Board of Education

Recent Articles

Board of Ed Honors Saxe Science Teacher Who Won Environmental Education Award

District officials on Monday night honored a Saxe Middle School science teacher who recently received a national award that recognizes educators who use innovative approaches to environmental education. Laura Poidomani received the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. Administered by the White House Council on Environmental Quality as well as the federal Environmental Protection Agency, it also recognizes outstanding teachers who “use the environment as a context for learning for their students.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said during a board meeting that Poidomani is one of just 12 educators nationwide—and the only one in this EPA region (there are 10)—to receive the award. Poidomani is a teacher of 18 years experience, he said, and she has taught in every grade. “Her classroom vividly reflects how she integrates direct experiences with textbook learning,” Luizzi said at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. Continue Reading →

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Board of Ed Member Calls for Increased Parent Collaboration on ‘Social and Emotional Learning’ in New Canaan Schools

The district must ensure that there’s an open channel for parents’ feedback on curriculum, including in the area of “social and emotional learning” or ‘SEL,’ according to one member of the Board of Education. Students are “consumers of the education” supplied by the New Canaan Public Schools, according to Maria Naughton. The kids “might show parents something at home that we may not see not in school, so if there is no collaborative approach,” then the district could miss an opportunity to improve, she said. “I was thinking, ‘I do not teach math at home but social-emotional skills I do teach at home,’ ” Naughton said during the Baord of Ed’s Sept. 5 meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. Continue Reading →

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District: All Elementary School Sections Meet Class Size Guidelines for 2017-18 Academic Year

New Canaan Public Schools will see 4,247 students attend kindergarten through twelfth grade for the academic year that starts next Wednesday, officials said this week—just four more than projected. In addition, due largely to continuous enrollment monitoring and attendant hiring by district administrators, the class sizes of each section within the town’s elementary schools will come within Board of Education guidelines, according to Director of Human Resources Gary Kass. “We have been monitoring the enrollment very closely over the summer, meeting weekly just to try to keep track of who is moving in and who is moving out, and we have made some changes to our original staffing so we ended up adding teachers to achieve these class size numbers,” Kass said at the Board of Ed’s meeting on Monday night, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “Back on May 31st, for example, we added a kindergarten section at East. In July, we added three sections—fourth grade at East, second and third grade at South School—and just recently, at the end of July, we added a kindergarten at South. Continue Reading →

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District To Examine Later Start Times at New Canaan Public Schools

District officials this year will look into whether starting New Canaan Public Schools later in the morning would benefit students, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said Monday night. The Board of Education has discussed the prospect informally in the past and this year will “put some resources” behind conducting research and making recommendations “about whether school start times are in line with best practices on meeting students’ needs,” Luizzi said during a board meeting. “We are beginning to look at this,” Luizzi said during the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “Some schools around us do. Wilton has had a later start time for a period of years. Continue Reading →

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Board of Ed Voices Support for Proposed Emergency Communications Antenna at West School

Board of Education members on Monday night voiced support for a proposal from the New Canaan Police Department to install an approximately 10-foot radio communications antenna on a 5-foot “monopole” atop the roof of the West School gymnasium. Assured that the pole poses no health hazards—in fact, there are two existing, similar set-ups already at West School, used by the bus company and district itself, according to Police Capt. John DiFederico—Board of Ed members stopped short of a formal vote. The new one would serve public safety needs, he said. School board member Sheri West said: “It seems very straightforward to me that we would be supporting” the installation. DiFederico described the proposed antenna as an initial step toward improving portable radio communications for police, fire and public works officials as well as EMTs and members of the Community Emergency Response Team or ‘CERT.’

“The problem is that portable radios in the western side of town have a real difficult time reaching our base so that is what a receive-only antenna does—it captures the radio signals in the air and sends them back to the police department or the fire house or the public works facilities,” DiFederico said at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. Continue Reading →

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