Inside Hawley’s multipurpose room on Thursday, April 24, a colorful bench was placed before the room’s stage. The bench, multicolored and covered in words, is called The Friendship Bench.
In Hawley Elementary School’s most recent PTA newsletter, Hawley lead teacher Roxanne Melaragno wrote an explanation of how the bench came to the school.
“Recently Hawley School received a unique gift from a young girl with big dreams,” Ms Melaragno wrote. “At the end of March, Acaia Woodley, a seventh grade girl from Palm Bay, Florida, delivered a Friendship Bench to Hawley School that represents her mission of spreading friendship and kindness to schools throughout the United States and Canada. Acaia presented the Friendship Bench to Hawley School’s Student Council.”
The Newtown Public Schools Recovery Project has slated its next parent forums, to be held at Newtown High School, Middle Gate Elementary School, and Head O’ Meadow Elementary School. Each forum will be presented twice, once during the school day and again in the evening, to allow for maximum participation. Each program will run for one hour. The programs for May 13-14 will offer parents new ideas for communicating the teenagers, tips for giving children a positive and happy outlook, and ways to help children manage transitions.
A gathering of Housatonic Valley Waldorf School students, faculty, staff, family members, and other invited guests welcomed spring on Friday, May 2, with traditional Maypole, and Morris & Sword dances. All grade level students at the school began the event, an annual tradition, by performing the song “Hal ‘n Tow,” according to Patricia Campbell, who directed the students and acted as the events announcer, while dancing. Friday’s event marked the 23rd Annual May Fair held by Housatonic Valley Waldorf School.
The Festivals of Music event held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at York University welcomed 150 musicians and singers from Newtown High School last week who had traveled to the area April 24 to 27 via a ten-hour bus trip, where the students performed in a North American high schools competition and took home First Place awards in all five categories they entered.
Competing in Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Gold Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble, Newtown earned an unprecedented “Superior” rating for all five groups by achieving a score of at least 90.
“Achieving a ‘Superior’ is not easy,” said NHS music instructor and Band Director Kurt Eckhardt. “I have had some excellent ensembles not attain this status. So, this is an amazing accomplishment and shouts loudly to our community what incredible kids we have.”
To cap a study of the United State government, Hawley Elementary School fourth grade students attended a presentation by two local lawyers on Thursday, April 24.
Elana Bertram, Esq, of Hawley Legal Resources, LLC, and Tara Dugo of Roberts Family Law in Darien both described the country’s judicial system and how it works for the students.
“Good morning fourth grade,” Hawley lead teacher Roxanne Melaragno said at the start of the presentation. “Today we have a very special program for you.”
The Reed Intermediate School Drama Club has been busy preparing for its upcoming musical production of Willy Wonka, set for performances on Friday, May 9, and Saturday, May 10.
“Come with me and you’ll be in a world of your imagination,” sang student Will Crebbin, who will portray “the greatest candy maker of all time,” Willy Wonka, during a rehearsal on Tuesday, April 29.
The Friday performance is at 7 pm, and the Saturday is at 6 pm.
For a few hours on Friday, April 25, Middle Gate Elementary School fourth grade students transformed into historical figures.
When visitors to the school’s four fourth grade classrooms tapped a waiting fourth grader on the shoulder, the student started sharing a prepared speech created for the school’s Living Biographies project.
Students in Heidi Beauty, John Sullivan, Katie Mauro, and Linda Baron’s classes all participated in the project. Family members and other Middle Gate students were invited to the classrooms for the event. Middle Gate Principal Christopher Geissler also stopped by to hear the students and see the projects performed.
The Jr Newtown Action Alliance is set to host a statewide #HonorWithAction Youth Leadership Summit on Saturday, May 24, at Newtown High School. The event is for students middle school through college age, and will discuss issues surrounding the epidemic of gun violence, encourage youth to find their voices and use the power of their voices to inspire change, according to Jr NAA.#HonorWithAction Connecticut will be a full-day event bringing together youth from all areas of Connecticut to investigate the many issues that contribute to gun violence in America through workshops on mental health, urban violence, writing for publication, healing through the arts, and more, according to a release from Jr NAA.
The Newtown Public Schools Recovery Project has slated its next parent forums, which will be held at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Reed Intermediate School. Each forum will be presented twice, once during the school day and again in the evening, to allow for maximum participation. Programs last for one hour. The Sandy Hook program, "Summer Planning," has been rescheduled from last week; the Reed forum will describe different forms of bullying, and offer suggestions to help kids and parents manage such situations.
While the Board of Education interviewed Christopher Moretti for the position of principal of Hawley Elementary School in an executive session on April 29, a group of district personnel, Hawley staff members, and current principal Jo-Ann Peters Edmondson waited outside the Council Chambers at Newtown Municipal Center. When the school board returned and opened its session to the public, it unanimously voted to hired Mr Moretti for the position. He will begin his tenure at Hawley on July 1. His salary will be set by the existing administrator’s contract, according to the board’s motion.