Board Of Ed: Budget, Calendar, New Principals And More

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.

The 2022-23 school calendar.


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.

5 responses to “Board Of Ed: Budget, Calendar, New Principals And More

  1. Jack Backiel

    Dan wrote, “The Board officially approved the final 2021-22 budget of $125,594,582. It represents a 3% increase over the current year.” That’s peanuts. Bill Gates spends that every month on his mistress.

  2. Adrian J LIttle

    I wonder how many of the salaried employees in the town got a 3% increase…
    We have about 5500 kids in school I believe so this is $22800 per child in school fees – got Greens Farms rates I agree but not, i respectfully suggest, peanuts.

  3. Jack Backiel

    Adrian, I was a former teacher. I believe in NASA’s budget philosophy- “ The sky’s the limit.”

  4. Susan Aitkin

    My son enters Kindergarten this fall, and I am more and more worried for his emotional wellbeing and ability to foster connections with new friends and teachers. Nearly 60% of Connecticut’s (and Westport’s) population have received their first shot and case rates and hospitalizations are nearing a record low. Westport specifically has reported no new cases in the past 2 weeks. Governor Lamont can and should end mask mandates for our children this week and have a more balanced approach by advocating for their wellbeing, both physically and emotionally.

    Facial expressions are an important communication skill that children use to share and adapt emotions with peers, relatives and teachers during social interactions. Yet with current mask mandates, our children are unable to see another’s visual signals that are so helpful in their emotional connection and ability to react and engage.

    I urge the BOE to consider ending mask mandates for the upcoming school year.

  5. Jack (33 years in the classroom) Backiel

    Susan, 60 years from now, it really won’t matter if someone stopped wearing a mask today, or 6 weeks from now. Kids are resilient. Some kids, like my granddaughter, who was born on Thanksgiving Day, will be almost six before she walks into a Kindergarten class. I wouldn’t worry.