Schools

We don’t just cover the Board of Education and issues affecting New Canaan Public Schools parents, including testing mandates and teacher evaluations, new hires in the district and programs in our schools—we also celebrate students and teacher achievements and spotlight outstanding work at all levels.

Recent Articles

Schools Superintendent: District Needs Alternative Program ‘With an Identity’ to Keep Students in New Canaan

When Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi presented a subcommittee of New Canaan’s legislative body with details of a proposal to create an “alternative high school” program for students with specific health challenges in New Canaan last week, a significant portion of the discussion focused on whether the former Outback building behind Town Hall would be a suitable location for the program. Other factors deemed equally—if not more—important were also addressed, including the short- and long-term effects of the program on the educational and emotional wellbeing of New Canaan’s students. Luizzi and Assistant Superintendent of Pupil and Family Services Darlene Pianka outlined their vision for a program that would replace New Canaan High School’s current Afternoon Instruction Program, or ‘AIP,’ which is held in the school’s media center. AIP is currently only available to four to 10 upperclassmen at a time, while Luizzi’s proposal will potentially provide flexible academic instruction for six to 12 students in grades 8-12 based on their educational and therapeutic needs. Over the past year, Luizzi and Pianka have been visiting both public and private alternative programs for teens throughout Fairfield County—some of which have accepted New Canaan students into its programs— and they shared a few of their observations with the subcommittee. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

District Rules Out Later School Start Times for 2018-19 Academic Year

District officials plan this spring to present data about how starting school later in the morning could affect areas such as bus scheduling, costs, extracurricular activities, homework and classroom learning—framing a wider community discussion that would push any possible change until after next academic year, according to the superintendent of schools. A team of New Canaan Public Schools administrators currently is working with a third-party company to gather data about what starting school later would entail, with an eye on taking that information and developing, with the aid of a different consultant, “some possible recommendations both of what could happen and what would be the cost-benefit” of various scenarios, Dr. Bryan Luizzi said. Those recommendations are to be presented to the Board of Education in the spring, Luizzi said. At that point, public hearings would open up so that input can be had from parents and the wider community. “It’s not simply a matter of starting later,” Luizzi said, adding that “you have to take time” to study comprehensively what would follow from a change to school start times prior to making a decision. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

District: New Canaan Boy, 10, Passed Away Unexpectedly Sunday [UPDATED]

[Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with information from the superintendent of schools.]

District officials on Sunday afternoon notified parents that a New Canaan boy in the fourth grade at West School had passed away unexpectedly in the morning. Nico Mallozzi was rushed to the hospital after he fell ill while traveling home from a hockey tournament that he had left early because he wasn’t feeling well, according to an email from Saxe Middle School Principal Greg Macedo. “Tragically, they were unable to save him,” Macedo said in the email. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said the cause of death has not been determined. The subject line of his message was “We are mourning the loss of a West School student …” and the email started “… Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Town Council Members Mull Using ‘Outback’ Building To House Alternative High School Program

The superintendent of schools on Wednesday night presented a subcommittee of New Canaan’s legislative body with details of a proposal to create an “alternative high school” program for students with specific health challenges in New Canaan to be housed at the former Outback Teen Center behind Town Hall. Dr. Bryan Luizzi and Assistant Superintendent of Pupil and Family Services Darlene Pianka outlined their vision for a program to replace New Canaan High School’s current Afternoon Instructional Program, or ‘AIP,’ which is held in the school’s media center. AIP is currently only available to four to 10 upperclassmen at a time, while Luizzi’s proposal will potentially provide full- or half-day instruction for six to 12 students in grades 8-12 based on their educational and therapeutic needs, they told members of the Town Council’s Education Committee. The idea of locating the alternative high school at Outback had been broached with a town committee in November and the program itself was presented to the Board of Education on Monday as part of the approximately $90.7 million proposed budget for New Canaan Public Schools next year. Throughout Luizzi and Pianka’s presentation, Education Committee members Tom Butterworth, Rich Townsend, Joe Paladino and Christa Kenin raised questions about the potential costs of the program and the suitability of the Outback as the program’s physical site. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

In Storm’s Wake, New Canaan Firefighters Step In To Remove Ripped American Flag Tangled in Tree Downtown

District officials spotted Old Glory straightaway, returning to their offices at Forest Street and Locust Avenue on Friday after a blustery winter storm that brought gusts of up to 50 mph to New Canaan. Those high winds had separated an American flag from its pole on the district’s leased property downtown and flung it into the upper branches of a nearby tree, where it was torn apart by more gusts, too high for district employees to reach. Cheryl Stolba, an administrative assistant to the New Canaan Public Schools’ director of finance and operations, contacted the property’s manager immediately. “I wanted to see it corrected as soon as possible, it just seemed a shame to have the flag hanging that way,” said Stolba, a longtime district employee and daughter of the late William Stolba, a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II. When she heard that a veteran who worked in the office building across the street had seen the discarded flag and was saddened by the sight, “that was even more impetus for me to get someone to deal with the flag properly,” Stolba said. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,