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.
Mary Hawley was not shortsighted. We shouldn’t be either. It seems to me that the powers that be are jumping the gun when it comes to closing any of schools. There are generations yet to be born in our wonderful town, and it is foolhardy to close a school (particularly one as beloved and historical as Hawley). It is far easier to close a school than it is to reopen one.
Closing any school in Newtown, especially the historic Hawley Elementary School, is not a good idea. Hawley turns 100 years old in six years and was one of the six gifts given to the town of Newtown by Elizabeth Hawley. Not many towns have history like that. We need to keep and preserve this historical resource and not let it fall into decay like the buildings at Fairfield Hills.