Schools

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

Board of Ed, Longtime New Canaan Public Schools Figure Recognized for Excellence in Science Education

A fixture in the New Canaan Public Schools’ Science Department and recent award recipient honored the Board of Education at its most recent meeting for the group’s vision, support and encouragement. Melinda Meyer, the district’s K-8 science coordinator and winner of the Connecticut Science Supervisors Association’s Fred J. Simone Award for distinguished leadership and service in science education, told members of the Board of Ed that educators in the NCPS science program “really do have the best job in the world,” thanks in large part to the school board. “We get to engage students every day in learning, making connections and providing them with the fuel to grow into the next leaders, scientists and engineers,” Meyer said during the Board of Ed’s May 15 meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “Our students’ excitement and energy is our caffeine in the morning. It is what keeps us going. Continue Reading →

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District Officials Worked Closely with Police Following Youth Party, Exercised Policies for Athletes

New Canaan Public Schools worked closely with police through the department’s recently concluded investigation into a youth drinking party in March, officials say, and suspensions for students involved followed the district’s established policies for athletes. In general, district officials including New Canaan High School’s athletic director and principal will speak to students on learning of such parties to “figure out what happened and then make decisions based on what we believe to be true and what our policies are,” according to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi. “We have been working with police and the police have been establishing a diversionary program,” Luizzi said, referring to an initiative developed by Police Chief Leon Krolikowski under which kids found with alcohol at youth parties are offered an educational program in lieu of a possession of alcohol by a minor criminal charge. Thanks in part to strong collaboration between the schools and police, students and families were offered the diversionary program and those eligible all chose to undergo it, Luizzi said. Krolikowski confirmed that the kids referred out of the March 25 underage drinking party on Oenoke Ridge Road will form the inaugural diversionary program class. Continue Reading →

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‘A Sense of Unity’: New Canaan High School Senior, ABC Student Rajon Mitchell Reflects on His Experience

New Canaan High School senior Rajon Mitchell recalls his freshman-year self as a “much quieter, shyer version” of the young man he is today. An ABC House of New Canaan student from a tough neighborhood in the Bronx, N.Y., Mitchell had distinguished himself as a student in the city by leaning into his instincts as an introvert, keeping to himself and going his own way. “While that’s nice and that brought me success before, in my time prior to coming to New Canaan, having the ability and having the skills to connect with others, make relationships, it’s just so much better,” a smiling Mitchell said on a recent afternoon standing outside Town Hall, where he’s interning during his final month as an NCHS student in the Inland Wetlands Department. “And being able to have a team to go further and quicker.”

They’re life lessons that Mitchell—an organizer for an ABC fundraising car wash to be held 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Saxe Middle School—will take to Northeastern University in Boston this fall. Bright, authentic, naturally curious and engaging, Mitchell in four years as a New Canaan student not only has come into his own as a person, according to those who have tracked his progress here, but also intellectually, feeding a genuine thirst for new ideas and experiences. Continue Reading →

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‘A Very Good Team Effort’: District Officials Work Through Detailed Move-In Plan for Renovated, Expanded Saxe Middle School

District officials say teachers in Saxe Middle School’s art and music rooms have started packing up in boxes as they prepare on the final day of school (June 21) to vacate for a time so that extensive capital work can be completed this summer. Daniel Clarke, manager of facilities operations, told members of the Board of Education that his office is coordinating with construction company O&G Industries as well as the fire marshal to work within and even enhance a “very detailed, well-organized and thought-out plan” from Saxe Principal Greg Macedo. “It really has been a team effort to try and make this as efficient as possible,” Clarke told the Board of Ed during its meeting Monday, his first since taking over in the role from Bob Willoughby. “Because here we are in May and we say: ‘We are moving next month.’ When you say it that way, the urgency is there.”

The $18.6 million project is on time and budget, officials have said. To be completed for the start of next academic year, it includes the renovation of the 60-year-old auditorium at Saxe, as well as a “right-sizing” of music rooms that a building committee immediately identified as a need, and a 12-room addition that emerged a few months later to address rapidly rising enrollment at the overcrowded middle school. Continue Reading →

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High Praise for Two NCHS Workers Who Saved Choking Student’s Life

Two workers at New Canaan High School—both former employees of state agencies—are earning high praise from district officials after saving a choking student’s life last month. The public schools “are filled with dozens of wonderful stories taking place throughout the district on a daily basis,” NCHS Principal Bill Egan said. “The lifesaving rescue by Tom Brown and Patrick Mainolfi certainly rises to the top of this list. New Canaan High School, in particular, recognizes and appreciates their valiant efforts.” At about 3:30 p.m. on April 20 (a Thursday), Mainolfi—a campus monitor at the high school who had worked for 21 years in the state Department of Corrections—spotted a teen running down a set of stairs near the locker room in the athletics area of NCHS. Continue Reading →

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