September 9, 2022
Dear Families and Faculty,
We had a rainy start to the week, but are so glad to see the sun come out. Many of you, like me, are looking forward to sitting on the bleachers, or yard seats to watch fall sports with the crisp fall air. Perhaps sipping or snacking on your favorite pumpkin…..?
Tuesday morning’s rain reminded me that weather events in Ridgefield are not always so peaceful, and can happen when you least expect them. For this reason, our weather protocols for the 2022-23 school year are linked below. Last year, we added “extended early dismissal” times to the schedule. The intent of the “extended early dismissal” is to offer more decision-making time, while also providing our students with the opportunity to stay in school longer, if it is safe to do so.
The first snow day of the winter is typically exciting and usually well-received if there is plenty of snow. I love receiving the “thank you” notes and pictures of the children and their families playing in the fresh snow. The sparkle of the first snow and enthusiasm fades shortly thereafter…usually by the third snow day, understandably so. Please know that weather-related decisions are complicated, and have many layers, and are never made in isolation. I remember working with another district and wondering why RPS was closed when many neighboring communities were not. Now, I know! Our topography is different. Safety will always come first. Please review our weather protocols as they communicate the comprehensive process for our decision making.
On Monday evening, our Board of Education will hold their meeting in person at 90 East Ridge Road beginning at 7:00 p.m. As usual, it is a packed agenda. We are looking forward to sharing more about our 2022-23 theme “Imagine” with the Board of Education, as well as a draft of our yearly priorities. Our proudest moments last year came when students were highlighted at our meetings. One of our goals this year is to highlight the work of our students and faculty as often as possible. If you are joining us in person, and arrive on time, you will benefit from the sweet sounds of children singing to our theme “Imagine.” You may also view the Board of Education meeting virtually, via a link on the RPS website.
I wish you a wonderful weekend.
Susie Da Silva, Ed.D.
Quote of the Week
“….thank you for checking in; I am loving my time in Ridgefield so far! Morale is high at each of my three schools and communication is constant. I am looking forward to being a contributing member." (an email response from a new teacher to the Superintendent)
Weather-Related Process and Expectations
Questions or Concerns?
Welcome to RPS: New Teacher Slideshow
New Teacher Feature: A Short Interview with Josh Sette, Elementary School Strings
On one of his first days at RPS, Joshua Sette joined other RPS musical talents to rock Convocation. In addition to teaching full-time, he plays with the band Dizzy Fish, playing at the Ridgefield Playhouse tonight!
Meet Josh Sette:
1. What did you do prior to working at RPS? For the last 12 years, I taught at an International Baccalaureate in Stamford, where I grew up. I taught elementary and middle school orchestra, elementary and middle school choir, and general music. I also was the musical director on the school show each year and taught an after-school improv comedy class.
2. What brought you to RPS? RPS has always had a special mystique to it, in my eyes. The Chirp outdoor concert series is fantastic. The Ridgefield Playhouse is mesmerizing. The schools are great. There's a population of Broadway performers that live here and rave about the town. My best friend George Beratis is the band director at Ridgefield High School and has always had wonderful things to say. So I have been enticed by the Ridgefield arts community as well as the community as a whole for quite some time.
3. Do you have any special passions, skills, or unique family experiences you would like to share with our audience of families and faculty? Hmmm, passions... when I'm not teaching or performing, I love relaxing with my wife and dog when he lets us relax. I am often either watching or talking about basketball. Maybe I'll quit teaching and go into the NBA as a 38-year-old rookie (That's how that works, right??) Mainly, I love to laugh.
Dizzy Fish is performing at the Ridgefield Playhouse tonight! Please see a YouTube clip (with ads) of Sette performing with the band at the Ridgefield Playhouse below.
Please review the security protocols below.
- Visitors must have an appointment with a staff member or a purpose for their visit.
- Don't hold the door open for other visitors coming in behind you.
- All RPS campuses are closed to the public during school hours. Do not use RPS grounds as a place to walk, a way to cut through, or for any other reason.
Logan Hale Is Remembered on the Field and Off
When the eighth-grade Ridgefield Football team took the field for opening day, they carried jersey number 52 in remembrance of their friend, Logan Hale. Logan was an East Ridge Middle School student who passed away last year after a heart-breaking battle against cancer. His legacy lives on in the hearts of RPS and with the Logan Project. The Logan Project aims to fulfill Logan's dream, as described on the website, "to provide gaming kiosks to children undergoing medical treatments so they can stay in touch with their friends and restore a sense of normalcy."
Board of Education: Meeting This Monday
The Board of Education meeting will take place on Monday, September, 12 at 7:00 p.m. Attend the meeting in person or view online live or recorded using this link. The meeting location is Central Office at 90 East Ridge Road. More information, including links to meetings and agendas, can be found here.
Caption: Board of Education members with Assistant Superintendent Cory Gillette at Convocation
Are You Smarter Than an RPS Fourth Grader? Ice Cream Cone Math Challenge
"I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream math?" A recent math lesson captivated Mary Walsh's Barlow Mountain fourth graders so much that they didn't want to stop. The central question was: How many combinations of two scoops can you make with an ice cream shop's top ten flavors? Walsh reports that the new RPS math curriculum resource, think! Mathematics, implements ideas put forth in the book Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics by Peter Liljedahl. "Students work in random groupings using vertical whiteboards all around the room," explains Walsh. "The goal is getting kids standing and collaborating, sharing ideas (the student with ONLY one marker per group actually learns how to write down others' ideas, not their own ideas), and problem-solving in a variety of ways."
Mint chip and oreo on a wafer cone, please!
The HeARTs of RPS
Students Make Hot Air Balloons to Celebrate Creativity and Differences
Jennifer Zeyer's elementary art students are starting the year designing hot air balloons that represent them. Inspired by the book, The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be, Zeyer created this lesson to celebrate students' differences and foster self-expression. Written by interior designer and HGTV co-host of Fixer Upper Joanna Gaines and illustrated by Julianna Swaney, the book is a New York Times best-seller. Zeyer looks forward to sharing the book, which "follows a group of children as they each build their very own hot-air balloons," with her students and seeing her students' creativity soar.
RPS in the News
Click on the photos below for links to articles about RPS in local and national media.
Ridgefield Best Buddies
The Ridgefield Press highlighted the Ridgefield Best Buddies Program on the front page of this week's edition. Best Buddies makes connections between RPS students with disabilities and their peers.
Boys and Girls Club Before School Program
The Ridgefield Boys and Girls Club partnership with RPS deepened this fall with the launch of the new Before School Program for the Elementary Schools with later start times.
This Week In Photos
Photos above show Scotts Ridge seventh graders on a team-building field trip.
Ridgefield CT 06877