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District News

Nicola Davies

The Tattooist of Auschwitz has been chosen as this year's 'Wilton Reads'. 

Poster for 2019 Wilton Reads

At Thursday's Board of Education meeting. Elaine Tai-Lauria, Executive Director of Wilton Library and Fran Kompar, Director of Digital Learning at Wilton Public Schools announced a partnership between Wilton Schools and the library for Wilton Reads this year. They revealed that the 2019 community read will be Heather Morris's The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

'The shared reading of one book is a conversation starter and a vehicle that drives deeper thinking and empathy for the author and their struggles' said Kompar.  All High School students will be encouraged to read the book. At Middlebrook and Cider Mill other grade appropriate books covering the same content area will be selected. At Miller-Driscoll the focus will be on tolerance.  All public schools in Connecticut have a course of study that includes genocide education and awareness and Wilton Reads will give students another way to connect with this important learning.

Programming is still being developed, but will include:

  • Book displays at each schools Library Learning Commons (LLC's) of age appropriate, thematic books.
  • Book discussions with parents and children - supported and lead by our Wilton Library Partners at our schools.
  • A collaborative project between Wilton Library and WHS video production student that will involve recording the stories from survivors, their children or grandchildren.
  • Booklists for parents to augment home discussions

A number of free copies of the book will be available for readers to collect at Wilton Library on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 10-11 a.m. and from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

The author will be visiting Wilton on April 11th and will address an assembly of High School students during the daytime before holding an author talk at Wilton Library in the evening.

 

 

Nicola Davies

3rd grade students receive award for outstanding work.

The Board of Education launched a "Salute to Excellence" program at the January 10, 2019 meeting by recognizing Cider Mill staff and students for their exemplary work in creating an interactive museum using a transdisciplinary approach.  The museum comprised student-created artifacts representing the life of Indigenous People, a culminating performance task for a Transdisciplinary Learning experience.    Over a dozen students showcased their work preceding the Board of Education Meeting.  Visitors were treated to students explaining their projects, helping those who needed help with QR Code readers, and engaging in games that they had created.

The work integrated many areas of learning - from reading and research online, listening to music, looking at primary sources of art, to choosing an artifact that they wanted to create and taking it from the prototype drawing to the finished artifact. The finished presentation included the students each making a voice recording to inform the audience all about their chosen artifact, its purpose and why they want to share it.  

Students from Ms. Ryan's class demonstrated with enthusiasm the artifacts they had made at the culmination of the unit. Simran created a drum, Lillianna a talking stick, Wyland made a bow and arrow, Sameer a flute and Johnny a fishing spear.

Ms. Ryan spoke to the high level of engagement that the students had with the work and that was really evident in their presentations. The hands-on nature of the unit and the multiple ways that the students were able to learn about indigenous people have made a deep impression on these students.

"Transdisciplinary Learning represents a way to make 21st century skills come alive" says Fran Kompar, Director, Digital Learning.  By integrating several subjects (going beyond disciplines) and employing inquiry, student choice, agency, and an authentic audience, students engage in critical skills that also go beyond the use of technology in isolation."  The project involved lots of collaboration between the Learning Commons team and all the teachers.  It is important to recognize the effort that the entire Cider Mill staff and students put into making this project meaningful, relevant and memorable for our students.

 

 

 

Nicola Davies

Superintendent Smith announced his proposed operating budget for school year 2019-20

Superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith presented the proposed Wilton Public Schools operating budget for the school year 2019-20 to the Board of Education on Thursday, January 10 during the regular Board of Education Meeting.  In his comprehensive presentation, Dr. Smith illustrated how the budget supports the district vision and strategic improvement plans while at the same time remains lower than the Board of Finance’s budget guidance of a 1.6% increase.

In the coming weeks, there will be a series of budget workshops at which members of the Board of Education will have the opportunity to ask questions and gain understanding on budget priorities from district and school administrators. These workshops will be held at 1 pm in the Wilton High School Professional Library on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 22
  • Wednesday, January 23
  • Thursday, January 24

Members of the public are welcome to attend these sessions.

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.   

Other News From Around the District

Nicola Davies

The Tattooist of Auschwitz has been chosen as this year's 'Wilton Reads'. 

Poster for 2019 Wilton Reads

At Thursday's Board of Education meeting. Elaine Tai-Lauria, Executive Director of Wilton Library and Fran Kompar, Director of Digital Learning at Wilton Public Schools announced a partnership between Wilton Schools and the library for Wilton Reads this year. They revealed that the 2019 community read will be Heather Morris's The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

'The shared reading of one book is a conversation starter and a vehicle that drives deeper thinking and empathy for the author and their struggles' said Kompar.  All High School students will be encouraged to read the book. At Middlebrook and Cider Mill other grade appropriate books covering the same content area will be selected. At Miller-Driscoll the focus will be on tolerance.  All public schools in Connecticut have a course of study that includes genocide education and awareness and Wilton Reads will give students another way to connect with this important learning.

Programming is still being developed, but will include:

  • Book displays at each schools Library Learning Commons (LLC's) of age appropriate, thematic books.
  • Book discussions with parents and children - supported and lead by our Wilton Library Partners at our schools.
  • A collaborative project between Wilton Library and WHS video production student that will involve recording the stories from survivors, their children or grandchildren.
  • Booklists for parents to augment home discussions

A number of free copies of the book will be available for readers to collect at Wilton Library on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 10-11 a.m. and from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

The author will be visiting Wilton on April 11th and will address an assembly of High School students during the daytime before holding an author talk at Wilton Library in the evening.

 

 

Nicola Davies

3rd grade students receive award for outstanding work.

The Board of Education launched a "Salute to Excellence" program at the January 10, 2019 meeting by recognizing Cider Mill staff and students for their exemplary work in creating an interactive museum using a transdisciplinary approach.  The museum comprised student-created artifacts representing the life of Indigenous People, a culminating performance task for a Transdisciplinary Learning experience.    Over a dozen students showcased their work preceding the Board of Education Meeting.  Visitors were treated to students explaining their projects, helping those who needed help with QR Code readers, and engaging in games that they had created.

The work integrated many areas of learning - from reading and research online, listening to music, looking at primary sources of art, to choosing an artifact that they wanted to create and taking it from the prototype drawing to the finished artifact. The finished presentation included the students each making a voice recording to inform the audience all about their chosen artifact, its purpose and why they want to share it.  

Students from Ms. Ryan's class demonstrated with enthusiasm the artifacts they had made at the culmination of the unit. Simran created a drum, Lillianna a talking stick, Wyland made a bow and arrow, Sameer a flute and Johnny a fishing spear.

Ms. Ryan spoke to the high level of engagement that the students had with the work and that was really evident in their presentations. The hands-on nature of the unit and the multiple ways that the students were able to learn about indigenous people have made a deep impression on these students.

"Transdisciplinary Learning represents a way to make 21st century skills come alive" says Fran Kompar, Director, Digital Learning.  By integrating several subjects (going beyond disciplines) and employing inquiry, student choice, agency, and an authentic audience, students engage in critical skills that also go beyond the use of technology in isolation."  The project involved lots of collaboration between the Learning Commons team and all the teachers.  It is important to recognize the effort that the entire Cider Mill staff and students put into making this project meaningful, relevant and memorable for our students.

 

 

 

Nicola Davies

Superintendent Smith announced his proposed operating budget for school year 2019-20

Superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith presented the proposed Wilton Public Schools operating budget for the school year 2019-20 to the Board of Education on Thursday, January 10 during the regular Board of Education Meeting.  In his comprehensive presentation, Dr. Smith illustrated how the budget supports the district vision and strategic improvement plans while at the same time remains lower than the Board of Finance’s budget guidance of a 1.6% increase.

In the coming weeks, there will be a series of budget workshops at which members of the Board of Education will have the opportunity to ask questions and gain understanding on budget priorities from district and school administrators. These workshops will be held at 1 pm in the Wilton High School Professional Library on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 22
  • Wednesday, January 23
  • Thursday, January 24

Members of the public are welcome to attend these sessions.

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.