Superintendent's Newsletter

New Fairfield Public Schools November 2021

Welcome to the Superintendent's Newsletter!

I will publish the newsletter four times a year, and I hope you enjoy it. For up-to-date information, I also hope you will visit our newly designed website at www.newfairfieldschools.org. Please know that we are working purposefully to upload and organize important information, so I ask that you remain patient as we improve the website.


It has been an interesting and successful school year, so far. As we planned for this new school year, the staff and I believed the year would begin more smoothly, with fewer issues and less Covid, but that was not the case. I am happy to say, however, that relative to the districts in many parts of the state, we are doing very well. I am both proud and appreciative of our staff, students, parents, and the community as we continue to function at a very high level during this pandemic.


I believe that part of our success is based on our positive attitude. We strive to have an attitude of gratitude as we move through each day. Our professional development this year focused on the power of optimism, and this was a perfect message for teachers, staff, and administrators alike. Steve Gross from Life is Good explained that optimism is finding the good in each situation. He reminded us to “goodify” everything we do, and that a positive attitude encourages strength and creativity. If I must say so myself, our staff and students are getting very good at this! From an educational perspective, we also discussed how we can help our children build resilience and deal with disappointment. Resilience, perseverance, and flexibility are important skills to develop as we work to navigate these strange times, and we must model and encourage these traits in our students. One simple idea is to teach our children to stay positive (“goodify” the situation) and focus on how to make the situation better one step at a time.


I love Broadway, and one of my favorite songs is from Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim:


Careful the things you say

Children will listen

Careful the things you do

Children will see and learn

Children may not obey, but children will listen

Children will look to you for which way to turn

To learn what to be

Careful before you say "Listen to me"

Children will listen.


In short, we are all role models of one kind or another, so we will strive to be positive, helpful and compassionate role models who teach our children that they are strong and able. Thank you all for your continued support for our students.



Always grateful,


Dr. Pat Cosentino

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Transforming Our School Campuses

As the leaves begin to change, so is the look of our school buildings as both the Consolidated Early Learning Academy and New Fairfield High School building projects are well underway. Under the guidance and leadership of the Permanent Building Committee, a volunteer group of town residents with expertise in the construction industry, both projects remain on track and within the established budget. Soon, these buildings will provide modern learning environments that support innovative educational programs for all our students.


Each day, our campuses are buzzing with construction activity as foundations are being laid on the Meeting House Hill School site and excavation is occurring on the high school site. With all of the activity at our schools, safety of our students and staff remains the utmost priority. All construction activity is separated from students and all workers on our campuses have gone through rigorous background checks. In the coming months, both buildings will begin to take shape as steel is laid and students across the district participate in beam signing ceremonies.


To keep up with the projects as they progress, join any of the bi-weekly PBC and BOE meetings for updates. Renderings and floor plans of our new schools can also be found on our new district website. The Consolidated Early Learning Academy is expected to open for Fall 2022 and the new New Fairfield High School is planned to open in Fall 2023.

Our new literacy coach, Mrs. Fields shares a favorite book with kindergartners.

NFPS: Instructional Support Model

New Fairfield Public Schools is committed to delivering high-quality instruction to all students. Prioritizing responsive approaches to instruction is one way for us to address any unfinished learning necessary to access grade level content. To support all learners, the district has invested in increasing staff and resources.


We have been able to place literacy and numeracy coaches in each school. Coaches focus on supporting classrooms. They collaborate with teachers around planning and using assessments to inform instruction. Prioritizing grade level content, coaches also engage in coaching cycles, modeling ways to plan and implement grade-level content, as well as ways to design appropriate entry points to lessons that are responsive to the needs of all learners to allow optimal access to grade level curriculum.


Working in support of the classroom teacher and coaches are interventionists. Interventionists provide targeted responsive instruction in small groups in either math, reading, or writing. This instruction is designed to provide students with focused lessons in skills that are intended to set them up to meet success in the classroom. We continuously reflect on our approaches and resources to be sure our students are getting what they need at the right time so they can meet success in the classroom.

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NFPS Launches New Website and App

It has been a long time coming, but on September 7th we launched the new website for New Fairfield Public Schools. The committee opted not to do a conversion of our old site, but instead to start completely fresh! So what you see posted now is the most critical information needed for back to school. We will be building out the site over the next few months to reflect a more modern look and content.


The site is mobile friendly but we also launched a companion app which can be found by searching for New Fairfield Public Schools on your app store (iOS and Android). Please note the app is a "skinny" version of the full site and geared toward news, events and alerts. The full website has so much more, so we hope you will check it out!


I would like to thank the website committee James D'Amico, Mark Ottusch, Scott Rohwedder, Paul Gouveia, Julie Luby, and Rick Regan for their assistance in selecting the vendor and designing the new look.


If you would like to provide any feedback on the new site or make suggestions for what you would like to see added, please email me at fildes.karen@newfairfieldschools.org.


Dr. Karen A. Fildes

Director of Technology and Communications