NCHS Class of 2021 Graduates [VIDEO]

Alexandra Kurz, student body president for the New Canaan High School class of 2021, on Wednesday morning recalled memories she made throughout her public school career here, from West School Care Conventions to seventh-grade mat ball with Frank Arcamone and freshman year English with Maggie Hamill. “Our paths have all crossed at one point and that’s what makes us a family,” she told more than 370 fellow classmates gathered at Dunning Stadium on a sunny, clear day for their graduation ceremony. “Maybe I’m speaking for myself, but these past 13 years have flown by and I have learned so much from each and every one of you. I’ve also learned to see everything with an open mind and a full heart. You could argue that we had lots of things stripped from us in the past 14 months but frankly, I think it has brought us so much closer together.”

Families filled the stands on both sides of Dunning for the graduation of what district officials called the largest class in NCHS history, students that saw their school close with just a few months left in their junior year, and then navigated the college application process remotely and in many cases missed out on highly anticipated sports and other extracurricular activities their senior year. 

“First-semester junior year, we were finally upperclassmen and counted down the days until we became seniors,” Kurz recalled.

Board of Ed Votes 6-2 in Favor of New School Start Times Schedule; Plan To Take Effect Next April

The Board of Education on Monday voted 6-2 to change to a school start times schedule that will see elementary schools start first in the morning (at 7:50 a.m.), followed by grades seven through 12 (8:30 a.m.) and then grades five and six (9:15 a.m.). Dubbed “Scenario A” by New Canaan Public Schools officials, the schedule would take effect next April. The Board had also been considering a “Scenario B,” which would have seen grades five and six start first (7:45 a.m.), follows by grades seven through 12 (8:30 a.m.) and the elementary schools last (9:15 a.m.). Saying additional school buses could be hired on a trial basis, Board member Dionna Carlson urged the elected body to either adopt Scenario A on the condition that the district “solve for” an elementary school start time no earlier than 8 a.m., or else adopt Scenario B.

“We need to sharpen our pencils—7:50 is nice but 8 o’clock is not an unreasonable request and I think that because we have these local schools, you could add a few more buses in the early tier and then those buses would be done getting those kids back quicker than they normally would be if it was a Saxe or high school drop off at the end of the day,” Carlson said during the meeting, held both in persona and via videoconference. “The research that I read about elementary start times is when you are looking at giving high schoolers more sleep, don’t ever do it at expense of the younger kids,” she added.