District: Quality of Food Offered at Saxe Middle School Has Improved Dramatically

Widely seen as inferior to the high school’s, the quality of cafeteria food at Saxe Middle School has improved dramatically under the district’s new food services director, officials said last week. The menu at Saxe has changed “significantly” under Michelle Santelli, and the cafeteria now has a salad bar with “nice fresh options,” according to Dr. Jo-Ann Keating, director of finance and operations at New Canaan Public Schools. “We moved our cook from the high school over to Saxe last year,” Keating told members of the Board of Education during their Sept. 3 meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “And she is phenomenal, she does a great job and she has brought a lot of that authentic cooking.

‘At Home with Other Girls’: Local Nonprofit Organization LiveGirl Marks Five Years

Lola Duhov, 11, has participated in workshops and camps hosted by a New Canaan nonprofit organization for more than one year. The Stamford resident, a Scofield Magnet Middle School student, said that prior to getting involved with LiveGirl, she had been “a very not self-appreciative person and I’d always put myself down and thought I was never good enough.”

“So my mom signed me up for [LiveGirl] and I became so connected with it and in sync with everyone and it just made me feel like a better person, and I’ve learned to accept myself more and become a much more positive person,” Duhov said Wednesday from outside the New Canaan High School cafeteria, filled with laughing girls, all cheering and working together at a leadership workshop. Duhov is one of dozens of area girls who have benefitted from LiveGirl since New Canaan’s Sheri West founded the organization five years ago. Pronounced ‘Liv Girl’ with a short ‘i’—it’s named after West’s daughter Olivia—the organization’s goal “is to build confident leaders,” according to West. “Everything we do is to build self-esteem and social and emotional intelligence, which are the building blocks of a confident leader,” West said.

Board of Ed Favors Plan To Start New Canaan High School Nearly One Hour Later

With inconclusive survey results and established health data in hand, nearly all members of the Board of Education said Monday night that the district should pursue a new school start time schedule that allows teens to get more sleep. Though the Board took no formal vote at its regular meeting, seven of eight members present said the district should devote further study to an option that would see New Canaan High School start at 8:20 a.m.—50 minutes later than the current 7:30 a.m. start time. “I think that based on the research that has been done, based on the feedback that we have, it’s worth figuring out whether there is a viable option to have our teenagers go to school later,” Board of Ed Chairman Brendan Hayes said at well-attended meeting, held in the Wagner Room at NCHS. “And the likely [outcome] from that, although I think [it’s] also beneficial for our younger students, is for them to go to school earlier.”

Under the proposed new start time schedule, all of Saxe Middle School would start at 9:05 a.m. (currently 7:30 a.m. for seventh and eighth grades, 8:20 a.m. for fifth and sixth) and the elementary schools at 7:45 a.m. (currently 8:20 a.m. for South School, 9:05 a.m. for East and West). The additional buses needed to realize that system would see New Canaan pay an additional $300,000 to $450,000 annually, officials have said.