Tag Archives: Kings Highway Elementary School

Board Of Ed: Police Patrols, New Roofs

A police officer will monitor the Westport schools. And he or she will do so in buildings with new roofs, and more staff.

Those were some of the decisions made at last night’s Board of Education meeting.

Brian Fullenbaum reports that the Westport Police Department plans to assign an officer to patrol outside the 7 elementary and middle schools. The officer could go inside as needed, offering a chance for students to see the police in a good positive light.

The board will vote on more specific policy regarding this topic in the near future.

The Staples High School roof replacement project will begin immediately after graduation. The total project budget is $5,577,512.

Funding of $1,519,000 was approved for the Saugatuck Elementary School roof project. It will be completed next summer.

The Board of Finance is in the process of approving soft costs, and securing funding.

Board of Ed members also saw a 5-year proposed capital forecast. Including multiple projects and other expenses, the total for the fiscal year 2021-22 was $7,243,707.

Since the spring, the Westport Public Schools have hired 4 new administrators, 39 teachers and 35 non-certified staff members. That’s up 13 teachers and 17 non-certified staff, compared to last year. Interviews were once again done live.

A heath report showed that there were 10 COVID cases last week in the Westport schools. That brings the total since the start of the school year to 34. However, there has been little to no transmission within the schools, said supervisor of health services Suzanne Levasseur.

A new roof is coming soon for Kings HIghway Elementary School,

 

Roundup: Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Networking, No …

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Dr. Scott Gottlieb’s new book will not be released until tomorrow. But — based on pre-orders — Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic — is already a best-seller.

The book by the former FDA commissioner (and our Westport neighbor) describes how the coronavirus raced through our nation. Gottlieb had a front row seat: he was in regular contact with President Trump, key players in Congress, and the drug industry.

Meanwhile, new dangers lurk around every corner. Gottlieb addresses our preparations for the next virus. Are we ready?

Click here for more information, and to order his book.

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Connectalent is a Westport-founded firm that connects skilled employees with employers who value work/life balance.

They’re partnering with Indeed to sponsor a workshop and networking event for mothers — “Returning to Work with Confidence” — on October 5 (6:30 p.m., Westport Library).

Among the topics: positioning yourself for jobs, how to fill in any resume gaps, and helpful interviewing and networking tips.

There will be time to network — and enjoy light refreshments and cocktails. Click here to register.

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Miggs Burroughs spotted this sign in a car at the Trader Joe’s parking lot:

(Photo/Miggs Burroughs)

He adds one more “no”: “No education. Bidon?!”

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Speaking of cars: The longtime Sunoco station across from the Westport Country Playhouse is now a Shell.

Probably not much will change, besides the sign. Prices will no doubt be in line with every other gas station in town.

Except the Mobil next door. It’s one of the last actual “service” stations — as in, they do repairs too — in town.

But their prices are always $1 a gallon more than anywhere else.

The new Shell station. (Photo/Mark Mathias)

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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. To raise awareness, Kings Highway Elementary School was filled recently with gold ribbons.Staff and students wore gold, and donated funds.

“KHS” means more than the school’s initials. You could also say: “Kind Hearts Shine.”

Staff members support Kings Highway School’s Childhood Cancer Awareness drive.

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Speaking of kids doing good: In August 2020, 10-year-old Suzuki violin students Isabella and Alexander Mariani — with help from their mom, Carole Chinn Mariani — created “Make Music Feed.” The small, socially distanced concert raised money for the Connecticut Food Bank. The young musicians are products of Westport’s Suzuki School of Music.

A year later — with food insecurity still rampant — Isabella and Alexander once again gathered friends. On Saturday, a second concert was held on the Marianis’ front lawn. The beneficiary was Connecticut Foodshare.

Joel Pitkin accompanied his children Mia and Noah Jung-Pitkin, and Grant Zimmerman.

A special guest was Staples High School sophomore Janna Moore. She was Alexander’s “Practice Buddies” partner. The program pairs Staples musicians with 5th grade orchestra students.

Contributions are still being accepted. Click here to help.

Suzuki concert musicians (from left): Alexander Mariani, Noah Jung-Pitkin, Isabella Mariani, Mia Jung-Pitkin, Grant Zimmerman, James McNamara, Julie McNamara and Janna Moore.(Photo: Carole Chinn Mariani)

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Quietly — just like an electric vehicle — the EV Club of CT is getting pumped for National Drive Electric Week. (It’s September 25 through October 3, if you’re celebrating.)

A Green Wheels EV Parade and Showcase is set for Saturday, October 2 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

The parade begins at the Westport train station, and ends at Bob’s plaza lot in Fairfield.

For details and registration, click here.

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When COVID canceled Emory University’s varsity soccer season last fall, former Staples High School captain Josh Berman decided to stay on for one more semester. He will graduate this winter.

His team is glad he did. Berman scored with just 14 seconds remaining Saturday night, lifting the Eagles to a 1- victory over the University of Lynchburg.

After playing a great match as a defender, Berman raced up the left side on the attack. then blasted a shot past the diving Hornet keeper. It was his first goal of the season.

It was as exciting as it sounds. Click here, then scroll down for the video.

Josh Berman

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They’re not quite Canada goose-level obnoxious. But — when they steal your food and poop on your head, seagulls can be pretty annoying.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows them in a different, um, light.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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And finally … the Harvest Moon rose last night. It’s called that because its bright early evening light was very helpful to farmers harvesting late summer crops.

Of course you know what that means for today’s song …

 

Pic Of The Day #1502

End of a school day, at Kings Highway Elementary (Photo/Nicola Sharian)

Roundup: Income Tax Help, Teachers Return, More

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Need help with taxes? (Besides having more money, that is.)

Westport’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program — free state and federal preparation — runs from now through April 15. IRS-certified preparers assist seniors and low- to moderate-income households, virtually or through a limited in-person scanning option. 

The national program is run locally by the Department of Human Services.

The virtual option provides uploading of  information via a secure encrypted site A specialist reviews and follows up for additional information as needed. Click here to participate.

The limited, on-site scanning capabilities at the Senior Center is offered Tuesdays (1 to 4 p.m.) and Thursdays (9 a.m. to noon). Participants complete a phone call to confirm what documentation is required to participate. Call 203-341-1071 for an appointment.

More than 700 returns were prepared and filed last year in Westport, with total refunds exceeding $350,000.

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Elementary school students have returned to full-time, in-person learning for the first time in 10 months.

Yesterday, the Kings Highway PTA welcomed teachers and staff with this sign:

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Last night’s full wolf moon was beautiful even with the naked eye.

If you were lucky enough to view it through the Westport Astronomical Society’s telescope at the Rolnick Observatory, it looked even more spectacular:

(Photo/Franco Fellah)

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Westporter Joshua Aronson — who teaches applied psychology at New York University — heads a panel on “The Anti-Racist Policy Agenda: Education” (February 4, 7:30 p.m., Zoom).

Along with educators and politicians, he’ll discuss racial disparities in the educational system, their political impact, and the future of educational equity in Connecticut.

Sponsors are the Democratic Women of Westport and the Staples Young Democrats. Click here to register. For more information, email dww06880@gmail.com.

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Work continues on the Beachside Avenue I-95 overpass. The bridge is now down to its skeleton. Renovation will continue for several months.

(Photo/Seth Schachter)

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And finally … on this day in 1861, Kansas was admitted as the 34th state in the union.

Photo Challenge #302

Last week’s futuristic-looking photo actually showed part of the Kings Highway Elementary School playground. Elaine Marino, Andrew Colabella and Seth Schachter all knew exactly where that was.

But a second part of the challenge was to identify a sequence of numbers on the equipment: 23, 19, 17, 13, 11, 7, 5, 2. (Click here for the photo.)

Elaine, Andrew, Lynn Philip and James Weisz nailed it: They are all prime numbers.

I learned something. 2 is included — the only even prime number — because it is (duh) divisible only by 1 and itself.

Meanwhile, “who” can identify this week’s Photo Challenge? Click comments below.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

It’s A New Day: Kids Walk To School

COVID has upended many elementary school routines.

Youngsters attend split sessions — morning or afternoon. There’s no cafeteria service.

And — go figure — more and more kids are walking to school.

Many parents don’t want their kids to ride buses. Not every mom or dad is available every day to drive every kid. So there they are, each morning: boys and girls on foot (and bikes).

It’s almost like the old days.

Except — over the years — Westport has forgotten how to handle kids heading on their own to class.

Wednesday is National Walk to School Day. Kings Highway Elementary celebrates it starting today, through Wednesday.

The school’s PTA figures it’s a great way to focus on road safety.

Parents will be stationed at Post Road West by Ludlow Road and Kings Highway North. They’ll wear neon, hand out balloons, and make themselves and their kids visible — even though (or actually because) there are no school safety zone signs and few crosswalks near the Post Road West building.

Children have made signs, promoting school zone driving safety. They’ll hang them in front of the school. Yesterday, families wrote sidewalk chalk messages about the topic.

In the absence of state signs, this homemade sign — made yesterday — was posted near the school.

The Post Road — aka US 1 — is a state thoroughfare. The town is limited in what it can do. The Kings Highway PTA is working with the Connecticut Department of Transportation and town officials to increase safety precautions, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

So this week — if you see kids walking to Kings Highway (or any other school) — slow down. Wave. Give a gentle honk of support.

And given them plenty of room to enjoy themselves.

In 2014, Kings Highway celebreated Walk to School Day (Top, bottom photos/David Gusitsch)

Friday Flashback #208

The big day is Tuesday. Nearly 6 months after closing — and a week after the original date — students return to Westport schools.

Many things will be different. They’ll attend in shifts: half in classrooms, half studying remotely. Desks will be 6 feet apart. Some hallways will be one-way. And those are just a few of the changes COVID has wrought.

Some youngsters have not even driven past their schools in half a year. To remind them of what they look like, here is a special “Friday Flashback” drone gallery. All images are courtesy of multi-talented and spectacular Staples High School senior Brandon Malin. (Click on or hover over any photo to enlarge.)

To start off, here’s the school he’s headed back to:

Bedford Middle School

Coleytown Middle School (construction project)

Coleytown Elementary School 

Greens Farms Elementary School

Kings HIghway Elementary School

Long Lots Elementary School

Saugatuck Elementary School

Bonus feature: Greens Farms Academy (All drone photos/Brandon Malin)

Roundup: Kings Highway Welcome, Bank Of America, More


As Kings Highway Elementary teachers returned to the building yesterday for the first time since March, students and parents welcomed them with messages of gratitude, encouragement and support

Families also clapped as staff members entered (from a safe distance, of course). The traditional school message echoes again: Kind hearts shine, and we will get through this together!

Working together to welcome teachers. (Photo/Elizabeth Ginns Britten


One of the oddest aspects of the pandemic — and there have been many — is the continued closure of local Bank of America branches.

At least 6 in the area have been shut since early spring. That includes the 3 on the Post Road in Westport. The one near Whole Foods, just over the Norwalk line, is still open.

I understand the ease of online banking. But sometimes you need a human being.

BOA is MIA. And no one has said a peep.


And finally … as we near the end of one of the strangest summers ever:

Westport Kids Say “Thanks, Scientists!”

When Westporter Ellie Magunson learned that her friend Jacqueline Fabius — COO of the Quantitative Biosciences Institute at the University of California, San Francisco — was part of a group on the front lines of COVID-19 research, she told her family.

Her son Gavin — a 3rd grader at Kings Highway Elementary School — is very interested in science. Her daughter Hanna is part of the “Kindness Squad” there.

So when — as part of the Westport schools’ distance learning program — students were encouraged to spread kindness, Ellie and her children decided to thank Jacqueline’s team of scientists.

They wrote messages of encouragement on a postcard, then texted it to her.

The COO was thrilled. She asked for the actual card, to hang in the UCSF office.

Then — just before QBI director Dr. Nevan Krogan’s 4:30 a.m. live interview with “Good Morning America” — Jacqueline texted it to him. He said it gave him “a total boost.”

Ellie was surprised that one postcard from a couple of kids was valued so highly by scientists working on the most important project in the world.

Then she realized, they probably don’t get thanked much — or even recognized for the work they do.

So, Ellie thought, why not gather more words of gratitude?

She looked online for a free, easy way of collecting video messages. She found Tribute, shared it with friends all around town, and euraka! The tribute was made.

It’s genuine, cute, and truly heartwarming. (Click here to view.)

A screenshot from the Magnusons’ video.

USCF shared it with their collaborative partners: Mt. Sinai in New York, and Paris’ Pasteur Institute.

The scientists — some of the most respected and important researchers in the world loved it.

They responded with their own thanks:

  • “That is so adorable, and just what I needed as I struggle to keep my energy up. My lab is going to love this!”
  • “Ok, well this is the best thing I have ever seen — hands down!”
  • “Remarkable and heart warming.”
  • “I am trembling and of course crying. It’s wonderful!”
  • “Love. Love. Love. Thank you for sharing! Watched it with my kids!”

“So many first responders and vital workers deserve our thanks these days,” Ellie says. “Let’s not forget the unseen scientists who are doing so much to actually bring this virus to its knees.”

To learn more about QBI’s work, or donate to their research efforts, click here.

Then go thank every scientist you know!

Work at the QBI lab.

Pic Of The Day #721

Wise words from the Kings Highway Elementary School 1st grade Kindness Squad, at Donut Crazy. (Photo/JP Vellotti)