Dr. Bryan Luizzi

Recent Articles

‘We Will Have To Make Some Hard Decisions’: District Officials Address $1 Million Reduction to Budget Request

The Board of Education in proposing its original 2.76 percent operating budget increase already had factored in year-over-year reductions in spending on employee benefits, contracted services and supplies, officials said last week. Now that the district is faced with, at most, a 1.6 percent operating increase for next year—following a $1 million reduction to its $88.6 million proposal by the Board of Finance—the schools will “have to look at everything,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi told members of the Town Council at their March 15 regular meeting. Since the superintendent’s own original proposed budget increase, the school board went “through the process initially of reducing and making some tough choices about initiatives and programs coming in, so we have to get back to the table and really take a hard look at everything that we have and make some decisions.”

“We will continue to keep an eye on insurance as best we can, but ultimately I will be sitting with the administrative team, we will look at everything with the Board of Education and share with them some options and decisions. It is premature to say specifically ‘this program’ and that program’ but it is going to be our responsibility is to look at it.”

The comments come as the district looks at a $1.38 million increase to its budget—and it may be less, as the Town Council has the ability to reduce it further (though not to add to it)—while it’s contractually required to pay $1.76 million more to employees (mostly teachers). Councilman John Engel asked Luizzi at the meeting: “Where is this cut going to come from?”

“Do you think that it’s fair to say electives are going to be the first things to look at? Continue Reading →

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‘He Is an Exemplary Model’: NCHS Educator Jim Zambarano Named ‘Teacher of the Year’ by Tech Ed Association

While serving as New Canaan High School principal, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi recalled Monday night, the district saw a rise in interest among students for computer science and coding. NCHS offered no specific class to address those interests, Luizzi recalled, though Jim Zambarano—for many years now, the chair of the school’s Career & Technical Education program—“had talked about what might be needed to try and do that,” according to Luizzi. “I looked him in the eye and said, ‘Well we don’t have anybody to teach that,’ ” Luizzi recalled at a Board of Education meeting, held in the Wagner Room at NCHS. “And he looked at me right back and said, ‘I can,’ and jumped right in.”

Thanks largely to Zambarano, the program swiftly was put together. “We talk often about ‘Project Lead the Way,’ our goals and STEM education and engineering, and we are very proud of our Project Lead the Way program. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

A large-breed Japanese dog stopped traffic last Wednesday afternoon on Carter Street after getting off his property and making his way to East School. It happened around midday on Jan. 4, when the Animal Control section of the New Canaan Police Department was called to Little Brook Road on a report of a roaming brown dog. The Akita made his way up Clapboard Ridge Road toward Carter, and was spotted trotting down the middle of the street, police said. He wanted nothing to do with an Animal Control officer wielding a snare, so he trotted happily back to his home. Continue Reading →

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District Seeks Funding for Athletic Trainers at All NCHS Fall Sports Next Year

Saying it’s a matter of student health and safety, district officials want to ensure that there’s a dedicated athletic trainer at all New Canaan High School fall sports contests next year. Because the Rams participate in such a wide range of sports across multiple venues, a single trainer “truly cannot cover everything that needs to be covered,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi told members of the Board of Education during their meeting Monday. “When we have contests happening in football and soccer simultaneously and we have different events going on, sometimes here [at NCHS], sometimes over at Saxe other places, home and away, wherever it might be, we have found a need for more increased athletic training services,” Luizzi said while presenting his proposed budget for next fiscal year at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at the high school. “As we have learned more about the importance of quickly addressing injuries on the field and become more aware of the danger of concussions and other things on the playing field, we believe this is a student-safety driven measure. So it is a modest increase in our athletic training services which will enable us to contract in the fall for weeks of support from an agency.”

Though it isn’t clear just how much the additional trainers would cost, Luizzi’s request—conceived by NCHS Athletic Director Jay Egan, in attendance at the meeting, the superintendent said—comes as part of a plan to spend $115,000 overall for “contracted services.” The area that will see a spending decrease of about 4.5 percent from the current year, under Luizzi’s proposed budget, with plans to move some positions from contracts to full-time personnel. Continue Reading →

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Superintendent of Schools Proposes 3.8 Percent Spending Increase for Next Fiscal Year

New Canaan’s school district is seeing a shift, demographically, where its 52 students in English as a Second Language programs have increasingly intense needs, the superintendent said Monday night. Run well for years by a world language coordinator who relies on tutors to “meet with students to push in with them in classes or during periods or at other times to provide them with some instructional support,” the New Canaan Public Schools’ “English Learner” services have reached a tipping point where they require a dedicated person, Dr. Bryan Luizzi said during a meeting of the Board of Education. “As we have seen the needs intensify with the student population, what we are finding is that we have a need for a more centralized management of these students in order to be sure they are getting the resources and support that they need to be mainstreamed if possible into the general ed classrooms,” Luizzi said during the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “The request tonight is for a certified teacher of ESL to join us throughout the district to provide direct support to some students, to provide training and best practices for our staff and work with the tutors to be sure they are up-to-date on best practices, to work with the town and the social services of the town to help connect these families because a student with significant needs often comes from a family with significant needs. The families are offered social services that are available through the town, and [those services] help with the transition and acclimate them to New Canaan to be successful as well … It is something I feel strongly is a need that we have here in the district. Continue Reading →

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