Board of Education

Recent Articles

District: After Years of Steady Growth, Enrollment in Public Schools Projected To Flatten

The modest, steady growth in enrollment that New Canaan Public Schools has seen in the past decade is expected to level out for a period, and possibly decline somewhat, according to new projections that district officials cited Monday night. Overall, the 4,182 students currently enrolled from kindergarten to 12th grade is projected to grow by just two students next academic year, to 4,184, according to Gary Kass, the public schools’ director of human resources. Longer-term projections from the New England School Development Council, a nonprofit organization based in Marlborough, Mass., call for a decrease of about 90 students overall over the next five years—mostly at the middle school level—and further declines over the subsequent five years, Kass said during a regular meeting of the Board of Education. “At Saxe Middle School, the demographer is projecting a very slight increase of three students for next year and at the high school a decrease of seven students,” Kass told board members during the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “So what you can see from what our demographer is projecting is a period of amazingly stable enrollment, when you are talking about a difference year-over-year of under 10 students at each location. Continue Reading →

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Board of Ed Honors Saxe Science Teacher Who Won Environmental Education Award

District officials on Monday night honored a Saxe Middle School science teacher who recently received a national award that recognizes educators who use innovative approaches to environmental education. Laura Poidomani received the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. Administered by the White House Council on Environmental Quality as well as the federal Environmental Protection Agency, it also recognizes outstanding teachers who “use the environment as a context for learning for their students.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said during a board meeting that Poidomani is one of just 12 educators nationwide—and the only one in this EPA region (there are 10)—to receive the award. Poidomani is a teacher of 18 years experience, he said, and she has taught in every grade. “Her classroom vividly reflects how she integrates direct experiences with textbook learning,” Luizzi said at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. Continue Reading →

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Board of Ed Member Calls for Increased Parent Collaboration on ‘Social and Emotional Learning’ in New Canaan Schools

The district must ensure that there’s an open channel for parents’ feedback on curriculum, including in the area of “social and emotional learning” or ‘SEL,’ according to one member of the Board of Education. Students are “consumers of the education” supplied by the New Canaan Public Schools, according to Maria Naughton. The kids “might show parents something at home that we may not see not in school, so if there is no collaborative approach,” then the district could miss an opportunity to improve, she said. “I was thinking, ‘I do not teach math at home but social-emotional skills I do teach at home,’ ” Naughton said during the Baord of Ed’s Sept. 5 meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. Continue Reading →

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District: All Elementary School Sections Meet Class Size Guidelines for 2017-18 Academic Year

New Canaan Public Schools will see 4,247 students attend kindergarten through twelfth grade for the academic year that starts next Wednesday, officials said this week—just four more than projected. In addition, due largely to continuous enrollment monitoring and attendant hiring by district administrators, the class sizes of each section within the town’s elementary schools will come within Board of Education guidelines, according to Director of Human Resources Gary Kass. “We have been monitoring the enrollment very closely over the summer, meeting weekly just to try to keep track of who is moving in and who is moving out, and we have made some changes to our original staffing so we ended up adding teachers to achieve these class size numbers,” Kass said at the Board of Ed’s meeting on Monday night, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “Back on May 31st, for example, we added a kindergarten section at East. In July, we added three sections—fourth grade at East, second and third grade at South School—and just recently, at the end of July, we added a kindergarten at South. Continue Reading →

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District To Examine Later Start Times at New Canaan Public Schools

District officials this year will look into whether starting New Canaan Public Schools later in the morning would benefit students, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said Monday night. The Board of Education has discussed the prospect informally in the past and this year will “put some resources” behind conducting research and making recommendations “about whether school start times are in line with best practices on meeting students’ needs,” Luizzi said during a board meeting. “We are beginning to look at this,” Luizzi said during the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “Some schools around us do. Wilton has had a later start time for a period of years. Continue Reading →

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