Last night’s lengthy Board of Education meeting was highlighted by formal approval of the budget and a calendar, plus announcement of 2 new elementary school principals. Brian Fullenbaum reports:
Tracey Carbone will move from assistant principal, to head Kings Highway. She’s been there for 22 years; previously, she served as a 3rd grade teacher, literacy specialist and literary coach. Carbone holds a BA from Boston College, and an MA and 6th year diploma from Southern Connecticut State University.
Kimberly Ambrosio is the new Long Lots principal. She joined the school staff in 2004 as a 5th grade teacher, and subsequently taught kindergarten there. In 2011 Ambrosio was named the district’s K-5 math and literacy coordinator. She later became principal of the Extended School Year program, and co-leader of Westport’s elementary math program. She has a BS from the University of Connecticut, an MS from the University of Bridgeport, and a certificate in educational leadership from Sacred Heart University.
The Board officially approved the final 2021-22 budget of $125,594,582. It represents a 3% increase over the current year.
The Board approved the 2022-23 school calendar. It retains the traditional February and April breaks.
Staples High School principal Stafford Thomas presented an update on new graduation requirements for the Class of 2023. It includes 1 more credit than now, and provides students with a “capstone” experience. Students can also gain credit through volunteer or club work, or service learning.
The Board of Ed approved renewal of Staples’ alternative education program, Pathways, for the upcoming school year. It was also announced that next year, Staples and the middle schools will return to their pre-COVID schedules. The elementary schools will modify their schedules, to increase recess time, resume 60 minutes of math instruction, and develop consistent minutes for special area classes.
The board heard good news — a “dramatic decline” — on the pandemic front. There was only 1 case of coronavirus in the school district in the past 2 weeks. Supervisor of health services Suzanne Levasseur noted that the Centers for Disease Control continues to recommend mask-wearing in schools, and Governor Lamont said it must continue for the rest of the school year.