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Shuffle Voting Hinders Gym Huffing and Puffing

School chief seeks alternative to disruption of referendum, the school board continued its discussions on introducing Spanish classes to elementary schools; Darien High School is honored for academic success, and an anti-bullying plan

The scheduled referendum on the RTM-approved facilities shuffle will result in Darien High School students being unable to use the gymnasium for a couple days.

Superintendent Stephen Falcone noted that the Dec. 13 referendum will prevent high school physical education teachers from holding class in the gymnasium on Dec. 12 and Dec. 14.

“We have been working in cooperation with the town. [The referendum] requires us to adjust our program,” Falcone said, at a Board of Education meeting on Tuesday. The town will provide security personnel to assist us.”

Falcone said he wants to explore other options to avoid the disruption.

Discussion on Spanish classes in elementary schools

Board members discussed the administrators’ proposal to add Spanish classes to each of the five elementary schools. Board chairman Elizabeth Hagerty-Ross acknowledged receiving emails after the previous meeting, and welcomed Darien residents to contact her at ehr1226@aol.com

The board discussed the costs of adding these classes, other districts that teach foreign languages to elementary school students, the merits of integrating a Spanish language class into other classes, and philosophical differences in teaching the language.

“We cannot be rigid over philosophical teaching differences,” Morgan Whittier said.” […] I do not want to be the wet blanket. I do not like the idea of a pilot program myself. Do not deliver it to one school. You can easily dismiss the results of one school.”

Recognition for academic success

Falcone reported that Darien High School is being recognized for its students' academic success in advanced placement classes. The high school is one of 367 public high schools in the nation on the College Board's second annual "AP District Honor Roll"

Darien High students improved their grades in advanced placement classes during the last three years. “It reflects one of our commitments: to ensure that students have access to appropriate and challenging courses,” Falcone said. “Our success is because our students do the work.”

Anti-bullying plan

Board of Education members reviewed the district’s Safe School Climate Plan on bullying, in preparation of a state law that takes effect in January.

Connecticut lawmakers passed a bill in 2011 that seeks to protect students, encourage peers to report bullying behavior to teachers, and grant more power to school districts to punish perpetrators.

The law also requires districts to designate a safe-school climate coordinator and specialist.

“This is usually the principal and the assistant principal,” Falcone said. “No. 1, it enables students to report bullies anonymously. This fulfills the requirements of the law.”

John Sini November 25, 2011 at 09:48 PM
Please see www.VoteYesDarien or DarienCT.gov for the facts related to the Shuffle.
not2bdenied November 25, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Dear Patch, Your article references 'that the school super seeks some alternatives to the disruption of the referendum' yet neither you nor the super offer any details. Please elaborate with specifics
RPM November 26, 2011 at 02:33 AM
Please visit http://stoptheshuffle.com/ for facts related to the shuffle.
sebastian dangerfield November 26, 2011 at 12:14 PM
Once again, the anti shuffle proponents are not able to clear up the differences between which capital projects they want to be 'fiscally responsible around." They also dont appear to have any other plan about how big or small the facilities should be--they only know, the answer should be NO. Now Im wondering how many stop the shuffle people are honestly democrats? They attempted to count the RTM, so Im sure they want to know demographics on the anti shuffle. RPM ? Democrat? Not2bedenied? Democrat? It would be strange if one party made up the majority of an anti-vote. Are there any stats, patch editor, from the signatures? Are the signatures able to be viewed to determine if this is simply, according to my theory, just one more move by the Democrats aimed at their agenda at that property? Im all for fiscal responsibility, and intelligent plannng. I just think the shuffle crowd is insincere. And my hunch is , Im not too far off on the demographics.
RPM December 15, 2011 at 11:46 AM
I appreciated the dedicated parking and the fact that schools stayed open during the referendum. It's great for our kids to see democracy in action.

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