Log In

Reset Password

Board Of Education: Policy Updates And Community Engagement



Text Size

The Board of Education during its December 19 meeting discussed safety and security-related policies, and heard about an upcoming legislative breakfast at Sandy Hook School, among other agenda items.

The meeting commenced with a swiftly filed motion by Secretary Donald Ramsey to approve the board’s consent agenda, which notably included approval of some donations to Sandy Hook School. The motion was unanimously approved.

Superintendent Chris Melillo then provided an update on school events. He reported to the board regarding the recent boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball games as well as the Newtown High School chorus winter concert. He then concluded by extending his holiday greetings to the Newtown community:

“I also would like to wish the Newtown community, Board of Education, Newtown Public Schools staff, and families a joyous holiday season filled with warmth and the well-deserved gift of time. My wish is that this winter break will rejuvenate and bring everyone back with renewed energy.”

Reporting on behalf of the Policy Committee, Todd Higgins then told the board that “the Policy Committee was busy and hard at work at its first meeting of the new term.”

On the committee’s agenda for review were included items as sensitive as “safety and security-related policies.”

Higgins stated that “these are the policies that exist currently that deal with emergencies and disaster preparedness, fire emergency drills and crisis response drills, and school safety and security.”

According to him, the committee met with Mark Pompano, the director of security for Newtown Public Schools, to begin familiarizing themselves with the historical background of how the current security policy has evolved and is implemented on the ground.

Higgins told the board that these discussions went on to include “an initial pass through areas where there is work to be done both in the execution of existing policies as well as in order to improve our policies. That exercise at the Policy Committee is underway and will be continuing through the next series of meetings.”

Acting in his capacity as liaison for the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), Chris Gilson then announced that CABE will soon be holding a legislative breakfast at Sandy Hook School. Although the exact date hasn’t yet been decided, the event, which will host state and municipal education officials, will take place on either January 9 or 10, according to Gilson.

Secretary Ramsey then spoke in his capacity as liaison to the middle school. He shared his observation of a remarkable eighth grade concert, praising the students’ energy and teamwork.

“It included the band, the chorus, and the orchestra,” he reported. “It was just phenomenal, you know, the spirit of the kids working together in unison, with performance-based assessment if you will. I mean, the audiences went crazy over it, and the enthusiasm and spirit of the teachers was incredible.”

Additionally, he recounted the success of a career day at the middle school as well, during which students were exposed to a variety of potential occupations through the testimony and experience of visiting adults, many of whom were parents themselves.

Finally, representing the Newtown Leos Club and acting as student liaison, Newtown High School student Gabe Petertonjes reported to the board that the club has been dedicating their efforts to collecting toy donations intended for St Rose of Lima Church.


Reporter Owen Tanzer can be reached at owen@thebee.com.

The Board of Education during its most recent meeting discussed safety and security-related policies, and heard about an upcoming legislative breakfast at Sandy Hook School, among other agenda items.
Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply