The Board of Education approved on Tuesday, October 7, the fourth phase of the Sandy Hook School building construction project. The school board’s unanimous approval will now allow the Phase 4 documents to be submitted to the State of Connecticut’s Office of School Facilities for review and approval. The construction documents submitted for the board’s approval at this week’s meeting are “substantially complete,” said Geralyn Hoerauf of Diversified Project Management. "We're going to call them 95 percent complete," she said.
With the 2014-15 school year underway, school clubs have begun meeting and planning activities for this school year. Each school has a few clubs in particular that seem to grow larger every year and do not fail to allure members.
Newtown High School’s Best Buddies club has more than 150 students, according to Jill Gonski, advisor to the club. Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“The best part about the club is how our physically and intellectually disabled classmates teach us how to love, care, and cherish each other. The friendships we make at Best Buddies are unlike any other and everyone is always smiling. It benefits from being so big because we all share a common goal, and we all strive to share our kindness and happiness, so it’s great to be in a room full of friends, because at Best Buddies we are all equal,” according to Kyle Dandrea, associate buddy in Newtown’s Best Buddies program.
Each year as the leaves turn color and the air cools, residents of Newtown can begin expecting to see scarecrows scattered across the Newtown Middle School lawn.
This year is no exception. The 18th annual My Favorite Scarecrow Sculpture Contest is already underway, with students planning and constructing their entries for the big unveiling on October 18.
Each year, prior to Halloween, groups of eighth grade students are challenged to design and create a “larger than life” scarecrow not only with a theme, but also with the durability to survive inclement weather. This fall tradition was inspired by Board of Education member John Vouros during his time as a Newtown Middle School educator, according to NMS art teacher Arlene Spoonfeather.
TRUMBULL — The Newtown High School Marching Band & Guard increased its previous Musical Arts Conference (MAC) competition score by eight points to take second place at the Trumbull Classic, held on Saturday, September 27, at Trumbull High School.
In what many consider the first “real” competition of the season, performed outdoors on school’s football field under clear skies, Newtown gained ground on rival Norwalk High School and is now just four points behind the defending National Open Class champions.
Drill instructor Bob Findley was pleased with Newtown’s performance of this year’s show, “Arachne.”
Newtown Continuing Education announced it has limited openings available in the following classes. Contact Newtown Continuing Education at 203-426-1787 for further information or to express interest in a program.
Further information is also available at newtowncontinuinged.org.
Continuing its celebration of its 25th year, Housatonic Valley Waldorf School unveiled a new painting, created by a teacher at the school, during its annual Michaelmas festival on Wednesday, September 24.
Emily Remensperger was commissioned to create the painting for the school by a 25th anniversary committee. According to the school’s website, “This gorgeous watercolor depicts four of our most beloved festivals: Michaelmas, Martinmas, Advent, and May Fair.”
The annual Michaelmas Festival honors St Michael, a mythical dragon-slayer who bears a mighty iron sword. St Michael’s legend, according to the school, symbolizes the autumnal resurgence of human strength, willpower, and striving to overcome the inner dragons of laziness, greed, doubt, fear of the future, and forgetfulness.
Before entering school at Head O’ Meadow Elementary School on Tuesday, September 30, students first had to make their way through a protest.
Head O’ Meadow Library/Media Specialist Bev Bjorklund explained that before the event, students at the Boggs Hill Road school had read The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt in class, and the staged protest was held as a celebration of that reading experience.
Activities at the school have also been focused on the book, with grade levels completing different tasks. The fourth grade students, for example, wrote letters to crayons explaining why they do not want them to quit.
The School Counseling office at Newtown High School is sponsoring an evening presentation called “Financing College” on Wednesday, October 8, starting at 7 pm. The program will be conducted by Charles Wareham, a financial advisor with Valark Financial Services in Hartford. According to a release from NHS, the presentation will not be a sales presentation, but will offer “high value information that will benefit you.”
Newtown High School junior Ashley Gong has been selected to be one of this year’s five National Student Poetry Ambassadors. Ashley has known about her achievement since July, but had to keep it a secret until it was announced. That announcement came during a visit to Washington, D.C., September 17-20, during which First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a reading, which was the first event the five National Student Poetry Ambassadors took part in, kicking off their year as ambassadors. The National Student Poets Program is the nation’s highest honor for teen poets presenting original work. The five young poets were appointed by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers to showcase the essential role of writing and the arts in academic and personal success.
The entire school community and invited guests gathered outside St Rose of Lima School on Friday, September 26, to celebrate the opening of the school’s new solar-powered outdoor classroom kiosk.
Just over two years before the ceremony, James Walsh, chairman a parish committee working on the project, spoke during an August 2012 Board of Selectman meeting. He told the board that General Motors had offered to partner in developing the sustainable solar canopy pilot, and that the standalone structure would serve as a satellite classroom designed to teach students about environmental sustainability, as well as generating solar power that will help lower the electric usage at the school. The project also included learning gardens.