Superintendent's Update

January 2016

Happy New Year! Are you hungry?

By this time last year we already had three snow days, one 2 hour delay, and two early dismissals! It is highly unlikely, but can you imagine a year without snow interruptions? If that were to happen this year our last day of school would be June 10th. The more likely outcome will be some weather delays, early dismissals, and school cancellations, so if your contact information has changed, please update us.

Great News for Coginchaug Staff and Students. Coginchaug was rated in the top 100 for best cafeteria food in the United States! Only 3 other schools in CT were on the list. For more information on how schools were rated and what other schools were on the list:

Congratulations to our Food Service Director Mark Basil and his outstanding staff: Jane Schmitt, Gail Harris, Marie Klein, Maria Prifitera, Cherryl Sanfilippo, Pauline Calderone, Kim Elliot, and Deb Page.

Our Budget Brings Our Mission to Life

The Superintendent’s proposed budget will be presented at the Board of Education meeting on February 17th at 7:00 p.m. at Strong School. The process of planning the budget begins almost as soon as we are back in school in September. Administrators work with their staff to submit their requests and proposals and by October the formal process begins. Next year’s budget reflects the costs and cost avoidance of closing Korn School at the end of this school year. We will deliver a comprehensive analysis of this information at the Board meeting and will have a newsletter that goes out to all parents and community members after the budget is presented to the Board. The Board will work with the proposed budget and suggest changes before it is approved at the Board level and then presented to the public for a final vote at Referendum on May 3rd.

A school budget should demonstrate our commitment to the mission and goals of the school district as well as the vision of the future. I believe that the collective work of the administrative team has done just that. Our district mission is: Regional School District 13, a community that embraces learning, honors tradition, and embraces change, is to ensure that all students will be engaged and ethical lifelong learners and citizens who will thrive, excel, and contribute in an ever-changing, interdependent world by providing challenging, diverse, and nurturing experiences that empower each student to succeed through meaningful partnership with family and community.

Regional School District 13 Goals

  • Ensure that Regional School District 13 develops and implements a Professional Learning Community model that includes the analysis of data at all levels of the organization.
  • Ensure that Regional School District 13 is a safe environment that honors, upholds, and models our Core Ethical Values.
  • Ensure that Regional School District 13 is adhering to best practices in the areas of curriculum, instruction and assessment.
  • Ensure that resources exist so that the talents of administrators, faculty and staff in Regional School District 13 are developed with a focus on creating greater coherence by developing mid-level leadership.
  • Ensure that resource allocation processes are in place so that we are budgeting responsibly in order to support effective teaching and learning in Regional School District 13.

Exploring an Exciting Future

The District has been exploring programming that involves the coordinated and connected study of science, technology, engineering, art and math. These are all areas with clear connections to future skills and careers. They are also areas that represent high student interest and engagement. With exciting programming in its beginning stages students are able to engage in 21st century learning skills including critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity. Some of our first steps include Maker Space and STEM activities at the elementary school and middle school level, use of 3D printers at Memorial and Strong, coding at all of our elementary schools, Dash and Dot Robots with a catapult to code, Eco Science Experiments, Cool Circuits, OSOM Learning System, Gravity Maze, and much more!