Head O’ Meadow students were led off their buses to the school on Thursday, August 27, for the first day of the 2015-16 school year. Inside the school teachers and staff waited to greet the students, and near the entrance physical education teachers Steve Dreger and Alex Amaru shared high-fives with students. Mr Amaru, who is new to the school, welcomed the students with a special, “It’s my first day, too!” “Welcome back everybody!” Principal Barbara Gasparine said, smiling as students stepped off a bus.
Across the school district, kindergarteners boarded their buses for the first time ahead of the 2015-16 school year on Tuesday, August 25.
At Middle Gate Elementary School volunteers and teachers were already waiting as students stepped off the buses.
Some older students were also on hand to help guide the kindergarteners from their buses and into the school’s library, where kindergarten teachers Tanya LaBonia, Melissa Massett, Dori Parniawski, and Dorothy Schmidt were waiting to introduce themselves.
As students entered the library, the assembled kindergarteners began singing songs, led by the teachers, including “The Wheels On The Bus.”
Before her dancers displayed what they learned this summer during a recital on Friday, July 31, The Little Dance Company owner Maureen Capalbo oversaw the dancers on Thursday, July 30, the final day of dance camp for the summer.
The Little Dance Company specializes in teaching young children how to dance. Ms Capalbo has been teaching dance for the past 16 years.
Ms Capalbo’s summer dance camp was held for one week and was offered to children ages 4½ to 8 at the Teen Center.
Teachers and district staff kicked off the 2015-16 school year on Monday, August 24, at a convocation held at Newtown High School. Town board members and elected officials were also in attendance at the event, which highlighted teachers and district staff. “Welcome everyone,” said Board of Education Vice Chair Laura Roche near the start of the event.
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. Following a July 20 directive, Mr Bienkowski said the district’s contract was changed to include “certain provisions that are acceptable to the state,” but new information from the state as of Monday, August 17, will require further amendments.
Helmeted tots on skateboards, sunglass bespectacled counselors, and campers bursting with energy congregated at the pavilion at Dickinson Park, Thursday, August 5, in anticipation of the annual year-end talent show. A friendly competition between the campers at Treadwell and Dickinson Parks, the kid-created songs, dances, and performances are a yearly tradition marking the end of the seven, one-week-long sessions for campers from age 4 to 11.
“You never know what you’ll see here,” said Parks and Recreation Assistant Director RoseAnn Reggiano. “It’s different every year, what the kids come up with. It’s no holds barred,” she laughed.
A mural designed and created by this year’s Summer Youth Employment Program students has been completed at Newtown High School.
The mural was completed by the end of the program’s six-week term. The program, which is provided by a grant through the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board based in Waterbury, offers students who apply 20 hours of work a week for six weeks throughout the summer.
NHS teacher Janice Gabriel was the program’s supervisor this year and the mural was completed under the guidance of Connecticut certified teaching artist Debora Aldo. NHS art teacher Carol Skolas also worked with students on the project.
As the summer rolls to a close for campers across Newtown, Mary Ann Rudolph, the owner of Sunny Brook Farm, and Pat Gregory, the owner of Fox Ridge Farm, both agree that their horseback riding camps went very well.
“We had about 13 or 14 campers each week,” said Ms Gregory. “This is the most successful camp we’ve had in probably seven or eight years.”
“Riding is a privilege ladies, let’s look important while we do it,” Ms Gregory said to the three beginners she was teaching on Friday, July 31. “We’re trying to teach them how to steer right now.”
Harvest feast offerings made by the students, according to Ms Reilly, included chocolate sauce served with crepes, herbed bread, zucchini and apple bread, “stone soup,” salad, fruit smoothies, kale chips, and humus.
The school’s summer camp programs ran weekly this summer, during July and August. According to Ms Reilly, an older group of students visited Rocky Glen State Park to practice for Primitive Skills camp weeks. Ms Reilly also said she was grateful to Paul Kabusk, who allowed the younger campers to visit his neighboring property to study frogs.
Connecticut’s annual tax holiday — which applies to items $100 and under — runs Sunday, August 16, through Saturday, August 22. The Better Business Bureau has tips for consumers to take advantage of all possible savings.