Region In Review

February 26, 2021

Region 12 Celebrates Diversity

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February is Black History Month. As a Region, our goal is to discuss and celebrate all of the contributions that African Americans have made in service to this country and the world. While February is certainly a month to recognize and celebrate African Americans, it’s equally important to have ongoing discussions about diversity. America is a country known for its rich diversity, and our goal is to teach students how to celebrate and embrace all types of diversity.

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Books can serve as a window into lives and cultures that students might not otherwise be exposed to, and picture books can often teach profound lessons about acceptance, diversity, and identity that will stick with children for years to come. Some staff picks from the elementary libraries across the region include:

  • The Colors of Us by Karen Katz

  • The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family by Ibithaj Muhammad

  • Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o

  • Just Ask: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomoyor

  • A Ride to Remember: A Civil Rights Story by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan

  • Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

  • Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice by Mahogany L. Browne

  • The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander

On Friday, January 15, the students at Booth Free School listened to and discussed the book The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander at a school-wide meeting. It was an excellent way to honor Dr. King, and it served as a good segue into Black History Month. Students at Booth Free School and Burnham School discussed the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches to bring about change. Inspired by Dr. King’s words, they discussed and recorded their own hopes and dreams for the future, proving that Dr. King’s dream of a world made better, is still as relevant and crucial today.

During the month of February, fourth and fifth-grade students at Booth Free School and Burnham School wrote reports on famous African Americans who have made an impact on both this country and the world. To kick off Black History Month, on February 1 the students at Burnham School were tasked with choosing the person that they wanted to research and write about from a list of famous African Americans. While well-known names such as Jesse Owens, Barack Obama, and Serena Williams are on the list, there are also many less-familiar names for students to choose from, such as Sidney Poitier, Morrie Turner, and Wilma Rudolph.

Students at Washington Primary School are busy with our regional goal as well and chose to have each grade do an in-depth study on a story whose theme explores diversity from different angles. They are reading their narrative books, holding thoughtful discussions, and engaging in focused activities including historical timelines, short essays, and drawings with personal responses. The fourth grade, for example, is studying activism through the book A Ride to Remember: A Civil Rights Story by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan. They made civil rights timelines from the story, and, reflecting on the story’s activism, they then used the writing prompt “If I could change the world, here’s what I would change…”. Third graders are studying difference through Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's book Just Ask: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You. They are exploring diversity in their classroom and beyond. As a culmination of their studies, each grade is producing a bulletin board to share their learnings with our school community. This diversity project is designed to be repeated annually in February.

Senior Project Spotlight

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Matthew Sheedy - Lights Out

My senior project is entitled “Lights Out: Student Athletes and Concussions”. Through my project, I hope to educate the general public and the Shepaug community about the lifelong danger of traumatic brain injuries. I will be creating a short documentary to chronicle the journey of researching and implementing testing to safely help athletes return to the playing field and classroom.

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My motivation for this stems from my own experiences with concussions. In my freshman year, I suffered my first concussion playing basketball for Shepaug and then suffered a really traumatic one playing baseball, resulting in a brain hemorrhage, long loss of consciousness, and subsequent neck issues. My goal is to add baseline testing for cognitive functioning in our existing ‘return to play’ protocol.

*Baseline testing assesses an individual's visual and verbal

memory, reaction time, and processing speed before a head injury.

I would love for my lasting legacy at Shepaug to be that, after sustaining a head injury, all future athletes can return to play safely so they do not have to endure the challenges that came with my experience.

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Thus far, I have focused on building professional relationships in the medical field in order to really strengthen my understanding of concussions in general. Contacts like Joel Robb, a concussion researcher at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and Dr. Basile, a neuropsychologist at Staten Island Hospital, have both been a great help in strengthening my knowledge about concussions. I have achieved my goal of conducting interviews in a professional manner with Mr. Perachi, Mrs. Adorno, and Dr. Basile. I was also able to survey the school community, measuring their awareness of concussions and baseline tests. In the following months, I will continue to attempt to obtain concussion testing at Shepaug, continue my research, and incorporate the use of video and editing into my project.*

Baby Lambs!

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At Shepaug, we are lucky to have a steady flow of large and small animals joining us on campus. Recently, Willow and Mystique gave birth to beautiful baby lambs.

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Owen Hibbard Breaks Shepaug Boys' Basketball Record

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Congratulations to Shepaug senior Owen Hibbard, who broke the all-time Shepaug boys' basketball scoring record on February 12th. Owen’s 48 point performance vs. Nonnewaug, following Wednesday’s 30 point performance vs. Northwestern, left him with 1,199 total career points. Owen’s point total eclipses the previous record of 1,191 points set by Erik Kershnar in 1987. The All-Time Shepaug basketball scoring record was also set in 1987 by the girls' basketball player Cris Mera. Mera’s 1,209 points are within reach, and all at Shepaug send Owen congratulations for his achievement, and good luck to him and the team.

100 Days!

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Here we are, one hundred school days into the year. It is a moment to reflect and to celebrate, especially during these times. To commemorate the milestone, students at Washington Primary School marked the occasion with counting exercises, fun decorative hats, and zany eyewear.

K-12 Contact Tracing Supports

Substitute Teaching Positions

Does your schedule allow time to join our team?

Region 12 is hiring teacher and para substitutes for all schools. We welcome and encourage parents and community members to apply. Click here to begin your application.

The Leo Club Clothing & Blanket Drive

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The Leo Club will be accepting coats, gloves, socks, and blankets for Saint Vincent DePaul Mission of Waterbury Shelter until this Friday, February 26, 2021.

Bags can be left outside the main office of Shepaug until the end of the school day on Friday.

Fliers & Upcoming Events

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Region 12 Calendar

March 1 - BOE / Finance & Operations Committee Meeting, 10am

March 4 - Burnham PTO Meeting, 6pm

March 8 - BOE / Special Meeting (Supt's Budget Presentation), 6:30pm

March 8 - Board of Education Meeting, 7pm

March 9 - WPS PTO Meeting, 6:30pm

March 10 - Early Dismissal for Students Only

March 17 - BFS PTO Meeting, 6:30pm

March 18-19 - Parent-Teacher Conferences, Early Dismissal for Students Only

Follow Region 12 on our social media channels for updates and information!

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The Region 12 community educates, challenges, and inspires all learners to become compassionate, creative, and courageous individuals who are empowered by the knowledge, character, and perseverance to achieve their greatest potential within the global society.

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