We don’t just cover the Board of Education and issues affecting New Canaan Public Schools parents, including testing mandates and teacher evaluations, new hires in the district and programs in our schools—we also celebrate students and teacher achievements and spotlight outstanding work at all levels.

Recent Articles

Officials: Power in Town To Be ‘Substantially’ Restored by 11 p.m. Sunday

Update 4:30 p.m. Friday

Emergency Management Director Mike Handler said in a 3 p.m. announcement Friday that through the Emergency Operations Center’s coordinated efforts of the town and Eversource, all of New Canaan now is accessible by vehicles such as fire trucks and ambulances. “We still have approximately 100 roadways with known hazards,” Handler said. “Please do not move any barricades or caution tape. Currently 1,338 homes or 16 percent of town are without power. Eversource is now able to estimate that ‘substantially’ all power will be restored by 11 p.m. on Sunday.”

Here’s an interactive map that shows problem areas:

Original Article

New Canaan Public Schools will be closed Friday, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said, as New Canaan continues to deal with dozens of road closures and downed wires, with no firm timetable for restoration. Continue Reading →

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‘It Will Not Be Easy and It Will Not Be Pleasant’: Board of Finance Hears Passionate Calls for Fiscal Prudence, Full District Funding as Vote Nears

New Canaan must be careful as a community to have frank, detailed conversations about its financial situation and not “succumb to the tyranny of the parent,” a homeowner and mother of four children in public elementary and middle schools here told members of the Board of Finance on Tuesday. Everyone loves their kids and wants a good school district, yet this idea floating around New Canaan now that spending on the public schools somehow fuels property values is false, according to Rita Nagle. “That is simply not the economic relationship that exists,” Nagle said during a budget hearing held at Town Hall. “Property values fund taxes, which fund school spending. That is the way the relationship works. Continue Reading →

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‘People Are Getting Frustrated’: NCHS Students Organize March 14 ‘Walkout’ in Wake of Florida School Shooting

Dozens of New Canaan High School students are planning to walk out of school for 17 minutes next week, as part of national protest to what organizers describe as inaction in Congress in the wake of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. Emily Dowdle, a NCHS junior who has helped organize the EMPOWER Youth School Walkout with classmate Emily Shizari, said details still have to be worked out, though the walkout will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14, at the flagpole out front of the main entrance. As with other walkouts planned at high schools throughout the United States that day, it will last 17 minutes—one minute for each of those killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland—and could include a moment of silence, speakers and reading of a poem, Dowdle said. Asked what she felt was happening now that prompted student walkouts, Dowdle noted that the social media hashtag associated with the movement is ‘#ENOUGH.’

“I think people were hopeful that things would change after enough shootings, but I think they feel like they have not,” she said. Continue Reading →

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Op-Ed: School Budget Cuts—Testing the Rhetoric

In public meetings and media reports, it’s becoming clear that the New Canaan Board of Finance will act this week to approve a school budget for 2018-2019 that’s as much as $1 million less than requested by the Board of Education. In April, the Town Council will decide whether to make additional reductions. These are important decisions, so it’s worth scrutinizing the logic behind these moves. Premise #1: Major cuts can be made from administrative and back-office functions with no impact in the classroom. The problem with this premise is that virtually all administrative functions have a direct and important impact on the performance of teachers in the classroom. Continue Reading →

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Message to Board of Ed: Local Pediatricians Support Later School Start Times

The medical professionals at a well-established pediatric practice in New Canaan support efforts to re-examine start times in the school district and have advocated for starting later in the morning, according to information presented Monday night to the Board of Education. The four doctors at New Canaan Pediatrics LLC told the school board said that communities with later start times “have shown increased academic performance, reported decreased mood disorders and experienced significantly reduced automobile accident rates in teens,” according to a letter that a local parent advocating for later start times read out at the group’s regular meeting. Evidence in support of later school start times “includes both the unique biologic needs of adolescents and the demonstrable health and safety benefits realized by communities that have later start times,” according to the letter, read by Karen Willett. “In our practice we clearly see a trend of teenagers from neighboring communities with later start times reporting more sleep than those from communities, like New Canaan, that have earlier start times. We understand that the practical hurdles to changing existing start times are significant but the compelling benefit to our children and the community in general makes the change to a later start time for middle school and high school students worth it. Continue Reading →

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