Best of Bennet

September 23, 2022

From the Administration

Hi Bennet Academy Families!

On behalf of the administration team we would like to welcome new families to our community! The year is off to a great start thanks to the positive energy of our students, families and staff. It has been especially nice to see smiling faces each morning and throughout the day as our students reconnect with their pals, learn the ropes, and take advantage of everything Bennet has to offer. We look forward to after school clubs and activities starting soon- look out of all of the information to come via the Bennet Virtual Backpack!

Happy Fall Y’all!

Megan Thompson

Can my child go to school today?

Has your child or a family member been in close contact with a known positive Covid person?

Does your child or a family member have a persistent cough, or other respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath, lung congestion?

Has your child or a family member lost the ability to smell or taste?

Does your child or a family member have a fever over 100 F prior to medication?

Has your child had diarrhea or vomiting within the last 24 hours?

If you have answered YES to any of these questions, your child should stay home and you should call the school absentee line.

If your absence is COVID-related please contact the school nurse for advice prior to sending your child to school.
Big picture
Big picture

Things to note on the calendar:

School hours this year remain 8:15 - 2:45.

EARLY DISMISSAL Wednesdays starts October 5th!!! Students will dismiss at 1:15 on Wedndesdays from October 5 through June 7.

Our first scheduled day off is October 10th!

Big picture

Get to know the PE teachers!

Suzy Coles has taught Physical Education and Wellness in Manchester since 2007, across every grade level, mostly at Bennet Academy. Her favorite part of teaching is helping students with techniques and strategies that enable them to be successful and confident. When students find joy and are proud of their new achievements in the skill or activity, it is the best! Outside of school, Mrs. Coles can be found outdoors staying active, working and playing in every season. Her favorites are farming, gardening, nature, biking, hiking, and trail running. She also loves spending time with family, friends, and the best cat in the whole world.

Shawn Wibly is in his second year teaching at Bennet Academy. He has previous Physical Education teaching experience in Plainville and Wolcott Public Schools. His favorite part of teaching is seeing students develop their athletic abilities as well as teamwork, cooperation, and sportsmanship. When Mr. Wibly is not teaching, he is playing tennis, basketball, and softball. He also enjoys spending time with his fiancée, family, and friends.

Michael Silver has taught Physical Education for 15 years, 10 years in Hartford and the last 5 years at Washington and Bennet Academy. He has taught grades Pre-K through 8th grade and his favorite part of teaching is giving the students an opportunity to be successful at differing skill levels. Michael was raised in Manchester, went to Waddell, Illing and Manchester High School and has been the Aquatics Director for the Manchester Recreation Department for the last 20 years. He is married and has two rescue dogs Tucker and Callie.

Matt Leitao is in his fourth year teaching Physical Education at Bennet Academy. Prior to teaching at Bennet he taught for over ten years in the Clinton and Coventry school districts. Matt was raised and lives in Manchester and worked many years in the community through programming with the Manchester Recreation Department. His favorite part of teaching is being able to give students a positive opportunity to succeed in a physically active setting.

Alicia Palmisano has been teaching Physical Education in Manchester for the past 8 years. Throughout her career she has taught at both the Elementary level and at Bennet Academy, traveling from school to school. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing students grow from the preschool age all the way through grade 6 learning different skills. Ms. Palmisano enjoys being outdoors doing various activities that keep her active such as hiking, swimming, skiing, and running. In her free time, you can find Ms. Palmisano with her dog, Cooper, her daughter, family and friends.

Are you in need of before or after school care?

Manchester Early Learning Center, otherwise known as MELC, provides our before school (starting at 7:00 am) and after school (ending at 6:00 pm) care. You can find the application on their website, There is a charge for this daycare and spots are filling up quickly so please apply today if you are in need of care!
Big picture


We are going to continue highlighting the positives this school year. Throughout the year please let us know who has made you smile, or been a wonderful role model for your child, went that extra mile, or was there when you needed a shoulder. This could be a student, a teacher, support staff, or even an administrator.

Shout out from staff to Mrs. Megan Thompson for stepping into the role of Interim Principal at Bennet and made the start of our year go smoothly. We appreciate you!!

Tish Fortin would like to shout out Shelley Carlson - Thank you Shelley for stepping into a temporary math position and giving the students structure and consistency. Awesome job making connections with students and building a sense of community. We appreciate all your hard work and dedication!

Ms. Fortin also shouts out to Mrs. Jess (Skoog) Holman - Thank you for your support and daily positive outlook!

Shout out to our new secretary to the principal - Mrs. Dorrine Shewokis! She stepped into this new position seemlessly.

Your turn - I want to hear from parents and staff alike - email with your shout-out!!

Locks and Lockers

Parents have the option of renting school locks for the 22-23 school year. Please complete this form BENNET LOCK RENTAL FORM if you are interested in renting a school lock from Bennet Academy. Parents are allowed to provide students with their own locks, however, students must share their lock combination with the teacher. Locks must be returned to their homeroom teacher by June 1, 2023.

The Bennet Bear Den

Mrs. McDonnell, Mrs. Olesnevich and Mrs. Jodoin help students publish a newspaper and you can see past issues here. We have some budding journalists at Bennet! Information about joining this venture will be sent out in the fall so if you have a child interested in participating keep an eye out when flyers are "sent home" electronically via the Backpack on Tuesdays!
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Nurse's Corner

Do you have medications you still need to drop off for your child to take during the school day? Please call ahead and schedule a time to drop these off with the nurses. You also need to include the Authorization for Administration of Medicine by School Personnel form, signed by your doctor. We can not administer medication without written Drs orders.

Bennet School Nurses

Penny Parent & Carrie Bowman

860-647-3582 (p)

860-647-6348 (f)

Attention Grade 6 Parents!!

Your student will be required to have a physical dated January 2022 or later and proof of tdap and meningococcal vaccines in order to be cleared medically for 7th grade. If they have not already had a physical during that time frame that you submitted to the nurse, please schedule one. You can request your doctor fax the paperwork to us at 860-647-6348.

Addressing this proactively saves a lot of time and energy for the nurses, parents, and their pediatricians come spring/summer when appointments book out months in advance. Questions can be directed to Christie Michaud at 860-647-8189 or

Christie Michaud BSN RN

Manchester Public Schools

District Compliance Nurse

Attendance Line

Please remember to call the Attendance Line @ 860.647.3583 if your child will be absent. Please leave your child's name, ID #, and a detailed reason for the absence (ie fever, cough, etc.). If your child's absence is COVID related please call the nurse as well @ 860.647.3582. There is no need to call the office unless you have forgotten to call your student out and you get an attendance call. At that point you can call the office to explain the absence.
Mrs. Susan Redman and Mrs. Helen Delacruz are the English Language Learner staff at Bennet this year. They are very busy with over 70 students receiving language support at Bennet. Our current group of students represent 20 different countries and 22 languages! While the teachers don’t speak all of those languages, they are well versed in language acquisition; the steps students need to learn a new language. Lessons vary from teaching newcomers to the country basic phrases and vocabulary, to working on activating prior knowledge, academic vocabulary, and content support in the classroom.

Take a look at our Virtual Backpack!

There are no flyers yet, but each week flyers are added here so be sure to bookmark the site and check it out!
Big picture

REMINDERS - Water Bottles, buses and birthdays!

*Bus behavior: Please talk with your child about bus rules and behavior. Behavior at bus stops should be the same as expected in school. Students should keep hands and feet to themselves and wait patiently at their bus stop. This means no entering other people's yards, no picking flowers, no running into the street, no wrestling with peers, etc. When the bus arrives, students should find a seat and remain seated until it is time to disembark. There is NO FOOD or gum allowed on the bus. Students should remain seated and talk quietly with a friend, no yelling or otherwise distracting the driver. Bus behaviors will be dealt with swiftly and may include assigned seating, bus suspensions, or other disciplinary actions.

*Only students that qualify for a bus may ride that bus. Therefore, you cannot send your student home on a different bus to go home with a friend. Thank you for understanding.

*Birthdays - In Manchester we do not celebrate birthdays with food or balloons. Please do not send these items in with your student.

Who's New at Bennet Academy?

We have several new faces in our buildings this year...and we will introduce you along the way!

Welcome our new Technology Integration Specialist!

Chelsea Gordon is ecstatic to take on her new role as the Technology Integration Specialist at Bennet. She has been teaching in Manchester for sixteen years, having worked at Verplanck and Keeney and having taught 6th, 5th and 4th grade. Her husband teaches fifth grade ELA & Humanities at Bennet Academy! They have two kids! She also loves to workout, dance, play guitar, sing, hike, garden and spend lots of time outside with her family!

News from the Bennet Office:

  • Picking your student up early? Please call ahead and we will have your student ready. Let us know when you arrive and we will meet you at the door with your student to check your ID.

  • For all technology assistance (including Chromebooks, laptops and iPads), go to the IT Helpdesk or call / text 860-682-0607, Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM.

  • Did you move? Please see the list of required documents. Contact Registrar Heidi Turner to update your information: or 860.647.8275. Remember we cannot change your child's bus information until you have provided your new proof of residency.
  • New number? Please remember to update the registrar with any changes to your phone number or email so we can reach you! We send out newsletters and emails from the principal weekly and you do not want to miss anything!
  • New email? If you are reading this on our app and not in your email it may mean we have old information. Please contact Ms. Turner with your new email address so you don't miss out!

A note from the security team.

Please be aware as you drive through our pick up/drop off area that students are everywhere! Students should be dropped off in designated areas. You should not let your student exit your car on Wells Street.

Please be sure to discuss pick up and drop off plans with your student to eliminate any confusion and keep your plan consistent. Thank you.

Lost & Found

Found items will be placed in a box outside the Franklin main office. If your child has lost something please have them ask their teacher if they can check the box. Items not claimed will be donated approximately monthly.


In an attempt to make traffic flow faster, we tried a new drop off and pick up procedure that did not pan out this year. We have reverted to our regular route, entering School Street from Spruce Street and following the traffic behind the building to exit onto Wells Street. Staff members are stationed throughout the Bennet Campus and drop off areas to help students.

There will be no drop off or pick up allowed on Wells Street or at CVS.

Special Programs families and Mini-buses will be the only vehicles allowed to pull in front of the Franklin Building for drop-off in the morning. No other vehicles will be allowed to access the front of the Franklin building unless the time is past 8:15 a.m. Late students will be dropped off at the front door, ring the bell to be let in, and will receive a late pass before being sent to class. Parents do not need to accompany late students to the door. If the tardy is due to a doctor's appointment, please get a note from the doctor for your child to have the tardy excused.

Please see map below.

Big picture

Is there something you would like to see in this newsletter this year?

Please feel free to reach out to Mrs. Berman ( if you have something you think the Bennet Community would like to know about or if you have pictures to share of any of our Bennet Cubs or staff doing something fun or newsworthy in our town. We can't promise it will make it into the newsletter, but we will make every effort to incorporate newsworthy items!