Yesterday, Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice addressed the easing of COVID restrictions in Connecticut. He said:
Both the CDC and state Department of Public Health have maintained their recommendation for masks inside the school building for both vaccinated and unvaccinated students and staff for the remainder of the current school year. However, with our low community transmission rates in both the town and our schools, as well as an increasing number of vaccinated staff and students, masks will no longer be required for students when outdoors for both recess and PE.
The State Department of Education announced that there will be no remote learning requirement for the upcoming school year (2021-2022). The Westport Public Schools will not offe remote learning as a permanent instructional option for next school year, unless otherwise mandated by the CSDE. The remote learning option, like a number of other approaches and investments, has been critical to our remarkable success this year. Although students have experienced success in this pandemic year, if anything else, this year clearly proved that there is no replacement for in-person learning. We look forward to welcoming all students in-person for the start of the 2021-2022 school year.
As the end of year events begin to pick up, I ask that we all do our part to continue to thank our faculty, and all of our support staff across the system, for their extraordinary work this year. There was no playbook. We approached the year in 4-6 week increments. Yet as we look back, we carefully navigated a generational pandemic to serve our students and while earnestly attending to their social, emotional, and academic needs. A great deal will be written about this era. I, for one, will remember the people and the acts of kindness, commitment, and professionalism that carried us towards an increasingly brighter light at the end of this tunnel.
The town of Westport has leased 2 new Chevy Bolts for staff field work. They’ll be used for municipal inspections by the Public Works Engineering Division and the Assessor’s Office.
A cost benefit analysis has proven that these vehicles are both environmentally friendly, and cost effective.
The choice of Chevy Bolts was based on their overall low price, good reputation, and compact size. The cars also have a low maintenance cost and a longer expected service life than competitors. Both vehicles are at the standard option level.
1st Selectman Jim Marpe says, “We are very proud of Westport’s advancement in electric vehicle usage and municipal charging stations. Investments such as the Police Department’s purchase of a Model 3 Tesla are proving to be beneficial, and we expect the same for the municipal fleet. These Bolts help move Westport closer toward meeting sustainability goals.”
Several readers have not seen the Fresh Market ospreys for awhile. I asked “06880”‘s resident expert, Carolyn Doan, for an update She says:
“The osprey are incubating right now. so they are very difficult to see in a nest that is high up.
“Usually the female does most of the sitting while the male brings back food. He does take over for her from time to time to give her a much needed stretch or break. She is the one with a more speckled chest. His chest is more white (in case you wanted to try and discern between the two if you notice one in a tree).
“If not fishing, the one taking a break is usually in a nearby tree. In this case there is a big pine tree to the right of the Fresh Market nest. You can usually see one of the pair there. Or look across the street behind Dunkin Donuts. At the top of a bare tree behind the building you will see a large bird. (Usually the male. He loves this spot for some reason.”)
“The babies are due at the end of the month!”
Surprise! Beechwood Arts — the innovative, immersive series — opens its grounds tomorrow (Sunday, May 23, 52 Weston Road), from noon to 5 p.m.
The copper beech and other trees and flowers are blooming. And, founders Frederic Chiu and Jeanine Esposito say, they miss their Sunday afternoons with their friends.
“Stop in to say hello, have a lemonade, walk the grounds, bring your own picnic,” they say.
“The main house will not be open. But it’s likely you’ll hear Frederic practicing for his Classical Smackdown II (Thursday, May 27, 7 p.m.)
“Our 5-star rated carriage house and studio summer retreat will be open, so you can take a peek while you’re here.” Both will be listed for summer rent on AirBnB June 1.
Yesterday’s mention of the anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic prompted this email from alert — and history-minded — reader Matt Murray:
“My grandmother was a friend of the engine builder/designer Charlie Lawrence (2nd autograph from left in photo below).
The day before the flight, Mr. Lawrence asked my grandmother, ‘Do you want to see this fellow take off at 5 a.m. to fly solo across the Atlantic?’
“She replied, ‘Charlie, you’re drunk.’ She did not go. But because she was fluent in French, he asked her to write Lindergh’s letter of introduction for when he landed. As a thank you, she received this picture of Lindbergh and Lawrence and their signatures, taken just before he took off.”
Yesterday’s “06880” also brought mention of Margot Liotta. The 2019 Staples High School graduate was one of 4 recipients of a Drew Friedman Community Arts Center Foundation scholarship.
Turns out she’s as artist in more ways than one.
In addition to the photograph that helped win her a grant, she’s a bass guitarist, singer and songwriter. She’s transferrin to Berklee College of Music — and has just released her first song, “Aries.”
Her boyfriend and former Staples classmate, Zach Rogers, produced it, and plays guitar. He’s transferring to Brown University.
Margot and Zach have played together for several years. They’ve done gigs at Wakeman Town Farm — and will play there again this summer.
A third ’19 grad, Kevin Ludy, did the artwork and promotion. He’s studying music management at Syracuse University.
Click here for various ways to hear (and purchase) “Aries.”
Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is yet another view of a Canada goose, and her goslings. They look so cute when they’re young.
And finally … on this day in 1762, Trevi Fountain was officially completed and inaugurated in Rome.