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District News

Nicola Davies

The Board of Finance is seeking feedback from Wilton taxpayers.

The Board of Finance is conducting an online survey of Wilton taxpayers to better understand their financial priorities. The Board would like to encourage all taxpayers to complete the survey which should take no more than 10 minutes and can be found at www.wiltontaxpayer.com. The survey is anonymous, and data will only be reported at an aggregate level. The survey questions were composed by a subcommittee with representation from the Boards of Education and Selectmen as well as Wilton citizens. The survey will remain online for at least the next six weeks or until an adequate number of responses has been received.

Board of Finance member Richard Creeth who chaired the subcommittee tasked with creating the survey said “We understand that everybody would like their taxes to be lower, but equally most people realize that providing the high level of service including schools, roads and public safety costs the Town a lot. Hopefully this survey will increase our understanding of the taxpayers financial priorities.”

In order for the results to be meaningful the survey should be completed by as many people as possible across all sections of the community including all age groups and socio-economic segments. The Board of Finance encourages all Wilton citizens to take this opportunity to let their voice be heard. 

Richard Creeth
Richard.Creeth@WiltonCT.org
203 984 7144

Nicola Davies

The district held it's first coalition meeting to share knowledge and learn from other school districts.

Middlebrook Cafeteria, people listening to zero waste presentation

 On the evening of October 17, 2018, approximately 50 representatives from 12 Connecticut towns (Wilton, Weston, Westport, Greenwich, Stamford, Ridgefield, Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Fairfield, Newtown, Brookfield) and members from Mamaroneck, NY, came together in Wilton’s Middlebrook School cafeteria for the first Zero Waste Schools Coalition meeting.

As part of Wilton Go Green’s Zero Waste Initiatives the Zero Waste Schools Coalition was formed to create a platform for schools in Connecticut and beyond to connect, learn and share ways to introduce or enhance programming to reduce waste in our schools.

Attendees heard first from Wilton Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith, members of the Wilton Zero Waste Schools Committee, Center for EcoTechnology, Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation, Curbside Compost, and representatives from Wilton’s Chartwells Food Service. The second half of the meeting was dedicated to an open forum.  A lively dialogue ensued over how to work with carting companies, what should be the first steps in bringing a Zero Waste program into a school, and how to change habits and minds of all who are involved.  Open invitations were made for attendees to visit other school districts, and other collaborations were initiated.

Coalition participants will receive a follow-up email sharing contacts, presentations and resources to continue “ZW” discussion in their communities, and to encourage further outreach.

Anyone (i.e., administrators, teachers, custodians, food service employees, parents, community members and students) interested in reducing waste in their schools (pre-K through college) can join the Zero Waste Schools Coalition by registering here.  

The next Zero Waste Schools Coalition meeting with coincide with the second annual Zero Waste Faire at the Wilton High School Field House on Saturday, March 23, 2019.  Meanwhile, coalition members are encouraged to advance the collective knowledge around this important aspect of overall environmental sustainability.

Visit the Wilton Zero Waste Schools program website for more info.

Questions? Email Coalition Chair Tammy Thornton

Nicola Davies

A new service to enable students share safety concerns.

Students are encouraged to raise concerns about classmates or school safety with an administrator, teacher or other trusted adult at their school. We recognize that sometimes students are reluctant to speak directly to an adult. SpeakUp allows a student to use email as a way to communicate their concerns.  Emails are monitored at all times by trained Gaggle Safety Representatives who evaluate SpeakUp tips and send an email regarding non-life-threatening items to designated school staff. They will also call school officials or local law enforcement if an emergency situation arises.  Read more here.   

Nicola Davies

Wilton Public Schools adopt 'Let Grow Project' this fall.

Lenore Skenazy addressing room of parents

Lenore Skenazy returned to Wilton last night to to talk about the "Let Grow Project" which will be adopted this fall in Miller-Driscoll and Cider Mill schools.  The two prongs of the project are Let Grow Free Play groups and the Let Grow Homework Project. 

Wilton schools are committed to the social and emotional well-being of students and recognize how important unstructured play and increased opportunities for independence are to the developing brain.

The Let grow homework project seeks to foster independence in children. Students are encouraged by teachers, to go home and ask their parents if they can do one thing on their own that they have never tried before (for example walk the dog, go to the store, cook something), the student feels proud of accomplishing something new and parents let go of the fear associated with letting their child become a little more independent.

Skenazy said "Our kids aren't in constant danger.  We want to make it easy, legal and normal to give our kids some freedom again."

 

Nicola Davies

Ben's Bells Kindness Campus Program comes to Cider Mill. 

Children listening to a be kind presentation from the Ben's Bells Project.

Kind Campus is an innovative school-based program that strives to educate students, families, faculty, and staff about the benefits of kindness, and then empowers them to create a culture of kindness in their school and beyond. 

The Assembly had a big impact on the students.  Noah, a fourth grader said "Ben's Bells made me realize you don’t have to do a big thing for it to be kind. The talk made me want to be kinder to people to make them feel good. One day I hope to find a bell hanging at the school or in the town”

As an official Kindness Campus, the school has access to a curriculum of resources that enable kindness to be promoted and recognized across the school through a range of activities. Assistant Principal Lauren Catalano has been instrumental in getting the program up and running at Cider Mill "Being nice is important, but being kind is much more important, it is about going out of your way to intentionally show someone that you care.'

Other News From Around the District

Jason Greasley

Have your child log into their Google Classroom account and enter the CODE: 3C65FNP to join Cider Mill’s Let Grow ClassroomOn the site, you will find a place to upload video clips, a photo, or your child can create a reflection on FlipGrid. Learning to do this can be a #LetGrowMoment itself! Be sure to share stories on social media by including the tag #LetGrowMoment on CM’s Twitter Page (@WPSCMSocial) or the Cider Mill FaceBook Parent Community discussion page. We can't wait to see what our students do next!

Jason Greasley

For more than 25 years, Cider Mill School has worked with Wilton Social Services during the holiday season, with the help of Parks and Recreation and the Cider Mill PTA, to help several local families that receive assistance from the town. For more information on specific donations for this year, see the attached handout.

Nicola Davies

The Annual Middlebrook bake sale is underway.

 

 

Students at the bake sale

The annual Middlebrook bake sale is underway.  It is an important tradition for the students and staff.  Working in close collaboration with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), Middlebrook is spreading holiday joy to the local foster care children. The money the students raise will be turned into gift cards that are given to DCF. Last year over $5,000 was raised and that is our goal again this year. 

As well as organizing the bake sale, teacher Mrs. Leonard has been collecting extra Halloween candy to create individual holiday candy treat bags that will be handed out to the children over the holiday season.

A group of our 7th and 8th graders will be taking an all-day field trip in December to wrap presents for the DCF case managers.   "It is truly a day of giving back as we busily wrap presents for the younger children.  It's my favorite day of the year" said Mrs. Leonard "We work together to do something special for our surrounding community."  

The sale runs each day until the Thanksgiving break.
 

Jason Greasley

 

We are thrilled with the response to the Let Grow Project (see Parent Letter). The student photos and reflections are inspirational and demonstrate that ALL students can make strides towards independence - one moment at a time. Celebrate big and small milestones with your children. We have created a Google Classroom page for families to post and celebrate their Let Grow Moments. Have your child teach you how to log into their Google Classroom account and visit Cider Mill’s Let Grow Classroom. Enter the CODE: 3C65FNP. On the site, you will find a place to upload video clips, a photo, or your child can create a reflection on FlipGrid. Learning to do this can be a #LetGrowMoment itself! We will celebrate our first round of #LetGrowMoments with a colorful display in the front lobby. Keep the Moments coming through Wednesday, 10/24/18! The next round of Moments will begin after Thanksgiving on November 26th. To share stories on social media, tag #LetGrowMoment on CM’s Twitter Page (@WPSCMSocial) or the Cider Mill FaceBook Parent Community discussion page.