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Superintendent's Update

February, 2020 Superintendent Update

Dear GPS Families,

February Break has come and gone, and we are more than half-way through our school year.  We have already celebrated national level achievement in academics and premiere performances in the arts and athletics. We are looking forward to four more months of excellence! I want to provide some updates and information for those of you who want to keep up with all things Greenwich Public Schools.

Coronavirus and Flu 

As stated earlier this week, we continue to work with our health officials to stay alert. The CDC has been proactive in providing information on the Coronavirus and flu season, as well as our local and state agencies. We do also have a consultant that works with the District, Dr. Katy Noble, who, in addition to our Health Services Team and the Town of Greenwich Department of Health, will be our partner on health-related issues. We are grateful to our facilities staff who continue to take additional steps with ongoing cleaning of high touch surfaces, such as doorknobs and sinks. We are reminding students to wash their hands, cover their cough, and we encourage families to keep children home when children are not feeling well. The current number of students and staff with the flu is low right now, and we thank our families and staff for being proactive. 

Personal Learner Profile 

Families should have received an email this past Thursday to help understand how to log in and see their children(s) previous assessment information, such as STAR and state-mandated assessments.  The profile is meant to provide an easy format for parents to have information at their fingertips concerning their child. If you missed the email the information, it is available in English and Spanish.

Curriculum Information

Looking for information about what your child will learn in elementary school? Information is available on our website.  

Budget

The Board of Education has presented their Proposed Budget to the Board of Estimation and Taxation (BET).  The guidance this year was 2%, and the BOE stayed within that targeted amount. The next public hearing for the BET is scheduled for March 30th, when our BOE budget will be discussed and the BET will hear public comment.  The public comment portion also includes input on capital projects.  

Strategic Plan Input

Stay tuned for a survey coming your way in March!  We want to hear from our stakeholders. We will try to keep the survey short so that families and staff can provide input without giving up too much time.  

Capital Projects (Selection) 

There are many major projects in the works right now, and several more being proposed in the new budget.  

Western Middle School Fields: Contractors continue working to move the WMS field project forward.  Langon is the firm working on the project and considerable planning is taking place currently to look at timing, options, and an overall project plan submission which could be met with favorable approval.  The BOE discussed the field on January 30, 2020 .  Additionally, WMS is on the agenda for March 5th (next week) for a first discussion of entering the Voluntary Remediation Action Plan to get the project in a formal process. The BOE will vote to take action with the second reading on March 26th. We know the WMS community has been more than patient, and we are working hard to move this project along. 

Julian Curtiss School: The Feasibility Committee is working hard with the architecture firm to finalize an Educational Specification which outlines what spaces need to be in the new building and what needs to be renovated.  

Hamilton Avenue School Field:  We are working with the contractor to get the timeline secured to get work started this summer. We hope to have a shovel in the ground at the end of July. As a reminder, the field will be closed for 2020-2021 and the staff will be adjusting play spaces while the new grass takes hold. 

Central Middle School Field: The Board of Education met on February 20 and decided to move forward with a request for a hybrid option which includes an engineered natural grass baseball field and an artificial turf field.  The BET will make a decision about funding and their public hearing is on March 30th at 7:00 pm. Click here to see a rendering of the proposed field. 

Cardinal Stadium: The BOE voted on an option to build the home bleachers with team rooms underneath, and ADA parking.  The new bleachers are to replace the existing ones which have been temporarily shored, but cannot remain in place much longer.  To see a rendering of what is planned click here.  

GHS Entry Way: The Feasibility Committee is working quickly to provide an educational specification for the Board of Education so that next steps can take place to enhance the entrance with a safety vestibule.  

Graduation Date

When will we know about graduation? This will be discussed at the Board of Education meeting on March 26th at North Street School. 

Spring Break is only 6 weeks away! The year is going so quickly. I look forward to a great rest of the school year.  

Thank you,
Dr. Toni Jones