Based on the number of babies born to New Canaan families last year, the public schools are poised in the 2026-27 academic year to welcome a kindergarten class larger than the district’s facilities currently can handle, officials say. New Canaan’s 201 known “live births” in 2021, added to the town’s regular move-ins of young families coming for the outstanding public schools, is projected to result in a kindergarten class of 397 students five years later, officials said at the Board of Education’s regular meeting last week. “We could not accommodate those students given the facilities we currently have,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said during the Nov. 7 meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “It’s just too many more students than our schools could handle.
This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi about Renovate the Dome, a public-private partnership to renovate the planetarium at New Canaan High School. Discussed in recent years within the Board of Education and with the town, plans to not only refurbish but also reimagine “The Dome” at NCHS are well underway. Here’s an FAQ on the Renovate the Dome website, here’s information on how to support the project and here’s a video overview:
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said in an email to parents Wednesday evening that the district plans to make mask-wearing optional in school buildings for all students and staff K-12 starting Monday, Feb. 28. That day follows winter break, which starts Feb. 18. “Thanks to our rapidly declining case rate, successful implementation of mitigation strategies, and high vaccination rates, the NCPS plans to go mask-optional upon our return from Winter Break,” Luizzi said in the email.
Saying they hope COVID-19 infection rates continue to go down after a post-holiday peak, district officials last week proposed a series of changes to mitigation strategies that could take effect after winter break. Starting Feb. 28, school cafeterias could return to full capacity during lunch if the COVID trends continue to move in a good direction, while classrooms could have more flexible seating arrangements and New Canaan Public Schools could start hosting in-person school events and meetings again, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said during the Jan. 24 Board of Education meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. While a requirement to wear masks is in place at least through Feb.
New Canaan families that were able to sign up last week for COVID-19 at-home test kits likely will receive instructions in the coming days on a new distribution plan, according to the town’s highest elected official.
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan originally had said the town sought to get test kits “into the hands of families prior to the coming holiday weekend to help reduce the current surge in COVID-19 cases by allowing individuals to identify COVID-19 cases quickly and take steps to isolate appropriately to curb further spread of the virus.”
“The State is allocating only enough test kits for a small percentage of the New Canaan population, so the target for these test kits are individuals and families who plan to attend holiday weekend gatherings,” Moynihan said in a town-wide email on Wednesday. “Those planning to remain at home for the weekend should not seek tests in this distribution.”
Yet the following afternoon, Thursday, Moynihan followed up with another email saying that “[b]ecause the test kits did not arrive from California by this morning, as the Governor’s office had expected, the distribution this evening at NCHS has been canceled.”
“New Canaan was to receive only enough test kits for about 500 families and the SignUpGenius app was sold out within minutes yesterday, partly because residents signed up for multiple family members rather than only one sign up per family,” he said in the Dec. 30 email. “Those families that have received time slots for pickup of test kits will be notified by email when a new delivery plan is scheduled, which will likely be next week.”
The emails came within days of an announcement that Gov. Ned Lamont made Monday, that the state would start distributing federally funded at-home rapid tests (and N95 masks) starting Dec. 30 and through this week.