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C A K B OOL SCH e e B n w o t w The Ne

SUPPLEMENT TO THE NEWTOWN BEE

TO

AUGUST 14, 2020


2 - Back To School 2020

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

Now in our 69th Year!

Be a Part of the Tradition Sharing the joy of dance with the community for generations

Dance instruction has been proven to aid in all sports and cognitive skills – experience it now!

www.lathropschoolofdance.com Member Chamber of Commerce & Dance Educators of America

Through the pandemic, the Lathrop legacy continued and our dance school completed its 68th year! We never closed, but always kept it safe on ZOOM, outside, and had our year end recital on stage, just a very different version of Stardust Revue! Join us as we continue to dance through this storm, safely either distanced inside, outside, or home on ZOOM.

OUTDOOR RegisTRATiON:

Wednesday, August 19 • 5pm–7pm Saturday, August 22 • 10am–Noon

Tent Behind edmond Town Hall • 45 Main street, Newtown Ballet, Hip Hop, Tap and Jazz, Contemporary-Modern, Mommy & Me, Line Dance, Fitness Classes, Paint/Paint & sip classes!

waiting Lifeforisn’ttheabout storm to pass… It’s learning to

Dance in the rain

Enroll in our Nine Month Program which ends with the annual Stardust Revue or try us out in a 4-6 week special class.

All ages and abilities welcomed! special classes and reduced tuition rates for ages 2, 3 & 4.

Miss Tamra, Marko & Mila

Director/Owners, Lathrop School of Dance

For Info Call 203.426.5757 or email tamra@lathropschoolofdance.com

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Back To School 2020 - 3

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

Bus Routes Will Be Available Online Bus routes for Newtown Public Schools could not be provided prior to this Back to School supplement going to press, due to a number of factors, including the recent power outages across the town. All-Star Transportation is expected to publish the routes on the school district’s website, newtown.k12.ct.us, when they are available.

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Pre-School 203 268 5073

Cover photo: Riley Ward goes for the winning touchdown, December 14, 2019, as time expires in play against Darien. NHS Football clinched the first state title in 27 years on the ‘walk-off win.’ —Bee Photo, Hutchison

BIG care for the littlest of patients

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Center for Pediatric Medicine Our Family Caring For Yours


4 - Back To School 2020

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

Back to School Advertisers Directory

CHILD CARE/DAYCARE/PRESCHOOL Trinity Day School...........................................................................10 Merry Hill Day Care..........................................................................4 Little Explorers.................................................................................14 DANCE INSTRUCTION Lathrop School of Dance.................................................................2 Lisa Mennilli Dance........................................................................17 Newtown Centre Classical Ballet................................................13 Graceful Planet.................................................................................8 DENTISTS Newtown Family Dentistry............................................................14 David Nowacki, DMD.....................................................................19 Dental Associates...........................................................................11 OPTOMETRIST/EYE CARE Village Eye Care................................................................................5 PEDIATRICS Center For Pediatric Medicine.......................................................3 Newtown Center Pediatrics............................................................7 REFUSE/RECYCLE

Associated Refuse Haulers...........................................................15 SCHOOLS/EDUCATION Easton Country Day School.............................................................3 Fairfield Prep...................................................................................12 St Joseph’s High School..................................................................6 Housatonic Valley Waldorf School..............................................14 Fraser Woods Montessori.............................................................19 Immaculate High School...............................................................24 Chase Collegiate Education..........................................................19 Saint Rose School...........................................................................10 SPECIALTY FOODS UK Gourmet......................................................................................19 STATE GOVERNMENT Senator Tony Hwang........................................................................9

What To Expect: Returning To School, School Physicals, Immunizations Newtown School Nursing Supervisor Anne Dalton recently shared the following updates on what to expect as students head back to school this fall, along with reminders about school physicals and immunizations, with The Newtown Bee. What to Expect as We Head Back to School this Fall No matter what plan is agreed upon for school reentry this fall, some new routines can be counted on. This fall everyone, will be asked to self-screen for any signs of illness each day before coming to school. More specific information about the screening procedure will be shared with parents before the beginning of school. In preparation for screening, families are strongly encouraged to have a working thermometer at home. In the case that a student becomes ill at school, he or she will need to be picked up promptly, so contingency plans are more important than ever, particularly for working parents. Students who are ill will need to stay home until they are cleared for school re-entry by a healthcare provider. Any student who travels to any of the states on the CDC list of states with high rates of COVID-19 spread will need to stay quarantined at home for 14 days after their return. A set of cloth masks will be part of every student’s back-to-school wardrobe this year. Both staff and students will be required to wear a cloth mask or face covering when in a school building. Masks that are three-ply and made of tightly woven cotton are a good choice. Masks with an exhaust valve are not recommended by the CDC and will not be permitted at school, as they do not offer protection from exhaled air. It will be helpful to young children to practice wearing a mask when out in public. Hand-washing technique, cough etiquette, and safe social distancing are also lessons that should be started at home. Most of our students, even the very young ones, have had hand-washing lessons at school and know the best way to cover a cough or sneeze. Ask them to show you how it is done — you may be amazed at what they already know. Pointing out signage in public places and practicing appropriate distancing will help to prepare children for the signs they will see when they arrive at school.

Parents are the most important role models for students of all ages in learning the important and proven ways to protect themselves and others from illness. Our main points for day-to-day safety in schools: Wash your hands — Wear a mask — Keep your distance Your school nurses are here for you. Your family’s health is our greatest priority. We’re all in this together! School Physicals and Immunizations During the pandemic, many children have fallen behind in their immunizations and health screenings. This year, it will be more important than ever to have our students fully immunized. Local pediatricians are working hard to get students caught up before the beginning of school. In Newtown schools, students must submit to the school nurse a recent physical showing up to date immunizations at the following times: *On entry into the school system for the first time (physical can be dated up to a year before entry date) *Every year in preschool *Before entry into seventh grade (any physical after August 27, 2018) *Seventh graders need a Tdap and meningococcal booster *Before entry into tenth grade (any physical after August 27, 2018) *Yearly for students playing interscholastic sports If your child is overdue for immunizations or a physical exam, contact your child’s pediatrician or healthcare provider as soon as possible to make sure they are caught up before the school year begins. If you are the parent of an incoming seventh grader and are unable to arrange these necessary immunizations and/or physical exams with your child’s healthcare provider, the School Based Health Center located at Newtown Middle School will be providing physicals and immunizations, by appointment, in late August. Please contact Nancy Kettner by e-mail at kettnern@ct-institute.org to make arrangements. The form for school physicals can be found on the school website, newtown.k12.ct.us, under the Health Services Department: CT Health Assessment Form.

The next best place to have your child if they can’t be with you

MERRYHILL Child Care Center Inc.

Children 6 weeks through 6 years Open Yearly 6:30am-6:00pm

Before & After School Care Pre-K Option: 9:00am-3:00pm

Degreed Teaching Staff • Cozy Home-Like Atmosphere • Enrichment Programs Transportation provided to and from Hawley School Large Outdoor Play Area with Scenic View & Nature Garden

203.426.9847 | 49 Queen Street | Newtown www.merryhillcenter.com


Back To School 2020 - 5

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

Readying Schools For Returning Students And Teachers By Eliza Hallabeck Each summer, work is completed in Newtown’s school buildings to prepare for students to return in the fall. This year there was more work to be done than usual. “It’s been a lot of cleaning, shuffling around of furniture, things like that,” said Newtown Public Schools Facilities Director Bob Gerbert, Jr, on July 20. “We’re trying to make sure we are in a good position when we open that first day.” Gerbert said some regular improvement work is being completed alongside preparations for students returning amidst a pandemic. Flooring work, for instance, is happening at Hawley Elementary School, Newtown Middle School, and Head O’ Meadow Elementary School. Carpeting and new vinyl floors are being installed in areas as part of building and grounds improvements, according to the facilities director. The Board of Education heard and approved of Newtown’s threemodel re-entry plan at its meeting on July 21. Per state requirements and recommendations at the time, the district prepared three models for students to learn in the fall; two of the three involve students in school buildings. The state required all districts to plan for students to be in school fulltime in the fall, but to also have other plans in place should the level of public health risk rise or should parents opt to have their children learn at home, as previously reported by The Newtown Bee. The state later allowed district flexibility in choosing how to

A Hawley Elementary School classroom was in the process of being spaced for social distancing between desks, per state guidelines, in mid-July. —Bee file photo return to school, and Newtown Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue subsequently announced the planned hybrid model would be used to start the school year with an expected “phase in” to full-time in-school learning. One model, with “little to no community transmission,” would mean most students return to onsite learning while distance learning is provided to students who opt to stay home. Using the hybrid learning model for “minimal or moderate” transmission levels,

which is the model students will return to school with in September, the student population in school will be reduced by 50 percent, with students attending school on site on an alternating basis in two groups, with off-site students receiving instruction via distance learning. A third model, the full distance learning model for “substantial community transmission,” has 100 percent of students being instructed from home. Gerbert said some things are “changing by the day,” and work is being done in the schools to meet

all of the state requirements. Part of the work in the schools this summer has been evaluating necessary and unnecessary furniture and “scaling back,” the facilities director shared. “It helps with the spacing of the furniture,” Gerbert explained, adding that removing unneeded furniture also allows more room for students to gather with social distancing measures in place. Schools will practice social distancing with a minimum of three feet and use six-foot spacing when feasible, as previously reported.

According to Gerbert, the plan is for all of the furniture being removed from school buildings to be marked and the origin noted, so it can eventually be returned after being put in storage. Cafeteria plans are causing some challenges, Gerbert shared, adding that each school is different. Some schools have longer folding tables that make it easier for students to sit with distance between them. The district is looking at attaining more tables like these for the other schools. Gerbert said the district is looking at completing the building preparations about two weeks before students return to school. “We don’t want to be down to the wire with this,” Gerbert said. Once students return in the fall, there will be more attention to cleaning for the 2020-21 school year than in previous school years. “In general, cleaning is going to be amplified,” said Gerbert. “We’re going to do the best we can.” Shifts are being coordinated to boost cleaning during lunch waves and nightly disinfecting efforts, according to Gerbert. “They are going to do the best job they can to keep the teachers and the kids as safe as they can,” Gerbert said of his custodial and maintenance staff. Overall, Gerbert said, “Everybody here in the whole district is working as hard as they can and doing the best job they can possibly do to make sure schools open in a safe manner for the teachers, students... and parents, so they can feel secure.”

Your Child’s Vision Help your child succeed in the classroom/home school!

In-depth testing for:

Large Optical Dispensary

• Eye Strain - Overuse of computers (eye discomfort, dryness or headaches) • Distance Vision (white board, driving) • Near Vision (close-up work, reading) • Comprehensive School Eye Exams

• Blue Light Issues - Overuse of computers (disturbed sleep patterns) • Depth Perception Conta (sports vision, driving) ct Lens • Lazy Eye / Eye Tracking Specia lty (eyes working as a unit) • Focusing • Astigmatism (irregular surface causing blurry vision)

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We Follow Strict CDC & Connecticut State COVID-19 Guidelines Dr. Joseph K. Young

Advanced Board Certified Doctor of Optometry 25 Church Hill Road, Newtown 203-426-5586 • www.DrYoung2020.com


6 - Back To School 2020

ST JOSEPH HIGH SCHOOL Be An Individual. Become Part of Something Incredible.

Mark Your Calendars! Personal On-Campus Tours and Zoom Meetings available by appointment! Fall Open House: Sunday, October 25 sjcadets.org/openhouse 2-Day Entrance Exam Prep Course October 17 & 18 Entrance Exam (one-time test) Saturdays, October 31 or November 14 7:30am-12:00pm Application Deadline Monday, November 17

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

Newtown Re-Entry Plan Approved By Board Of Education By Eliza Hallabeck Newtown’s re-entry plan for students returning to school this fall was approved by the Board of Education at its special meeting on July 21. Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue introduced the Newtown Public School Re-Entry Plan, saying it is “a plan that meets state requirements” while offering additional health and safety precautions. Newtown’s plan was created to flexibly respond to pandemic spread levels and student enrollment. Parents, staff, students, and all district community members will be expected to maintain safety and health protocols, according to discussion at the meeting. “Everyone has an important role to play in all of this if we want to work with a high degree of safety and success,” the superintendent said. Newtown’s Director of Teaching & Learning Frank Purcaro and Assistant Superintendent of Schools Anne Uberti shared an overview of the local re-entry plan, which is available on the district’s website, newtown.k12.ct.us. As previously reported by The Newtown Bee, roughly 40 people worked on a ReEntry Subcommittee to draft the local plan, and Dr Rodrigue said the district is in “constant contact” with Newtown Health District Director Donna Culbert and state officials. The state’s “Adapt, Advance, Achieve: Connecticut’s Plan to Learn and Grow Together” was released on June 29 and offered both required and recommended guidelines for opening schools statewide this fall. Local plans, as previously reported in The Newtown Bee, were submitted to the state by July 24. Uberti explained the subcommittee had subgroups that focused on governance, wellness, instruction and technology, social/emotional, facilities, and school operations. According to the district’s plan at that time, the Connecticut State Department of Education originally directed all school districts to return to school for full-time, in-person instruction at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, as long as public health data continues to support this model. The original plan later reads, “Based on the Connecticut plan and public health authority guidance, Newtown Public Schools is planning for an in-person learning model, with all students returning to school full time in the fall. The decision to change to another model will be based on the level of public health risk as determined by local and state public health officials.” Governor Ned Lamont later announced school districts would have the ability to decide whether to reopen full-time, inschool instruction in the fall. Newtown subsequently announced it would return to school using a hybrid model and later phasing in to full in-school learning. In the hybrid learning model, with “minimal or moderate” transmission, the student population in school will be reduced by 50 percent, with students attending school on site in two alternating groups, with off-site students receiving instruction via distance learning. For this model, according to the plan, staff will deliver instruction onsite, with grouping for cohorts made with family consideration as a priority. Students will receive instruction via Google Meet when at home, and students will use a mix of hard copy texts and online programming. A sample weekly schedule of the hybrid model implements “Wellness Wednesdays,” the day each week on which all students will be home so schools can be disinfected. During these days teachers will have time to prep, collaborate, or do

professional development, and students will work independently on assigned work. This is the model the superintendent later told the school board the district will use in the fall. Before that announcement, Purcaro said at the July 21 meeting that the district, per the state plan, was planning to reopen schools full-time for the fall, and “we have prepared plans to shift to a hybrid model... as well as a full distance learning model with all students learning remotely,” should the need arise. Newtown’s plan outlines two other models.With “little to no community transmission,” will mean most students return to on-site learning while distance learning is provided to students who opt to stay home. Its implementation will be sustained by low levels of COVID-19 transmission. For this model, district staff will teach in classrooms, provisions will be made for at-home learners, alternative work plans will be prepared for teachers, and instruction will include hard copy texts and instructional materials supplemented with online programming, with teachers identifying materials to be taken home in the event of shifting to a hybrid or distance learning model. For the full distance learning model, with “substantial community transmission,” 100 percent of students would be instructed from home. Staff would deliver instruction via distance learning, “Wellness Wednesdays” would be used for teacher professional development time and online preparation, and students would primarily use online programming, again supplemented with hard copy texts and instructional materials. According to discussion at the meeting, some aspects of the plan — like individual school drop-off and pickup procedures — are still being determined. Further communication is anticipated between the district and parents. Components of the plan include the option for local parents to choose that their child/children not to return to school and continue with remote learning instead; that all students and staff will wear face coverings/masks when in school buildings; that schools will practice social distancing with a minimum of three feet and use six feet spacing when feasible; that students will be provided with individual plastic dividers and staff will be provided face shields; that, for remote learning, whether opted or in a possible hybrid model, there are plans for more student/student and student/teacher interaction than in the previously used distance learning model; that students will be with cohorts where feasible; that staff will have mandatory training on signs and symptoms of COVID-19; and that staff and students will be expected to perform self-assessments before school daily to identify COVID-19 symptoms. Other points mentioned in the plan include enhanced cleaning protocols; enhancements for existing heating, ventilating, and cooling (HVAC) systems; the placement of air purifiers in classrooms without HVAC; the use of outdoor instruction when possible; and the resumption of transportation at capacity, with all drivers and riders wearing masks, assigned seating for students, and bus monitors in the first two weeks of the school year. Concerning face masks and face coverings, Uberti said, “This is the gold standard right now... All students and staff in our schools will be wearing face masks at all times.” There will be exceptions for those who cannot wear masks and when students are eating, and plastic barriers will be used at those times, according to discussion at the meeting. Anyone with


Back To School 2020 - 7

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

serious medical conditions should consult a doctor before entering a school building, she said. Parents, Uberti added later, are being asked to have contingency plans for childcare should the decision be made to change to the hybrid or distance learning models or if a child or family should need to quarantine. One academic precaution looks at having vocal or woodwind instrument instruction take place outside where 12 feet spacing between students can be achieved, Purcaro mentioned. The district is also preparing strategies to identify learning gaps, including reinstating some assessments, though not at the start of the year, according to Purcaro. According to the plan, “students not participating in the initial return to school, or who decide to shift to distance learning during the school year, will receive synchronous instruction via Google Meet by their regular teacher.” Uberti also shared that the district plans to survey parents at the start of August on whether their child/children will attend school on site or at home and whether they will be riding a bus. Those responses will be used to further plan for the school year. “When we have that survey information, we will be able to take our planning to a more exact place when we have those numbers,” Uberti said. After the presentation, Board of Education members asked a range of questions, like whether the district is making plans for hiring substitute teachers, how cohorts will be determined, and how teachers will be supported if overwhelmed. Uberti said implementing the plan will be “the hardest piece.” There will be “bumps” and “mistakes,” she said, and patience will be needed from everyone involved. “This is an amazing plan, and I want to thank everybody who worked on it,” said Board of Education Chair Michelle Embree Ku, adding that it was put together in a “very short time.”

Reed Intermediate School is located at 3 Trades Lane. The main phone number to reach the school is 203-2704880.

Head O’ Meadow Elementary School is located at 94 Boggs Hill Road. The main phone number to reach the school is 203-426-7670.

Newtown Center

PEDIATRICS Building a Strong Foundation for Healthy Living

We believe we can guide our children toward a better future by getting back to the basics of healthy living. Our dedicated team at Newtown Center Pediatrics is committed to serving all of our childrens’ healthcare needs from birth through graduation.

Prenatal Education • Lactation Consultation • Breastfeeding Classes • Parenting Groups Strong Commitment to Our Schools and Community

Laura Nowacki, MD Jennifer Burns, APRN Emilie Koepke Gibbs, PA-C Stephanie Pruchnik, IBCLC

It’s Time to Get Your F lu Vaccinatio ns!

10 Queen Street Newtown • 203.426.3267 For more information, please visit our website:

newtowncenterpediatrics.com

or follow us on facebook for updates on parenting topics and educational advice.


8 - Back To School 2020

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

Inspiring the leaders of tomorrow.

The Graceful Planet Studio of Dance Wants You To Come

DANCE WITH US! • Small Class Size For Preschool–Adult Dancers • New Classes Added • Excellent Customer Service • All CDC Guidelines our website for Followed See our full list of protocol

Dawn Eagleson: Newtown’s Paraeducator Of The Year By Eliza Hallabeck Sandy Hook Elementary School paraeducator Dawn Eagleson is this year’s Newtown Paraeducator of the Year. She was surprised with the news earlier this summer when she received a phone call from Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Anne Uberti, and school district Director of Human Resources Suzanne D’Eramo, who oversees the Paraprofessional of the Year selection committee. Eagleson said in a phone interview on July 13 that she was first made aware of her nomination when her supervisor, Sandy Hook School Language Arts Consultant Cynthia McArthur, told her she submitted a nomination letter. “I was really, really surprised,” Eagleson recalled of the nomination news. Due to abnormal circumstances this year, Eagleson said she was not focused on the idea of awards or celebrations but instead on the “funny year.” Then when she later received the group call with the news of being named the district’s Paraeducator of the Year, she said, “I was again shocked. I was not expecting it.” Eagleson said she knows all of the district’s paraeducators do great work. “It could have gone to anyone, honestly. We have a special group of people,” said Eagleson. She added that she feels fortunate “to work with such a great staff and the leadership in the school. I think it is a really special place.” Dr Rodrigue said Eagleson really stood out as dedicated to her job and the families she helps, from the nomination letters and references for the award. In her nomination letter, McArthur wrote “[Eagleson] goes above and beyond classroom expectations and cares deeply about her students. She loves people, works hard, and lifts the spirits of everyone around her. I can think of no one more deserving of the 2021 Paraeducator of the Year Award than Dawn Eagleson.” “I’m thrilled about [Eagleson] being selected,” Dr Rodrigue said, “because she is kind, she is someone who cares about kids and her colleagues, and she is someone who really wants to be a part of the fabric of the school and you feel that.” D’Eramo said Eagleson was “caught completely off guard” by the news of the award and was “rendered speechless.” Eagleson’s humble response when learning about the award, “says it all,” Rodrigue added. While there would normally be celebrations for the Paraeducator of the Year, Rodrigue said she expects some sort of recognition to happen in the fall.

Sandy Hook Elementary School paraeducator Dawn Eagleson was recently named Newtown’s Paraeducator of the Year. —Dana Randles photo D’Eramo said Newtown’s Paraeducator of the Year is submitted annually to the state level of the award program to be in the running for the state’s Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year Award. “We’re very, very proud of her and the work she has done,” said D’Eramo. Sandy Hook Principal Kathy Gombos said Eagleson is a valued member of the school community. “[Eagleson] demonstrates compassion, patience, and a genuine sense of caring,” Gombos wrote in a July 13 e-mail. “She has worked in many classrooms at various grade levels. She understands the value of promoting independence, and works diligently to support students in ways which allow them to reach their full potential in reading. Dawn is a student advocate and a wonderful collaborator with colleagues. She provides great feedback and data to teachers and is always willing to try something new if it may benefit a student. Dawn is eager to grow and learn and, in the process, teaches us all so much about patience, kindness, and care. Dawn is a highly respected and trusted colleague who demonstrates all the qualities of a great team member. All members of the Sandy Hook School community are honored to have Dawn as part of our team.” Eagleson is already looking forward to the fall, and not because of possible recognition for the award. “I’m just excited to go back to school, fingers crossed,” Eagleson said. “Sandy Hook is like my second family.”

& safety procedures

Sign up for a Preschool dance class & get a free tutu dress!

Classes Begin September 14th Call Now To Register! 203-426-8215

7 Berkshire Rd, Sandy Hook Conveniently located near Sandy Hook Center & Newtown High School

www.gracefulplanet.com

Middle Gate Elementary School is located at 7 Cold Spring Road. The main phone number to reach the school is 203-426-7662.


Back To School 2020 - 9

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

State Senator Tony Hwang is Supporting our Students, Teachers, & Families During COVID-19 Pandemic. Providing a Safe Learning Environment Listening to Parents and Teachers to ensure a safe environment is created.

Protecting Local Input in Education Giving the power back to those who know best at the district-level.

Preparing Our Students for the Future Putting plans in action to secure our students’ academic success.

Tuesday, November 3rd Tony Hwang for Senate

Paid By Hwang4Senate, Treasurer, Loretta Chory, Approved By Tony Hwang

Connect with Tony on Social Media: /TonyHwang.org tonyhwangct @tonyhwang www.TonyHwang.org


10 - Back To School 2020

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

Lions, NVNA Hope To Resume Vision Screenings With Nurses’ Help

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By John Voket The Newtown Lions Club and the Newtown Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) expect to again be sponsoring free pediatric eye screening this fall in the Newtown Public Schools and St Rose of Lima for kindergarten through fifth grade using the Welch Allyn Spot Vision Screener. However, due to anticipated access restrictions, that testing might be done for the first time by school nurses who were recently trained on the technology. According to District Nurse Supervisor Anne Dalton, as things stand right now, visitors and volunteers will be very restricted in school buildings this fall. But this does not mean that eye screenings would need to be postponed. “Last year the Lions Club and VNA assisted in training the school nurses on the use of the Welch Allyn scanner,” Dalton told The Newtown Bee July 28. “My hope is that with the support of the Lions and the VNA, the nurses will be able to conduct the screenings themselves.” Parents are encouraged to have their children participate in this fall’s free annual vision screening. In 2019, 134 children were referred for follow up out of 1,764 tested town-wide, or 7.6%. The Allyn Spot Vision Screener is a handheld instrument that resembles a Polaroid-style instant camera. The hightech device can help identify refractive errors and ocular misalignments by detecting special light reflexes from each eye during screening. The screener just needs the individual to look into the lens for a fraction of a second, with no input required by the child. This makes it particularly easy to conduct the screenings, especially on younger and more energetic children, capturing readings 97 percent of the time. Results can then be transmitted through a WiFi connection, or the camera can be plugged into a computer to transfer the screening information. Lions Club vision screening liaison Steve Bennett explained that screening can detect six amblyopic risk factors in children: *Myopia (nearsightedness) *Hyperopia (farsightedness) *Astigmatism (blurred vision) *Anisometropia (unequal refractive power) *Strabismus (eye misalignment) *Anisocoria (unequal pupil size) “Screening is quick, painless, and incredibly efficient in detecting a wide

The Lions Club’s KidSight USA school and preschool screening program has saved the sight of more than 15 million children over the years by providing eye screenings, glasses, and other treatments. range of vision problems,” Bennett said. “When a potential vision problem is detected, test results are printed out and a report is sent home to the parents with a recommendation to follow up with a licensed optometrist.” The benefit of conducting eye exams for children as young as preschool is in catching problems that may not be obvious to parents, Bennett said. Vision develops between birth and nine years of age, and early detection is critical in starting corrective procedures. “Vision ability at nine years of age is the best a person will see,” he added. The Newtown Lions Club and Newtown VNA have worked together for many years to provide free eye screening to thousands of school and preschool attendees as part of their commitment to help local youngsters achieve better educational outcomes and benefit from better vision. In 1925, Helen Keller addressed the Lions at their international convention and urged them to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” Since then, Lions have become renowned worldwide for their efforts to improve sight, prevent blindness and other visual impairment, and improve eye health and eye care for millions of people around the world. The Lions school and preschool screening program has saved the sight of more than 15 million children by providing eye screenings, glasses, and other treatments through Sight for Kids, and established or strengthened pediatric eye care centers that have helped more than 120 million children.

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Back To School 2020 - 11

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

Janice Gabriel Is Newtown’s Teacher Of The Year

By Eliza HallaBEck The morning of June 12, one of the days Newtown High School held graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 this year, NHS Theatre Arts/English Language Arts teacher Janice Gabriel was asked to go to the principal’s office under the pretext of helping Principal Dr Kimberly Longobucco with the names of graduates for that day’s ceremony. But inside the office, a handful of people were ready to surprise Gabriel with the news that she is Newtown’s Teacher of the Year. “It was very overwhelming... but I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to be standing there to tell me about that incredible honor,” Gabriel said in a phone interview. After learning she was teacher of the year — while surrounded by Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue, Dr Longobucco, NHS science teacher and Teacher of the Year committee overseer DJ Nicholson, NHS English Department Chair Abigail Marks, and Newtown Director of Visual and Performing Arts and NHS Fine Arts Department Chair Michelle Hiscavich — Gabriel said it felt fitting to then celebrate members of the Class of 2020 in the school’s parking lot for graduation ceremonies. Normally the teacher of the year is surprised with a larger crowd and celebrated at events. This year, though, with social distancing, the normal celebrations are postponed with the hope of doing something different in the fall, according to Dr Rodrigue. “I’m so overjoyed that Janice was selected this year... Because she goes so beyond being a teacher in a classroom,” Dr Rodrigue said in a phone interview. Dr Longobucco said Gabriel spends “an extraordinary amount of time” at NHS. In an e-mail, Longobucco said, “It is truly her second home. Outside of her role as a theater and English teacher, she is the technology guru and can often

Newtown’s Teacher of the Year, Janice Gabriel, left, stands near Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue, center, and Newtown High School Principal Dr Kimberly Longobucco just before graduation ceremonies began at NHS on June 10. Gabriel learned before graduation ceremonies on June 12 that she is this year’s Teacher of the Year. —Bee Photo, Hallabeck be found in the auditorium fixing any variety of issues, including water pouring in from the ceiling. Janice is committed and dedicated to every one of her students, both during the school day and in extracurricular activities. Janice is a co-founder of our very successful Unified Theater program and created more videos than humanly possible during distance learning, all while virtually teaching her classes and helping to plan the Class of 2020 graduation festivities. I am not sure how she squeezes as much as she does into one day; her commitment to NHS

is second to none. Janice truly cares about the Newtown community and we are lucky to have her as part of our NHS team.” Gabriel was also “instrumental” in the recent Newtown Public Schools “At Our Core” event, Dr Rodrigue said. The district’s PEAC (Parent Educator Advisory Council) and members of local PTAs were behind the creation and the event. “Her job just extends beyond the norm because she has a competence level in areas that people, need, want, and desire,” Dr Rodrigue said. “And she is just always willing to help anyone: That

is just who Janice is.” Reflecting on the news, Gabriel said being named this year’s Teacher of the Year is the “icing on the cake of why I became a teacher.” Roughly ten years ago she switched a career in marketing for one in education. “To have this honor, and, especially in such a difficult year, means that all the hard work I have put in and all the hours have been worth it,” Gabriel said. When she first came to Newtown, she knew she wanted to work in the district. She was a substitute teacher at first, and she applied for multiple full-time jobs before getting a part-time job, and eventually she became full-time. “It was just something about Newtown from the moment I walked in,” said Gabriel. While it may have been a long road to land her current job, Gabriel said, “I knew it didn’t matter because I was where I wanted to be.” Right after she learned she had been named Newtown’s Teacher of the Year, Gabriel asked Dr Rodrigue to call her mother, Eileen Gabriel, to share the news “with my biggest cheerleader.” By the time she arrived home from work, there were flowers from her mother near her front door. “I am so honored to be chosen among the, I’m sure, incredible pool of people who were nominated,” said Gabriel, adding that she feels fortunate to work with her fellow educators. The committee that selects the teacher of the year includes a teacher representative from each school, two administrators, and the previous teacher of the year, who was NHS science teacher Kim Lowell. Nicholson said it is important to take “a little bit of time” to recognize Newtown’s educators and the more nominations submitted, the more teachers can be recognized. All nominees, unless they do not want to be recognized, are typically honored in the fall at the district’s convocation.


12 - Back To School 2020

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

‘Practice, Practice, Practice’ —

Help Teach Children The Importance Of Face Masks By Alissa Silber With schools anticipated to reopen inperson this fall, face masks are now among students’ back to school necessities along with pencils, notebooks, and backpacks. Dr Laura Nowacki of Newtown Center Pediatrics says wearing a face mask is the most important thing people can do to protect each other and stop the spread of COVID-19. “Many, many studies show masks reduce the distance droplets and aerosols travel,” Dr Nowacki said. As of July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continued advising people to wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around others who do not live in the same home. This is so, because according to the CDC website, “Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID19 from spreading the virus to others,” and because “COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected.” Both Dr Nowacki and the CDC site say that children under the age of 2 and anyone with breathing difficulties are the exception to mask-wearing recommendations. When considering a face mask for a child, teen, or adult, the fit is everything to help its effectiveness. Dr Nowacki says to look for a face mask or covering that fits comfortably around the ears or back of the head and has material that covers the nose, mouth, and chin. Be sure to avoid masks with valves, as research is showing they do not help to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Mayo Clinic site says, “Some N95 masks, and even some cloth masks, have one-way valves that make them easier to breathe through. But because the valve releases unfiltered air when

ings can help prevent that transmission. Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, told ABC News on July 29 that, “You have mucosa in the nose, mucosa in the mouth, but you also have mucosa in the eye. Theoretically, you should protect all the mucosal surfaces. So if you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it.” “Connecticut has worked so hard to reduce the spread, we need to double down now more than ever to prevent the numbers from climbing back up,” Dr Nowacki said. “What we do today determines what school will look like this fall! We wear masks to protect others!”

Custom children’s face masks, like these Mickey Mouse options made by Newtown resident Linda Jones, are available through Queen Street Gifts, 3 Queen Street. The customization allows for the buyer to pick the fabric, size, and style. —photo courtesy Andrea Appelbaum the wearer breathes out, this type of mask doesn’t prevent the wearer from spreading the virus. For this reason, some places have banned them.” Dr Nowacki advises parents to help communicate the concept and importance of wearing face masks to their child by trying out different cloth masks to find the most comfortable style. She says parents can make a mask more enticing by making it a game and having them personalize the mask. Children are also very tuned in to the behavior of adults around them, so parents modeling appropriate mask wearing helps normalize the process of children learning to wear them. Understandably, some children may feel nervous about the new experience of having to wear a face mask in public.

To that, Dr Nowacki says it is best to “practice, practice, practice.” She adds, “Think of it like your underwear: Don’t leave home without it, make sure it’s clean, don’t share it — that makes the kids laugh.” Dr Nowacki also recommends parents teach their children the habits of social distance (staying six feet apart or more), hand-washing or using a 60-percent ethyl alcohol hand sanitizer, and avoiding touching their noses, mouths, or eyes while in public places. Staying home when they feel sick and avoiding crowded indoor places can also help stop the spread of COVID-19, she adds. Some experts are also now reporting that, while it may be less common, COVID-19 can transfer through the membranes of eyes, and that eye cover-

Reusable Mask Options When Caitlin Lucian, owner of Strength and Grace Boutique, 115 Church Hill Road, heard the CDC was suggesting that nonmedical face coverings would be beneficial for the general population, she immediately began getting requests for them. “Our face coverings all loop behind the ears. Ear loops are soft and comfortable and are not adjusted but can be tied off with small elastics if needed,” Lucian explained. “We carry pleated, center seam, and unpleated masks. Our masks do not contain nose wires.” The double-layer children’s masks that are currently available at Strength and Grace Boutique have an interior lining made of 100 percent cotton, with the outside layer varying in materials, including a cotton blend, linen, polyester, and spandex. Some of masks have a filter pocket. As for mask sizing options, Lucian said, “We have some that work best for smaller children, some for larger children, and some for teens, as well. Our most popular children’s styles are 6.5 inches (9.5 inches including ear loops)

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Back To School 2020 - 13

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

by 3.5 inches. Older children’s masks are 7.5 by 4 inches, and the masks we recommend for teens are slightly larger.” Strength and Grace’s children’s face masks can be purchased in store, online at strengthandgraceboutique.com, or over the phone at 203-491-2090. Online and phone orders can be picked up in store or shipped. “We are happy to discuss bulk discounted orders for schools and organizations in town. We have already helped to supply local PTAs with masks for schools as we get ready to start the year,” Lucian said. Also offering a variety of reusable face masks for children is Queen Street Gifts, 3 Queen Street. Owner Andrea Appelbaum says Queen Street Gifts looks to source locally whenever possible to support the community, and is currently the only shop in town taking custom orders for masks; custom masks can be completed is a couple of days. Custom children’s face masks are being handmade by Newtown resident Linda Jones, who is the founder of Families United in Newtown (FUN), a local nonprofit organization that offers support for families with special needs children, teens, and adults. People can pick the fabric, size, and style to customize to their mask needs. Applebaum says the proceeds from this mask option go to support FUN for autism research. Overall, Queen Street Gifts has standard sized children’s face masks with ear loops or overhead options, pleated or unpleated styles, and masks with adjustable nose wire. “We have three-layer [masks], including filter, and two-layer without filter. All in cotton,” she adds. “We have Lilly Pulitzer fabric ones, too.” Children’s face masks at Queen Street Gifts can be purchased in store and are available for curbside pickup or home delivery. Call 203-304-9755 or visit facebook.com/queenstreetgiftstreats for more information.

Children’s face masks and coverings, such as this dog-patterned fabric design, are available in a variety of styles at the Lorraine K. Boutique in Clock Tower Square, 477 Main Street, Monroe. —photo courtesy Lorraine K. McGowan Caitlin Lucian’s 6-year-old twins, Ethan and Madeline, model an assortment of reusable children’s masks available at Strength and Grace Boutique, 115 Church Hill Road. —photo courtesy Caitlin Lucian Applebaum says Queen Street Gifts has also “donated masks to all the teachers at the not-for-profit Merryhill Daycare on Queen Street when they reopened.” Shoppers in Monroe looking for children’s face masks and coverings can now find them at the Lorraine K. Boutique, located in Clock Tower Square, 477 Main Street. Owner Lorraine K. McGowan said, “I have unpleated for kids with adjustable elastic. Also, over the head, headband/

face masks that work well for older children and teens, as well as adults.” The masks are a reusable polyester fabric with two layers that come in a variety of designs. “Currently I have stars, dinosaurs, and hot air balloons,” McGowan said. “More are on the way.” The Lorraine K. Boutique is open for in-store shopping and it also provides curbside pickup, local delivery, and mailing. The shop has extended its hours of operation and is anticipated to

be open seven days a week starting in August. To reach the Lorraine K. Boutique for inquiries about its face masks for children, call 203-261-7556 or e-mail lorrainekboutique@gmail.com. For those who have questions or concerns about their child wearing a face mask, be sure to consult the child’s physician. Dr Laura Nowacki of Newtown Center Pediatrics, 10 Queen Street, can be reached at 203-4263267.


14 - Back To School 2020

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

District Experts Offer Positivity And De-Stressing Advice Returning to school may look and feel different, but one thing remains certain: Newtown’s teachers and staff have words of wisdom to offer students and parents. When solicited for responses by The Newtown Bee, district experts submitted this advice for staying positive and maintaining a focus on de-stressing for the 2020-21 school year. “Please know that your school is full of caring and supportive people who are with you as we all make this transition back to the school year. Know your resources and reach out to a trusted adult whenever you feel necessary. It’s going to be a great year! We can’t wait to see you!” — Newtown Public Schools Director of Counseling Bret Nichols “For adults, my best advice is to be present. Take a deep breath in and an even longer breath out. There is no need to clear your mind but just bring your focus on the here and now. Be gentle with yourself. For kids, you can ask them to identify their feeling. Sometimes ‘sad’ or ‘nervous’ can look different than what we would expect. Talking through their feelings is important as they grow. Also, once the feeling is identified in the moment, it soothes the brain and can easier turn to coping skills. Many kids enjoy deep breathing, coloring/drawing, or light movement

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as their coping skill. While there are still uncertainties and constant changes out of our control, no one has to be in this alone. The silver lining is that many services can be accessed through telehealth so there is more opportunity than ever to connect — even if it’s from a distance! The following services can be reached if you or a member of your family are in need of support. You or your child are also welcome to contact the school counselor upon return to school. Newtown Center for Support and Wellness is a comprehensive system of behavioral health and wellness support for non-urgent referrals, available to Newtown residents and Newtown Public School employees: (203) 270-4612. For crisis services, call Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Service (EMPS) by dialing 2-1-1. This service provides urgent mobile care to children, adolescents, and families in crisis. Professional staff is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for intervention, counseling, information, and referral services. EMPS services are available in a child’s home, school, or community where families are in need of support or guidance during a crisis. If you need assistance finding food, paying housing bills, accessing free childcare, or other essential services you can also dial 211. If you or someone you know are in danger and need immediate emergency assistance, you should dial 911.” — Head O’ Meadow Elementary School Counselor Lisa Kilcourse “Re-establish normal routines in the lead-up to school. Routines can help kids feel more comfortable and in control. Return children to their usual wake up and bedtime routines. Discuss what may be different about drop-off/pickup procedures and how it will look as a family. Talk through the new procedures and consider role play or writing social stories. Ask your child if there is something that will make returning to school easier for them and if they have questions. Reassure children about the safety measures in place to keep students and teachers healthy. Remind children about the positives — seeing friends, teachers, participating in their favorite classes in person again, and learning new things. Acts of kindness and practicing gratitude may make you happier and more positive. A lot of research has shown that writing down what you are thankful for makes you happier. You may consider keeping a gratitude journal or doing this as a family. Combining exercise with play can be a fun way to de-stress — consider bike riding, kayaking, hiking, throwing a ball with someone, etc. Engage in hobbies and creative passions. Look for the goodness in life and humor.” — Reed School Psychologist Emily DeGrand “Find time to do the things that make you happy.” — Newtown Middle School Social Worker Christen Cowden “During these stressful and uncertain times, I would like to encourage everyone to practice a little self-kindness. Be patient with yourself and your emotions. Know that there is not a single person who is unaffected by our current situation. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can, under sometimes impossible conditions. Set limits on how much social media exposure you take in. Carve out time to do something that brings you joy each day. Take breaks from thinking about issues that cause stress. And remember that we are here to help in any way we can.” — Hawley Elementary School Counselor Kimberly Shapiro “I think the number one thing that will help kids and parents keep a more positive attitude and to de-stress is to put in place school routines that their families utilize during the school year and to practice strategies that promote a more positive growth mindset prior to the start of school in September. I have a son who will be going back to daycare come the end of August, so I will be doing the same. This includes making sure his bedtime routines are intact (sleep is so important), monitoring the amount of screen time, getting in active time outside (walking on the trails near our house, throwing the ball back and forth, etc), having quality family time (eating dinner together and playing games), practicing coping tools (taking deep breaths, asking for help, taking a walk, etc), and making healthier meals. There are some calendars that you can find online where each day you put in place a new piece of the routine. Additionally, parents can incorporate identifying positive events of the day into bedtime routines, so even if we face challenges during the day we can be resilient and note the good things that happened. I started using a gratitude journal recently where I write a sentence about what I was most grateful for that day and I’ve found that it has helped foster more positive thoughts. Lastly, I would encourage parents to have open conversations about what their children may be afraid or anxious about for the school year and then continue having those conversations as the year progresses. If the child knows and understands that they can ask questions in a warm and accepting environment, then they will start initiating those conversations or questions themselves. Times that parents may think about having these conversations may be during dinner time, a ride in the car, a walk, or even at bedtime.” — Newtown Middle School Psychologist Sarah Martin

HVWS_generic_NewtownBee_BackToSchool_2020_9.75x4.qxp_HVS Opn House_NWT BEE 02_07 7/28/20 6:58 PM Page 1

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Back To School 2020 - 15

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

Hawley Elementary School is located at 29 Church Hill Road. The main phone number to teach the school is 203-426-7666.

Newtown Middle School is located at 11 Queen Street. The main phone number to reach the school is 203-426-7642.

NEWTOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS 2020-2021 SCHOOL CALENDAR AUGUST M

T

W

26

31

TH

27

(4)

SEPTEMBER

F

M

28

26-All Teachers Report 26, 27, 28 & 31 –Staff Development Days

DECEMBER M

7 14 21 28

T 1 8 15 22 29

TH 3 10 17 24 31

F 4 11 18 25

*23--3 hr. Early Dismissal - Holiday 24-31-Holiday Recess

APRIL M

T

W

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 21 28

TH 1 8 15 22 29

15(16) F

2 9 16 23 *30

2-Good Friday - Schools Closed 12-16- Schools Closed *30-Schools closed for StudentsStaff Development Day

Please Note: Shaded calendar days = all schools closed for staff and students

1 8 15 22 29

7 14 21 28

18(20) W 2 9 16 23 30

TH *3 10 17 24

OCTOBER

F *4 11 18 25

1 & 2 – Staff Development Days *3 – Students Report **3 & *4 – 3 hr. Early Dismissal--Staff Development 7-Labor Day - Schools Closed 28-Yom Kippur - Schools Closed

17(17) W 2 9 16 *23 30

T

JANUARY M 4 11 18 25

T 5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

TH 7 14 21 28

T

W

5 12 19 26

6 13 20 27

7 14 *21 28

TH 1 8 15 *22 29

*2--2 hr. Delayed Opening--Staff Development *21, 22, 23--3 hr. early dismissalElementary, Reed and Middle School Conferences

19(19) W

22 (22)

M

FEBRUARY

F

M 1 8 15 22

1 8 *15 22 29

T 2 9 16 23

W 3 10 17 24

TH 4 11 18 25

*12--3 hr. Early Dismissal--Staff Development 15-16-Schools Closed

MAY

JUNE

M 3 10 17 24 31

T 4 11 18 25

W 5 12 19 26

TH 6 13 20 27

F 7 14 21 *28

F 5 *12 19 26

9(9)

M

T W TH F 1 2 3 4 7 8 9 10 ☼11 14 15 16 17 18 21 22 23 24 25 28 29 30 ☼-Projected last day of school

*28—3 hr. Early dismissal--Staff Dev. 31-Memorial Day- Schools Closed

Virtual Open House Dates: Elementary: Sept. 8 & 9 Reed Intermediate: Sept. 10 Middle School: Sept. 15 gr.7, Sept. 16 gr. 8 High School: Sept. 17

Student Days – 179 Teacher Days – 187 Adopted: March 3, 2020 Revised: July 7, 2020 Revised: July 21, 2020

NOVEMBER M 2 9 16 23 30

T *-10 17 24

18(19) W 4 11 *18 * 25

TH 5 12 *19 26

F 6 13 20 27

*3-Election Day-Schools Closed For

Students, Staff Development *18 & 19-High School Conferences 3 hr. Early Dismissal *25--3 hr. Early Dismissal 26-27-Thanksgiving Recess

18(18)

1-New Year’s Day-Schools Closed *15--3 hr. Early Dismissal--Staff development 18-Martin Luther King Day Schools Closed

20(20)

F *2 9 16 *23 30

MARCH M 1 8 15 22 29

T 2 9 16 23 30

23(23) W 3 *10 17 24 31

TH 4 11 *18 25

F 5 12 *19 26

*10--2 hr. Delayed Opening--Staff Dev. *18 & 19-3 hr. Early Dismissal-Elem, Reed and Middle School Conferences (25 & 26 makeups) *18-High School Conferences (25- High School make-up day)

Please Note: *State of Connecticut mandates 180 calendar days for students. Beyond the projected June 11 date, school cancellation days will be made up by adding days through June 30. By Mar. 12 if there are more than 8 cancellations, April 30 will be a full day of school. *State of Connecticut granted flexibility for a minimum of 177 student days for 2020-2021.

2020-2021 SCHOOL CALENDAR SPONSORED BY: Associated Refuse Haulers • Wishing You a Safe & Successful School Year 2016 Business of The Year Winner Newtown Chamber

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16 - Back To School 2020

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

B ac k T o S c h o o l B e e L i n e s For this year’s Back To School supplement, The Newtown Bee reached out to local educators and others who are responsible for guiding students through life. We asked them: What is your biggest hope for the 2020-21 academic year? Following are their answers:

Alana Bennison

Dr Lorrie Rodrigue

Catherine Findorak

Michelle Ku

Dan Cruson Jr

Dan Delia Alana Bennison, C.H. Booth Library children’s librarian: In 2006, a high school English teacher gave her students an assignment. She told them to write their favorite author and ask him or her to visit the school. Several chose author Kurt Vonnegut. At the time, Vonnegut was 84 years old and had stopped doing school visits, but he sent back a letter with this advice: “Practice any art — music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage — no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow… do art and do it for the rest of your lives... dance home after school, and sing in the shower… make a face in your mashed potatoes.” The only thing I will add to Vonnegut’s

John Vouros

Rebekah Harriman-Stites

Tim Napolitano

advice would be to read. Find that library card and use it — if you don’t have one, apply for one. Explore the free resources, programs, and services the C.H. Booth Library has to offer, “discover what’s inside you and grow your soul.” Dan Cruson Jr, secretary, Newtown Board of Education: My hope is that everyone will come together to help make this year the best it can be in spite of the challenges. Dan Delia, vice chair, Newtown Board of Education: My biggest hope for the 2020-2021 academic year is that the students, staff, and community continue to persevere through these difficult times and face all challenges with the tenacity that makes Newtown a wonderful place to live. And I hope that everyone stays healthy and prospers. Catherine Findorak, C.H. Booth Library young adult librarian: My hope for this upcoming school year is that we can continue to find creative ways to safely learn together, and that through this difficult time we will learn to truly appreciate everyone who keeps our schools and community thriving. Rebekah Harriman-Stites, member, Newtown Board of Education: My biggest hope for the 2020-21 school year is that we are able to maintain a safe, healthy, and effective learning environment that

meets the needs of all students and staff and allows for a greater level of connection and social support. Michelle Ku, chairman, Newtown Board of Education: For this coming school year, I hope that our community remains healthy, and with that basic physical need met, that our students each acquire an understanding of something completely different than what they might otherwise learn during a usual school year — a skill or accomplishment that they will take with them for life — and that our school community finds new ways to excite student learning. Tim Napolitano, principal, Head O’ Meadow School: My hope for the 20202021 school year is a fun, safe year of learning at Head O’ Meadow. Our school is one big team and I know our staff, students, and families will continue to work together to make this year a tremendous success. Dr Lorrie Rodrigue, superintendent of Newtown Public Schools: My biggest hope for the 2020-21 school year is that students and staff make a safe transition back to school, ease back into a productive learning environment, and remain optimistic about achieving their goals for the 2020-21 school year. John Vouros, member, Newtown

Deborra Zukowski Board of Education: I promise to do my very best with my colleagues to bring students and staff back safely with parental understanding, patience, support, and hyper vigilance from all parties. I am also to be challenged continually knowing the re-entry plan will undergo morphing as we move forward all together. Deborra Zukowski, member, Newtown Board of Education: My biggest hope is that we make it through the year without having to close the schools again. If schools close, it means there is a resurgence of COVID-19 in our community, bringing with it more grief and isolation. It also means that our students will all be forced into distance learning, disrupting the bonds between teachers and students that are so important for student engagement.


Back To School 2020 - 17

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

Dance like everybody’s watching

Pointe Jazz • Tap • Ballet Street Jazz Musical Theater Hip-Hop Contemporary

Limited Time Offer 50% off tuition for first-time enrollees ages 2½ to 5 years

www.LMDADANCE.com 203-893-5090 email: LMDAdance@yahoo.com

125 South Main Street, Newtown,CT ACHIEVEMENTS: • LMDA has won over 3,000 First Place Awards for outstanding achievements in dance. • Top Studio Award • Numerous Choreography Awards • National Champion Award for Choreography and Entertainment • National Grand Champion Award • Entertainment Awards • Lisa Mennilli has been named “Teacher of the Year” • 3-Time recipient of the Apogee Award • The “FDC” has named LMDA one of the Top 50 in the East Coast • Lisa’s students have established careers in TV, movies, print and the Broadway stage • Lisa has choreographed over 75 musical staged Productions


18 - Back To School 2020

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

Coloring Page Newtown School District Nursing Supervisor Anne Dalton shared some top tips for keeping students safe as they return to school. We hope local children will enjoy coloring in some of the scenes inspired by those tips. Dalton’s tips for Newtown students are: *Stay home if you are sick. *Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (Sing “Happy

Birthday” two times with verses) or use hand sanitizer. *Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth (the “T area”). *Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth when you are with people outside of your family *Keep your distance from others. Aim for at least 6 feet whenever possible. *Find ways to have fun and relax. Play out-

side, ride bikes, play board games with family, or hold home movie nights. What will your coloring page look like? Send images of your completed coloring page to education reporter Eliza Hallabeck, at eliza@thebee.com, for possible inclusion in upcoming coverage. The coloring page was created for The Newtown Bee by Eliza Hallabeck.


Back To School 2020 - 19

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

DAVID NOWACKI DMD

FA M I LY A N D C O S M E T I C D E N T I S T RY

ORDER ONLINE and choose Curbside Pick-Up Pick-Up Pick

Masks On Before entering the store

www.UKG.Life 203-628-7462 78 Stony Hill Rd Route 6; Bethel, CT

Sun-Mon 12-4 Tues-Sat 10-5

Member ADA Graduate UConn Dental Newtown Native

• Restorative Dentistry

• Cleaning & Whitening

• Invisalign

• Oral Surgery

• Cosmetic Dentistry

• Root Canal Therapy

• Crowns & Bridges

• Dentures & Partials

Monday–Thursday, 8 am – 5 pm

203-426-2361 • 10 Queen Street, Newtown (in front of Big Y)

BUILDING FOUNDATIONS FOR HEALTHY SMILES

Newtown High School is located at 12 Berkshire Road. The main phone number to reach the school is 203-426-7646.

Your child’s future is right around the corner, and so are we! Learn more about a Montessori education for your child. Enrolling 15 months to eighth grade

173 South Main Street Newtown 203-426-3390 x305

Visit www.fraserwoods.com Founded in 1968 as Newtown Montessori School


20 - Back To School 2020

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

Newtown High School Sports 2019

The young men and women of Newtown High School exhibited skill, perseverance, and excellence in the myriad sports undertaken during the 2019 school year. From baseball to cheerleading,

from football to wrestling and dance team, from swimming to volleyball and track, no matter their talents, NHS athletes found their niche and paved their way to personal and team successes.


The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

Back To School 2020 - 21


22 - Back To School 2020

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

Submit Photos By Noon Of September 4—

A Look Back At The 2019-20 First Day Of School Last year, The Newtown Bee invited residents to submit their favorite photos from the first day of the 2019-20 school year. These are some of the submitted photos from last year’s first day of school. While this year’s photos may look a little different, parents are still welcome to submit photos depicting what the fall 2020 first day of school looks like. What will your 2020-21 first day of school photos show? On September 3, be sure to take photos and share them with us again for potential use in an upcoming edition of The Newtown Bee and/or for use at newtownbee.com. Submit photos by e-mailing them with a description of each photo — including the first and last name of those pictured, what grade they are in, and which school they attend — to eliza@thebee.com by noon on Friday, September 4.


The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

Back To School 2020 - 23


24 - Back To School 2020

The Newtown Bee - August 14, 2020

IGNITE YOUR MIND AWAKEN YOUR HEART CHANGE OUR WORLD CLASS OF 2020 QUICK FACTS

100%

College Acceptance Rate

25K

Service Hours Over Four Years

$30M

In Scholarships, Grants & Awards

CLASS OF 2024 & TRANSFER STUDENTS Now Enrolling

Applications open through Aug. 19, 2020

CLASS OF 2025 ADMISSION EVENTS

LEARN MORE

immaculatehs.org/visit

Open House

Sunday, Oct. 4 @ 11am

Placement Exams Saturday, Oct. 31 & Nov. 14

Mustang For A Day Visits Begin Sept. 28

Applications Now Open! immaculatehs.org/apply

Our child came from a public middle school. Our family cannot speak more highly of the warmth, love, security and involvement that the school has provided. We feel 100% confident that we are getting the return on our investment. Jeanette C. - Parent

73 Southern Blvd. • Danbury CT, 06810 • 203-744-1510

Profile for Bee Publishing Co

The Newtown Bee's Back to School 2020  

The Newtown Bee's Back to School 2020  

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