Superintendent's Update

September 30, 2016

Roof Project Coming to a Close

Thursday was our punch list walk-through for the roof project. The walk-through was attended by representatives from Allied Construction, Silver Petricelli, G2M along with Brian and myself. The middle school is completely wrapped up. The installation has been inspected by Johns Manville, the manufacturer, and they have issued the warranty materials. The elementary school project is nearly complete. We identified about twenty items that need to be finalized, which are mostly finishing touches. Allied plans on doing a final cleanup this Saturday, if the weather cooperates.

P.E. Classes at WES

Chris Danforth, our new P.E. teacher, is running our students ragged in gym class. There is a high level of physical energy being expended each period. He is really focusing on improving overall fitness and stamina in our students.
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Legislative Update

I attended a legislative update hosted by Shipman and Goodwin in Hartford. There is a new Student Data Privacy law that will require districts to enter into written contracts with operators of websites, online services and student information systems. This new law will have a significant impact due to the extent of online services that we currently use. These include: Administrator's Plus, Renaissance Learning, Lexia, Microsoft and Study Island.

The other significant legislation deals with background and employment checks. I have included more detail on these two laws below.

Administrator's Meeting

The administrators got together for a regularly scheduled meeting this past Tuesday. We covered a variety of topics including rolling out the breakfast program at WMS, SRBI and curriculum delivery at both schools. We also had a special visit from Val who shared information about a program she is heavily involved in called Mutt-i-grees. It is a social and emotional learning program that builds on children's intense connections to dogs, and is being used successfully in nearly 4,000 school in the US and Canada

Substitutes

I interviewed seven new substitute teachers and paraprofessionals this week. Both school offices are always in need of new substitutes especially as we get closer to cold and flu season. We will have an instrumental music substitute for the the band program in place on Monday as well.

DATTCO Busing

I was pleased to hear that Shirley Grainek and Bob Frink met with the parents in the cafeteria at the end of the board meeting. They took down all of their concerns and looked into them immediately. The two bus routes in question were Bus 8 and Bus 6. The K-12 routes are numbered 1-13 with each bus having the same number. DATTCO did review the videos from bus 6 and did share them with parents who wished to see them, as well as the principals. The other route in question was bus 8 for the high school middle school. This bus now has a new driver after the previous driver took another position elsewhere. Bus 8 issues seem to have been resolved, and the pick up and drop off times have stabilized. Calls to the bus office have died down considerably. Bus 8 was forced to drive over the state line when a truck was blocking the turnaround on Brickyard road. The driver had trouble finding a suitable turnaround thus the delay. We also began the late bus run this past week at the middle school. Chris Sandford asked if we could add Woodstock Academy students to our late bus. We worked out a schedule with DATTCO. Adding the Academy stop has resulted in a longer ride than students had last year so we will keep an eye on it.

Fire Alarm

There was an unplanned fire alarm at the middle school Tuesday afternoon right during dismissal. A student was pushed during dismissal and while trying to brace himself against the wall he accidentally pulled down on the alarm. The students did a nice job of exiting the building, even Dick Baron, our Fire Marshall, was impressed. Brian has installed covers on on the pull stations near the stair ways on each of the three floors to prevent this from happening again.