GPS District Digest

Stories, news and updates from Greenwich Public Schools

A Note from Dr. Jones

Dear GPS,

As we close out Distance Learning Week #6 we want to share some of the great moments of connection that our staff, students and families have shared. It has been fun to see the virtual school community events and activities start to take off across the district to bring more opportunity for connection, and often time away from screens!

Also shared in today's Digest is a sign-up form for those interested in applying to join the Special Education Advisory Council.

Stay safe and healthy,

Dr. Toni Jones

Special Education Advisory Council Sign-up

Dr. Toni Jones and the Membership Committee for the Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) are now accepting submissions to gather information for those who are interested in serving on this advisory team. As a reminder, the purpose of a SEAC is to build full, equal and equitable partnerships between families, the school District and community partners, on a council that gives advisory opinions to the Board of Education on matters pertaining to the education and safety of students with disabilities.

For parents, guardians and community members interested in submitting information, please submit this form. For GPS staff members interested in submitting information, please submit this form.

Distance Learning Across Greenwich Public Schools

GPS participates in virtual Earth Week of Action

The Town of Greenwich reimagined their Earth Week of Action to make all activities available for families to participate in from their own homes. Their new document outlined each day's activities. Activities were simplified to offer one optional activity per day, including a town-wide 'ringing of the bells' at 12:00PM on Wednesday, April 22 (Earth Day). Students and families across GPS participated in the activities throughout the week and shared their photos and videos using #GreenwichEarthWeek. School activities included: Earth Day jokes from Glenville Principal Mr. D'Amico; North Mianus School creating a rock garden, which they will formally assemble when schools are back in session (pictured to the right); and North Street School students learning about their own personal eco-FOODprints and how what they eat can affect the Earth (pictured below).

Additionally, the Town of Greenwich Earth Week Team set-up a website with digital content and extra resources and activities, that families were able to utilize to learn even more about Earth Week and do additional activities.

North Street School students learning about their own FOODprints

"Maggie's Messages" from ISD

International School at Dundee Library Media Specialist Ms. Jane Martellino has been sharing video messages from her dog Maggie for her students to bring a few giggles to her students. Ms. Martellino shared, "I've been supporting reading through read alouds, and supporting teachers with technology integration and research. From the first week, I was very concerned about the social and emotional impact this distance learning will have on students. So, I took my own dog and turned her into a virtual library dog. Each day Maggie (the Library Dog) sends a one minute message to the students to encourage, lighten their spirit with a giggle, and teaches an important SEL strategy. We as educators are concerned for the whole child and find creative ways to connect and teach invaluable strategies."

Virtual Coaching & Remote Team Meetings for GHS Athletes

Mr. Gus Lindine, our Director of Athletics at Greenwich High School, has worked with our Spring Sports Coaches to create virtual and remote experiences for our athletes. Coaches will be sending optional training sessions to athletes registered for a sport with the primary purpose of keeping our athletes engaged and connected, while safely practicing social distancing. These practices and virtual meetings will allow athletes to stay connected with their coaches and teammates, practice their skills, complete strength training exercises, and more, all while adhering to our strict guidelines of staying safe and staying home. Sessions began on Tuesday, April 14.

Central Middle Hosts Virtual Spirit Week

Central Middle School celebrated "Virtual Spirit Week," which provided an opportunity for students and staff to have some fun at a distance.

Central Middle School Principal Mr. Healy shared, "Taking a brief break from their daily assignments, students and teachers shared photos and videos of themselves on Flipgrid engaging in the theme for the day. The two most popular days were Talent Tuesday, which resulted in a range of submissions from musical performances to cooking and baking, and Throwback Thursday, which included some fantastic photos of staff from their middle school days! Finding ways to smile and stay engaged as a community is critical, perhaps more so now than ever, and our Virtual Spirit Week achieved that goal."

New Lebanon School Kicks Off Read-A-Thon

New Lebanon School kicked off their annual Read-A-Thon to continue the tradition of fun, commitment to goals and building a love of reading.

New Lebanon School Principal Ms. Bartholomew shared, "We thought, what a better time to get kids motivated to read than during Distance Learning? The year would not be complete without the New Leb read-a-thon. While previous read-a-thons have focused on fundraising, this one is primarily focused on reading. We give student shout outs every day on my morning school-wide video for posting their contracts, tallying their minutes, and sharing pictures on their grade level padlets, Class Dojo, and Google Classrooms of them reading with their families."

Ms. Bartholomew added, "Through Greenwich Alliance funding during Distance Learning time, we were able to secure many books for all of our students, so they are able to keep up with voracious reading when they are at home. These books will be delivered at the breakfast and lunch pick up at New Lebanon once they arrive."

Additionally, New Lebanon School Alumni Layla Rodriguez announced the start of the Read-A-Thon in the video below shared with students and families.

A special thank you to goes to the New Lebanon School PTA, Media Staff, Literacy Team, and all of the parents who are allowing the read-a-thon to happen at New Leb this year! Let's get reading, Bobcats!

Layla Rodriguez Explains the Virtual New Leb Read-a-thon!

Parkway School Donates Face Shields to Stamford Hospital

With help from Parkway School's PTA Vice President Meredith Curreri and her son, fourth grader Teddy Curreri (pictured below), Parkway School IT Technology Specialist Ms. EJ Haskell has organized the creation and donation of protective face shields that were donated this week to Stamford Hospital. The face shields are 3D printed, and are completely made of plastic for easy disinfecting and re-use. Plastic was provided by Ms. Curreri's employer, Synchrony, through their #GearUp program.

Parkway School Principal Ms. Grandville shared, "I am thrilled that Mrs. Haskell and some of our Parkway families have been able to use their digital skills to create this much-needed PPE for our health care workers at Stamford Hospital. This project truly exemplifies the generous spirit of Parkway School and our commitment to living the district norm of "caring for self and others.."

Stamford Hospital representatives thanked the Parkways School and shared, "Each and every face mask is appreciated and we are so grateful to you for wanting to help keep our staff protected."

Teddy Curreri 3D prints masks for Stamford Hospital

OGS Families Surprise Staff & Community

Old Greenwich School Families surprised their school's staff and the broader Old Greenwich community with lawn signs placed outside of the school. Signs read, "OGS Teachers + Staff - We Thank You!" and "And to our community's essential workers - You are our heroes!"

Old Greenwich School Principal Ms. Jen Bencivengo shared, "This was an incredible surprise. Thank you to all of you who made this happen for our school community. It filled our hearts with love and support! Stay tuned for more surprises from the teachers too!"

OGS Lawn Signs

GPS Teacher Wins Connecticut Outstanding Art Educator of the Year

Julian Curtiss School and North Mianus School Art Teacher Ms. Le Ann Hinkle was recently awarded the 2020 Connecticut Outstanding Art Educator of the Year by the Connecticut Art Education Association, in recognition for her significant contributions to the field of art education.

Greenwich Public School District Coordinator for the Arts and Music Ms. Laura Newell shared, “We are so proud that Le Ann was selected for this prestigious award. Our schools have such dedicated and passionate arts teachers, instilling a love of learning in our students and helping them to grow and develop their artistic abilities. Le Ann always goes above and beyond for her students, and it is great to see her recognized for her continuous contributions.”

Award Recipient Ms. Hinkle shared, “It is an honor to have the opportunity to represent Connecticut art educators and advocate for visual arts education. I am incredibly blessed to be in a district that continues to support my work with art educators across the country. My students are the brightest stars, always my inspiration for seeking out new solutions and innovative practices to best meet their needs.”

Le Ann Hinkle teacher and her students

District Events