Board of Ed Re-Elects Katrina Parkhill as Chair by 9-0 Vote

The Board of Education on Monday unanimously re-elected Katrina Parkhill as its chair. The school board also voted 9-0 to re-elect Brendan Hayes as vice chair and Julie Mackle Reeves as secretary. In nominating Parkhill to a second term, Hayes noted that “it’s been quite a year, to say the least.”

“In a typical year the board chair has a ton of responsibilities,” Hayes said during the meeting, which had members attend in person in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School as well as remotely. “Many hours spent with the administration, the Board and various committees to work through things on behalf of the Board and really be the leader of the Board. Really what was that means is a ton of hours.

District Enrollment Projected To Decrease by 81 Students Next Year

Enrollment in New Canaan Public Schools is projected to decrease by 81 students next year, according to data released this week. The projected decline for the 2021-22 school year—from 4,176 to 4,095 students in kindergarten through twelfth grade—reflects decreases at all levels, according to Darlene Pianka, the district’s human resources director. The elementary schools are projected to see 34 fewer students overall next academic year, Pianka told members of the Board of Education during their regular meeting Monday. Citing projects from Marlborough, Mass.-based New England School Development Council or ‘NESDEC,’ she said Saxe Middle School is expected to decline by 15 students and New Canaan High School by 32. “Generally speaking, the trend that is indicated by our demographers is that we are in a period of stable but slightly decreasing enrollment in the middle and the elementary schools,” Pianka said during the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at NCHS as well as via videoconference. 

In a memo sent to the Board of Ed prior to her presentation, Pianka said, “If we look at projections a few years out we might describe our enrollment as on a slow steady decrease from 4,176 students this year, decreasing to 4,101 students in the 2022-23 school year, a projected decrease of 75 net students, followed by future decreases in enrollment.”

Current enrollment stands at 4,234 students including pre-K students and those placed out-of-district—up 10 from last year’s total, Pianka said.

NCHS, Area Schools Plan Fall 7-on-7 Football League

New Canaan High School’s athletic director is working with counterparts through the FCIAC to develop a 7-on-7 football league that’s in line with state health recommendations, the superintendent of schools said Monday night. The non-contact intramural league could include “linemen’s challenge type activities and even linemen 7-on-7 kinds of things,” Dr. Bryan Luizzi told members of the Board of Education during their regular meeting, held in the Wagner Room at NCHS and broadcast on YouTube. “That is aligned with DPH recommendations, because the 7-on-7 that is non-contact brings it from a ‘high risk’ activity to a ‘moderate risk’ activity,” he said. “Which is the same as some of the other sports we are playing now, with the mitigation strategies—like volleyball with the masks, for instance. So the league would use our district coaches, have teams of approximately 15 players and they would play against each other in the beginning, and even against other schools.