Westport, Weston Schools In Early Talks On Consolidation

Back to the future?

“06880” has learned that Westport and Weston school officials have started preliminary negotiations to consolidate the 2 districts.  The reason:  substantial budget savings for both towns.

The plan would involve Weston High School students attending Staples.  With approximately 1,700 students at Staples, and 800 at Weston, double sessions may be needed.

Weston High, meanwhile, would become a middle school for students from both towns.  Coleytown would be the obvious choice for closure, due to its proximity to Weston.

Coleytown El may also be shuttered.  Students would be distributed throughout Westport’s 4 other elementary schools.

The two Coleytown schools could then be sold, presumably to private developers.  One possible use — though no one will say so publicly — is for a new YMCA.

Weston High School

“Weston students went to Staples until 1970,” Westport superintendent of schools Dr. Elliott Landon said.  “This sounds radical, but it is something that the 2 towns did for many years.  In today’s economic climate, we have to look at every option.”

The proposal is far from firm, Landon emphasized.  He did confirm that talks have been held with his Weston counterpart, Jerome R. Belair.

“I think this is the kind of innovative, out-of-the-box thinking that we encourage all our students to engage in,” said Staples principal John Dodig.

“I don’t know much about Weston, but the superintendent has asked me to find out.  I’m sure they have areas of strength that we could build upon, just as we have a number of strong programs that Weston students could benefit from.”

“We either consolidate buildings, or cut personnel and programs,” explained Westport Board of Education chairman Don O’Day.

“Is this a solution I would choose?  No.  But in today’s economic climate, we may have no other choice.”

The 2 towns have cooperated educationally long after Weston High opened.  Two examples:  the high schools field a Staples-Weston co-op ice hockey team, while for several years the Staples gymnastics team practiced in Weston.

“06880” will provide updates as the talks continue.  But we wonder:  If Weston rejoins Westport, what about Wilton?  Until 1955, Wilton students attended Staples too.

(For more on the proposed Westport-Weston schools consolidation plan, click here.)

15 responses to “Westport, Weston Schools In Early Talks On Consolidation

  1. Good one, Dan! Had me look twice….

  2. Jonathan Steinberg


    A little too obvious this year!

    You might have easily have reported that the Superintendent was planning to take over the Town’s administration.

    But I love the verisimilitude with the quotes!

    Nice work!

  3. Good one, especially before the first morning wakeup coffee!

  4. Very funny! I choked at double sessions at SHS and realized the joke!

  5. Dennis Wong

    WOW. With all that soccer talent, you will have the longest win streak ever … move over Geno and John Wooden, and make way for Dan Woog.

  6. Linda Gramatky Smith

    I rarely get caught on April 1st, but I did here. Why? Because we’re working on our 50th Staples reunion … and reconnecting with the MANY friends who lived in Weston and came to Staples. So it just felt like what was old would be new again. You got me, Dan!

    And I’ve got my fingers crossed that your soccer schedule will allow you to give the tour of Staples to our classmates in September. And hopefully you’ll be willing to autograph copies of your “ultimate” Staples book.

  7. Bobbie Herman

    and a Happy April Fool’s Day to you, too.

  8. Warren Shapiro

    You completely got me! I forwarded this to my wife, she called her friends in Weston. My son Dan was the only one with enough sense to click on the “for more information” button. Obviously, I am the most gullible of all of your readers!

  9. The Dude Abides

    Ahhh . . . sly devil with the silver tongue keyboard. So absurd that it actually makes
    sense. Bus in a couple of loads of the Harding
    kids and you have your typical American high school. And who says, we feel entitled? As
    Lt. Colonel Frank Slade once said: “When you are all tangled up, don’t forget to tango!”

  10. Luisa Francoeur

    Count me as one of those who swallowed this hook, line and sinker – it seemed to make sense to think outside the box !

  11. You got me, Dan, I’m embarrassed to admit. It made such sense to me, probably because half my social life in the mid-60s seemed to have been spent in Weston — not to mention all of the great athletes who came from Weston and contributed mightily to the Staples athletic program. I agree with my pal The Dude: a busload or three of Harding kids would be perfect.

  12. Dan, I fell for it. Have been reading recently about regionalization and consolidation of schools in Vermont and so this seemed to make perfect sense, fit right into my frame of mind. Notice the “seemed…” Can’t wait for next year! — Karl

  13. Julie Uman Whamond

    Great one! I put a link to it on my FB page and a few fell for it. When I had my 11 year old son read it he starting discussing the idea and when I told him to click on the more information button he let out a big sigh and said PHEW!

  14. Alyson Angus

    You got me! I followed Julie’s link and sucked up every word. Good one. 😀