GPS District Digest

Stories, news and updates from Greenwich Public Schools

Annual Talent Show at Eastern Middle School

Students from all grades at Eastern Middle School showed their skills at the annual "Talent Show" last Friday evening. From athletic abilities to musical talents, the students demonstrated a wide range of skills for the evening's showcase.

"The Annual Talent Show is a great night for our school community. I'm always impressed by the level of skill and talent shown on stage. Equally impressive to me is our student audience's cheers and support of their peers. What an amazing display of connectedness and school spirit!," shared Principal Jason Goldstein.

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Riverside School's "Holidays for Haiti" event returns

Last Friday, Riverside School held its second annual school-wide community service event,

“Holidays for Haiti.” Encouraged by last year’s success, Riverside will once again partner with Danita’s Children for this year’s community service effort. “Last year’s event was met with enormous enthusiasm and participation,” said Riverside School's Principal Mr. Christopher Weiss. “Our goal is to choose projects that allow our students to give back in tangible ways, and partnering with Danita’s Children again will give our students the opportunity to engage more deeply with that particular community that is in need.”

Leading up to the event, Riverside’s Student Council and Riverside Rangers engaged the students and built excitement for the event. Lunchtime presentations, poster-making and classroom visits took place leading up to the after-school event on Friday, November 15, where all Riverside students and families were invited to select a child to support, decorate a card and send them a card along with the gift. Gift choices included a range of necessity options such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, socks and clothes.

Additionally, this year Donken Christopher Andre, aged 23, an orphan who was part of Danita's Children, spoke to students and staff about the organization, shared what conditions in Haiti are like, and expressed the importance of events like this. “The living conditions for children in Haiti is one that is unimaginable for many children in America to understand," said Riverside School's Assistant Principal Safiya Key. “Having someone who can describe first-hand what the conditions in Haiti are like, and what their own personal journey has been is an invaluable lesson for our students; one that will resonate in meaningful and lasting ways.”

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Greenwich High School InLab Exhibition

Last week, Greenwich High School's Innovation Lab hosted an exhibition to showcase their projects. Innovation Lab is a rigorous, interdisciplinary, school-within-a-school model at Greenwich High School. This progressive and personalized model is led by a dedicated team of GHS educators who are leveraging innovative teaching methods, project-based learning strategies, and leading-edge technology applications to help students develop their skills and content knowledge. With guidance, students discover their passions and impact the community at large. The teams of students and teachers are devoted to fostering creativity, curiosity, and purpose.

Students pictured below are in Humanities 9, and were tasked to collaborate as a team of historians, researchers, curators, and urban planners to create Memorial Parks dedicated to the triumphs and tragedies of German History. Fittingly, on November 9, Berliners celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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Panel of Teachers share benefits of "Personal Learning"

On Tuesday, November 19, Chief Academic Officer Irene Parisi moderated a panel discussion with teachers from across the District representing grades K-12. This panel shared stories and examples of personal learning methodologies applied to their own classrooms, and answered questions from PTA members across all schools in the District.

Heard during the panel discussion were anecdotes about students feeling empowered when they help design their learning journey, teachers learning the strengths and interests of each of their students, and the benefits of personal learning across every grade level, as evidenced by Mr. Andrew Bramante's research-based course for high school seniors that relies heavily on individual goal-setting and problem-solving - key aspects of personal learning that are started in Kindergarten.

Personalized learning is defined by the District as, "a teacher-facilitated process that provides each student with meaningful choice, guided by a standards based curriculum, in what, where, how and at what pace and appropriate depth, they learn, based on individual strengths, needs, motivations, interests, goals and cultural backgrounds."

Old Greenwich School hosts 1st Book Discussion for parents

On Tuesday, Old Greenwich School held the first of a four-part Book Discussion program for parents. This session co-hosted by OGS Principal Ms. Jen Bencivengo and Literacy Specialist Ms. Sandy Zucarello, centered on the book, How to Raise a Reader by The New York Times Book Review Editors Pamela Paul and Maria Russo. The group discussion focused on tips and strategies for reading with your child at home, including how to encourage reading habits from newborns to teens. Parents left with a new toolkit of strategies and countless book recommendations for all ages.

GPS wins recognition for physical fitness programs in schools

The State of Connecticut's Department of Education has recognized Greenwich Public Schools as a highly performing physically active school system (PASS). As such, the school will receive the 2019 Connecticut Red Ribbon PASS Program Award. The PASS award demonstrates the district's commitment to implementing strategies for students to be physically active for at least 60 minutes throughout each school day.

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) will identify our district as a PASS award recipient on the department’s Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child(WSCC) webpage. Program Coordinator for Physical Education/Health/Family & Consumer Science Jeremy Boland and Chief Academic Officer Irene Parisi attended the Connecticut Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (CAHPERD)'s General Session this morning in Cromwell, CT to formally accept the award.

Stated in the notification letter, "The CSDE commends your district's efforts to provide students with opportunities to be physically active throughout the school day and shares your commitment to including physical activity as an essential component of student success."

Greenwich Alliance for Education's Inspiring Educators event & upcoming Turkey Trot

Inspiring Educators Celebration

The Greenwich Alliance for Education hosted their first “Inspiring Educators Celebration” to showcase the "Reaching Out Grant" recipients for 2019-2020 and a few other past grants that are continuing. All of the grant recipients were on hand to explain and share their innovative ideas.

Turkey Trot: Saturday, November 30th

Lace up your sneakers and run to support the Greenwich Alliance for Education on Saturday, November 30th. All proceeds from the race support programs in the Greenwich Public Schools. $500 will be awarded to the school with the greatest participation to total enrollment. Sign up today!

Greenwich educators showcase their grant-funded programs

ISD Memorial for Beloved Teacher

Mrs. Brenda Macri, a beloved long-time teacher at the International School of Dundee and a 2003 Distinguished Teacher Award Recipient, passed away last December 8. To honor her memory, the ISD community is launching a campaign for the purpose of purchasing books to add to their collection in the Learning Commons in her name. Everyone who knew Brenda knew how much she loved children's books and always strived to have one in each child's hands. She was also passionate about gardening and flowers and the school hopes to also purchase bulbs and have students plant them as a reminder of Brenda's beautiful spirit. The campaign will run now through the holiday season. Details will be forthcoming regarding a dedication event, which will be held in early 2020. The school community would be appreciative of any donations in Mrs. Macri's name.

Projects Update

GHS Soil Remediation Update

The November edition of the GHS Soil Remediation Project Update has been posted to the District's website. Updates include:

  • The Site is safe for use – the Site continues to be safe and parking areas and athletic fields are available for use. Some fenced areas remain.
  • The Site is part of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) Voluntary Remediation Program and we are working with regulators to complete cleanup of the property.
  • Routine monitoring of the site continues while remediation planning is being conducted.
  • The Town recently met with CTDEEP and EPA to review investigation findings and discuss plans for cleanup and the sequence of remediation activities.

GHS Cardinal Stadium

The GHS Cardinal Stadium "Under the Bleacher" design will be discussed at tonight's Board of Education Meeting.

Upcoming events across the District

Board of Education - Business Meeting

Thurs. Nov. 21 • 7:00pm

Greenwich High School

Social Emotional Learning Day: "Care for Self & Others" -- WEAR RED!

Fri. Nov. 22

All Schools

Thanksgiving Recess

Thurs. Nov. 28 & Fri. Nov. 29

All Schools

Greenwich Alliance for Education's Annual Turkey Trot

Sat. Nov. 30 • 9:30am

Arch Street Teen Center

New Lebanon School - Dedication Ceremony

Sat. Dec. 7 • 10:00am

New Lebanon School