Greg Macedo

Recent Articles

Board of Ed Member Calls for More Input from Parents Regarding Computer Use at Middle School

Parents should have a say in some curriculum decisions regarding the use of computers in the classroom, rather than mere access to the trusted New Canaan Public Schools educators now making them, according to one member of the Board of Education. Some parents closely monitor their children’s “screen time” at home and the study of how computer use affects young people is a rapidly developing area, Maria Naughton said during the school board’s regular meeting last week. “We don’t have a district curriculum committee in the district, which I think we should,” Naughton said during the group’s meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “And I would like to know: How will this impact the curriculum for fifth and sixth grade?” said Naughton, who has called for greater parent collaboration in the past. “I have had parents contact me. Continue Reading →

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‘It’s Nice To See Kids Maintaining Their Childhood’: Saxe Middle School Principal Defends $200,000 Request for New Playground Equipment

When playground equipment was purchased a dozen years ago for Saxe Middle School with about $125,000 in privately raised funds, many in town debated whether the gear would be used by the students there at all, Principal Greg Macedo said Wednesday night. Yet today, it sees regular use not only among fifth- and sixth-graders, according to Macedo, but also from seventh- and eighth-graders. That’s partly for reasons of status—the older kids like to run out and get on the playground equipment first—and partly because students rotate from there during outdoor recess to a playing field and on to a game of tag, Macedo told members of the Town Council at their regular meeting. “Remember now we are talking about middle-schoolers, so ‘free play’ in their mind is socialization—before maybe physical education, or even recreation,” Macedo said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “So oftentimes you will see students climb the equipment and then want to stay there to socialize.”

The comments came during an opening round of budget discussions between the Board of Education and Town Council, the elected body that has final say over next fiscal year’s municipal spending plan. Continue Reading →

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‘On the Backs of Our Neediest Programs’: Seeing Saxe Middle School with Principal Greg Macedo

Greg Macedo walked a hallway toward the northwest corner of Saxe Middle School on a recent weekday morning, in what’s known as the “8th Grade Wing,” part of a 1997 expansion of the brick building at Farm and South. There, a freestanding office partition that stands five feet high—a bit shorter than the average height of a 13-year-old boy—“separates” the hallway from a 150-square-foot area never meant to serve as a classroom. Yet—in a far-reaching knock-on effect that has seen rising enrollment, new programming and state-mandated classes push “regular” classrooms into what had been designed as Special Education spaces—the now-1,328 students at a school built to accommodate 1,200 at most, have forced Macedo, Saxe’s principal, to push Special Ed programming into what had been office spaces for teachers, storage rooms and hallways. “We have balanced the space problems on the backs of our neediest programs,” said Macedo, looking over this makeshift classroom, cordoned off five years ago and including the assorted bouncy balls, mats, bean bags and trampolines that provide physical stimulation for kids on the autism spectrum. “Kids would not feel like they are in a classroom here,” he said, speaking from a similarly carved-out hallway space one floor up. Continue Reading →

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Officials: Saxe Needs Not Just Auditorium Overhaul, But Also Arts Space Expansion—Total Cost $10.1 Million

Even an estimated $5.3 million renovation of the Saxe Middle School auditorium won’t accommodate a burgeoning student population, meet visual and performing arts space needs and bring much-needed flexibility to classroom scheduling, according to town officials overseeing a renovation of the facility. Creating sufficient storage and practice and classroom space for an increasingly large student body will require a footprint expansion of about 6,200 square feet off of the building’s south side—a project whose early estimate comes in at about $10.1 million, an owner’s rep for the project said at the Board of Education meeting Monday. The estimate is conservative, said Gene Torone, executive vice president of construction services as Glastonbury-based S/L/A/M Collaborative. Though some money may be saved in lower-cost materials, the figure doesn’t include removal of contaminants that officials expect to find as more testing is done on the auditorium, which is original to the 1957 building. “There is evidence of some [hazardous materials],” Torone said at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. Continue Reading →

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District: With Enrollment ‘Bubble’ Headed for Saxe, an Urgent Need for More Classrooms

Though administrators at Saxe Middle School have been creative with using existing space to accommodate more students in recent years, projected enrollment is high enough that the district—and wider New Canaan community—needs to look at capital needs for the facility now, officials say, including temporary classrooms and new construction. With Saxe designed to accommodate a student population of 1,200, a five-year outlook that puts that figure steadily in the mid-1,300’s means that planning needs to happen right now, Board of Education Vice Chairman Scott Gress said at the group’s meeting on Monday night. “I think that the 800-pound gorilla in the room is: What do we do? Where do we go?” Gress said at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “We are moving and we’re putting things together and we’re creating the best opportunities in the short term, but we really need to think start to think and now about the future and is the future temporary classrooms or semi-permanent classrooms? Continue Reading →

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