Each of Newtown’s four elementary schools held Veterans Day ceremonies or events on Tuesday, November 11.
Before a flag ceremony was conducted at Head O’ Meadow Elementary School, Principal Barbara Gasparine announced her gratitude over the school’s loudspeaker for all who joined the school for their celebration of Veterans Day.
All of the students at Head O’ Meadow made their way outside for the start of the event, with classrooms of students huddled together and veterans and their friends and family standing closer to the flag in front of the school.
“We are here to pay tribute to those great people who went to war so we can live free,” said Reed Intermediate School (RIS) student Rushil Jerfy, introducing the November 11 Veterans Day Program at the school, Tuesday morning. Rushil then led the fifth and sixth grade students, staff, and honored guests — veterans representing four of the five military branches — in saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
Newtown High School celebrated Veterans Day with a luncheon offered to visiting veterans followed by an assembly in the school’s auditorium.
The assembly had a number of speakers share their thoughts on Veterans Day and highlighted the veterans for their service.
Newtown Selectman Will Rodgers was one of the first to speak at the assembly, and he encouraged the high school’s youth to befriend the young servicemen and women. While Mr Rodgers said the students can learn a lot from the armed forces members, he also said the service men and women can learn from the high school students. In the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, Mr Rodgers said “an entire class of people” spent their formative years in Iraq or Afghanistan and can learn from the students who have not.
Before Scott Driscoll of Internet Safety Concepts offered an “Internet Safety for Parents of Teens & Tweens” presentation at C.H. Booth Library during the evening of Wednesday, October 29, he gave presentations for Newtown Middle School students.
“I don’t think that even an hour goes by that we don’t use the Internet,” said NMS Principal Thomas Einhorn before he introduced Mr Driscoll to students, “and it is really important for you to know how to safely do so.”
Mr Driscoll is a former youth officer and federal Internet Crimes Against Children task force member. The presentations at NMS and at the library were sponsored by the Newtown Prevention Council and by the NMS PTA.
St Rose of Lima Preschool will hold its Fall Open House for parents and prospective students on Wednesday and Thursday, November 19-20, from 9 am to 11 am both days. Faculty, administrative staff, current parents, and admissions representatives will be available to conduct guided tours and provide information about the three, four, and five-day preschool programs. Interested parents and their children are not required to RSVP, but it is appreciated.
Members of the Newtown Middle School Student Council are collecting donations for the council’s yearly food drive to support Women Involved in Newtown’s (WIN) Thanksgiving Baskets campaign. Along with donating to the campaign in general, the NMS Student Council also plans to have enough donations to support one adopted family through the program. The collection, to which the public is invited to help, continues until November 21.
Now, more than ever, teenagers not only enjoy but depend on the benefits of technology. While the majority of the nation utilizes technology, teenagers have specifically grown up in a world of iPhones, MacBooks, and Netflix.
Newtown High School students and teachers recently weighed in on how local teens use the Internet and technology.
“I mainly use the Internet on my phone to go through Twitter or Facebook when I’m bored during free period or on the bus,” junior Jessica Petersen said.
Newtown Middle School’s Labels Are For Jars club started preparing for October 31 more than a week before the date arrived.
Meeting on Wednesday, October 22, students in the club sorted candy into small black pouches with the words, “Happy Valentober… Spread the love… Tell someone you love them” written on red labels.
Fraser Woods Montessori School Director of Admissions Alison Kistner was surrounded by students on Friday, October 14, during a meeting of the newly formed Helping Hands Club.
Ms Kistner said she believes there is tremendous value in volunteering and doing community service work when at a young age.
“I knew that our students here at Fraser Woods Montessori are natural ‘doers’ and that they would find joy in completing this type of work,” said Ms Kistner.
An enrollment report was presented to the Board of Education on November 5 confirming the expected decline in student populations over the next decade. Each of the three projection models reported an enrollment decrease over the next ten years, ranging from roughly 28 percent to 17 percent, based on local economic and other conditions. Milone & MacBroom representatives Rebecca Augur and Michael Zuba, a principal planner, presented the enrollment report Wednesday evening. Mr Zuba explained the first five years of the study are more solid, given that they are based on students already in the school district. Looking ahead for the second five years of the study, five to ten years in the future, Mr Zuba said assumptions guide the projections.