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NHS Assistant Principal Hired, BOE Approves Calendar

Published: June 29, 2018

The Board of Education voted at its special meeting on June 25 to hire Chris Siano of Milford to serve as an assistant principal at Newtown High School, starting July 2. It also approved a revised 2018-19 school calendar at the special meeting.

When the school board voted to hire Dr Kim Longobucco as Newtown High School principal at its meeting on May 22, her position as assistant principal was left open. Dr Longobucco’s term as principal will also begin in July. NHS has three assistant principal positions.

After the unanimous vote to hire Mr Siano, Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue offered her congratulations.

“I have to say that during the search, it became clear that [Mr Siano’s] qualities stood out well above other candidates,” said Dr Rodrigue.

Mr Siano has been working as an English teacher at Fairfield Ludlowe High School since 2003. Before that, he worked as an English teacher at Darien High School. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Penn.; his Masters of Arts degree in English Literature from Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y.; and his Masters of Arts in Teaching from Fairfield University.

“I am honored to be here and to start work at Newtown High School,” said Mr Siano. “It’s an amazing district, and everything I have learned about it and researched about it makes me super excited to be part of the team.”

School Calendar Changes Approved

At its meeting on June 20, the school board held off voting on proposed changes to the 2018-19 calendar to allow a further look at the calendar. The school board took up the discussion on the calendar again at its June 25 special meeting, when it approved a revised calendar.

The 2018-19 school calendar was also discussed at the board’s meeting on June 5, when Dr Rodrigue said the 2017-18 school year forced the district to reevaluate its calendar due to the number of school cancellations. The 2018-19 calendar was originally approved in February of 2017.

Board of Education members discussed calendar issues at the June 5 meeting to give Dr Rodrigue direction before she met with district administrators to determine proposed changes. Discussion at the meeting included adding clarity to the calendar regarding the end of the school year, the scheduled April break, and having students attend school during the hotter months of June and August. Proposed changes outlined at the June 20 meeting focused on altering the calendar’s language around April break and offering delayed opening days for professional development over early release days, unless the days were scheduled on a long-weekend.

As approved at the June 25 meeting, language added to the calendar reads, “State of Connecticut mandates 180 calendar days for students. Beyond the projected June 7 date, school cancellation days will be made up by adding days through June 28. By March 15, if there are more than nine cancellations, April 5 will be a full day of school.”

If there are fewer than nine school cancellations, April 5 in the revised calendar is set to be a full-day of professional development for staff rather than a student school day.

At the June 25 special meeting, Dr Rodrigue said the revised calendar has 182 student days and 187 teacher days. The 2017-18 school year had 183 student days.

As approved, the 2018-19 school year will start on August 27 for students. Without school cancellations, the last day of school would be June 7.

The Board of Education voted 5 to 1 to approve the revised calendar, with board member Dan Delia voting against the motion. Board member Andrew Clure was not present for the meeting.

Board of Education Chair Michelle Embree Ku also said the board’s scheduled July 17 meeting has been canceled due to a number of board members not being able to attend.

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