The Festivals of Music event held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at York University welcomed 150 musicians and singers from Newtown High School last week who had traveled to the area April 24 to 27 via a ten-hour bus trip, where the students performed in a North American high schools competition and took home First Place awards in all five categories they entered.
Competing in Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Gold Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble, Newtown earned an unprecedented “Superior” rating for all five groups by achieving a score of at least 90.
“Achieving a ‘Superior’ is not easy,” said NHS music instructor and Band Director Kurt Eckhardt. “I have had some excellent ensembles not attain this status. So, this is an amazing accomplishment and shouts loudly to our community what incredible kids we have.”
For a few hours on Friday, April 25, Middle Gate Elementary School fourth grade students transformed into historical figures.
When visitors to the school’s four fourth grade classrooms tapped a waiting fourth grader on the shoulder, the student started sharing a prepared speech created for the school’s Living Biographies project.
Students in Heidi Beauty, John Sullivan, Katie Mauro, and Linda Baron’s classes all participated in the project. Family members and other Middle Gate students were invited to the classrooms for the event. Middle Gate Principal Christopher Geissler also stopped by to hear the students and see the projects performed.
The Jr Newtown Action Alliance is set to host a statewide #HonorWithAction Youth Leadership Summit on Saturday, May 24, at Newtown High School. The event is for students middle school through college age, and will discuss issues surrounding the epidemic of gun violence, encourage youth to find their voices and use the power of their voices to inspire change, according to Jr NAA.#HonorWithAction Connecticut will be a full-day event bringing together youth from all areas of Connecticut to investigate the many issues that contribute to gun violence in America through workshops on mental health, urban violence, writing for publication, healing through the arts, and more, according to a release from Jr NAA.
To cap a study of the United State government, Hawley Elementary School fourth grade students attended a presentation by two local lawyers on Thursday, April 24.
Elana Bertram, Esq, of Hawley Legal Resources, LLC, and Tara Dugo of Roberts Family Law in Darien both described the country’s judicial system and how it works for the students.
“Good morning fourth grade,” Hawley lead teacher Roxanne Melaragno said at the start of the presentation. “Today we have a very special program for you.”
The Reed Intermediate School Drama Club has been busy preparing for its upcoming musical production of Willy Wonka, set for performances on Friday, May 9, and Saturday, May 10.
“Come with me and you’ll be in a world of your imagination,” sang student Will Crebbin, who will portray “the greatest candy maker of all time,” Willy Wonka, during a rehearsal on Tuesday, April 29.
The Friday performance is at 7 pm, and the Saturday is at 6 pm.
The Newtown Public Schools Recovery Project has slated its next parent forums, which will be held at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Reed Intermediate School. Each forum will be presented twice, once during the school day and again in the evening, to allow for maximum participation. Programs last for one hour. The Sandy Hook program, "Summer Planning," has been rescheduled from last week; the Reed forum will describe different forms of bullying, and offer suggestions to help kids and parents manage such situations.
While the Board of Education interviewed Christopher Moretti for the position of principal of Hawley Elementary School in an executive session on April 29, a group of district personnel, Hawley staff members, and current principal Jo-Ann Peters Edmondson waited outside the Council Chambers at Newtown Municipal Center. When the school board returned and opened its session to the public, it unanimously voted to hired Mr Moretti for the position. He will begin his tenure at Hawley on July 1. His salary will be set by the existing administrator’s contract, according to the board’s motion.
During “Hawley Loves To Read Week” author Sara Pennypacker stopped by on Tuesday, April 8, to speak to students about writing, her books, and her inspirations.
Ms Pennypacker’s published works include her Clementine series, Summer of the Gypsy Moths, Dumbstruck, The Amazing World of Stuart, Sparrow Girl, and Pierre in Love.
She also visited Middle Gate Elementary School during that school’s “Middle Gate Loves To Read Week,” on Monday, April 7.
The Newtown Public Schools Recovery Project has slated its next parent forums, which will be held at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Middle Gate Elementary School, and Newtown Middle School. Each forum will be presented twice, once during the school day and again in the evening, to allow for maximum participation. The Sandy Hook School Parent Forum, “Summer Planning To Sustain Your Child’s Progress,” will be held on Monday, April 28; Middle Gate will host "Parenting In Tough Times" on April 29; and the middle school will host "How To Parent In A Challenging World" on April 30.
Head O’ Meadow students cast their votes Monday, April 21, on which category of books they would like purchased for the school’s library.
The event is a yearly one at the school, and library/media specialist Bev Bjorklund said she prepared the students to cast their ballots by speaking to them about the importance of voting.
Democratic Registrar of Voters LeReine Frampton and Sharon Kish were on hand for the day, along with a voting machine. Head O’ Meadow PTA volunteers were also in the school’s library, where the machine was set up, to help students through the voting process.