The Board of Education is moving forward with plans for a more normal school year this fall.
Vaccinations would not be required. But masks may still be mandatory.
That was part of the draft report presented by assistant superintendent Dr. Anthony Buono, at last night’s meeting. The board is required to submit a draft plan to the state next week. It may be revised, as conditions change closer to the opening of school in September.
Brian Fullenbaum reports that — according to the current draft plan — students would not have to wear masks at recess.
Students: Don’t toss those masks just yet!
Social distancing will be encouraged, the draft report says. The district will continue to perform contact tracing, and recommend quarantine when necessary. Daily concentrated cleaning will also continue.
In other fall reopening news, the middle schools will implement a math tutoring program, with sessions before and after school.
Staples High School will return to its pre-pandemic schedule of 40- to 60-minute periods, rather than this year’s 80-minute blocks. A writing lab will be added, and there will be more opportunities for students to use the fitness center and fieldhouse.
In other matters, the board:
Honored retiring staff members
Discussed the timing of the Saugatuck Elementary School roof replacement project
Heard comments about the NYU equity study
Talked about the success of the middle school 3-year engineering and design class.
A report on the Search Institute survey results — a self-assessment administered to 800 students in grades 7 through 12 — showed that they reported strong social and emotional competence, and strong skills in self-management and social awareness.
A majority reported that the pandemic was stressful. A major of students also strongly agreed on the need to work with the community to eliminate racism and discrimination.
Nearing the end of his first year, superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice is turning his attention from COVID to “emerging themes” in the district. These include sustaining professional development, child development, and the amount of testing being done.
The board also approved a motion to support naming the football field after former coach Paul Lane.
Yesterday’s 4th Westport Public Schools’ vaccine clinic was another success.
Hundreds of educators — along with their colleagues in Weston and Easton — have now received their 2nd COVID dose.
Yesterday’s event in the Staples High School fieldhouse was an “all in the family” affair. In the photo below, Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice receives his injection from Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Technician Ben Frimmer.
Frimmer’s name may sound familiar. That’s because his day job is theater teacher and drama director at Coleytown Middle School.
Speaking of education: Eric Lawrence is the Connecticut PTA Outstanding Elementary School Teacher of the Year. The 18-year veteran is a technology instructor. Right now he also teaches 4th grade distance learning.
Yesterday, his Saugatuck Elementary School community came together to celebrate.
A parent said: “Mr. Lawrence, you have always been a truly outstanding teacher here at Saugatuck. But as we all know when we face really difficult times, the absolute best can come out in people.
“Many of us thought we could never express how much SSN (Saugatuck Seal News) meant to us from the early days of the shutdown through this year, but we hope we can express it now. The response to your nomination for this honor was overwhelming.”
She then presented him with a binder filled with letters from colleagues, parents, and leaders in the Cub Scout community, where his leadership also made a great impact.
Mr. Lawrence will be honored at a virtual celebration May 5.
You know that old mattress or box spring you’ve always meant to get rid of?
Now — well, on Saturday, May 8 (8:30 to 11 a.m.) — you can.
Earthplace hosts a free mattress recycling drop-off event. It’s sponsored by the Mattress Recycling Council, and they know what they’re doing. Each year they recycle more than 190,000 mattresses — and that’s in Connecticut.
They’re not only diverted from the waste stream. They’re used to make other products, from carpet padding and insulation to filters and mulch.
Can’t transport your mattress to Earthplace on May 8? Boy Scout Troop 36 offers free same-day pickup. Spots are limited; click here to sign up.
If you miss this event, you can bring your mattress or box spring to Park City Green in Bridgeport, a non-profit that recycles mattresses. Call for hours of operation and drop-off instructions: 203-212-3860 or 203-209-6915.
GE’s former CEO talks virtually on Thursday, April 22 (7 p.m.) about his 16 years at the helm. The Westport Library program is hosted by Westporter Steve Parrish.
Immelt’s first day on the job was September 10, 2001 — 24 hours before 9/11. His new book Hot Seat: What I Learned Leading a Great American Company details his proudest moments — and missteps — at the helm of the global giant.
The Westport Country Playhouse internship program began in 1946. Four years later, 19-year-old Stephen Sondheim spent the summer at the already-famous stage.
The program — now named for longtime Playhouse benefactor Joanne Woodward — continues this summer.
Interns will join the development, education and marketing teams, from June 7 to August 13. They’ll work directly with Playhouse staff, gain practical skills, and hear guest speakers including visiting designers and artists, commercial producers and more.
With a virtual season, the internships are also virtual this year. There are limited in-person requirements, based on department needs.
Application deadline is April 21. Click here for more information.
Stephen Sondheim (crouching, top of photo), during his 1950 apprenticeship. Also in the photo: future film director Frank Perry (front row, left) and Richard Rodgers’ daughter Mary (2nd row, 4th from left).
The Westport Weston Family YMCA has added over 150 live classes a week, and hundreds more on demand. They include cardio, endurance, strength, bodywork, dance, mind/body, seniors, adaptive, kids and family.
They’re all virtual of course — but available through a collaboration with 29 Y’s across Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts.
You must be a YMCA member, of course. For details on the “Y Wellness 24/7” program, click here.
Congratulations to Staples High School basketball co-captain Nicole Holmes. The senior was one of only 4 FCIAC players — and 10 overall — named to the Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-State team, in the “LL” (extra large schools division).
Holmes helped lead the Wreckers to a sparkling 13-3 record this winter.
Nicole Holmes (Photo courtesy of The Ruden Report)
And finally … on this day in 1865, Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. That was the effective end of the Civil War, though skirmishes continued for several weeks.
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