A number of educators presented a report on full-day kindergarten at the Board of Education’s Tuesday, November 18, meeting.
Full-day kindergarten was first implemented in the district last school year, and this is the second year the school board has heard a report about how the program is doing.
“They have a little presentation for us and just a few words about what their experience has been for… a year-plus,” said Assistant Superintendent Linda Gejda.
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 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.
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.”
Newtown Action Alliance, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and Campaign to Unload announced Wednesday, November 19, comedian Jay Leno’s decision to cancel his appearance at the 2015 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show), an annual event sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the gun industry. Mr Leno’s cancellation came just hours after the three gun violence prevention groups had launched a petition Wednesday morning, calling on him to take this action.
Newtown Veterans of Foreign War Post 308 launched its annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots program on November 14, when member Dave Silver asked his retirement party guests to bring donations for the annual Christmas campaign. The VFW Post, and more than a dozen other locations in town, will continue receiving Toys For Tots donations until December 19.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy is directing flags in Connecticut to return to full-staff at sunset today, Thursday, November 20. Flags have been flying at half-staff in honor of Judge John T. Downey, who died on Monday.