GPS District Digest

Stories, news and updates from Greenwich Public Schools

GHS Student wins Greenwich Boys & Girls Club "Youth of the Year" Award

At a recent ceremony at the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich, Lara Javier, a junior at Greenwich High School, was named the club’s 2020 Youth of the Year. Lara, along with Alessandra DeVito (GHS Senior), Max Pisacreta (GHS Senior), Keely Rodriquez (GHS Junior), and Andres Rincon (Westhill High School Senior) were the finalists for the 2020 award.

Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich Bobby Walker, Jr. said, “Greenwich’s Youth of the Year program was established in 1969 to recognize club members who give back to their club and community. Youth of the Year winners have demonstrated service to club, community and family; academic success; strong moral character; life goals; and poise and public speaking ability. Lara Javier is a shining example of these traits.”

Lara Javier shared, “I’ve been a member of Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich for as long as I can remember. It started when I turned six years old and I would take the bus to the Club after school. I was here every day and have attended almost every program that is offered. From a member of the Barracuda swim team, to vice president of Keystone Club, the Club gave me a place to rely on."

Congratulations to Lara, Alessandra, Max and Keely on this great recognition!

Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich's 2020 Youth of the Year Awards

Jumpstart Literacy Camp at Hamilton Avenue School

Hamilton Avenue School hosted its first Jumpstart Literacy Camp over February Break for roughly 25 third graders. Four teachers delivered a learning experience designed to help these students come away with additional strategies for close reading, utilizing a process from literacy expert Dr. Beryl Irene Bailey, who personally trained these teachers through a recent Professional Development experience.

The Jumpstart Literacy Camp provided the opportunity for third grade students to receive literacy instruction related to close reading which will support test-taking strategies (technical and motivational) and overall application of close reading. At the end of the program, students and parents were provided with a playlist (academic strategies and choice) that will allow them to continue to practice their close reading skills and test-taking skills independently. Ultimately, this will help to maintain momentum from the program and build on their learned techniques for close reading, both of which will be beneficial for these students across all subject areas and during their first interactions with the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Hamilton Avenue School’s Principal Ms. Shanta Smith shared, “The Jumpstart Literacy Camp was designed to strengthen our students close reading skills, deepen their reading comprehension skills and broaden their vocabulary skills using fun and practical strategies, enhancing our students’ ability to read complex texts across subject areas and assessments.”

Students began their days with a collaborative gathering before going to their individual classrooms for lesson plans on close reading techniques. In parallel to this academic exercise, students had moments for movement to instill the importance of combining academic with social and emotional learning; these moments included physical movement, mindfulness and techniques for reducing anxiety.

Students at Hamilton Avenue School participate in a Literacy Camp over February Break to learn skills for close reading.

GPD Mentorship Program for Western Middle School Students

Four years ago, Western Middle School Counselors and Administrators began working closely with the Greenwich Police Department to strengthen community connections between students and our local police force.

Since its inception, the Western/GPD Mentorship Program has evolved to include one on one mentor/mentee relationships, groups of kids connecting with officers at the lunch table or outside after lunch, and more recently group trips to the Police Department to learn more about what our community officers do on a daily basis. The program also provides an opportunity for our students and officers to come together in a friendly environment, connect, and truly get to know each other. Through a combination of fun and educational experiences, these officers and students are committed to creating and maintaining these great relationships.

School Counselor and Mentor Program Coordinator Ms. Erin Montague shared, "I wanted our students to meet our community members behind the badge, to see them for the people they are and their good intentions to keep us all safe."

GPD Mentorship Program for Western Middle School students

Western Middle School to Host Fundraiser for St. Baldrick's

Western Middle School will host its fourth annual event benefitting St. Baldrick's Foundation on March 5 at 6:00pm in the school's gymnasium. This year's fundraiser, titled "Western's Mane Event!" will raise money through donations tied to shaving one's head or donating a ponytail of 8 inches or longer, in lieu of a complete head shave. Over the past two year's, the Western community, with help from the greater Greenwich community, has raised over $37,000 for this worthy cause. The event truly brings the entire community together from food donations from local eateries to the music of a local cover band comprised of some of our Western parents to volunteer event organizers and the shavees themselves.

You can help by donating to the cause, signing up to be a "shavee" or hair donor at our event or recruiting family or friends to do either of the above. Should you decide to participate, a signed participant agreement needs to be turned in on the night of the event.

Please direct any questions to Western Middle School Assistant Principal Mr. Kerry Gavin.

United Way's "2020 Needs Assessment" Survey

The Greenwich United Way's 2020 Needs Assessment Survey is now open for input. For Greenwich residents, a postcard will be mailed with a code that should be entered so that United Way can map the survey geographically.

Greenwich United Way CEO's David Rabin shares, "The 2020 Greenwich United Way Needs Assessment is our blueprint to uncover the human services needs that we will address in the coming few years. Your participation is greatly needed as your responses to the survey will help us determine where we focus our programs and funding to ensure Greenwich remains a premier place to live, work, raise a family and retire in. Our mission: to uncover unmet health, education and self-sufficiency needs, raise awareness and support, and together with community partners, deliver lasting results."

Ballet Performance at ISD

On Thursday, February 6, third graders at the International School at Dundee performed their annual 3rd Grade Ballet; this year’s performance was titled "Meaningful Movements: How We Express Ourselves." The performance is the culminating event of a 6-week course unit that centered on the process of combining classroom learning, physical education dance skills, creative artwork and musical accompaniment. This event also served as a strong example of collaboration and communication that exists between students within the International Baccalaureate (IB) model.

Students at ISD perform ballet for their classmates

Projects Update

Central Middle School Fields

Tonight, the Board of Education will discuss three options for the Central Middle School fields. These options include: engineered grass, artificial turf utilizing environmentally-friendly fill or a hybrid of these two options, with one field as engineered grass and the other using artificial turf. Renderings of these options are available.

Upcoming events across the District

Board of Education Business Meeting

Thurs. Feb. 20 • 7:00pm

Western Middle School

Celebrating Our Stories with Kane Smego: Dynamic, Interactive performance focusing on issues of race, gender, community building, and the stories that we all carry

Thurs. Feb. 27 • 6:30 - 8:00pm

YWCA Greenwich (259 East Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830)

*Event is FREE. Open to ages 13+, advanced registration is required.