Stand Together Against Racism, or S.T.A.R., is hosting a Juneteenth celebration from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society lawn. The event is sponsored by the Historical Society as well as Bankwell, New Canaan Library and NewCanaanite.com. We put some questions to S.T.A.R. founder and town resident Fatou Niang ahead of the celebration. Here’s our exchange. New Canaanite: What prompted your organization, S.T.A.R., to plan for a Juneteenth event this year?
(New Canaan, Conn.) – January 26, 2022. Stand Together Against Racism (S.T.A.R) is honored to partner with the New Canaanite in celebrating Black History Month beginning Feb. 1, 2022. As Black History Month kicks off on Tuesday, S.T.A.R. and local news site NewCanaanite.com are partnering to bring readers daily profiles of prominent Black leaders, past and present. S.T.A.R.’s website and social media feeds and the NewCanaanite’s website will spotlight Black public figures who have made an impact on the world across several fields, shattering barriers and paving the way for future generations.
Candidates for the Board of Education this week debated whether changes should be made to the process through which curriculum long has been developed and approved for New Canaan Public Schools. As it is, a team of educators led by the superintendent—known as the Curriculum Leadership Council or “CLC”—draft, continuously review, update and approve curriculum so that New Canaan’s schools are meeting educational standards set by agencies such as the Connecticut Department of Education. The Board of Ed receives regular presentations on curriculum—a practice that has slowed amid the COVID-19 pandemic—and in cases of large-scale changes to those standards, the school board dedicates even more time at its meetings to corresponding decisions such as new classes or updates to the district’s goals and objectives. While Republican candidates for the Board of Ed said they’re not advocating for public meetings of the CLC (such as through appointment of a school board member to it), they called during Tuesday night’s League of Women Voters debate for the ability to weigh in on its development earlier and with greater detail and frequency than the elected body currently does. “I think that what we are pushing for is more oversight, more balanced thoughtful oversight at periodic stages,” GOP candidate Dan Bennett said during the debate, held at Town Hall.
This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Board of Education candidate Fatou Niang. The Democrat is one of eight candidates seeking a four-year term on the school board Nov. 2. There are five four-year terms up for election. There also is a two-person race for a two-year term on the Board of Ed.
District officials said Monday night that they intend to bring all students K-12 back for in-person learning at New Canaan Public Schools when the 2021-22 academic year starts in two weeks. In addition, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi told members of the Board of Education during their regular meeting, revised social distancing guidance on what constitutes “close contact” likely will decrease the number of students and teachers who must quarantine in the event of a positive COVID-19 case. Specifically, a close contact has changed from someone within six feet of a known positive case for at least 15 continuous minutes to three feet for the same amount of time. “That is a pretty significant change,” he said during the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “We do anticipate that that’s going to help bring the down numbers in quarantine,” Luizzi said.