Together We Can

June 20, 2022

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WOW! It is hard to believe that that this is the last newsletter of the school year. In reflection, I am so proud of all of the accomplishments our students have made with the support of the GPS staff and I look forward to what is to come next year.

Just as a reminder, that when we return in the fall, the IEP and 504 documents will have a different look. Starting July 1, the new CT-SEDS system will be used for all IEPs and 504s. During the summer, over 30 GPS teachers and administrators will be participating in the State's training to learn the new system and support the implementation upon our return for the 2022-2023 SY.

Have a wonderful summer vacation and I look forward to seeing you in the fall!!


Stacey Heiligenthaler, Ph.D.

Chief Officer of Special Education and Student Supports

Meet Our New Team Members

I am pleased to share that Ms. Cara Vitolo, who has been the interim special education administrator since March, has been appointed special education preschool/elementary coordinator, effective immediately, and Ms Leah Zilich has been appointed special education high school and transition coordinator, effective July 1.

Cara has been with Greenwich Public Schools since 2007, holding multiple positions, including: interim special education administrator; intervention specialist, special education and first-grade teacher at New Lebanon School; and fourth-grade teacher, learning facilitator, and special education co-teacher at Parkway School.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Manhattan College, a master’s degree in Education and Special Education from Manhattanville College. She holds certifications in Elementary Education, Elementary Special Education, and Intermediate Administration and Supervision in both Connecticut and New York, and Intermediate Administrator Certification from Sacred Heart University.

Leah was most recently the assistant principal for the Rye Lake Campus of Southern Westchester BOCES, serving students K-12+ with mild to severe disabilities. Prior, she held multiple positions at Norwalk Public Schools, including intervention coordinator, curriculum designer, assessment coordinator, assistive technology specialist, scientific research based intervention coordinator, first and fourth grade teacher, and special education teacher.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Multi-Disciplinary Studies, a master’s degree in Education from West Virginia University, and certifications in Administration and Supervision 092, Special Education - Comprehensive Grades K-12, and Elementary: Grades 1-6 in the State of Connecticut and School Building Leader, Initial in New York.

What We Are Seeing 👀 Around the Schools

Greenwich High School Student Interns

Greenwich High School student interns reading to the preschool class at New Lebanon School. The preschool program is proud to support the GHS Senior Intern Program and have benefited from the experience.

Preschool Family Day Picnic at North Street School

New Lebanon School's Fifth Grade Exhibition

Old Greenwich School Parent Workshop

We held our last Parent Stress Relief session of the school year at Old Greenwich School. Parents practiced effective hands on mindfulness strategies with their children to help manage stress and calm down. Students and parents spent some bonding time together by sending kind wishes to one another and creating calming glitter jars.

Beat the Stress with Mindfulness at New Lebanon

The fifth-grade students in Ms. Amy Rose's classroom at New Lebanon learned how to cope with stress by practicing mindful breathing and self-compassion.

New Lebanon's Ms. Keren Brown leads her second-graders through a mindful breathing exercise. There is no better way to start another day of learning!

Ms. Darina Fox and her fourth grade ALP students show a token of gratitude, as they completed the five-week mindfulness training with Dr. Fabian Boie, from the GPS Behavior Support Team.

Workshops and Resources

Extended School Year Registration

Just a reminder, if your child is eligible for Extended School Year (ESY) on their IEP, please sign up to let us know that they are coming. ESY is from July 5-August 5. Detailed information and registration is located on the GPS summer school website. Any questions, please email

SEAC’s Executive Functions and Working Memory Workshop

The Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) and Office of Special Education and Student Supports held two workshops in May and June that featured Dr. Lydia Soifer, who discussed executive functions and working memory. You can watch both presentations Part 1 and Part 2. For further details contact:

The Office of Special Education and Student Supports

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