Tag Archives: Long Lots Elementary School

Roundup: Vacation Alert, Paving, Nitrogen …

IMPORTANT ALERT: The “Roundup” will join me on vacation for a few days. “06880” will continue as usual, but you won’t see the Roundup until the weekend. My apologies — but hey, everyone else is away too!


It’s taken a couple of weeks, but the paving projects at Long Lots Elementary School and Wakeman Fields is done. The dust and gravel are finally gone.

That’s good news for everyone — except Splash Car Wash.

(Photo/Dan Woog)


Like the photo above, last night’s Levitt Pavilion concert was a bit soggy.

But Mimi & the Podd Brothers brought their special mix of jazz, classical and soul to an appreciative audience. It was another wonderful night under the stars — even if you couldn’t see them.

The Levitt is dark tonight, as it is every Monday. Click here for the full calendar, and free ticket information.

Mimi & the Podd Brothers (JC Martin)


Staples High School Class of 1971 graduate David Jones has been involved in some very interesting ventures. His latest has him particularly excited.

“Granular fertilizer is destroying the plant,” he says. “There are too many chemicals. The runoff gets into water tables and aquifers.”

NTP Technologies’ new product is water-infused, with nitrogen. There are no chemicals at all.

They’ve built a machine that reacts the plain tap water through electricity, creating high nitrogen content.

“We want to change farming forever,” Jones says. They’ve got a building in Florida, and a strong management team.

Intrigued? Want to learn more? Email djones@ntptechnologies.com.


Today’s soothing “Westport … Naturally” photo reminds us that it is almost mid-August. And that means September is just around the corner…

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)


And finally … on this date in 1936, Jesse Owens won his 4th gold medal at the Berlin Olympics.

He was not scheduled to compete in that 4th event — the 4×100 meter sprint relay — but the head coach replaced Jewish sprinters Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller with him and Ralph Metcalfe.

Owens’ performance was said to have “single-handedly crushed Adolf Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy.”

I don’t remember any songs honoring Jesse Owens’ accomplishments. Well, there is one that mentions him — “Jesse Owens,” by the rapper Rowdy Rebel — but it’s got waaaaaay too many drug, misogynistic and “N-word” references to post here.

So these will have to do.

Roundup: Long Lots Readers, Nature …


Long Lots Elementary School students love to read. And they love sharing books with others.

The other day, as part of a “Reading Across America” project, students and staff brought in 1,200 new and gently used K-5 children’s books. Bridgeport’s Lighthouse Program will donate them throughout the city. Westport and Bridgeport Police officers, and Connecticut State Police, helped with collection and distribution.

Way to go, Long Lots Lions! (Hat tip: Ned Batlin)

(Photo/Trooper P. Muniz)


Sure, you lost an hour of sleep last night. But look what this late winter day has given us:

Blooming crocuses on Riverside Avenue (Photo/Katherine Ross)


Michael Catarevas writes:

“This is what happens when the neighbor on one side has a deer fence on their property, and the other side neighbor’s backyard is swampy. We have drainage pipes in the backyard, so the ground is nice and dry.”

(Photo/Michael Catarevas)

And finally … On this day in 1794, Connecticut’s own Eli Whitney received a patent for the cotton gin.

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)

Pic Of The Day #785

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a story on High Point Road. In the midst of highlighting all the joys of the longest dead-end street in town — the road I grew up on — I complained that kids there no longer rode bikes to school, the way my friends and I did.

Maybe — because I regularly pass so many parents waiting for their kids’ buses on nearby North Avenue (and don’t get me that they drive to the beginning of roads like Adams Farm and Greystone Farm Roads to pick them up, aaaargh!) — I just assumed that High Point parents did the same.

My bad.

Biking to school from High Point is alive and well. Here’s a shot of Long Lots Elementary the other day:

(Photo/Tally Jacobs)

When they’re older, many youngsters walk from High Point to Bedford Middle School too.

“This time outdoors is an important part of the kids’ day,” says High Point parent Tally Jacobs.

“It says so much about Westport that kids take advantage of their proximity to the schools, the fresh air, the independence and community feeling that results from walking and biking.”

Of course, walking to Staples — directly behind homes on the west side of the road — is a different story. Most High Point kids with their licenses drive to high school — even though it takes longer.

I’m can’t make fun of them for that.

I did the same thing, waaaaay back in the day.

(Hat tip: Amy Hochhauser)

Pics Of The Day #400

Talented Bridgeport artist Cleiton Ventura painted this mural, at Long Lots Elementary School. He worked on it with assistance from 5th graders.

He also painted this, at the newly opened Chabad of Westport — the former Three Bears restaurant.

Long Lots Parents Thank Principal

Amy Chatterjee sent this along, on behalf of a group of Long Lots Elementary School parents:

This past week we learned that we will say farewell to Long Lots principal Jeffery Golubchick.

He is a lifelong educator, who prior to running one of our outstanding elementary schools cut his teeth as a teacher in the New York City public school system (as did both his parents before him!).

Jeffrey Golubchick and Amy Kass. (Photo/Jenny Anderson)

He married his wife Amy last summer in New York City, where they currently live. We think it appropriate to share our thanks publicly for all he has given to the Westport community over the last 2 1/2 years.

Teachers and school administrators come in and out of our children’s lives each year. Whether they plan to stay in our community for a few years or their entire careers, the best educators behave as if they are doing their life’s work. They always look for ways to become better, more knowledgeable, more impactful.

Mr. Golubchick made it his mission to be great at his job. Whether he was focused on curriculum development, bringing the magic of live theater to the lower grades, lobbying for building improvements or taking time to visit every classroom to really know our children and hold our teachers to the highest possible standards, Mr. Golubchick honored his work by doing it the best way he knew how.

No teacher, no staff member and no child was insignificant. Every role was important and worth doing well. He never stopped trying to get better, and challenged those around him to do the same.

Jeffrey Golubchick and the Long Lots Lion, at a school party.

In life we can only hope to bring so much to a role that we fundamentally change the experience for those around us. Too many families to count have stories of Mr. Golubchick’s compassion, professionalism and dedication to this community. Probably hundreds of students have stories of positive interactions with Mr. Golubchick.

We know that any principal must walk a delicate line, simultaneously wearing the hats of disciplinarian, cheerleader, arbitrator, educational architect and advocate for many different constituents. One’s cumulative impact in these multiple roles can never be listed on a resume, and if done right will never please everyone. Mr. Golubchick’s impact will be appreciated and remembered by so many of us who were touched by it.

While Mr. Golubchick will start a new chapter, his legacy will live on for years because of his hard work. From upgrades to the building and the birth of musical theater at Long Lots, to his awareness of the evolving demographics in our community and the needs of working mothers, we will not forget the initiatives that Mr. Golubchick introduced to Long Lots.

Thank you Mr. Golubchick for everything! For giving so much of yourself to each of us, and for your passion and dedication to creating a modern education environment for our children to thrive in. Enjoy whatever will come next for you. We are sure that it, and you, will be great together.

A Very Cool Kids’ Kindness Week

On a national level, our rhetoric may be white-hot.

Despite that — or maybe because of it — here in Westport, our kids are playing nice.

Long Lots Elementary School has developed a Caring Council. Last week, students and their faculty advisors, Lori Grindrod and Cecilie Schachte — with the full support of principal Jeffrey Golubchick — rolled out an important event for the entire building.


“Kindness Week” included:

  • Make a Difference Monday
  • Thoughtful Tuesday , during which Caring Council students gave hot chocolate to bus drivers
  • What Can I Do to Help? Wednesday
  • Thank You Thursday
  • Friendship Friday, with a special friendship-themed “super recess.”
Long Lots bus drivers enjoy Kindness Week treats.

Long Lots bus drivers enjoy Kindness Week treats.

The Westport school system has embraced “kindness with sincerity” as a guiding principle. Is it naive to ask if some of our leaders in Washington could follow suit?

(Hat tip: Amy Chatterjee)

Long Lots 3rd graders made this quilt, showing what kindness means to them.

Long Lots 3rd graders created this quilt, showing what kindness means to them.

Sign At Poo Corner

Walking her dogs at Long Lots Elementary School this past weekend, alert “06880” reader Wendy Hunter was surprised to find this sign:

Poo sign - 1

It made a bit more sense when she rounded a corner, and saw this one:

Poo sign - 2

Rex Jones’ Reading List

Students have summer reading lists. Adults have book clubs.

Now, Long Lots Elementary School principal Rex Jones has combined the 2 ideas. He’s created a summer reading list for parents. The books range all over the place — thrillers, love stories, memoirs, history, philosophy. But he’s been sure to include some that moms and dads can read with their kids.

He hopes every book will spark discussions.

Rex has always liked books. However, he says, being a teacher made him an even better reader. And gave him more appreciation for the power of the written word.

As Long Lots principal, he started an after-school book club for teachers. He, the media specialist and 2 assistant principals expanded it to 5th graders. Though voluntary, it became very popular.

The next logical step was to involve parents. Rex compiled nearly 20 works of fiction, and even more non-fiction. He shared them with parents, encouraging them to talk about what they’ve read with their kids.

Some books could also be read by older elementary students. The One and Only Ivan, for instance, helps readers view humans from the perspective of animals. White Sands, Red Menace is a historical novel about a young girl whose father moves away, to help develop the atomic bomb.

Most selections are too tough for 4th and 5th grades. One of Rex’s favorites is the novel he just finished. Calling Me Home is an intriguing tale of an interracial relationship, when such things were taboo.

The Game of SchoolRex recommends books about autism, illness, karma, migrant laborers, Jewish immigrants, the Underground Railroad, coming of age (though he warns parents about Tell the Wolves I’m Home: “Although this is a story about an adolescent girl, I would not recommend it for adolescents”), economic inequality, Buddhism, art, and the Dutch settling of New York.

Intriguingly, Rex also includes The Game of School: Why We All Play it, How it Hurts Kids, and What it Will Take to Change It.

An educator’s job is to challenge students to think.

With this list, Rex Jones does the same for their parents.

Worst Parking Job In Westport (Good Cause Division)

On Friday I posted a story about bad parking lots.

Yesterday, an alert “06880” reader responded with a photo about bad parkers:

bad parking

“We expect this from Ferrari owners. But from a Prius?” the reader wrote.

What makes this especially odious is that it happened at the dedication of the new Dylan Hockley Memorial Playground at Long Lots Elementary School.

You know: the project that was all about giving back, paying it forward, and thinking about people other than ourselves.