The second, one-hour Parent/Community Forum hosted by the school district was held on Tuesday, November 11, and focused on rigor in the classroom.
Assistant Superintendent of Schools Linda Gejda led the discussion.
“We’re very excited about having the opportunity to begin the conversation about rigor,” said Dr Gejda, near the start of the evening.
Both Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, and Board of Education Chair Keith Alexander also spoke near the opening of the event. Members of the school board’s Curriculum and Instruction Subcommittee and district teachers were also in attendance for the event, along with district parents and members of the public.
Newtown Hook & Ladder, Company No. 1, the volunteer fire unit that serves the borough and adjacent areas, has filed plans for its proposed new firehouse for local land use review and action. The Borough Zoning Commission has submitted those plans to the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) for review and comment. The P&Z serves as the borough’s planning agency. The P&Z was scheduled to consider the matter at its meeting on the night of Thursday, November 20, after the deadline for the November 21 print edition of "The Bee." BZC is expected to conduct a public hearing on the fire company’s application for a special permit when it meets on December 10, said George Benson, town director of planning.
The Newtown Foundation is seeking donations of books in like-new or new condition that are an appropriate reading level for elementary age school children. Volunteers from the Newtown Foundation will deliver books to the Savoy Elementary School in Washington, DC, prior to the second annual vigil for victims of gun violence, at the National Cathedral on Thursday, December 11. Many children at the elementary school are at risk, because they do not have access to books outside of school. The book drive will enable these children to attend a book fair at school, where they can fill a bag with books, before they go on holiday break.
For the second year in a row, All-Star Transportation is hoping shoppers will help fill a school bus with donations for Newtown Social Services. A Stuff-A-Bus event will be held Saturday, November 22, from 9 am until 3 pm, at Stop & Shop in Sand Hill Plaza, 228 South Main Street. Donations of any nonperishable goods will be accepted, according to Social Services Director Ann Piccini. “We’re really low on everything,” Ms Piccini said this week. “We’ve used up all the excess pasta we had on the shelves.”
The Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) of the State of Connecticut released a report Friday, November 21, focusing on Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHS) mass murderer Adam Lanza. The report defines lapses in integration of education and health care, and how untreated mental illness contributed to Adam Lanza’s overall decline.
Directed by the State Child Fatality Review Panel (CFRP), in late January 2013, the OCA was asked to investigate “the circumstances leading to the death of the children at Sandy Hook, with a focus on any public health recommendations that may emanate from a review of the shooter’s personal history.”
The Legislative Council hosted the Boards of Finance, Selectmen, and Education for a budget preview session November 19. While First Selectman Pat Llodra and Finance Director Robert Tait both vowed to seek a zero tax increase budget, the school superintendent’s presentation focused as much on issues that could affect future budgets as he did on the 2014-15 spending cycle.
In two brief sessions November 17, representatives of Newtown’s Municipal Building Strategic Plan Committee, and the Animal Control Advisory Board made interim reports to the Board of Selectmen. First, the Animal Control Board’s Chair Adria Henderson presented her panel’s annual report. She indicated that issues that plagued the newly opened animal control facility a year before had “substantially improved.” Geralyn Hoerauf, a consultant to the Municipal Facilities review panel, told selectmen the first meeting of the group occurred in late September and a follow-up meeting was held October 30. She said there are plans to have the committee meet at least once monthly and the next session would likely include a full discussion of the inventory of town-owned buildings.
Police said this week they are continuing to investigate a threat made against St Rose School midday on November 14, which resulted in the parochial school at 40 Church Hill Road briefly being put into lockdown. It was the second threat made against a local school last week, the first having been a threat made against Newtown High School midday on November 11.
Newtown officials and spokespersons for state agencies involved with supporting both immediate victims and survivors of 12/14 responded to queries by The Newtown Bee following testimony last week by two surviving families to the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission. The 16-member panel appointed last year by Governor Dannel Malloy heard from Dr Jeremy Richman and Jennifer Hensel, parents of 6-year-old victim Avielle Richman, and Nelba Marquez-Greene, the mother of 6-year-old Ana Marquez-Greene, during a nearly two-hour session at C.H. Booth Library. After reviewing some of the emotional testimony offered on November 14, First Selectman Pat Llodra said there are critical but subtle differences between her outreach to the entire community, and the level of outreach she needs to exercise with the immediate victims of 12/14.