Officials Recommend Training in More Proactive Approach to Handling Violent Incidents in Schools

Officials who help shape school safety policy in New Canaan are recommending training for all district staff in a new way of preparing students for violent incidents. 

Members of the district’s Crisis Advisory Board, or ‘CAB,’ told the Board of Education last week that the powerful experiential training they’ve undergone in a more proactive approach to handling situations such as shootings should lead to new “lockdown” procedures at all public schools. In traditional lockdown drills, children go into a classroom and teachers all follow the same procedures, South School Principal and CAB member Joanne Rocco told the Board of Ed at its regular meeting Dec. 3. Those steps include “locking the door, pulling down the shades, turning off the lights and students would all go into one corner of the room where they weren’t visible and would just wait,” Rocco said. “So that was the traditional lockdown,” she said at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School.

‘I Love the Community’: Meet Heather Washington, the New Owner of Mackenzie’s

Heather Washington had no idea what to expect on the spring day she walked into Mackenzie’s for the first time. Mom to a toddler and a newborn, she and her husband had instructed their commercial real estate broker to find a laundromat, not a candy, party goods and specialty gift shop. Her husband, Sieh Washington, after serving in the U.S. Marines went to work in corporate America for several years when the Middletown couple decided to try opening their own business, “and laundromats are known as good business opportunities,” Heather Washington recalled on a recent afternoon. And in fact, they did buy a laundry business—in Manchester, about 30 minutes from home—at which time the Washingtons phoned their broker to say “we were no longer interested in buying laundromat,” she recalled. “And he [the broker] was like, I have another opportunity for you,” she said.

Letter: ‘Rich and Unique’ Lecture at New Canaan Library

Dear Editor,

What a rich and unique Stoddard lecture was held at New Canaan Library this week. This year’s speaker was artist and architect Mohamed Hafez, whose talk and work dealt with “home.” 

Born in Syria, Hafez spent the first half of his presentation contextualizing his artwork. He talked about life in the culturally diverse world of pre-war Damascus; about traveling to Disney as a kid and enjoying its culture shock; about following his siblings to study at the University of Iowa; about the warmth of family, rooted in endless conversation over coffee in traditionally appointed Syrian rooms. All these stories were important to hear as they made the second half of his presentation crackle with meaning. 

We then saw Hafez’s sculptures come alive on the screen in a way that felt as three-dimensional as the pieces themselves (currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum, Bruce Museum, and Quick Center in Fairfield). He makes breathtakingly detailed miniatures of the rooms and buildings that tell his stories, both before and after the war and resultant refugee crisis. In that hour and half, Hafez showed that as much as war and traumatic displacement shape his life, his stories of home are human, universal.

Deep Valley Road Colonial Sells for $998,000

The following property transfers also were recorded last week in the Town Clerk’s office. For more information about each property from the assessor, click on the street address. To get the history of a New Canaan street name, click here. ***

Dec. 5

205 Main St.