Liz Cox, Melissa Spear, Rebecca Holcombe, Meredith Odinak, Cornell Wright, Kerry Ellington, other Common Ground

Fresh Food Matters

Our farm is compiling a list of favorites--quotes, farms, books, videos, tips! For example: To grow your own food gives you power and dignity. You know exactly what you’re eating because you grew it. It’s good,

Children’s Ward

Poem by CGHS sophomore Vanessa L'Heureux Children's Ward They hide us away behind locked doors, Talk about the good and ignore the empty rooms They cry for funding, but use it to buy doctors new

Seasonal Recipe: Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie

Celebrate your St. Patty's Day (or any day!) with this Irish-inspired scrumptious shepherd's pie. Photograph by Antonis Achilleos/Food Network Ingredients 6 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced Kosher salt 2 tablespoons extra-virgin

Spring is in a Hurry on Our Farm

By Shannon Raider-Ginsburg Farm Manager The brook moved in a hurry, as all thing move in a hurry in the spring. - children’s book Scuffy the Tugboat. Hurry indeed! Last year at this time there

Andre Scott: “I developed a sense of urgency’

by Andre Scott, Class of 2016 This blog post is part of a series -- Making Change Every Day -- sharing reflections written by Common Ground's class of 2016 as part of their senior leadership portfolios. Learn

Making Change Every Day: Students Share Their Growth As Leaders

by Joel Tolman, Director of Impact & Engagement In February, every member of Common Ground's senior class stood before an audience parents, students, and staff. Each senior shared two acts of leadership, chosen from the electronic leadership portfolios they

NatureYear – A New Adventure Starts this Fall

By Rebecca Holcombe Director of Community Programs Do you have a preschooler with boundless energy or a curious young naturalist who fills his or her pockets with stones, seeds, and other “treasures” from nature? Does

Common Ground Is, Because of Our Donors

Common Ground couldn't exist without the support of our amazing donors. Here are just a handful of things that we were able to accomplish because of the generous people who took a moment to give.

Minutes – Common Ground Board Meeting February 22, 2016  

Present: Bob Parker, Beth Klingher, Mike Doolittle, Wendy Battles, Melissa Spear, Claudia Merson, Babz Rawls Ivy, Monique Frasier, Joel Tolman, Kim Futrell, Liz Cox, Kimball Cartwright, Frank Mitchell, Betsy Sneath, Jane Lee, John Jessen Regrets:

Getting the Kids Outside This Winter

By Rebecca Holcombe Director of Community Programs Fresh snow is the perfect canvas for exploring animal tracks and signs and discovering what kinds of wildlife might be visiting your backyard or local park. Winter animal

Seasonal Recipe: Vegetarian Pot Pie

A perfect accompaniment for a snow day! Ingredients 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 2 small heads fennel, finely chopped (about 3 cups) 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped (about

Minutes – Common Ground Board Meeting – January 25, 2016

Present: Wendy Battles, Kerry Lord (Julian), Monique Frasier, Bob Parker, Frank Mitchell, Beth Klingher, Mike Doolittle, John Jessen, Claudia Merson, Melissa Spear, Kimball Cartwright, Rebecca Holcombe, Joel Tolman, Liz Cox Regrets: Kim Futrell, Jane Lee Welcome:

Common Ground Board of Directors – Minutes December 2015

Present: John Jessen, Benjamin Gardner, Frank Mitchell, Jane Lee, Kim Futrell, Claudia Merson, Joel Tolman, Liz Cox, Rebecca Holcombe, Kimball Cartwright, Melissa Spear, Jesse Delia, Monique Frasier, Beth Klingher Regrets: Michael Doolittle, Wendy Battles, Kerry

Urban Farm Internship Program For Summer 2016

Thank you for your interest in our Common Ground Farm Internship for 2016. We are no longer accepting applications this season.  Please check back in 2017. Thanks! Common Ground is home to a charter high

ED Reflection: Building Our Future

By Melissa Spear Executive Director The walk from Common Ground’s parking lot to my office at the top of the hill has become one of the best parts of my day.  It is usually quiet

Soul Fire Farm

This past Summer, members of our farm staff were fortunate to spend time at Soul Fire Farm, a farm in upstate New York dedicated to ending racism and injustice in the food system. Assistant Farm

Serving Up Change with School Gardens and FoodCorps

By Kendra Dawsey FoodCorps service member The Need for New Haven New Haven, much like the state of Connecticut, is an area with great disparities. Within a few miles of the world-renowned Yale University, there are

Javi Remembered

By Bri Fernandez CGHS Senior Everyone googles their name sometimes. Whether it be to see what social media pops up, or to see what it means in different languages, there is a certain excitement to

Teaching Our Cities

by Joel Tolman, Director of Impact & Engagement I was a brand new teacher when I came to Common Ground in 2003. The first class I taught -- together with Liz Cox, now our School Director

You deserve to know how we used your support

It's arrived!  DIGGING DEEPER TOGETHER - THE GRATITUDE REPORT One big thank you in a document jam-packed with hundreds of data points, pictures, and stories showing how we've used the hard-earned money you donated to

Seasonal Recipe: Kale Soup

Soups on! Warm up with a bowl of soup made with hearty ingredients that are still available at local farmer's markets! Ingredients 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 pound fresh chorizo or preferred meat substitute 4

Is Common Ground Color Blind?

By Anthony Duff CGHS Senior Hartford, CONN--Outspoken historian and social activist Rosa Clemente told a group of Common Ground Students--among other young people in a filled auditorium--that the movement known as Black Lives Matter “is

Common Ground Board of Directors – Minutes October 2015

Present: Kim Futrell, Frank Mitchell, Mike Doolittle, Bob Parker, Wendy Battles, Monique Frasier, Beth Klingher, Claudia Merson, John Jessen, Ben Gardner Liz Cox, Joel Tolman, Melissa Spear, Kimball Cartwright, Betsy Sneath, Rebecca Holcombe Regrets: Babz

Minutes – Common Ground Board Meeting November 30, 2015

Present: Bob Parker, John Jessen, Frank Mitchell, Kerry Lord (& Julian), Mike Doolittle, Melissa Spear, Claudia Merson, Beth Klingher, Monique Frasier, Liz Cox, Rebecca Holcombe, Betsy Sneath, Joel Tolman, Kimball Cartwright Regrets: Jane Lee, Kim

Wracklines: Does Urban Habitat Restoration Work?

By Common Ground Students Taylor Pauls, Erik Lopez, Kathiana Torres, Sophia Ginnow, Georgia Basso and Corrie Folsom-O’Keefe   The lab classroom is silent as eight Green Jobs Corps students from Common Ground High School peer

This Giving Tuesday – Double your giving power!

by Kimball Cartwright You've heard about Black Friday and Cyber Monday after Thanksgiving.  Now there's an alternative:  Giving Tuesday.  Giving, instead of buying.  Simple, right? Simple, and so much fun!  Because Giving Tuesday is about

Seasonal Recipe: Herbed Spaghetti Squash

Don't think the joys of the joys of fresh produce end when the clocks fall back! This is the perfect time to enjoy hard squashes like spaghetti squash. Ingredients 1 small spaghetti squash, about 2

ED Reflections: Facing The Realities of Race

by Melissa Spear Executive Director A Story About Race and Racism When I was in 6th grade my school in Richmond, CA was “integrated” by bussing black children in from surrounding communities. This was a

Common Ground Board Meeting Minutes – September 28, 2015

Present: Frank Mitchell, Mike Doolittle, Bob Parker, Monique Frasier, Kim Futrell, Wendy Battles, Claudia Merson, Jane Lee, Babz Rawls Ivy, Kimball Cartwright, Joel Tolman, Liz Cox, Melissa Spear, Rebecca Holcombe, Betsy Sneath Regrets: Ben Gardner, John

Keeping the Pace Brisk this Fall

By Shannon Raider-Ginsburg Farm Manager & Director of Agricultural Programs The Common Ground Farm is a dynamic place. All farms are. But our farm embodies this character ever so deeply due to our educational imperative.

Seasonal Recipe: Apple Chips

Autumn is all around—in the rich hues of the changing leaves, in the crisp morning air, and it should be in your kitchen as well! Make this quick and easy snack that will leave your kitchen

Building a Community for People and Wildlife

Jill Keating-Herbst Program Manager, CT School Garden Resource Center It is late on a Wednesday afternoon in September. At Edgewood School in New Haven a small group of teachers and parents, along with the principal

Common Ground Board Meeting, June 22, 2015 – Minutes

Present: Frank Mitchell, Bob Parker, Kim Futrell, Jane Lee, Mike Doolittle, Beth Klingher, Monique Frasier, Rebecca Holcombe, Liz Cox, Kimball Cartwright, Melissa Spear, Wendy Battles, John Jessen, Claudia Merson Babz Rawls Ivy Welcome: Meeting opened

Feast from the Fields Auction Items, 2015

You know Feast is awesome. And if you don't know, trust us. It is. If you haven't been, this is your year. Join us for the 8th Annual Feast from the Fields! Amongst all the

How Do You Measure a School?

by Melissa Spear, Executive Director; Liz Cox, School Director; and Joel Tolman, Director of Impact & Engagement Late in August -- just as our diverse, powerful, hard-working students were arriving back at Common Ground -- we received

Seasonal Recipe: Ratatouille

This is a fantastic way to use all those wonderful farm stand treasures in one amazing dish. And Pixar's loveable little chef Remy can help convince the little ones to try it out! Ingredients 1/4

Bring Your Group to Common Ground!

By Jesse Delia, Community Programs and Outreach Manager The truth is, if we had it our way, we'd make it so that everyone and anyone who wanted to come for a visit to Common Ground could

Feast from the Fields: Something Special for You

by Kimball Cartwright, Director of Development You were on my mind today. Leaving the Wednesday market Farmer Shannon runs in the Harvest Pavilion, I still smelled fresh cherry tomatoes and peppers and could imagine you sampling some of the

Schooner not later!

by Joan Foran, English Teacher Common Ground High School is known for offering students and staff educational opportunities that are inspiring and experiential. I can walk the halls any day and hear the chatter about

Get Connected: Self, Place, and People

By Jesse Delia, Community Programs and Outreach Manager Though we still have a few weeks of summer remaining, I am already getting ready for autumn. As much as fall is a time of tremendous abundance, it is also

Learning Doesn’t Take a Vacation

By Kate Cebik, Development Assistant Common Ground's school building still buzzes with learning this summer, as hundreds of campers gear up for daily adventures. But don't think that our high school students suspend their learning (and leading)

Seasonal Recipe: Swiss Chard Lasagna

Swiss chard isn't just any green--it's a gateway to an amazing dinner. Check out this fun twist on lasagna. Ingredients: 6 no-boil lasagna noodles 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing 1 bunch Swiss

POSITION FILLED: Part-Time Teaching Assistant

Thanks for your interest in working for Common Ground! This position has been filled. Please see our Join our Staff page for available opportunities. Organization Overview Common Ground High School, founded in 1997, is the

Does Common Ground Grow a Healthier Community?

by Joel Tolman Director of Impact & Engagement Spoiler alert: We are far from knowing the full answer to the question posed in the title of this article. Yet, this answer matters a lot. Common

Our Small Plot of Land Seeds a World of Difference

By Kate Cebik Development Assistant “Why would you want to take a farm internship? You know we have supermarkets, right?” Our summer intern Aarica West laughs as she recounts her father’s reaction to the news

Seasonal Recipe: Kale and Tomato Eggs Benedict

Ready to put your farmerstand treasures to great use? Try this new spin on eggs benedict with a kicky mustard-mayo sauce. Calling all chefs! Do you have a great recipe that utilizes farm fresh produce? Please

Senior Projects – Learning through Action

By Kate Cebik Development Assistant Last week, Common Ground graduated its class of 2015. Jose Alfaro spoke at commencement, delivering a powerful speech that included these words: Ask yourself what problems you want to fix

New Haven Independent: The Word Grows Up

Anthony Duff. JUDY SIROTA ROSENTHAL PHOTO Salwa Abdussabur. JUDY SIROTA ROSENTHAL PHOTO Harsh, pink light fell over Garth Harries’ face as he approached the microphone. He blinked, drew back, came closer.

Common Ground Board Meeting – March 23, 2015 – Minutes

Present: Kimball Cartwright, Melissa Spear, Liz Cox, Rebecca Holcombe Beth Klingher, Wendy Battles, Claudia Merson, Frank Mitchell, John Jessen, Jane Lee Regrets: Kim Futrell, Mike Doolittle, Ben Gardner, Bob Parker, Babz Rawls Ivy Welcome: Meeting began with a

Common Ground’s Rock to Rock Team Needs You!

Common Ground's Rock to Rock team needs you! It's not too late to join the biggest, most ethusiastic team on the road on Saturday, April 25th! Not a cyclist, but still want to join the fun and support

Construction Update: Building a Foundation

By Melissa Spear, Executive Director It will still be awhile before leaves begin to appear on the trees outside (I am so ready…) but spring is definitely in the air.  At least I am not

Yale Daily News: New Haven tests bioswale system

Excerpts from this article: A bioswale is a system used to remove silt and pollution from runoff water and takes the appearance of a small well. New Haven’s plan to install hundreds of bioswales will

Construction update – March 27, 2015

Construction time is here and with it, fence is being installed around the construction site.  This means changes to Common Ground's parking, and as of March 30th, there is a new place to drop off students.  With the fence, you cannot get from

Spreading the Word About Good Food

Common Grounders have been busy this month spreading the word about good food (Common Ground financial supporters deserve applause for making this possible - this work we couldn't do without you, thank you!).  Here's some

Common Ground Board Meeting Meeting February 23, 2015 Minutes

Present: Liz Cox, Kimball Cartwright, Betsy Sneath, Joel Tolman, Frank Mitchell, Mike Doolittle, Claudia Merson, Jane Lee, Kim Futrell, Bob Parker, John Jessen Regrets: Wendy Battles, Melissa Spear Welcome and minutes:The meeting's welcome included some review

Find Common Ground and Friends This Spring

By Jesse Delia Though warmer days aren’t quite here yet, I can feel the growing urge to plant seeds, stretch my legs outdoors, and feel the sun on my face after many cold months. This

Why We Farm

By Shannon Raider-Ginsburg, Farm Manager & Director of Agricultural Program Common Ground has always had a garden. A 1995 article in the NH register titled “The Little Farm that Could” opens with, “…there’s a tiny farm

Super Saturday at Common Ground

PLEASE NOTE: Due to rain, the Maple Syrup Festival & Pancake Brunch as well as the Summer Camp and Children's Programs Open House have been moved to SUNDAY! The School Garden Workshop will remain on

Construction Update – March 2015

by Melissa Spear You have probably noticed on-going site preparation activities through the fall and winter (new electric service has been brought on to the site, all utilities have been moved underground, and in February they

News from the School Garden Resource Center

Though our school gardens are all still buried under drifts of snow, the School Garden Resource Center has been hard at work this winter and has exciting news. New Partner Schools Announced! The School Garden

Common Ground Board Meeting – December 22, 2014 – Minutes

Present: Monique Frasier, Frank Mitchell, Ben Gardner, Mike Doolittle, Jane Lee, Bob Parker, Babz Rawls Ivy Liz Cox, Rebecca Holcombe, Melissa Spear, Betsy Sneath Regrets: Claudia Merson, Wendy Battles, Kim Futrell, Joel Tolman, Kimball Cartwright Minutes:

Common Ground Board Meeting Meeting November 24, 2014 Minutes

Present: Monique Frasier, Wendy Battles, Frank Mitchell, Ben Gardner, Kim Futrell, Mike Doolittle, Bob Parker, Liz Cox, Betsy Sneath, Kimball Cartwright, Melissa Spear, Joel Tolman Regrets: Jane Lee, Claudia Merson, John Jessen Welcome and minutes:  Wendy moved

College is a Big Deal

By Kate Cebik College is a big deal. It can change the course of a life. Still, I was unprepared for the amount of celebration every acceptance receives here at Common Ground. At my high

Something Sweet On Tap This Winter

By Kate Cebik A chill hits the air, and our site manager, Kyle Sirianno, starts to get giddy. If snow is forecast, he will have his taps at the ready. Engagement photo: A man

Winter Adventures at Common Ground

Even as the mercury drops, Common Ground keeps the fun going. Check out these photos from around campus as winter arrives: Click on a thumbnail to view a larger version. [AFG_gallery id='34'] Click Next (above)

Growing Leaders with SMAP

By Jennifer Quaye and Kate Cebik Common Ground grows leaders. You’ve probably heard us say it. You may have seen evidence of it in the amazing things our alumni do. One way we put these words

Urban Farm Internship Program For Summer 2015

Applications for 2015 are closed. Common Ground is home to a charter high school and a non-profit urban farm and environmental  education center. The site includes 20 acres of forested hiking trails, wildlife and diverse

Paving a Path to A Successful Career

By Tom Gaudioso Earlier this month, Jesus Reyes, who arrived at Common Ground as a reserved freshman, demonstrated his growth into a young man with a strong voice and a solid message as he took

Seeking Interns for Common Ground Camp

Common Ground welcomes applications from individuals interested in interning with our summer program. Please note: Intern positions are intended for college students, or for post-college applicants looking to gain experience in a new field. At minimum, interns

Common Ground Receives USDA Farm to School Grant

  The USDA awarded Common Ground, and our partner the CT Food Systems Alliance (CFSA), a Farm to School Grant to support our upcoming conference. We will be conducting the first CT statewide Farm to School conference

Common Ground Is A Charter School

by Melissa Spear, Liz Cox, and Joel Tolman Photos by Mel Morales Common Ground is a charter school. But what does that mean? Unfortunately, there has been a lot of negative -- and, from where

Common Ground Board Meeting October 27, 2014 Minutes

Present: Michael Doolittle, Kim Futrell, Frank Mitchell, Bob Parker, Monique Frasier,  John Jessen, Ben Gardner, Babz Rawls Ivy, Jane Lee, Wendy Battles, Joel Tolman, Liz Cox, Kimball Cartwright, Melissa Spear Welcome: Group remembered the SDE training

Schoolyard Habitat Expands to Engage More Local Students

 by Jill Keating Herbst, Common Ground Where can New Haven's kids learn about wildlife species and ecosystems, conduct class outdoors, experience nature up close, feed their curiosity and creativity, and expand their knowledge about the environment?

Newsweek: Common Ground students “Beating the Odds”

Last week, Newsweek announced the nation's "top schools for low-income students" -- and Common Ground was one of four Connecticut schools to make the list. In all, 500 high schools from across the country made on Newsweek's "Beating

Fun Around Common Ground

There's always something fun happening at Common Ground! Check out these photos from around campus this fall as our community enjoys some of our many classes, events, and after school programming! Click on a thumbnail to

Seeking Staff: Environmental Educators

Common Ground is seeking educators with experience teaching programs on farms and food, gardening, nutrition and cooking, wildlife and ecology, environmental stewardship, nature arts, and outdoor adventure! Applicants do not need experience in all of

Common Ground Vegetable Share Produces Great Food

By Shannon Raider-Ginsburg and Sarah Tracy-Wanck This Fall marked our third time offering a Common Ground Vegetable Share (CGvS), a program that sends fresh and sustainably-grown produce from our Market Garden home with students to share

Construction update 10/24

Common Ground continues laying the groundwork for construction of the new building. Work began on Tuesday on a two week project to install a transformer pad in the hillside on the south side of the driveway. One of the

FoodCorps Leads The Charge for Healthy Eating

A powerful team of farm-to-cafeteria leaders from all over Connecticut gathered at Common Ground on September 11, 2014 to share a farm-fresh meal. Together, seasoned chefs, farmers, environmental educators, hunger relief activists, teachers, and Americorps service members

Common Ground Joins Historic Climate March

On Sunday, September 21, two dozen Common Ground students, staff, and parents joined over 400,000 other change makers marching through the streets of New York City -- drawing attention to the impact of global climate change, and

Feast from the Fields Auction Items, 2014

Join us for the 7th Annual Feast from the Fields! Amongst all the great food and celebration we will be having both Live and Silent Auctions. These will feature items and experiences that connect to

Common Ground Board Meeting – June 2014 – Minutes

Present: John Jessen, Mike Doolittle, Babz Rawls Ivy, Jane Lee, Miranda Bailey, Monique Frasier, Wendy Battles, Frank Mitchell, Joel Tolman, Kimball Cartwright, Kyle Siriano, Betsy Sneath, Liz Cox, Melissa Spear, Rebecca Holcombe Regrets: Bob Parker, Claudia

Common Ground Seeks Part-Time Teaching Assistant

Organization Overview Common Ground High School, founded in 1997, is the nation's oldest environmental charter high school. We use our unique 20-acre campus as a laboratory to provide challenging, relevant learning experiences that develop academic

Common Ground Board Meeting – August 17, 2014

Present: Claudia Merson, Ben Gardner, Jane Lee, Mike Doolittle, Frank Mitchell, John Jessen, Babz R. Ivy, Wendy Battles, Monique Frasier, Bob Parker, Melissa Spear, Joel Tolman, Liz Cox, Rebecca Holcombe, Betsy Sneath. Business Requiring Approval

High School Student Orientation – Aug 27, 28, 29

Common Ground is excited and ready to welcome new and returning students at the end of August. Here is the schedule for family registration and student orientation. Family Orientation: Tuesday, August 26 at noon and 6

CGHS Students & Alumni = Summer Camp Leaders

Common Ground relies on over 65 staff to create safe, fun, rich adventures and learning opportunities during our summer camps.This summer, 23 of these summer camp leaders are current students or alumni of Common Ground High School. "We

Common Ground Seeks Spanish Teacher

Common Ground High School – the nation's original environmental charter high school, growing the next  generation of successful college students and powerful environmental leaders – is seeking a SPANISH TEACHER for the 2014-15 school year. At

Common Ground Board Meeting – May 2014 – Minutes

Present: Frank Mitchell, Bob Parker, Michael Doolittle, Kim Futrell, Miranda Bailey, Claudia Merson, John Jessen, Joel Tolman, Liz Cox, Melissa Spear, Betsy Sneath, Kimball Cartwright, Rebecca Holcombe Regrets: Ben Gardner, Wendy Battles, Jane Lee Tour of

Michael Bruno: “Falling Into Place”

Last summer, Michael Bruno – a member of Common Ground High School’s class of 2012, and a landscape architecture major at the University of Connecticut – returned as an intern on the New Haven Schoolyard

Common Ground Dedicates New Wetland to Javier Martinez

On May 23rd, State leaders, Common Ground students and staff, family, and community members gathered to dedicate a new educational wetland on Common Ground’s campus. The wetland has been created in honor of Javier Martinez, our senior lost

Common Ground Board Meeting – April 28th, 2014 – Minutes

Present: Frank Mitchell, Michael Doolittle, Claudia Merson, Miranda Bailey, Ben Gardner, Monique Frasier, Bob Parker, Jane Lee, Betsy Sneath, Melissa Spear, Joel Tolman, Rebecca Holcombe, Liz Cox, Kimball Cartwright Regrets: Kim Futrell, Wendy Battles, John Jessen

New Haven Independent: Free Foraging Garden Rises

By: Allen Appel Common Ground seniors and adviser Sarah Tracy-Wank at the new foraging garden. Today the raised beds are holding the Common Ground seniors who are building them. In months to come,

Climbing = Power, Freedom, Physical Challenge

Chris Desir came to Common Ground in 2012 to join our team of academic tutors, committed to supporting and pushing all of our students to take on challenging academic material. He brought with him a

Common Ground Board Meeting – April 7, 2014 – Minutes

Note: March board meeting was rescheduled for April 7, 2014. Present: Frank Mitchell, Michael Doolittle, Claudia Merson, Miranda Bailey, John Jessen, Ben Gardner, Babz Rawls Ivy, Monique Frasier, Betsy Sneath, Melissa Spear, Joel Tolman, Rebecca Holcombe,

Six Schools Sign On As School Garden Partners

For the past two seasons, the CT School Garden Resource Center has partnered with local schools across New Haven and Bridgeport to provide the comprehensive supports that theses schools need to develop rich school garden

Common Ground Board Meeting – February 2014 – Minutes

Present: Frank Mitchell, Wendy Battles, Michael Doolittle, Claudia Merson, Miranda Bailey, Kim Futrell, John Jessen, Jane Lee, Betsy Sneath, Kimball Cartwright, Melissa Spear, Joel Tolman. Regrets: Monique Frasier, Bob Parker. Proxy: Ben Gardner The meeting began in

Looking Forward to Spring

Shannon Raider-Ginsburg, Common Ground's Farm Manager and Director of Agricultural Programs, looks toward the coming growing season and the work that goes into it: As this stubborn winter slowly thaws and the day length slips

Remembering Javier Martinez

On Saturday, December 28th, 2013, Javier Martinez, a member of Common Ground High School's senior class, was the victim of a homicide. Javier was a kind, big-hearted young man, who smiled a lot and talked quietly.

Invitation to Bid for Common Ground High School

Newfield Construction acting as Construction Manager (at risk) for Common Ground High School will  receive sealed proposals for Bid Packages listed below until 3:00 P.M., local time, on Wednesday,  March 26th , 2014. All bids

Student Video: Geothermal Wells Come to CG!

This week, drilling started on wells for the geothermal system that will provide heating and cooling to Common Ground's new school building. Common Ground's student video team headed out to investigate what's going on. They

Construction Update 3/1: Big Changes For Visitors!

Major changes have come to our campus, as we drill the geothermal wells for our new building's heating and cooling system! This drilling is happening in our current parking lot, requiring major changes to parking and

The Art of Maple Syrup

Kyle Siriano taps a maple tree in the forest behind Common Ground's school building. See more pictures in the New Haven Register. Here are a few of Kyle's favorite facts about making maple syrup:

Common Ground Board Meeting – January 2014 – Minutes

Present: Kim Futrell, Wendy Battles, Frank Mitchell, Mike Doolittle, Bob Parker, John Jessen, Monique Frasier, Miranda Bailey, Ben Gardner, Claudia Merson, Melissa Spear, Joel Tolman, Kimball Cartwright, Liz Cox Regrets: Jane Lee Minutes: Before the

For High School Parents: 4 events coming up!

We love our high school parents, and know that working together makes a huge difference for our students! There are several opportunitiies to come together in the coming week. We hope that you can join

Students Find Voice in Environmental Justice Class

Juniors Moshema Hull and Francesca Ruiz collect water samples from Lake Wintergreen By: Kate Bovarnick In Environmental Justice -- a team-taught, double-period, semester-long block course -- students develop a deep understanding of environmental

Adventure Club Offers a Natural Experience

Students enjoy the Adventure's Club's most recent trip to the White Mountains. By: Kate Bovarnick Ask any Common Ground student about the Adventure Club, and their faces light up. “The adventure club is

Construction Update January 2014

The first important phase of our big building project has been largely completed and construction activity is pausing briefly as we line up our second phase of work. Work that has been completed includes: The

Common Ground Board Meeting – December 2013 – Minutes

Note: December board meeting was rescheduled for January 6, 2014 Present: Frank Mitchell, Mike Doolittle, Wendy Battles, Monique Frasier, Bob Parker, Claudia Merson, Jane Lee, Joel Tolman, Liz Cox, Betsy Sneath, Melissa Spear, Ben Gardner by proxy, John

Student Reflection: Remembering Javier Martinez

by Miranda Bailey-Russomano, Common Ground Senior On December 28th, someone stole the life of one of my classmates, my guidance brother, and part of my Common Ground family. On December 30th, most of the students,

Staff Reflections: Javier Martinez, on Common Ground

by Tiffany Torres, Common Ground's FoodCorps Service Member I am saddened by the untimely loss of an outstanding student and community member here at Common Ground High School. At the same time, I am uplifted

New Haven Independent: Javier Martinez Laid To Rest

The grandparents who raised him used to call out “Bebo, Bebo!”—baby, in Spanish—to rouse him from his sleep. Friday morning their “Bebo"s were wailing calls of grief mixed with “Te amos” and inconsolable cries of

To Students & Families: A Loss In Our Community

Dear Common Ground Students & Families, I have really difficult news to share. Last night, Javier Martinez, a member of our senior class, was the victim of a homicide. The police are investigating the situation,

Seeking Staff for Common Ground Summer Camps

Common Ground is seeking outstanding staff for our 2014 summer camps. The overall purpose of summer camp at Common Ground is to provide a diverse group of children with a fun, safe summer experience, emphasizing building

New Haven Magazine: Safe Havens

By Makalya Smith, New Haven Magazine A new partnership between the federal government and Elm City stakeholders will create an urban oasis for wildlife. Read the article on the New Haven Magazine web site. Read a PDF of the article.

New Haven Independent: “Sound, Hooker Top New Rankings”

"Two New Haven schools—Common Ground High, an environmental-themed charter school, and Engineering and Science University Magnet School (ESUMS), a fast-expanding district school now serving grades 6 to 11—earned distinction in the state’s ratings. Common Ground and

Fall Children’s Program Reflections

This fall, 206 children joined in our Kids Unplugged after-school programs. Nearly 2,000 came to our site for school field trips. More than 70 at Columbus, Barnard, and Hooker schools explored their own school gardens

Common Ground’s College Success Program Grows

Jen Quaye is focused on the future of Common Ground students. By: Kate Bovarnick Last year 97% of Common Ground Seniors graduated with a college acceptance in hand, determined to go onto college.

Videography Team: What is Common Ground?

This year, a team of our high school students is documenting Common Ground -- what it is now, and how it is changing and growing as a result of our big construction project. Last week,

Student Voices: What Makes A Powerful Project

Environmental Justice students, with science teacher Tricia Johnson, explore water quality issues on the West River. At Common Ground, we push students to do real, authentic projects that help them master tough academic

Common Ground Recognized as School of Distinction

In data released today by the Connecticut State Department of Education, Common Ground High School was recognized for the significant progress our students are making: Common Ground was named a School of Distinction, one of

Construction Update 12-12: The Berm is Gone!

If you drive by Common Ground's site this month, you will notice that the berm that separated Common Ground from Springside Avenue and the City of New Haven is nearly gone! This big change to

Common Ground Board Meeting – November 2013 – Minutes

Present: Wendy Battles, Frank Mitchell, Kimball Cartwright, Betsy Sneath, Joel Tolman, Monique Frasier, Liz Cox, Miranda Bailey Regrets: Doolittle, Futrell, Parker With the small group assembled there were no official minutes or business for this

Healthy City Healthy Climate Challenge Launches

The same solutions that reduce globe warming greenhouse gases also revitalize our neighborhoods and enhance our well being. That's the idea behind the New Haven Healthy City Healthy Climate Challenge -- a new campaign to

Alumnus Gives Back to Common Ground

Terrance Walker, once a student at Common Ground, now helps to run key aspects of the farm. By: Kate Bovarnick It’s been six years since Terrance Walker started working at Common Ground. For

Construction Update 11-10: Earth Work Begins

Construction will ramp up once again starting this Monday, November 11th, as LaRosa Earthworks begins to remove the berm and install our stormwater management systems. This work will more make it possible to more fully open

School Yard Habitat crew plants donated shrubs

by Giana, Common Ground student & Schoolyard Habitat Crew Member Recently Common Ground received a donation of 25 shrubs from New Haven Academy, and the School Yard Habitat Crew planted them throughout our property. The

Parent Leadership Team Seeking Local Artisans and Crafters

Common Ground High School’s Parent Leadership Team invites local artisans and crafters (hand-crafted items only) to participate in the second annual craft fair at Common Ground High School on Saturday 12/14/13 from 9:30 to 2:30.

Common Ground Board Meeting – October 2013 – Minutes

Present: Kim Futrell, Mike Doolittle, Claudia Merson, Jane Lee, Bob Parker, Monique Frasier, Frank Mitchell, Miranda Bailey, Melissa Spear, Liz Cox, Betsy Sneath, Kimball Cartwright, Kyle Siriano, Ben Gardner Regrets: Wendy Battles, Joel Tolman Welcome:

Common Ground Breaks Ground!

From left to right: Common Ground Board Chair Frank Mitchell, Common Ground Junior Mettao Feliz, State Rep. Toni Walker,  philanthropist Bill Curran, Executive Director Melissa Spear, and Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor 'break ground' at

Construction Update Mon, Oct 14: We Have Begun!

It has been a very eventful weekend at Common Ground. Expect to see a site transformed when you arrive on Tuesday! Here are some important updates for visitors: Students Arriving By Bus: A new pathway

Students Step Up As West River Stewards

This fall, New Haven's West River is building into a powerful rallying point for community members committed to environmental justice, outdoor recreation, and a vibrant city. Growing out of informal river walks that explore what

Common Ground Board Meeting – September 2013 – Minutes

Present: Kim Futrell, Mike Doolittle, Claudia Merson, Jane Lee, Bob Parker, Wendy Battles, Monique Frasier, John Jessen, Frank Mitchell, Miranda Bailey, Mike Lane, Melissa Spear, Liz Cox, Rebecca Holcombe, Joel Tolman, Kimball Cartright Welcome: Greetings after the

Common Ground Students Continue Big Academic Gains

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE New Haven, CT, August 13, 2013 – Students at Common Ground High School, the city’s environmental charter high school, have posted another year of significant gains on this year’s Connecticut Academic Performance

Common Ground Students Continue Academic Growth

New Haven, CT, August 13, 2013 – Students at Common Ground High School, the city’s environmental charter high school, have posted another year of significant gains on this year’s Connecticut Academic Performance Test: The percent

Common Ground Board Meeting – July 2013 – Minutes

Present: Michael Doolittle, Claudia Merson, Jane Lee, Bob Parker, Frank Mitchell, Monique Frasier, Kim Futrell, John Jessen, Joel Tolman, Melissa Spear, Regrets:  Ben Gardner Consent Agenda items: Bob moved to approve meeting minutes and Jane was the second. Program reports: Camp season

VISTA Connects Alumni, Supports College Success

Leslie Lewis is Common Ground's VISTA, and will be working on alumni relations. People find Common Ground in many different ways: as a child attending summer camp, or as an eager gardener at

From New Haven to Land O’ Lakes

Miranda out for a snowy hike at the Conserve School, a semester program in Wisconsin By Miranda,CG '14 Two and a half years ago I started as a freshman at Common Ground High

New Haven Register:Youth of the Year Banquet

New Haven--Common Ground High (New Haven) senior Wasurut Vihokrut during the New Haven Register Youth of the Year banquet. NEW HAVEN — High school seniors were honored for their academic achievements Sunday night

Common Ground Takes on Hamlet

  Freshman Carrie Beech plays tragic Hamlet with intensity. Photo By: Mel Morales by Kate Bovarnick, Development Assistant If you’ve seen Hamlet, you know it is a long and often challenging (but always moving)

Common Ground Named National Green Ribbon School

Secretary Duncan kicked off Earth Day today by announcing the 2013 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees. Official Department of Education photo by Paul Wood. On Monday April

The Daily Nutmeg: From the Ground Up

By: Jane Rushmore It’s hard work catching a chicken. Kids squat and chase in pursuit, feathers fly, parents look on equally amused and alert. “I don’t think I have ever touched a chicken before in

New Haven Independent: Rock to Rock Rocks

Susan Bramhall and Allie Perry prepare for the 20-mile. Pedal power brought over 1,100 people from East Rock to West Rock and in some cases Sleeping Giant on two wheels Saturday for the

The Honda Pilot is our new best friend!!!!!

This Spring, a crew of Common Ground students is fueling New Haven's growing school gardens movement: building raised beds, working alongside elementary students and teachers to get gardens planted, and more. Here's the latest dispatch

How We Teach To The Test

by Joel Tolman, Director of Development & Community Engagement We have just closed out an anxious time of year for students and teachers -- at Common Ground, and across Connecticut. Over the last two weeks,

Common Ground Named CT Green LEAF School

Common Ground students and staff receive Connecticut Green LEAF School Award at the Mary Hooker School in Hartford. Looking for our blog post on how Common Ground "teaches to the test"? Click here.

Out of the Forest: Executive Director Reflections

Melissa Spear is Executive Director at Common Ground. By: Melissa Spear, Executive Director While getting ready for work this morning I looked out at the cold, gray day to see snowflakes falling on

New Haven Independent: They’re Green

Two New Haven schools with environmental themes won green recognition Thursday from the state. Several state agencies—including education, environmental, public health, and construction services—honored the two schools at a ceremony in Hartford. They gave the

Common Ground is Seeking Early Childhood Garden Educator

Job Description: Common Ground is seeking an experienced early childhood educator to conduct garden and nutrition based activities for children ages birth through four. Garden lessons will happen in the backyard gardens of home-based daycare

Students Share Their Work At Assembly

Freshman Carrie Beech reads her speech aloud at the student run assembly. During the student run assembly several students read their final assignments from their US History course taught by Brian Kelahan. Mr.

Snow Makes For An Adventurous Day

By: Rebecca Holcombe, Community Programs Director Students navigate the snow with their feathered friends The mountains of snow mean mountains of fun and adventure for February Vacation Programs at Common Ground!  Seventy children

For CGHS Families: CAPT Testing Schedule

Dear Parents and Guardians, Greetings from Common Ground! After weathering Nemo and experiencing an earlier than anticipated February vacation, we now turn our attention to state mastery tests, which will be administered the first two

Students Learn a Lesson in the Kitchen and Community

CG Sophomore Janet Sakouvogui holds up a plate her sushi creations. By: Sarah Tracy-Wanck, Youth Leadership for Community Food Security Common Ground students partnered with Yale Psychiatry Wellness Initiative and Miya's Sushi on January 28th

Youth Leadership in Agriculture and Food Justice

Increasingly, Common Ground students are diving into work to support food security and urban agriculture -- both in their classes and outside school, on our site and in the community. Shannon Raider, Farm Manager and

Common Ground Students Make Sushi For a Good Cause

Janet, one of our sushi interns, with a mango/ avocado/ guyabana roll. Miya’s Sushi, the Yale Psychiatry Wellness Initiative, and Common Ground Cordially Invite You to Good Food, Good Friends, Good Cause Monday the

Bones Project Leads to Greater Understanding

Students mold bones from clay and wire for the One Million Bones Project by Kate Bovarnick, Development Assistant How can 14- and 15-year-olds come to grips with the tragedy and horror of genocide? 

Common Ground is Seeking an Academic Tutor

Common Ground is seeking an Tutor for Academic Supports, starting as soon as possible.  Common Ground offers a wide variety of high quality after school academic support opportunities for its students on a daily basis,

Seeking Camp Interns!

Common Ground welcomes applications from individuals interested in interning with our summer program. Please note: Intern positions are intended for college students, or for post-college applicants looking to gain experience in a new field. At

Help Common Ground Build a New Chicken Coop!

Click here to donate: Dear parents of chicken-loving-children, Big news from Common Ground!  If you visit our campus next week, you will see a beautiful, brand new chicken coop (full of the same flock of

The Path to POWERFUL Leaders

The POWER creed encourages students and staff to work together to define what leadership means to them. POWER: Pride: Confidence. Courage. Intelligent risk-taking. Ownership: Responsibility. Reflection. Ethical leadership. Wonder: Curiosity. Creativity. Vision. Effort:

Times of Change: Executive Director Reflections

Melissa Spear is Executive Director at Common Ground. It has been a remarkably eventful month since my last posting. Sandy, a late-season hurricane, battered the Northeast. Late-season hurricanes have been on the increase

Ecologia Teaches Spanish, Science, Leadership

For many of our new students, Ecologia is an introduction to how Common Ground is different from other schools. Two teachers -- Dave Edgeworth (Biology) and Keith Johnston (Spanish) -- work side by side with

Harvest Pavilion Wins Award

New Harvest Pavilion hosts on-site farmer's market. New visitors and old friends have been struck by a beautiful addition to our campus: Common Ground's new Harvest Pavilion. Now, this structure is receiving recognition

Fall Visitor Days

Common Ground is so much more than the sum of its school, environmental education center and urban farm. Come learn firsthand how Common Ground's three important programs are impacting the community around us by promoting

New Haven Register: Students Help Clean Up West River

By Mark Zaretsky, Register Staff NEW HAVEN — Common Ground High School students Andrew Velasquez, Ariana Rodriguez and Carlos Granda headed out on a recent afternoon into gentle waters of the West River. Using a

Reflections From A Farm Apprentice

Jasmine Wilborne came to Common Ground as a summer camper more than a decade ago. Since then, she became a junior counselor, teenage counselor, and a member of our adult camp staff. In summer

Job Shadow: How to Be An Urban Farmer

At Common Ground, we have the opportunity to shadow someone with our ideal job. My ideal job is different, even weird. When I grow up, I want to be a farmer. And because I go

New Haven Register: School receives $105K from AT&T

Common Ground High School’s “Above and Beyond” after-school program received $105,890 from AT&T’s Aspire program, a grant aimed at increasing proven academic results and graduation rates. “We’ve made significant progress in recent years as our

Chef Rhonda visits the White House

by Kate Bovarnick, Development Assistant Common Ground Head Chef Rhonda DeLoatch has been getting used to the spotlight. This past year she has been invited to appear on Food Network's Chopped, taken part in Food

School Garden Resource Center

Launched in partnership with the Green Village Initiative, the School Garden Resource Center supports the creation and effective use of educational vegetable gardens in schools. We believe that by using our knowledge and resources to

Trailblazer Fuels Outdoor Adventure

Trailblazer delivers supplies to CG campus By Diego Barnes, Common Ground Summer Intern Trailblazer, the independently and locally owned outdoor retailer has always been a strong ally and supporter of Common Ground. Their

Fresh Food on Wheels

Fresh Food On Wheels, Coming to a Neighborhood Near You By Smita Shresta, Common Ground '10, Albertus Magnus '14 The mobile market visits residents at The Ribicoff Center Residents were gathered outside the

Summer’s End: Executive Director Reflections

Melissa Spear is Executive Director at Common Ground. After 12 weeks of summer camp mayhem, Common Ground was relatively quiet last week. Actually, mayhem is perhaps not the right word to use but

Fresh Food Heroes Rescue Ribicoff

The collard greens disappeared years ago. Now a team of “heroes” is heading to a West Rock elderly complex to bring them back—by revamping a garden and delivering freshly harvested fruits and vegetables to seniors’

Arts Abandoned: A Student-Produced Documentary

Every Common Ground student must complete a capstone senior project, working in a group to tackle a social or environmental justice challenge. In 2012, two of these project groups teamed up with the Civic Life

Freedom to Game: A Student-Produced Documentary

Every Common Ground student must complete a capstone senior project, working in a group to tackle a social or environmental justice challenge. In 2012, two of these project groups teamed up with the Civic Life

Spring Cleaning: Executive Director Reflections

Melissa Spear is Executive Director at Common Ground. I took advantage of a quiet school building during April break this year to work with two current Common Ground students and two recent graduates

CT Passes Education Reform, Funding for New School Building

"It's wonderful to see our state take such a courageous stance on education reform," says Common Ground School Director Liz Cox on Connecticut's education initiative. On May 9th, Connecticut House of Representatives unanimously passed the

From Sap to Finish: Executive Director Reflections

Some of my most memorable memories this winter are of two cold, clear weekends in January spent working with my husband Roger and Joe, Common Ground’s site manager, putting up a new sugar shack here

New Haven Independent: Healthy Corner Store

By Allen Appel In the quarter century since he has owned his little store in West River, Elias Jaser has sold many oranges and bananas, but they have never before been displayed so beautifully, or

Students, Peabody Museum Create Outdoor Exhibits

Students in the Documenting New Haven course designed this exhibit, focused on the landscape history of West Rock. This is one of more than 20 exhibits developed by students for Common Ground's site.

New Haven Independent: Garbage Grabbing Gets Greener

By Thomas MacMillan After students at Common Ground High School spent Monday morning with the state’s top environmental official discussing how to make money while saving the Earth, the lesson came to life in Edgewood

New Haven Independent: 500 Roll Rock to Rock

By: New Haven Independent Staff Hundreds of New Haveners gathered Saturday for the third and largest annual bike ride between New Haven’s iconic cliffs. Since it started in 2009 with 200 riders, Rock To Rock has become an annual

Yale Daily News: Winterfest

By Sue Li A chain of three ducks waddles across the pen as a boy reaches out his hands to touch one and narrowly dodges a group of chickens frantically fleeing a camera-wielding first grader.

Huffington Post: Counting on Every Acre

By Leah Mayor Within the world of an increasingly localized food movement, we are ever more familiar with buying a peck of heirloom apples, serving up a pound of grass-fed beef, decorating with a bouquet

New Haven Independent: CG Teacher Wins 27k Award

By: Melissa Bailey The next time students want to buy a bike for a pedal-powered smoothie machine, they won’t have to take out a loan. That was one takeaway Monday at the city’s environmental-themed charter

New Haven Independent: CG Sophomores Make Strides

By: Melissa Bailey ophomores at the city’s environmental-themed charter school caught up to and exceeded district scores, as sophomores across the city improved on standardized tests. That analysis emerged Monday, as schools crunched numbers from

New Haven Independent: Polluting Plant Goes on Trial

By: Melinda Tuhus The defense lawyer confronted the witness for the prosecution with pointed questions that eventually elicited a damaging admission. The prosecutor mimed a jubilant, under-the-breath “gotcha!” when a witness for the defense was

New Haven Independent: Science of Syrup Revealed

By: Allen Appel Nasty,” declared Renotica Jackson, taking a sip of raw sap minutes after it oozed out of a maple tree. “No, it’s not ‘nasty,’” a chaperone corrected her. “It’s just ‘different.’” The sap

New Haven Register: Students Bound for Inaugurl

By: Elizabeth Benton, Register Staff Just after 7:30 a.m. Monday, a little yellow school bus left Common Ground High School in New Haven, destined for Washington, D.C., with 11 students, three teachers and a photographer

New Haven Independent: Teacher Makes Math Real

By Allan Appel Maurice Smalls was having trouble understanding how to simplify a radical. Karen Climis made sure he wouldn’t leave class until he figured it out. If you haven’t simplified a radical recently, Climis’s

New Haven Register: Funds to Build a Museum

By: Elizabeth Benton NEW HAVEN — Common Ground High School has received grants from the American Honda Foundation and the Toshiba America Foundation to build an outdoor museum at the school’s West Rock site. Preliminary

New Haven Independent: Riotous Red Peppers

By: Melinda Tuhus Stephanie Innes, garden manager, showed off a bushel of dragon tongue beans — part of the harvest that staff and volunteers brought in on the Common Ground farm. The farm flourishes on

New York Times: The Urban Environment

By: Abby Schultz HER giggling friends suddenly quiet down when Jamilka Carrasquillo, her large silver hoop earrings swinging, describes the day her class killed chickens. “We actually had to go up to the woods to

New Haven Independent: Charter School Improves on Tests

By: Melissa Bailey City schools reported unprecedented gains in 10th grade test scores, calling this a “breakthrough year.” The announcement came Tuesday, as the state reported the results of the 2008 Connecticut Academic Performance Test

New Haven Independent: Pledge Rewritten

By Staff I pledge allegiance to the factories / Of The polluted States of America… And to to the gases/ That heat up the earth… Those might not be the words recited every day in

New Haven Independent: A “Very Cool” Encounter

By: Allan Appel: Jasmine Nicholas (on the right in the photo) confronted the mayor and the superintendent on suspensions policy — not just as a student, but as a member of an activist group focused

New Haven Independent: Earth Day, Earth Worms

By: Melinda Tuhus These kids from New Haven public schools are learning that there’s a connection between the dirt (soil), the wheat that’s planted in it, and the pizza crust that’s made from the wheat.

New Haven Independent: CG Clears the Air

By: Melinda Tuhus The bad news: Students from an environmental high school like sophomore Angelica Bermudez (pictured) have been discovering just how dirty New Haven’s air is. The good news: They’re on top of it,

New Haven Independent: Mr. Green

By: Allan Appel “God gave us only one planet,” declared Edward Grant (at right in photo), who for 30 years has been one of New Haven's most energetic and accomplished environmental activists, “and if we

Yale Daily News: CG Cultivates Growth

By: Sarah Mishkin Forget the formaldehyde -- and no need for a dissection kit either. In Samantha Rowe's high school science class, students don't dissect chickens. They incubate chicken eggs, and then, six weeks later,

New Haven Independent: Governor Delivers Check

By: Paul Bass All the talk about how community gardeners and local farmers will make use of a new kitchen was making the governor hungry. Gov. M. Jodi Rell was stopping by Common Ground High