As opening night for Newtown High School’s musical production of "City of Angels" approaches, cast, crew, and pit members have been busy practicing at the school. On Friday, March 6, NHS Choral Director Jane Matson, when making a few announcements about the production for the students involved, took time to congratulate the students on how well they have learned the music for the production. "City of Angels" is a musical about a novelist trying to turn a book into a screenplay, and it shows both the plot of the writer’s attempt to create a screenplay and the plot of the fictional film being creating.
Middle Gate Elementary School students navigated one course in the school’s gymnasium using a wheelchair on Wednesday, February 25, while in another corner students wearing blindfolds used canes to navigate their way around cones.
This year’s Differences Day, which is an annual event at the school, offered a range of activities and lessons to highlight differences people may have from one another. Fourth grade students at Middle Gate participated in the event.
Three main stations were set up in the gymnasium to help the fourth graders learn about mobility impairment, vision impairment, and gross and fine motor skills, according to Middle Gate Principal Chris Geissler. Other activity stations were also offered and guest speaker Carl DeStefanis, a teacher of the hearing impaired at Soundbridge Academy in Wethersfield, also gave presentations for the full fourth grade.
State Senator Tony Hwang (28th District) has been making his way through the Newtown Public Schools, visiting with students.
According to his office, Sen Hwang intends to visit each of Newtown’s schools, and he has already visited Middle Gate Elementary School, Hawley Elementary School, Head O’ Meadow Elementary School, and Newtown High School. Sen Hwang also visited St Rose of Lima School on Friday, January 30.
With Middle Gate Elementary School students on Friday, February, 13, Sen Hwang discussed what “community” means. The students asked a range of questions after Sen Hwang spoke, and students also shared what laws they would try to make if they were a senator.
An estimated 700 spectators gathered in the gymnasium at Newtown High School on Saturday, March 7, to cheer on ten Winter Percussion and 30 Winter Guard units at Newtown’s 18th Annual Winter Extravaganza. Competing in its first home show, the NHS Winter Percussion unit was awarded the first place trophy in the Marching Class division with the score of 79.15. Amid cheers from the audience the 29-member ensemble performed its “Rainforest” show with precision and enthusiasm, followed by a tribute to its four graduating seniors.
The Newtown Public Schools Recovery Project is sponsoring a Newtown High School, Newtown Middle School, and Reed Intermediate School Parent Forum on “Responsible Use of Social Media” on Thursday, March 19, at Newtown High School’s Room B150, from 7 to 8 pm.
“Responsible Use of Social Media” will share information on effects social media can have on youth, including negative effects.
“Our middle school and especially high school students are the most susceptible to these negative effects due to higher prevalence of cellphone and computer use,” a release for the event reads. “This makes it critical for educators and parents to stay informed about the dangers of irresponsible social media use.”
There was bouncing, laughing, hugging, and dancing happening at Hawley Elementary School on Friday, February 20. As staff members announced over the school’s loudspeaker, Hawley’s first “Feel Good Friday Dance Party” was underway. Feel Good Friday happens each week at Hawley, with songs played over the school’s loudspeaker, but Friday’s “Feel Good Friday Dance Party” was a special celebration to mark the school community’s participation in creating Support Kindness in Peers (SKIP) cards, according to Hawley lead teacher Keri Snowden and counselor Kimberly Laiso.
Many were seated inside Reed Intermediate School’s cafetorium for the evening presentation of the Newtown Orchestra String Fest on Tuesday, February 24.
The districtwide concert was performed by orchestra students in grades 5 to 12. The public was welcome to attend, and most attendees were parents or siblings of the orchestra students.
Newtown’s Director of Music, Newtown High School Fine Arts Department Chair, and NHS Orchestra Director Michelle Hiscavitch welcomed the audience members to the event and said she was excited to have students from across the grade levels play that evening.
A group of Middle Gate Elementary School students huddled inside a classroom on Tuesday, February 24, to participate in one session of the “EverWonder on the Road” after-school program.
Pam Fagan, Middle Gate Elementary School’s retired math/science specialist, has been returning to work with Middle Gate students and EverWonder Children’s Museum Program Coordinator Janis Hubina for the program.
Ms Hubina said the EverWonder on the Road program is a new initiative that is designed to bring the children’s museum’s programs to different locations.
The Harlem Wizards returned to Newtown High School on Sunday, February 22, to perform a comedy basketball game against a team of Newtown teachers and school staff to raise money for the district’s PTSA and PTAs. Head O’ Meadow physical education teacher Steve Dreger coached the Newtown team, called, “Newtown Teachers Unite,” and said, following the event, that the game was a “blowout.” However, Coach Dreger added that the audience responded throughout the game and everyone had fun.
In its first combined Winter Percussion and Winter Guard “Home Show,” Newtown High School will host a total of ten Winter Percussion ensembles and 30 Winter Guards this Saturday, March 7.
With doors opening at noon, the competition will kick off at 1 pm, with a performance of the NHS Winter Percussion in Marching Band Class 2A.
NHS seniors Daniel Romeo, Trevor Palmer, Noelle Violette, and Michael Ziluck, will be honored during the scheduled awards ceremony.