Lebanon Public Schools

Superintendent Gonzalez's Update- January 2022

John Wesley, Letters of John Wesley

"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."

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Simone de Beauvoir

“That's what I consider true generosity: You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.”
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The Greatest Gift!

The greatest gift for us is to receive your children every single day and have the opportunity to learn and grow with them! We understand the great responsibility we have in teaching and taking care of your learners. We have enjoyed each precious moment we have been able to spend with them this year. As we get ready to ring in the new year, we wish you a happy and healthy winter break filled with love and laughter, peace and joy. We look forward to welcoming everyone back on January 3, 2022.


Generosity Makes You Happier

It has long been acknowledged that acts of generosity raise levels of happiness and emotional well-being, giving charitable people a pleasant feeling known, in behavioral economics, as a “warm glow.” But so far, no studies have investigated the mechanics behind the correlation between altruism and happiness.

Recently, Profs. Phillipe Tobler and Ernst Fehr, both from the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich (UZH) in Switzerland – in collaboration with other international researchers – conducted a study aiming to gain a better understanding of what goes on inside a person’s brain when they decide whether or not to perform a generous act.

Their article Trusted Source features in the current issue of Nature Communications.

Generosity is costly, yet beneficial

The premise of the study is that generosity is not necessarily an intuitive choice, as any selfless act comes at a personal cost. When we do something for someone else, we typically give away some of our personal resources, such as time, energy, or money.

Still, people choose to act generously despite these costs, and that choice is probably explained, as the researchers suggest, by the motivation provided by the anticipation of the “warm glow.”

The researchers set out to investigate the neural “map” of the correspondence between generous acts and increased levels of happiness, pointing out that this sort of endeavor is a first in the field.

Other studies, they explain, have looked at the neural “makeup” of generosity and happiness separately, associating each with different regions of the brain. Research has linked altruism and the performance of charitable acts to activity in the temporoparietal junction Trusted Source (TPJ), where the temporal and parietal lobes come together.

Happiness has been linked to an activation of the ventral striatum, which has been shown to play a role in the brain’s reward system, giving us that feeling of satisfaction when we perform a pleasant activity.

The researchers from UZH and their colleagues decided to test for possible interactions between these two brain regions in the case of people performing generous acts. To monitor brain activity, they used functional MRI (fMRI).

The decision to give makes us happier

Forty-eight people participated in this study, all of whom were allocated a sum of money on a weekly basis for 4 weeks. The participants were also randomly split into two equal groups.

One group constituted the experimental strand, and its members were assigned to perform acts of generosity toward others. They were asked to make a public pledgeTrusted Source to be generous, thus ensuring their commitment to the idea. The other group was the control group, whose members were told to spend the money on themselves.

All participants were asked to report their level of happiness both at the beginning and at the end of the experiment.

After making the public pledge, all the participants were asked to perform certain tasks while undergoing fMRI. They were prompted to make choices related to generous behavior by deciding whether or not they would offer a gift of money to someone.

Each time, a cost to themselves was also specified alongside the total value of the gift. Both the value of the gift and the size of the cost varied.

It was found that participants in the experimental group were likelier to choose the gifts most beneficial to others that came at a larger cost to themselves – that is, they were more charitable and self-sacrificing than the participants in the control group.

It was also found that all participants who had performed, or had been willing to perform, an act of generosity – no matter how small – viewed themselves as happier at the end of the experiment.

“You don’t need to become a self-sacrificing martyr to feel happier. Just being a little more generous will suffice,” says Prof. Tobler.

The Neural Underpinnings

As for the neural mechanisms, the study confirmed the researchers’ initial hypothesis that the ventral striatum and the TPJ interacted when generous behavior was displayed. They noted that the orbitofrontal cortex, an area of the brain linked with decision-making, was also involved.

The researchers have expressed their enthusiasm about these findings, stating that their newfound knowledge might provide ways of reinforcing generous behavior with the promise of a happier life.

Nevertheless, they acknowledge that many considerations remain unexplored and would benefit from further study.

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CT Grown for CT Kids Grant

Working in partnership with Phil Chester, Lebanon Town Planner along with local farmer and parent, Charlotte Ross our district is pursuing an exciting opportunity by applying for this grant.

The purpose of the grant is to assist development and enhancement of farm-to-school programs that will increase the availability of local foods in child nutrition programs, allow educators to use hands-on educational techniques to teach students about nutrition and farm-to-school connections, sustain relationships with local farmers and producers, enrich the educational experience of students, improve the health of children in the state and enhance the state's economy.

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"Our goals are not achieved by looking at the finish line but by knowing where the finish line is and why it matters, and then shifting our focus to the one step we have to take today."- Compete Every Day, Jake Thompson

As we begin 2022, the thought of goal-setting is on the minds of many. In Lebanon, goal-setting and reflection is an on-going process for everyone. In our schools we partner to prepare students to be contributing members of a diverse global society. We provide a safe, nurturing, rigorous, and student-centered learning environment.

As we reflect on the progress we have made so far this year, we are proud of our students' and teachers' efforts. However, we know we still have room to grow. So we look forward to our next steps together as we continue to pursue excellence.

As a lead learner, I remain relentlessly committed to our district-wide goals in 2022!

Happy New Year!



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Don't Forget

Click "buttons" throughout update to view articles & important documents
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Lebanon Pride

Families, please feel free to send photos of our students in action so that I can celebrate them in the Superintendent Updates. Thanks for helping share our Lebanon Pride! andrew.gonzalez@lebanonct.org
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New Pupil Services Director

Please give a warm welcome to our new Pupil Services Director, Dawn DeLia. Dawn will be joining us after spending most of her professional career as a Special Education teacher and leader in the Griswold Public Schools. During her time in Griswold, she taught numerous grade levels while also serving as the School Family Partnership Chair, a Professional Development Facilitator and a grade level Team Leader. Dawn is excited to begin with us on January 10, 2022.

Fall Athletes Honored

Pictured below, Callie and Magda are celebrated for being Engaged Collaborators of their fall sports teams and for earning All-State honors. Callie helped guide the Lyman Girls Volleyball Team to a Class S state championship while also being named the CHSCA Volleyball Player of the Year. Magda was an integral part of our ECC Division IV Championship soccer team and helped guide our team to a quarterfinal appearance in the state tournament.
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LES Winter Concert

Our LES grade 4 chorus, led by Mrs. Shuman, performed proudly for their schoolmates and families!
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Lyman's 100th Year Celebration!

Lyman Alumni, we are looking for you.

Lyman Memorial High School will celebrate its centennial during the 2022–23 school year. An Alumni Anniversary Committee is working in partnership with the Lebanon Historical Society to plan a series of events to honor this incredible milestone. In addition, our volunteers are working hard to find and identify the stories and objects from Lyman’s past, which will culminate in a commemorative history of the school. A published book will be available at a future date, comprising of a history and many of the components: Vo-Ag/FFA, sports, clubs and organizations, faculty, graduates, and much more.

Please refer to the anniversary Facebook page or the Lyman website for items we are looking for.

Please help us spread the word to our Lyman alumni and follow our Facebook page: “Lyman-Memorial-High-School-100-Year-Anniversary.” If you do not have Facebook, please email LymanMHS100years@gmail.com to be added to the list or for more information.

The opening celebration and an all-class reunion are planned for the weekend of September 9-11, 2022. Plan to reunite with classmates and old friends; enjoy sporting events, dancing, food, displays and tours of the Middle and High Schools. More details on this centennial celebration will be in print and posted on social media including the Lyman High School Facebook page and website.

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Community Conversations to begin January 13th

Coffee and Chat sessions have proved to be challenging for people to attend. I have switched it up a bit with a new name and a virtual component. Please feel free to join me for Community Conversations on Thursday mornings.

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Reminder of Mask Wearing

Thank you for your cooperation in following the mitigation strategies to help keep our students and staff safe so that we may continue to provide in-person instruction. Please remind your children about the importance of consistent masking as an important measure to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID-19.
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Lebanon Covid-19 Dashboard

Please remember you can see our COVID-19 data that is updated in real time athttps://www.lebanonct.org/ There is a "button" on the main page that links directly to our dashboard.
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Masking Our Student-Athletes

Dear Lyman Memorial Families;

As many of you may be aware, the CIAC Winter Sport COVID-19 Guidance is about to change. According to the document released by the CIAC prior to the start of winter sports, once students are dismissed for the Winter holiday break, schools may begin to utilize (at their discretion) the revised masking rules for each winter sport.

At this time, however, out of an abundance of caution and the well-being of our student-athletes, we will continue to require our student-athletes to properly wear masks during competition at both home and away venues. We will re-examine this mitigation strategy in mid-January prior to the start of mid-year exams. It is our intention to keep the health and well-being of our student-athletes first and foremost as we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic.


If you have individuals looking for their vaccination record, they can now access the information by themselves.

The link is below for patients and legal guardians to access official immunization records for themselves and their children using the CT WiZ Public Portal.


American Academy of Pediatrics

COVID-19 Guidance for Safe Schools

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COVID Case Communication

In an effort to continuously improve our communication practices regarding important health matters, we are now utilizing a new feature within our district communication tool Thrillshare that allows us to individually select students/families and send email as well as text to speech messages.

These messages will contain all necessary information and associated timelines for possible quarantine for any student that is deemed a close contact after our tracing procedures.

Contact information will be left for families and we encourage you to email or call at anytime to make sure you understand the protocol and your options.

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American Rescue Plan for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief

The American Rescue Plan for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ARP ESSER) have been allocated to create programming that is not only innovative but allows our students to thrive in a safe, nurturing, rigorous and student-centered learning environment.

Lebanon Public Schools is projected to receive $347,039 ESSER II funds and $770,405 ESSER III funds that are to be used by June 2023.

Our team has developed a plan to apply these significant funds to support students who have experienced injuries of trauma as a result of necessary changes in the learning environment during the 2020-21 academic year.

Our plan addresses the following priorities:

■ Providing academic support to address learning loss and accelerate recovery

■ Partnering with families and the community

■ Ensuring our schools’ safety and well-being

■ Integrating Technology to support the success of all learners

Being responsive to the needs of the district and the students whom we serve, this plan will be reviewed and revised at regular intervals and updated materials will be posted on our district's website, shared with Board of Education as well as with our families by sharing at the building level through newsletters and other sources of communication.

As a result of a needs assessment and the collaborative conversations between administration, staff and Board of Education members, Lebanon Public Schools has hired a Math Interventionist and Literacy Coach to work at Lebanon Middle School. We have also contracted with Eastconn, our Regional Education Service Center, to provide K-12 Math support for our educators. Lyman will have a supported study hall to keep students on track. Our district added a Social worker to support our students social and emotional well-being. We also have invested in new educational platforms to support targeted instruction for our learners and teachers have been actively engaged in curriculum development this summer. Most recently the district posted, and has begun interviewing to fill positions that we feel will meet the priorities above. These positions include; a grade 4 & 5 teacher, a 7-12 Math position that will bring a concentrated focus to this subject and support 6th grade. These were initial steps towards addressing the needs of our district. Further communication will be sent to all stakeholders to engage in meaningful consultation for suggestions on educational areas to support.

If you have any feedback or suggestions on how we can grow our district through creative use of these funds, please reach out to me directly.

Keep Our School Zones Safe

Thank you for paying close attention to your speed while driving through our school zones. Our School Resource Officer and our Town Constable will be actively monitoring vehicle speeds to ensure we have safe school zones.

Also, please remember that it is never okay to drive by/pass any school bus with flashing red lights.

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Mission Statement

The Lebanon Public Schools, in partnership with families and the community, will prepare students to be contributing members of a diverse global society. We will provide a safe, nurturing, rigorous, and student-centered learning environment.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement of the Lebanon Public Schools:

The school community of Lebanon is committed to the mission of honoring and celebrating the diversity of our students, our community, and our nation. We strive to guide our students to conscious, deliberate, individual and collective actions that cultivate the respect of all races, religions, and social backgrounds. Our school community endeavors to produce graduates who are equipped with a greater understanding of the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Nondiscrimination Statement of the Lebanon Public Schools:

The Lebanon Board of Education, in compliance with federal and state law, affirms its policy of equal educational opportunity for all students and equal em ployment opportunity for all persons. It is the policy of the District to promote nondiscrimination and an environment free of harassment regardless of an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, ancestry, disability (including but not limited to, intellectual disability, past or present history of mental disorder, physical disability, or learning disability), genetic information, marital status, or age or because of the race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ge nder identity/expression, national origin, ancestry, disability, genetic information, marital status, or age of any persons with whom the individual associates. The District shall provide to all students without discrimination, course offerings, counseling, assistance, employment, athletics, and extracurricular activities. The District shall provide equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The District shall make reasonable accommodations for identified physical and mental impairments that constitute disabilities, consistent with federal and state statutes and regulations.