Region In Review

February 28, 2020

Shepaug Valley School Pep Rally

Spartan Pride was on full display on Valentine's Day when Shepaug students gathered together in the gymnasium to celebrate the upcoming boys' and girls' basketball, swimming, and diving competitions.

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Region 12 Welcomes New Spartans!

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When the first four sheep arrived at Shepaug, we quickly discovered that three of them were about to deliver baby lambs! This is an exciting experience for our students, who learned about nutritional needs for expectant sheep, baby lambs, and a yearling. The first two lambs, females, were born in January to sheep-moms Dottie and Westin. A male lamb was born two weeks later to sheep-mom Mystique.

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In the spirit of ensuring that all Region 12 students are a part of the Shepaug Experience, we invited our elementary students to assist us in naming our newest Spartans. Because our agriscience students are the pioneers of The Agriscience Academy, we asked all to come up with pioneer names for the baby lambs.

All submissions were carefully reviewed by our Shepaug pioneers, and the following names were selected:


From Booth Free School: Sally, named for Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.


From Burnham School: Bloomer, an invented name, because a bloomed flower is open and new, just like a pioneer is open to new things.


From Washington Primary School: Otto, named for a pioneer of the Western Expansion Movement.

In the spirit of our students being impacted by this program as often as is appropriate, we are pleased to announce these names as an opportunity for enhancing the Shepaug Experience, and a wonderful learning opportunity to discover pioneers in history.

Artists of the Month

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During the school year, the Board of Education and the Region 12 art staff recognizes one student from each school for their excellence in the visual arts. The students' artwork hangs in the Board of Education office for a month. The elementary artists recognized at the February 10th Board of Education meeting were Burnham School second-grader Noah Tenreiro, Booth Free School fourth-grader Brianna Johnson, and Washington Primary School first-grader Liam Meyer.

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Noah explored the art principle balance in his cityscape using pencil and crayon (top). Brianna experimented with different color combinations using watercolors (middle). Liam made a crayon rubbing of the paper collage he created (bottom).

Secondary artists were Gavin Abdella, a seventh grader, who explored the possibilities of coil pottery and Lane Faison a Photography student investigating black and white landscapes.


Congratulations artists!

Senior Project Spotlight

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On Wednesday, February 19, Shepaug students were treated to an interactive presentation on the dangers of distracted and impaired driving. Students used virtual reality to simulate the loss of vehicular control.

Gavin McCabe was able to secure this presentation with help from Officer Innaimo. The Connecticut Department of Transportation has funded this presentation in 80 schools statewide this year.

U.S. Air Force

Marc Genua’s senior project is titled “Air Force Preparations”. The focus of Marc’s project is to physically and mentally prepare for the steps he will take on his journey to become an official U.S Airman. These steps include completing MEPs (Military Entrance Programming Station) and the ASVAB test (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery), which determines the jobs a trainee is qualified to do.

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Marc will also attend Basic Military Training (Boot Camp) to prepare him for life as a member of the world's greatest military. In Marc’s senior project, he has been documenting his physical training and improving his study skills. As a way to showcase the work that he has done this year, Marc will compete in a Spartan Race in Boston on May 16th.

Regional Elementary School Dance

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On Friday, February 14th, elementary students and families gathered at Shepaug Valley School for a night of fun! The PTO’s of Booth Free School, Burnham School, and Washington Primary School invited all students in PK through fifth grade to dance the night away with DJ Austin Dailey! Students danced to great music and circled up while individuals and pairs showcased their special moves. Lots of cheers and smiles filled the cafeteria. Our students can really dance!

In addition to the dance, students and families were able to visit one of the many vendors who presented in the mall such as Pampered Chef, LuLaRoe, Organic Soaps, and Touchstone Crystal. Throughout the night, families were able to stop by the gym and watch the SVS girls and boys varsity basketball teams in action. During intermission, a special performance by our elementary boys and girls showed their fancy basketball skills. Thank you to all the PTO volunteers for organizing such a successful event for our families and children at the elementary level. Activities that bring the elementary school communities together support connectedness and positive relationships.

National Children’s Dental Health Month

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Booth Free School, Burnham School, and Washington Primary School took part in National Children’s Dental Health Month this February. Our school communities were treated to a visit from Caceci Family Dentistry. Dr. Matt Caceci and dental hygienist, Wendy, spent time with each of our combined grade levels going over many important things about healthy teeth.

With gooey green “germs” on a gloved hand, representing teeth, students were able to practice brushing properly. They had a big surprise when the “germs” were still between the fingers (“teeth”) after brushing. Next, a clear white shoelace was a great hands-on tool to demonstrate cleaning that goo between the teeth by flossing!! Students also reviewed how and when to brush your teeth, how to floss effectively, and which foods are bad for your teeth and which foods are good for them.

Our students were very engaged, involved, and excited about the things they were learning during the program. There were a lot of wonderful questions asked and answered. This was a fun interactive program for our students and they have learned positive dental hygiene habits to keep those smiles healthy.

World Affairs Forum

Shepaug Valley School is excited to host the 17th Annual World Affairs Forum on Saturday, March 21st from 2:00-4:00 pm. The event will be at The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens in Washington Depot. This year’s World Affairs Forum is part of Oscar Cespedes’s senior project with support from the Humanities Department, the Shepaug Student Project Foundation, and The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens. The theme for this year will focus on human rights.

We are fortunate to have Wendy Luers serve as our guest speaker. Mrs. Luers brings an extensive background and work experience to our forum. Alongside Mrs. Luers will be ten student panelists who will each explore a specific topic associated with human rights. Community participation with Mrs. Luers and the student panelists is possible and encouraged.


The ten student panelists include Oscar Cespedes, Isabel Eddy, Lily Schur, Elizabeth Neunzig, Rebecca Racz, Sam Quigley, Kyle Mieczkowski, Aaryuj Trehan, Ryan Bialack and Wyatt King.

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Fox 61 Student News

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Freddie Matthis, Assistant Chief Photographer and Lead Drone Pilot for Fox 61 Student News, delivered an outstanding presentation about creating news packages to the Digital Media Communications students.

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Viruses & Illnesses – Tips to Stay Healthy!

There are viruses especially prevalent during this time of year. They can be as mild as the common cold, or more severe. Common symptoms are: fever, cough, shortness of breath, and other respiratory conditions such as bronchitis. Viruses can be spread by coughing, sneezing, or through close contact with an infected person. Infants, children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems are most vulnerable to any virus/illness such as the FLU.


The FLU vaccine is available for people who have not yet received it. There is also much information publicized by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health(DPH), local health departments/ districts and the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) on the new Coronavirus first identified in China. There is no vaccine available at this time for this new virus. However, there are measures to follow that can help to prevent infections.

The CDC recommends health measures to follow:


- Avoid close contact with people who are sick

- Wash hands with soap/water for at least 20 seconds, if not available, use sanitizer

- Use tissues when coughing/sneezing

- Remain home (for 24 hours) if any fever, diarrhea or vomiting is present

- Avoid touching face with unwashed hands- use tissues, then dispose of tissues

- Clean/disinfect surfaces/objects that are frequently used

- Do not share food, utensils, cups

- Rest if sick, increase fluid intake, and consume a nutritious diet that consists of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, eggs and lean fish and poultry.

Fliers & Upcoming Events

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Region 12 Calendar

Mar 2: BOE Special Meeting (Supt's Budget Presentation), SVS 6:30PM

Mar 2: BOE Meeting, SVS, 7pm

Mar 3: Blood Drive, SVS, 8:30am

Mar 4: WPS Invention Convention, WPS, 5pm

Mar 4: Burnham/BFS Invention Convention at Burnham School, 6pm

Mar 5: PTO Meeting, Burnham School, 6pm

Mar 9: BOE Finance & Operations Committee, SVS, 6pm

Mar 10: PTO Meeting, WPS, 6:30pm

Mar 11: Educational Forum for Elementary School Parents, WPS, 6pm

Mar 12: Multiage Classroom Discussion, BFS, 5pm

Follow Region 12 on our social media channels for updates and information!

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The Region 12 community educates, challenges, and inspires all learners to become compassionate, creative, and courageous individuals who are empowered by the knowledge, character, and perseverance to achieve their greatest potential within the global society.

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