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  • A District Of Distinction

    Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, conducted his first Parent/Community Forum September 18 in a packed lecture hall at Newtown High School. The evening’s topic was a question brimming with engagement and hope: What must take place for your son/daughter to have their absolute best school year? Our initial response to the question was not a direct answer but a general observation: How far we have come in how we communicate with our school officials over the past three years.

  • In Appreciation Of Jazz Band Directors

    To the Editor,

    On behalf of all students in any of the four Newtown Public Schools Jazz Bands, I would like to thank all of our Jazz Band Directors. The directors of the Reed Jazz Ensemble are Phillip Beierle and Robert Nolte. The director of the Newtown Middle School Jazz Ensemble is Mark Mahoney. The director of both the Newtown High School Blue and Gold Jazz Ensembles is Kurt Eckhardt.

  • A New Piece In The Budget Puzzle

    Newtown’s school and municipal officials have a new piece to fit into the town’s annual budget puzzle this year — a new priority, a new expense, a new conundrum. As the town transitions from the various ad hoc arrangements it established in the wake of 12/14 to better secure local schools, the Board of Education, at the urging of First Selectman Pat Llodra, has proposed a security budget totaling just under $3 million that is separate from the school board’s proposed $71.5 million operating budget for 2014-15.

  • The One That Got Away

     To the Editor:

    I am confused. If Charles Dumais is such a great principal that he got hired away by another school district as a superintendent, why wasn't he considered for our  next superintendent of schools?  Was he asked?  If he was asked, did he refuse?

    The way John Reed extolled his virtues, he would have ended our search.  I wish someone could explain this whole thing.  It doesn't make sense to me.

    Louise Baker

  • Superintendent’s Letter Advises Parents Of 911 Calls Imminent Release

    Interim Superintendent of Schools John Reed sent a letter to school district parents and staff members on Tuesday, December 3, in anticipation of the Wednesday, December 4, release of local 911 calls made to the Newtown Police Department during the events of 12/14 at Sandy Hook School.

    In the letter, Dr Reed explained the recordings will be released at 2 pm, and will be available through the offices of Cohen and Wolf in Danbury.

  • Increased Police Presence At All Schools On Monday

    On Friday, November 22, Dr John Reed, Interim Superintendent of Schools in Newtown, issued a message to parents and staff, notifying them that the Newtown Police Department had informed him to expect increased police presence at each of Newtown’s schools on Monday, November 25. The added police presence is in response to an expected influx of media and increased traffic in town when the State Attorney report on the 12/14 incident is released. That release is scheduled for Monday, November 25, at 3 pm.

  • Force Feeding Students And Teachers?

    To the Editor:

    With good conscience I need to speak out to the caring public regarding a serious government intrusion into the local public schools. The reason for this is that politics and academic theory often mix poorly with good teaching practices in the classroom.

  • Superintendent’s Letter Anticipates 12/14 Report Release

    Interim Superintendent of Schools John Reed sent a letter home to district parents on Tuesday, November 19, in advance of an anticipated release of an investigatory report on the shootings of 12/14 at Sandy Hook School.

    The report is expected to be released on Monday, November 25, according to notifications received by local officials. Further details on the report are available here.

  • New Beginnings At The Bus Stop

    It is a paradox of human relations that the ones we hold closest to our hearts thrive when we loosen our grip. Given what we know about child development and education, it is easy for parents to see the sense of it. But Tuesday morning, as children headed out to the bus stops, this small “letting go” for the coming school year may have, for many, proved to be a most difficult moment of surrender. Newtown is no longer a town where people can find consolation by telling themselves that things always turn out for the best.

  • Heartfelt Thanks To Newtown School Staff

     To the Editor:

    This has been an extremely difficult year for everyone in town, especially our children.  It's hard to put into words my appreciation for the staff at our schools.  You performed your jobs under the most stressful conditions while providing daily comfort and reassurance to your students.

    Thank you for helping us navigate through an unprecedented situation, with unbelievable dedication, courage, and love for our children.

    Lyn Marcum