Superintendent's Newsletter

New Fairfield Public Schools December 2021

The Spirit of the Season

It has been said that the best things in life are not things. As we enter the holiday season we need to remember the importance of being kind, appreciating what we have and sharing good will with our fellow man.

The past two years have shown us that relationships matter. Our staff members have worked hard to keep schools open and engaging. It has been challenging as well as rewarding. One of our goals is to raise good people and productive citizens. This must be our common goal. We all must be role models for our children. We must follow the golden rule and and treat others as we want to be treated. As we move to celebrate with families and friends I remind you to remember many of us have lost loved ones, and families are struggling. I ask you to share your blessings with those less fortunate. Can you help a neighbor or someone in need?

I encourage you to spend time with your children, hugging and loving them.

The spirit of the season can be magical but also stressful. I remind you to enjoy your family and cherish the time together.

Always grateful,

Dr. Pat Cosentino

Buildings Taking Shape

NFHS Aerial View of Construction 11-23-2021

Both the Consolidated Early Learning Academy and New Fairfield High School building projects are progressing at a rapid pace. Anyone visiting our school campuses will notice that they are buzzing with activity on a daily basis with excavation, concrete pours, and steel erection taking place. On the Meeting House Hill School campus, the outline of the Consolidated Early Learning Academy can now be seen as the steel superstructure is nearly complete. Soon, the new high school will rise from its foundations as steel arrives on site after the holidays.

As part of getting students involved in the projects, all students from preschool to grade five signed a ceremonial steel beam which became part of the Consolidated Early Learning Academy today (see photos below). In the near future, all students in grades six through twelve will have the same opportunity with a beam that will top the new high school. Giving students across the district the chance to leave their mark on their school is an exciting, once in a generation opportunity for New Fairfield’s children.

While construction progresses outside, teachers, students, and administrators are actively involved in the furniture, fixture, and equipment (FF&E) phase of the projects. Staff are meeting with the design team to articulate needs and explore ideas on how to best outfit instructional spaces. At the high school, travelling classrooms are set-up in the library learning commons to give staff and students the chance to try out learning environments and make informed decisions while samples of early childhood furniture now fill the Consolidated cafeteria. The feedback has been phenomenal with excitement growing for the opening of the new schools.

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.

CELA Aerial Progress Photos (click to enlarge)

CELA Beam Signing and Steel Topping Ceremony

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Districtwide Math Improvements

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At the elementary level, teachers have begun utilizing Number Corner in all K - 5 classrooms. This provides an assured daily 20 minute concept-based numeracy experience for all students. This is in addition to their regular math time.

At the secondary level, we continue to build our capacity using a new problem-based model of instruction and a new resource. We are providing embedded staff development to support teachers as they work collaboratively to shift our practices.

In order to support the district goal to plan and deliver high quality instruction, K-12 numeracy coaches are working with teachers around task design and standards-aligned assessments. The combination of these initiatives and efforts will lead to increased success in math for our students.

Welcome to the 2021 Board of Education

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November 18th marked the first meeting of the 2021-2022 Board of Education with the introduction of two new members, Amy Johnson and Timothy Blair. Dominic Cipollone was elected Board Chair, with Samantha Mannion as Vice Chair. Kim Latourette will continue on as Board Secretary.

Cayden Walker will continue his role as Student Representative and is now joined by Grace DeMarco, Junior Representative.

Stay Informed on the School Budget

Shortly after the new year, Dr. Cosentino will present her recommended budget for the 2022-2023 school year to the Board of Education. Throughout the past three months, administrators have collected staff needs, analyzed projected enrollments, incorporated available grants, and identified opportunities to move our district forward in a fiscally responsible way that aligns with the district’s Vision of the Graduate. We encourage all members of the New Fairfield community to engage in the budget process by attending Board of Education and Board of Finance meetings, participating in public comment and/or sharing their thoughts via e-mail with the respective Boards.

Key Budget Dates:

January 20, 2022 / 6:00 p.m. - Presentation of Superintendent’s Budget

January 25, 2022 / 7:00 p.m. - BOE Budget Workshop

January 27, 2022 / 7:00 p.m. - BOE Budget Workshop

February 1, 2022 / 7:00 p.m. - BOE Budget Workshop with Board of Finance

February 3, 2022 / 7:00 p.m. - BOE Meeting with Budget Review

February 10, 2022 / 7:00 p.m. - BOE Budget Adoption

March 5, 2022 / 9:00 a.m. - Board of Finance Public Hearing on BOE Budget