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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.”
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.”