About 20 percent of space in town-owned, non-district buildings is now unused, and another 25 percent need major repairs, officials said last week. Just what the town should do about that empty space, and what capital maintenance it should invest in, are major questions facing New Canaan, according to Amy Murphy Carroll. “I think everything jumps out to you with just the amount of square footage that is vacant,” Carroll, a co-chair of the Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee, said during the group’s Sept. 28 special meeting. “And I will throw this out: I mean if things are not needed—and ‘need’ is a relative thing—sometimes it costs money to own more and the cost to tear down is not going to go down,” she added at the meeting, held in Town Hall. Continue Reading →
Officials are putting together a working group of parents, Board of Education members and New Canaan Public Schools representatives to study the widely discussed question of whether the district should implement later start times. That group will convene in two or three weeks and weigh considerations that include ways that starting school later would affect bus schedules, traffic, homework, extra help and extracurricular activities that include athletics, according to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi. A change to start times would ripple beyond the schools themselves to a larger “ecosystem,” Luizzi told NewCanaanite.com in an interview, “so when you start to move one piece of it, everything else has to be looked at and often adjusted.”
“It is looking at the whole system and that’s why it’s much more complex than saying, ‘Just move it.’ It’s not impossible, either.”
The Board of Ed is commissioning research reports from a firm called Hanover that helped Greenwich with its research before that school district opted this year for later start times, Luizzi said. “We are working with them and we have crafted out a study to look at districts that have moved their start times successfully and to start identifying what are the common elements from those successful schools?” he said. “What they are developing now is the research questions. Continue Reading →
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New Canaan Public Schools officials an East School custodian’s clams that she’s been discriminated against by her superiors because of her gender, race and disability have no merit. Asked about the allegations, described in a lawsuit filed last week in state Superior Court, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi issued a statement Martha Ochoa had made similar claims “in a complaint she filed with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities in 2015.”
“After conducting a fact-finding investigation, the Commission issued a finding of no reasonable cause and dismissed the complaint,” Luizzi said. “We expect a similar result in the current litigation.”
Filed June 21 on Ochoa’s behalf by attorney Thomas Weihing of Bridgeport-based Daly, Weihing & Bochanis, the lawsuit names the New Canaan Board of Education as the sole defendant. The case has been transferred to U.S. District Court. Ochoa’s lawyers could not be reached for comment when the firm was contacted by NewCanaanite.com. Continue Reading →
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Addressing concerns following an incident this week where a 22-year-old man on New Canaan High School’s campus attempted to enter the school’s cafeteria through an exterior door, the district’s superintendent offered reassurance to parents and the wider community about the facility’s security. New Canaan Police on Monday arrested a New Jersey man who inexplicably approached the building at an exterior door to the cafeteria around noon and then, when confronted, falsely claimed that he was a 17-year-old transfer to NCHS. Asked about the incident, Dr. Bryan Luizzi said that New Canaan Public Schools “makes the safety of its students a priority at all times.”
“All doors at New Canaan High School are locked,” Luizzi told NewCanaanite.com. “The main entrance doors are monitored by the district’s campus monitors, as are all front doors in all the district’s schools. Visitors need to show identification, sign in and sign out, and are given a name badge to wear during their visit. Continue Reading →
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Citing “icy road conditions” following a mix of snow-and-sleet that hit New Canaan through much of Sunday, district officials delayed public school openings by two hours Monday. New Canaan Public Schools will open under the following schedule, according to a bulletin posted on the district’s website:
NCHS – 9:30 a.m.
Saxe Grades 7/8 – 9:30 a.m.
Saxe Grades 5/6 – 10:20 a.m.
South – 10:15 a.m.
East and West – 11:05 a.m.
The National Weather Service put New Canaan and area towns under a Hazardous Weather Outlook and Wind Advisory through 6 p.m. Monday, as gusts are expected to hit 50 mph. “Strong winds may blow down limbs, trees and power lines,” the weather service said. “Scattered outages are expected.” (more…) Continue Reading →