The convocation on Monday of educators and school district staff at Newtown High School was true to its name, which according to its Latin root (convocare) is a great calling together. The Board of Education, Legislative Council, selectmen, finance board members, school administrators, teachers, and professional and skilled staff members gathered to acknowledge the start of a new school year and to appreciate the portents in this moment of their togetherness.
The Board of Education approved a 25-cent increase for the district’s school lunch program during its meeting on August 18.
Business Director Ron Bienkowski explained the school board would normally have made its decision to renew the district’s contract with Chartwells earlier in the year, but the state notified towns of provisions in some contracts with food providers that are not allowed by the Food and Drug Administration following an audit by the federal government.
The Board of Education postponed a decision on its five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) during its meeting Tuesday, August 18, and discussed looking at a proposed Hawley Elementary School heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) project further.
The Board of Education voted to increase the superintendent of schools’ contracted salary by three percent and to extend his contract by one year at its special meeting on Wednesday, June 24.
The decision came among a series of votes on agenda items before the board heard from the public regarding the possibility of closing Hawley Elementary School due to declining enrollment for the 2016-17 year. The board later voted not to close a school for the 2016-17 school year and to continue its discussion about the best use of district facilities.
Thank you Board of Education for listening and hearing what many in Newtown had to say and unanimously voting to not close a school in the 2016-17 academic year. At this meeting, the board agreed that more work needs to be done, more information needs to be collected, and that the community needs to be involved in the process. Thank you all for truly hearing us!
Hawley Elementary School PTA President Kristen Bonacci, standing at left, spoke first, representing the SOS campaign, during public participation at the school board's special meeting on Wednesday, June 24.
To the Editor:
Like others, I moved to Newtown with the hopes of starting a family in a closely-knit community with an excellent school system. I want to advocate for keeping our schools open especially when all the facts aren’t in.
Residents and visitors extol the beauty and character of our downtown. Historic buildings, faithfully serving the purpose for which they were designed a century ago, are vibrant reminders of Newtown’s heritage.
Our downtown schools are the epitome of that heritage. They’re beloved icons, beautiful and still fulfilling our needs.