Who was “Bristow”?
The following excerpt is from Carolyn Moreau’s article entitled, “What’s in a Name? A School’s Identity” published in The Hartford Courant, October 4, 2004. Bristow signifies the archetypal American story — a man who makes something of his life through hard work, despite incredible adversity. From the few documents that exist on the former slave, local historians surmise that he was kidnapped in Africa and brought to the New World. He bought his freedom from Thomas Hart Hooker as Hooker left to fight the Revolutionary War; Hooker reputedly said that he “would not fight for liberty and leave a slave at home.” After Hooker was killed in the war, Bristow continued to live with Hooker’s family in what is today called the Sarah Whitman Hooker Homestead, the oldest house in West Hartford. Bristow earned money advising local farmers on agricultural problems. When he died, he left a will — an extraordinary thing for a black man of his day. His estate included books, which he left to the children of his former owner.
Steven J. Cook, Principal
At Bristow Middle School, we truly believe that all students can learn in multiple ways and at optimal levels. Our goal is to work collaboratively with parents to ensure that students are productive and responsible young adults who learn to take advantage of their learning opportunities. We are dedicated to teaching our students to be the best they can, to work hard and to strive towards greatness.
As a veteran principal, I know the power of family. The African Proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” is how I would describe the work we all do to develop successful young people. Together, with all of us (staff, students and parents) striving towards the same goals, our students will become future leaders and positive, productive citizens.
Jacqueline Colon, Assistant Principal
My career as an educator in West Hartford began in 1987 at the Charter Oak Academy of Global Studies after graduating from St. Joseph College. After 18 enjoyable years at Charter Oak, I was inspired to join the first Bristow Middle School team of teachers to establish and open the school in 2005. While at Bristow, I have taught sixth grade language arts, social studies, science, and math. I have also had the opportunity to teach graduate students as an adjunct faculty member at St. Joseph College, as well as coach several team sports in the West Hartford community.
As assistant principal, I look forward to working with colleagues, students, and families to help all students succeed. I welcome your comments, questions, and ideas to enhance the program at Bristow Middle School.
34 Highland Street
West Hartford, CT 06119
Main Number: 860-231-2100
Fax Number: 860-231-2107
Reporting a Student Absence:
A parent or guardian should report a student’s absence using the voice mailbox system 860-929-5233. An absence note signed by the parent/guardian must be submitted to the morning advisor within 10 days of the student’s return to school. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to write the note in the language most comfortable. A student’s absence from school shall be considered excused if written documentation of the reason for the absence has been submitted within 10 school days of the student’s return to school or in accordance with Section 10-210 of the Connecticut General Statutes or the state’s guidelines for excused and unexcused absences.
To contact a teacher before or after office hours, find out the teacher's extension in the Staff DirectoryOpens a New Window.. Then, dial 860-231-2100, followed by the extension. Leave a message on the teacher's voice mail.
Student Selection Process
Bristow Middle School announces its enrollment process for the 2019-2020 school year. The enrollment for incoming 6th grade students will be held in January.
This form should ONLY be used by parents of students who reside in West Hartford and who are NOT attending West Hartford Public Schools. Current 5th grade students who are attending West Hartford Public Schools as of January 10, 2019 are automatically part of the process.
This form should ONLY be used by parents of 6th and 7th grade students who currently attend King Philip or Sedgwick and want their student to attend Bristow in the 7th or 8th grade in the 2019-20 school year. If your student does not currently attend WHPS, please fill out the application form for students not currently enrolled in WHPS.