The Newtown Education Foundation held an open public forum on Monday, October 5, at Reed Intermediate School. Kristen Bonacci and Casey Ragan, two of NEF’s three co-founders, spoke about how the foundation came about and answered questions about what the foundation will do during the forum. Ms Bonacci said the idea to start NEF came from the experience the three founders, which also include Aaron Carlson, had with also starting the recent Support Our Schools (SOS) campaign. A number of surrounding towns, according to Ms Bonacci, have Education Foundations. During the recent summer months, Ms Bonacci said, work was done to look into starting a foundation in Newtown.
The Newtown High School Nighthawks Marching Band & Guard is set to host the 19th Annual Joseph P. Grasso Music Festival Saturday, October 10, at the high school’s Blue & Gold Stadium.
Gates open at 5 pm and the show begins at 6 pm.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and admission is free for children under 5 years old. The event is the largest fundraiser for the NHS Marching Band & Guard program.
The NHS “Home Show” will feature eight Connecticut high school marching bands vying for top scores in the USBands competition. The Nighthawks will perform an exhibition of their award-winning show “Pharoah’s Legacy.”
For the third year, high school students in nineth through twelfth grade are being encouraged to enter the Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition through the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 308.
Patriot Pen and Voice of Democracy Chairperson Donna Monteleone Randle is hopeful a Newtown student will advance through the levels of the competition to the national level this year. The odds, she explained, are fair.
“If you win the Newtown post, then you go to the district,” Ms Randle said.
Newtown High School Marching Band & Guard President Michele Buzzi said this year’s 100 Family Tag Sale, held annually to support the band and guard, was “one of our biggest years yet.”
The tag sale was conducted at NHS on Saturday, September 26, in the school's cafeteria and in the cafeteria’s courtyard.
An hour into the event people were milling about the cafeteria and courtyard, searching through piles of clothes, inspecting bicycles for sale, and scanning other items, like toys.
Newtown Historical Society representatives opened the Little Red Schoolhouse on the grounds of Middle Gate Elementary School on Sunday, September 20, to conduct classes inside the historic schoolhouse and offer recess activities on the lawn. Costumed docents welcomed the participants for class just after 12:30 pm. The event was held for children between 5 and 10 years old. Docents shared details of what learning in the 1700s to 1800s would have been like, including punishments students would have had for poor behavior, games that would have been played, and the type of lessons that would have been taught.
Fraser Woods Montessori School students, parents, faculty, and staff gathered together to celebrate this year’s International Day of Peace, recognized on September 21.
The gathering continued a worldwide acknowledgement of the United Nation’s peace day.
The school community gathered into a circle and held hands to sing, “Light a Candle for Peace,” an annual tradition.
Middle Gate Elementary School music teacher Tina Jones was recognized during the Board of Education’s meeting on Tuesday, September 15, during the board’s Celebration of Excellence portion of the meeting.
Mrs Jones was selected by the district as the 2015-16 Newtown Public School Teacher of the Year, and the district announced the honor in June.
The Board of Education has a practice of highlighting accomplishment in the district during its Celebration of Excellence portion of meetings.
Sandy Hook Promise, a national, nonprofit organization based in Newtown, and dedicated to preventing gun violence, is offering a free “Say Something” program to schools and organizations in support of National Say Something Week, October 19 to 23.
According to a press release from Sandy Hook Promise, “When it comes to acts of violence, including suicide and threats to others, most are communicated in some way before the incident occurs. In fact, in four out of five school shootings, the attacker told people of his/her plans ahead of time, and 70 percent of people who die by suicide told someone of their intention, or gave some type of warning or indication.
The Newtown PTAs and PTSA are scheduled to host an informational forum of Board of Education candidates running for election in November. The event is set for Wednesday, October 14, from 7 to 8 pm, in the Lecture Hall at Newtown High School. The forum participants will be Republican Andrew Clure, Republican David Freedman, and Democrat Rebekah Harriman-Stites. A brief statement will be read on behalf of candidate Democrat John Vouros, who is unable to attend.