March 25, 2019

Today is Last Day to View LYSB’s 34th Annual ‘Youth Art Show,’ 10am-4pm


An Opening Reception for the 34th Annual Youth Art Show will be held Thursday, March 14, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Sill House Gallery at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven located at 84 Lyme Street. All are welcome.

Sponsored by Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) and the PTO’s of Lyme, Middle and Mile Creek Schools, the show features work by more than 150 students in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools from Kindergarten through Grade 12, including many pieces that have recently won impressive awards in state and local competitions.

The show is on view daily, except for Sunday, March 17, through Saturday, March 23.  The Sill House Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.  Admission is free.

For more information, contact Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau at 860-434-7208 or visit www.lysb.org

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Gov. Lamont Amends Education Proposal on Shared Services; Encourages School Collaboration, Reallocation of Resources to Classroom

Governor Ned Lamont (D)

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF GOVERNOR NED LAMONT– Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is submitting revised language to the General Assembly on his proposal encouraging shared services in Connecticut schools. The new proposal, which was developed in collaboration with stakeholders, addresses concerns raised by members of the community while continuing to encourage collaboration and shared services among schools. The governor said that he agrees with many constituents who do not want their school districts to be forced to consolidate operations and is hopeful that the modifications to his proposal address those concerns.

Unlike other proposals, Governor Lamont’s legislation does not force school consolidation. Rather, his bill uses school construction bonds and other funds to incentivize communities to explore cost savings, but does not force regionalization.

“The truth is that our students and teachers are not getting the adequate resources they need in the classroom,” Governor Lamont said. “Sharing certain back-office administrative services and purchasing costs is more efficient for certain schools, and my bill is intended to highlight and incentivize those efficiencies. I’ve also heard the concern that school districts need independence to make the decisions they feel are best. My revised proposal seeks to strike that balance through a collaborative process that preserves the feisty independence of our towns while providing them the tools they need to accomplish our shared vision of focusing resources on the classroom.”

As an example, North Carolina uses one contract for school software throughout the entire state, however in Connecticut there are 170 different contracts and the state is paying a premium. The governor’s proposal creates a bipartisan commission on shared school services, made up of education stakeholders from across the state including parents, teachers, superintendents, and school board members. That commission has no power to force the adoption of its recommendations, but will look around and outside the state to issue advisory reports on how districts can best share services and prioritize money for students and teachers. The towns and the people’s elected representatives will be able to draw on the recommendations that make sense in their local contexts.

The revised language in governor’s proposal:

  • Ensures regional diversity by requiring each of the governor’s six appointees come from a different RESC service area
  • Underscores the non-binding nature of the commission’s recommendations
  • Eliminates requirements that the commission consider redistricting and regionalization in its reports

The legislation, SB 874 – An Act Concerning Education Initiatives and Services in Connecticut, is currently pending in the education committee. The same language is included in HB 7192 – An Act Concerning Municipal and Regional Opportunities and Efficiencies, which is pending in the planning and development committee.

**DownloadProposed revised language to SB 874

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Lyme-Old Lyme High School Hosts Open House for Prospective Students, March 29

Lyme-Old Lyme High School hosts an ‘Open House for Prospective Students,’ Friday, March 29.

On Friday, March 29, Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) welcomes prospective students who do not currently attend a Lyme-Old Lyme School and/or their parents to visit the high school during its Spring Open House for Prospective Students. 

In order to offer a customized experience for each prospective student and/or their parents, interviews are being offered throughout the day to accommodate varying schedules.  Each meeting with a school counselor will be preceded by a student-led tour of the high school. This format is intended to allow all attendees an opportunity to gain a general overview of the school and interact with current students, as well as to obtain answers to individual questions and information on curriculum, student opportunities and more.

In terms of the type of students and/or families the District is aiming to attract, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser explains, “This event is offered for students in a variety of situations such as students whose families are looking to move to the area, students who reside here but attend private, parochial, or magnet schools, and tuition-paying students who live in other towns.”

Last year, LOLHS was named to the College Board’s US and Canada AP® District Honor Roll and consistently places in the top 10 percent in Connecticut SAT and SBAC scores.  Year after year, LOLHS graduates are accepted into a wide range of diverse and highly selective schools across the US and in some cases, internationally. The Lyme-Old Lyme School system has become a pipeline to the Ivy League schools and the “Little-Ivies” including such schools as Duke, MIT and Stanford.

Students hard at work in a Chinese class at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, where it is a popular elective subject.

Facilities at the high school are exceptional with state-of-the-art technology implemented throughout the building thanks to a $49 million renovation project completed in 2014. The math, science, language, and technology and engineering areas along with the art, music, drama and athletic facilities are of a quality and sophistication that resembles a college environment, rather than a high school.   

Current enrollment at LOLHS is 462 students across Grades 9 through 12 and the average class size is between 15 and 18. The school offers a full spectrum of core subjects taught in-house, including 17 Advanced Placement subjects, and also an extensive range of online classes taken through the Virtual High School program. Students also have the option to pursue the acclaimed Techno-Ticks robotics program along with more than 35 other extra-curricular clubs. 

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Band has an exceptional reputation..

Lyme-Old Lyme High School enjoys exceptionally strong music, drama and art programs, which have been recognized with numerous awards both at the state level and nationally. The school’s athletic program has similarly received innumerable honors over the years and is proud to have several past, present and future Olympians among its alumni.

If you would like to attend this informative event, call Glynis Houde at 860-434-2255 to schedule your appointment. For further information, contact Tracy Lenz, Director of Guidance, at 860-434-2255 or lenzt@region18.org or James Wygonik, LOLHS Principal, at 860-434-1651 or wygonikj@region18.org.

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Old Lyme’s History-Making Run to the Sun Ends in the Shadows with Loss to Innovation in State Final

A huge crowd of Old Lyme supporters came to the Mohegan Sun arena to cheer on their team. Photos by Lynn Fairfield-Sonn, Carol Frazier and Jack Collins.

Estimates of the number of Old Lyme fans who went to cheer on the boy’s basketball team at Mohegan Sun arena Sunday morning varied between 800 and 1,000.  Even the commentator on the channel that was live-streaming the game noted, “There’s a lot of blue in the building,” adding for clarity, “I think the stadium is at least three-quarters blue.”

Prior to tip-off, Old Lyme engaged in their traditional motivational huddle.

For a small couple of towns like Lyme and Old Lyme, this was an amazing show of support and belief in this team and its coach, who just two short years ago found themselves on the wrong end of a 6-18 season.

The Old Lyme team stands proud while the national anthem plays before the game began.

Sadly, neither the team nor the fans saw their dreams come to fruition.

The teams were announced in the traditional manner.

Third-seeded Old Lyme were first out of the starting blocks storming to a 10-2 lead in a little over four minutes. Everything seemed to be going their way when top seeds Innovation woke up and by the end of the first quarter had overtaken the Wildcats by 12-10.

Junior guard Ray Doll with arms outstretched was in the thick of the on-court action.

Old Lyme never took the lead again falling to 23-30 by the half.  Scoring became a real challenge for the ‘Cats who ended up achieving only a 25% success rate.

Coach Kirk Kaczor urges on his team.

But Coach Kaczor never gave up on his boys encouraging them all through the contest.

By the end of the game, Ray Doll and Brady Sheffield, who are both juniors, had scored 11 points each and Aedan Using, another junior, had  contributed eight, but more significantly had also joined the elite group of Old Lyme players, who have scored 1,000 lifetime points. Doll and Using also respectively had eight and five rebounds while senior Liam Holloway notched a game-high five steals.

Action at the free throw line.

Innovation continued their formidable advance through the third and fourth quarters taking their lead to 20 clear points at 58-38 with 2:58 remaining on the clock. Old Lyme began to see the writing on the wall and heard the final buzzer with their heads held high but their hearts down low.

Leaping high to shoot, an Innovation player looks to score.

Thank you, Old Lyme boys and Coach Kaczor for such a great season.  You have made our towns proud.  You may not have won the state championship but you’ve rewritten the history books for the program by simply reaching the state final. We will always remember this outstanding team and their run to the Sun!

Congratulations … and see you next season!

Editor’s Notes: Special thanks to our photographers at the game, Lynn Fairfield-Sonn, Carol Frazier and Jack Collins.

 

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It’s Sun-Day for Old Lyme! Kaczor’s Boys Play for Div. V State Basketball Championship at 10:30am Today

Coach Kirk Kaczor (center) leads the traditional Old Lyme boy’s basketball team huddle at the start of a game..

There’s nothing like an Old Lyme team participating in a high school state final to stir the sleepy towns of Lyme and Old Lyme to their core.

Extrapolating from past performance when Don Bugbee’s girls played (and won) the Class S State basketball championship in 2009 — the first played at Mohegan Sun — a conservative estimate suggests that at least half of the population of Lyme and Old Lyme will set their alarms early this morning, may even skip church (or perhaps the Catholics among us went yesterday evening …) and head east across the state to the arena at Mohegan Sun.

One assumes that pretty much every self-respecting, current Lyme-Old Lyme High Schooler will make their way to the arena this morning whether on a school bus or under their own steam. The parents of the boys on the Old Lyme varsity basketball team may even go to see the team bus off from the school at some God-forsaken hour …

The basketball game tipping off at 10:30 a.m. in the arena at Mohegan Sun will be the focus of their attention until around noon.

In a packed arena with likely around 5,000 fans present, can Kirk Kavzor’s boys pull off a spectacular win and topple top-seeded Innovation to bring the CIAC Division V trophy home to Old Lyme?

These third-seeded Wildcats have already crushed all previous records by becoming the first team in program history to reach the final. Can they now — urged on by their fervent supporters aged from 1 to 92 — take it one step further and make their tiny hometown the proudest for miles around and win the title?

In an exclusive and extraordinarily revealing email interview with LymeLine.com, Coach Kaczor gave us the inside story on how this exceptional team has reached the point it is at today, saying, “Two years ago we were 6-14 and a program in disarray.  The effort, attitude and culture were not anywhere near what I wanted it to be.  We were selfish and undisciplined, and it reflected poorly on me as well as the school.  We weren’t all that talented, but more importantly our attitude needed to change for our program to be successful.”

He continued, “Last year, we dedicated ourselves to improving both on and off the court.  We made a move to work with a strong group of sophomores and asked the older kids to help bring them along and to provide a fostering culture that valued teamwork and discipline. “

Interestingly he pointed to some small things that have made a big difference in team culture, such as, “We made new rules about tucking in practice jerseys and sprinting to help out teammate or opponent that went down during the game.  (You’ll see that during the game.)”

Kaczor concluded, “We had a great season.  We finished 15-5 but lost in the first round of our league tournament.  We entered the state tournament with a good seed but were beaten at the buzzer in the first round by Capital Prep.  However, during that season we created a culture and brotherhood that carried into the summer, fall and then back to the winter.”

Turning to this season, Kaczor said, “Everything was in place to run for the Sun.  I never said it, but the kids did.  It was the elephant in the room.  We knew we had the talent, effort, and attitude to get there.” He mused, “I just wondered if we could catch a break.  There always seems to be a little luck involved.,” adding, “Things just fell into place for us.”

Commenting on the tournament itself, Kaczor reflected, “We’ve played three excellent and young teams so far.  Beating a good Gilbert team in the second round.  Avenging our only home loss (on senior night) to Morgan in the quarters.  And this week, we beat a 16-4 Somers team that is really good.”

Kaczor ended with the words, “This season has been amazing in so many ways,” noting, “We just recently won the sportsmanship award presented by our Board 8 officials, as well.”

Let’s hope the season becomes a whole lot more amazing this morning! Good luck boys and Coach Kaczor … and GO WILDCATS!

 

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Today’s Hearing on Act Proposing Creation of Tax Authorities in CT for School Towns/Districts with Less Than 15,000 Students to be Televised

Today at noon, the state legislature’s Planning & Development Committee will hold a public hearing on House Bill 7319, An Act Concerning The Fiscal Independence Of School Districts.  The hearing will be televised on CT-N.

The bill requires local and regional school districts with fewer than 15,000 students to become taxing authorities, separate from any municipality.

The bill was introduced by the Planning & Development Committee and is applicable to all local and regional school districts in the state, except for five: Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury and Stamford.

For more information on the broad topic of forced school regionalization, visit HandsOffourSchools.org or their associated Facebook group, Hands Off Our Schools, which is strongly opposed to the proposals made to date.

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Op-Ed: Forced Regionalization of Our Schools Will be a Disaster For Our Communities

This op-ed was submitted by Tina C. Gilbert of Lyme. It was also sent as a letter to State Senators Paul Formica  (R-20th) and Norman Needleman (D-33rd), and State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd.) Gilbert has children in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools and is Vice-President of LCN USA located in Deep River, Conn.  

I am seriously concerned about the lack of awareness and sense of urgency in the Lyme-Old Lyme communities regarding the proposed Bills to force school regionalization, specifically Bill 454 (SB 738). It is a grave mistake for any tax payer in Lyme or Old Lyme  to think this doesn’t affect them just because they don’t have children attending the schools. We know the chances of this getting approved are strong, if not, at this point, unavoidable.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the recent BOE meeting where I would have addressed my concerns. At the BOE meeting I understand that it was said that Region 18 had “good representation” at last Friday’s hearings on the proposed bills. We had, from my count, 5 children and 5 adults (2 without their children) at the hearing. The town of Wilton, conversely, had well over 100 – if not 150 constituents there. That is good representation. The hearing required three overflow rooms apart from the primary hearing room. Each of them packed with floors occupied by children. I could be mistaken, but I believe that is a very rare occurrence.

Next week, the Committee will vote on whether these Bills move forward. If they vote to move forward, the consequences to our two communities will be devastating and irrevocable. Our local BOE is concerned about the attrition rate of students in Region 18. However, imagine if you will the entire school population coming from the Town of Lyme no longer attending the Middle School or High School. No amount of marketing for out-of-region students or pre-K applicants is going to fill that void. What then are the effects? Jobs gone. Shared programs gone (LYSB). Culture, history, community …. compromised. Taxes increased. Residents leaving. Property values tanking. Parents putting themselves into debt to send their children to whatever private school they can find.
The Town of Old Lyme will follow the Probate system and will be regionalized with East Lyme, Salem and Montville. There will be a regionalized BOE and one Superintendent (that means 3 lose their jobs.) Governor Lamont specifically called out wanting to reduce the number of Superintendents. East Lyme is a large and powerful school. I don’t think it takes a deep thinker to figure out who is going to have more power in the new regionalized district.
We live in the Town of Lyme. We moved here from Deep River so that our children would be in the Region 18 schools. With this forced Regionalization, Lyme will join Deep River, Chester, Essex, Haddam and Killingworth. Children from the farthest reaches of Lyme will be bussed across the river to attend schools there. Bus rides will be well over an hour. Parents who want to be active in their children’s schooling will be challenged with having to follow suit and drive either over the bridge to Rt 9 (and soon pay tolls to do so) or over the bridge in Haddam.  My husband and I recently moved our business to Deep River, so we know how time consuming it is to come back to Lyme Consolidated in the middle of the day for a school event. This is the first year of the last seven that our children have been in the school that we’ve missed nearly every program. Frankly it would be easier for us to have our kids going to school on the other side of the river. But we don’t want that – we moved here for the quality of the education.
From the hearing and follow up discussion, it has become clear that the Forced Regionalization concept is in fact not about the state saving money. The Committee members supporting the legislation made their opinions on that clear. And a Bill supporter who has the ears of these members (including the Chair) put it succinctly as follows:
“Connecticut has too many school districts, and the richest ones are fortresses that have pulled all the ladders up after them while the poorest sink deeper and deeper. Town-based school districts drive wealth inequality and force towns to compete against one another instead of cooperating. Worst of all, they embody institutionalized and systemic racism. They enforce de facto segregation, which is the toxic legacy of redlining and exclusionary zoning, and we will never be able to move forward until that changes.”
In summary, this infers that we residents of Lyme and Old Lyme are a bunch of privileged racists who only want the best for their children and none for others. This tired tactic is offensive and reprehensible.
I am happy that there is broad bipartisan support against these Bills. But that’s not enough. If these Bills fail, the Governor has proposed his own Bill SB 874 with 32 pages of detail on a very powerful school consolidation commission that will make decisions that may or may not have to be put to vote by the legislators. The Governor stated he will sign it into law. There is also discussion of a new Regional Tax layer – to add to our Federal, State and Local taxes – to support all of this.

In the end, Forced Regionalization equals Forced Equalization equals Forced Marginalization. The sum is Disaster to our communities.
The word needs to get out to our communities, so at the very least they are educated on the subject and not blind-sided when they learn of the fate of their children’s education or are shocked when they see their future tax bills.
How can we make this happen? How can we get the word out? We have very little time.
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Old Lyme Gymnasts Qualify for New England Championships at State Open

Maria Denya (left) and Britney Detuzzi both qualified Wednesday night for the New England Gymnastic Championship to be held Saturday.

Both Lyme-Old Lyme High School athletes competing in the CIAC State Open Gymnastics Championship held at New Milford High School Wednesday night qualified for the New England Championship being held Saturday in Hudson, Mass.

Britney Detuzzi’s scores were: Vault 8.75 Bars 8.05 Beam 8.65 (9th), Floor 9.3 (3rd), totaling 34.75 points and giving her 9th place in the All-Around, while Maria Denya’s score on the Beam was 8.55, placing her in the 10th spot. The top 10 in each event qualify for the New England Championship. Detuzzi will compete in the All-Around at the State Open while Denya will compete on the beam.

Stonington High School’s Hanna Laskey also qualified for New England Championship in the Vault.

The following weekend Detuzzi and Laskey will compete for ABC Shoreline Level 9 USAG Connecticut State Championships.

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Q2 Honor Rolls Announced for Lyme-Old Lyme High, Middle Schools

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Honor Roll
Quarter 2   2018-19

High Honors

Grade 12:
Kendall Antoniac, Kathryn Atkinson, Jacqueline Barry, Catherine Battalino, Casey Blue, Mackenzie Blue, Claire Britton, Paige Britton, Jocelyn Campbell, Ann Cote, Thomas Creagan, Emma Danes, Britney DeRoehn, Corey Drummond, Grace Edwards, Olin Frederiks, Zachary Gidius, Grace Gilbert (Quarters 1 and 2), Emily Grenier, Kylie Hall, Sarah Hayward, Haley Heath, Liam Holloway, Aoife Hufford, Riley Jacobson, Mya Johnson, Elyza Learned, Joshua Liefeld, John Manthous, Brynn McGlinchey, Hannah Morrison, Leah Neithamer, Emily O’Brien, Sydney Ogden, Jacob Olsen, Katherine Reid, James Rollins, Nicholas Roth, Sadie Rubitski, Noah Rumm, Kellie Sablone, Caroline Sagristano, Anna Sather, Robert Sedlatschek, Justin Shaw, Penelope Small, Carson Swope, Emily Tan, Caroline Wallace, Colleen Walsh, Alexander Williams

Grade 11:
Emma Bass, Audrey Berry, Madison Cann, Rory Cavicke, Sarah Conley, Elizabeth Cravinho, Isabel Dean-Frazier, Arianna DelMastro, Maria Denya, Raymond Doll, Araselys Farrell, Nicholas Fava, Jada Fuentes, Lucy Gilbert, Tanner Griffin, Sophia Griswold, Kamber Hamou, Lauren Huck, Rachael Larson, Brenna Lewis, Jacqueline Malizia, Thomas McCarthy, Ryan McTigue, Chandler Munson, Samantha Olson, Sofia Pecher-Kohout, Jenny Pelaez Cajamarca, Carter Popkin, Jenna Porter, Taylor Sedlatschek, Garrett Smith, Emily Speckhals, Evan St.Louis, Olivia Stack, Haley Stevens, Olivia Tetreault, Lydia Tinnerello, Sydney Trowbridge, Kiera Ulmer, Megan VanSteenbergen, Theodore Wayland, Trevor Wells, Anna Williams, Maggie Wisner, Conner Wyman, Katherine Zelmanow

Grade 10:
Kaylee Armenia, Juliette Atkinson, Rachel Barretta, Ava Berry, Emma Boardman, Kyuss Buono, Kate Cheney, Emerson Colwell, Megan Cravinho, Bianca Dasilva, Emily DeRoehn, Sadie Frankel, Fiona Frederiks, Schuyler Greenho, Lillian Grethel, Catharine Harrison, Isabella Hine, Regan Kaye, Grace Lathrop, Owen Macadam, Elle McAraw, Emma Meekhoff, Riley Nelson, Timothy O’Brien, Connie Pan, Lauren Pitt, Hayden Saunders, Tait Sawden, Tessa St.Germain, Lian Thompson, Angus Tresnan, Lauren Wallace, Kelly Walsh, Avery Welch, Ellery Zrenda

Grade 9:
John Almy, Grace Arnold, Nihad Bicic, Hannah Britt, Mackenzie Bussolotti, Evan Clark, Ryan Clark, Anne Colangelo, John Conley, Caroline Crolius, Elias D’Onofrio, Elizabeth Duddy, Eleanor Dushin, Liam Fallon, Victoria Gage, Samantha Geshel, Aiden Goiangos, Nicolette Hallahan, Fiona Hufford, Nevin Joshy, Kian Kardestuncer, Owen Kegley, Cora Kern, Michael Klier, Felse Kyle, William Larson, Reese Maguire, Abigail Manthous, Mikayla Masilotti, Grace McAdams, Evan Morgan, Elle Myers, Brendan O’Brien, Bella Orlando, Jacob Ritchie, Margaret Rommel, Alexander Roth, Frank Sablone, Olivia Schaedler, Calvin Scheiber, Abigail Sicuranza, McLean Signora, Abby Speckhals, Meghan Speers, Drew St.Louis, Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum, Victoria Stout, Maverick Swaney, Madison Thompson, Aidan Ward, Melanie Warren, Ellie Wells, Mary Wholean, Ryan Zbierski

Honors

Grade 12:
Teresa Allan, Grace Ames, Madison Babcock, Lauren Birk, Liam Clark, Lily Cox, Colin Hallahan, Dylan Hettick-Harlow, Kate Hickie, Sophie Kyle, Henry Lahm, Peter Macadam, Lilah McAndrew, Danielle McCarthy, Nicholas Myers, Thomas Pennie, Eaven Rivera, Quintin Romeo, Olivia Rugg, Eli St.Germain, Ethan Tracano

Grade 11:
Anabella Arias, Emily Balocca, Jean-Luc Bolduc, Chloe Cahill, Ethan Carrion, Faith Caulkins, Emilia Cheesman, Ty Dean, Samuel Dushin, Emily Evers, Grace Hanrahan, Quinn Hickie, Parker Hubbard, Jeffy Joshy, Renate Kuhn, Biuma Mariame, Melissa Mauro, Natalie Meyers, Ryan Mitchell, Mason Morrissey, Chase Reneson, Jared Ritchie, Andre Salkin, Colby Sides, Philip Sweeney, Jackson Warren, Clair Wholean

Grade 10:
Sophia Arnold, Truman Boller, Sadie Bowman, John Cox, Michael Cushman, George Danes, Francette Donato, Emma Griffith, Aryn Jones, Paige Kolesnik, Destiny Kus, Mackenzie Machnik, Madelyn Maskell, Emma McCulloch, Brendan McTigue, Brianna Melillo, Marina Melluzzo, Michael Milazzo, Sophia Ortoleva, Olivia Papanier, Anwyn Paynter, Gavin Porter, Ezra Pyle, Jacob Quaratella, Ethan Rivera, Jesper Silberberg, Kassidy Standish, Jake Stewart, Katrina Wallace, Alison Ward

Grade 9:
Nicholas Adeletti, Mason Bagwell, Andrew Bennett, Dustin Burton, James Creagan, Lauren Creagan, Elise DeBernardo, Andrew Hedberg, Madison Hubbard, Julia Johnston, Robyn King, James Mazzalupo, Jacob Meyers, Samuel Mullaney, Michael O’Donnell, Adeline Riccio, Matthew Snyder, Alexandra Tinniswood, Olivia Turtoro, John Videll, Evan Visgilio, Aden Wilson, Paige Winchell, Avery Wyman

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Honor Roll
Quarter 2 2018-19
High Honors

Grade 8:
Bridget Allan, Olivia Alpha, Whitney Barbour, William Barry, Callie Bass, Livie Bass, Jillian Beebe, Jordan Beebe, Cooper Bowman, Ava Brinkerhoff, Eli Brown, Gretchen Burgess, Sarah Burnham, Hayley Cann, Evelynn Carr, Liam Celic, Luke Celic, Grace Colwell, Marjorie Curtis, William Danes, Anna Davis, Luke Davis, Kylie Dishaw, Cole Dobratz, John Eichholz, Clarence Hinckley, Willa Hoerauf, Arber Hoxha, Karissa Huang, Owen Ingersoll-Bonsack, Aidan Kerrigan, Celia LaConti, Phoebe Lampos, Theodore Lampos, Jonah Lathrop, Monique Lavoie, Ford Macadam, Marielle Mather, Madalyn McCulloch, Caden Monte, Calvin Monte, Cooper Munson, Alexander Olsen, Alain Pecher-Kohout, Olivia Powers, Kelsey Pryor, Izzadora Reynolds, Benjamin Roth, Rhyleigh Russell, Eli Ryan, Anders Silberberg, Alyssa Spooner, Samantha Tan, Tova Toriello, Kaitlyn Ward, Harry Whitten, Colin Wiese (Quarters 1 and 2), George Williams, Quinn Williams


Grade 7:
Peighton Andrews, Emma Bayor, Oliver Berry, Alis Bicic, Elliot Bjornberg, Henry Boller, Henry Boremski, Drew Brackley, Natalie Buckley, Jackson Bullock, Bianca Carrion, Nicholas Cheesman, Sarah Colangelo, Ella Curtiss-Reardon, Eva D’Onofrio, Eric Dagher, Lucas DaSilva, Amelia Gage, Ryder Goss, Sydney Goulding, Nyla Goulis, Alexis Grasdock, Justin Green, Abby Hale, Nathaniel Heon, Sedona Holland, Agatha Hunt, Beatrice Hunt, Sabina Jungkeit, Emmerson Kaye, Dakota Kotzan, Luke Legein, Brodie Lippincott, Matthew Mazzalupo, Anna McAdams, Griffin McGlinchey, Zelaya Menjivar, Matthew Miller, Elaina Morosky, Katherine Mullaney, Delaney Nelson, Isabelle O’Connor, Kayla O’Leary, Grace Phaneuf, Jack Porter, Luisa Raby, Charles Sahadi, Elias Sahadi, Hannah Thomas, Kalea VanPelt, Keara Ward, Louisa Warlitz, Mason Wells, Tyler Wells, Summer Wollack


Grade 6:
Emma Arelt, Natalie Barndt, Micah Bass, Molly Boardman, Samuel Bocian, Nathaniel Bradley, Tabitha Colwell, Gloria Conley, Chloe Datum,
Andrea DeBernardo, Zoe Eastman-Grossel, Caeli Edmed, Anna Eichholz, Ella Evans, Grace Ferman, Samantha Fiske, Hoshena Gemme, Ava Gilbert, Henry Griswold, Kyle Ingersoll-Bonsack, Shyla Jones, Simon Karpinski, Aven Kellert, Ella Kiem, Ada LaConti, James Lahot, Elise Leonardo, Evan LeQuire, Elizabeth Lopez, Colette Marchant, Nathan Morgan, Abigail O’Brien, Kanon Oharu, Filip Pecher-Kohout, Sophie Pennie, Shannon Pryor, Mutia Quarshie, Ysabel Rodriguez, Drea Simler, Josephine Small, Audrey Spiegel, Morgan Standish, Madeline Supersano, Charlotte Tinniswood, Kathleen Walsh, Ava Wilcox

Honors

Grade 8:
Aryanna Arias, Jamie Bucior, Jennifer Cajamarca, Alexander Chrysoulakis, Zachary Eichholz, David Evers, Karleigh Landers, Jacob Lopez-Bravo, Kennedy McCormick, Matthew O’Leary, Allott Patterson, Jacob Rand, Jenna Schauder, Marco Supersano

Grade 7:
Ava Cummins, Macklin Cushman, Katherine Gryk, Mohamad Hamou, Leland Hine, Audrey LeCour, Ronald Olin, Beky Pallaroso, Ava Roth, Kylie-Jean Sevigny, Sydney Siefken, Owen Snurkowski, Gabriel Tooker

Grade 6:
Ella Austin, Justin Bonatti, Chase Calderon, Autumn Dionne, Marcella Gencarella, Jonathan Harms, Logan Hock, Olivia Kelly, Peter Kuhn, Brenden Landry, Andrew Liu, Charles Pitt, Ava Wood-Muller

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‘We are a brotherhood … We are Ready,” Kaczor on Old Lyme ‘s Shoreline Championship Game Tonight

Coach Kirk Kaczor leads the traditional boy’s basketball team huddle at the start of quarter.

Second-seeded Old Lyme face top seeds Cromwell tonight in the Shoreline Championship game at 7 p.m. at Polson Middle School in Madison.

Cromwell are the only team to have beaten Old Lyme in the Shoreline Conference this season but that was a nail-biter of a game with the Panthers only winning by two last-second points.

Old Lyme coach Kirk Kaczor is eagerly awaiting tonight’s game. He told LymeLine exclusively “We’re really happy to play in the championship game.  These kids have been working towards this for a long time.  We know Cromwell presents a big obstacle but everything our kids have done has led us to this point.”

He stressed, “This  is more than a team.  We are a brotherhood.  We don’t just play with each other we play for each other.  We go in to tonight’s game knowing that we are ready.”

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LOL Schools Superintendent Strongly Opposes Proposed Forced Regionalization of CT Schools

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser

Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser has issued a statement strongly opposing the proposed state legislation that would force regionalization of school districts with less than 2,000 students into much larger districts.

Tomorrow, Friday, March 1, at 1 p.m. in Room 2E of the Legislative Office Building, the Education Committee will be holding a public hearing on the proposals. This legislation affects Lyme-Old Lyme Schools because even though Lyme and Old Lyme are already regionalized into Regional District 18, the total number of students in the district is significantly less than 2,000, which is proposed as the minimum size (number of students) of any school district.

Full details of the hearing and how to submit testimony either in writing or in person are in our article at this link and have also been published on the LOL Schools Facebook page.

Neviaser’s statement was sent to the entire staff of LOL Schools; the LOL Schools Board of Education, all state representatives and senators whose districts include Lyme and/or Old Lyme. He opens by saying, “The Governor’s proposal to regionalize school districts will have a significant negative impact on the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools. Besides the fact that the proposal suggests splitting our outstanding district in two, the idea that it will somehow save money has no merit. Other states that function with large county school systems, such as is proposed, end up with enormous districts that actually cost the taxpayer more money due to the sheer size of the organizations and the numerous layers of bureaucracy that are required to run them.”

He stresses, “Of greatest concern is the idea that we will lose our small local schools which are vitally important to the success of our students. Students could be forced to endure lengthy bus rides, attend massive schools where they lose personal connection with their teachers, and our communities will no longer have the ability to manage the education of our children. Districts across the state, ours included, already engage in regional services that save money.” Neviaser attached a detailed summary of services that are already regionalized, which we have published in its entirety at the foot of this article.

Continuing, “To force this upon our schools based on arbitrary enrollment and population numbers is foolish and short-sighted, Neviaser clarifies, ” We are not opposed to the idea of regionalizing services, and in fact do so in many areas, but are opposed to the idea of the state mandating this with no data to support their actions.”

Neviaser points out, “As Representative [Devin] Carney [R-23rd] notes, “Forced regionalization could also harm our property values and quality of life,”” and adds, “Many of our residents have chosen to move to our towns because of their small size. The Governor’s proposal stands in contrast to the desire of those residents to live in a community that has that “small-town America” feel. The idea of local control is a concept that is rooted in our New England heritage.”

Neviaser concludes, “Please make sure your voice is heard to ensure that decisions involving education services are made at the local level.”

—000—

Summary of Survey Results Regarding Regionalism in Southeastern CT and the Shoreline

DRAFT 02 25 2019

In a recent voluntary survey of LEARN area school districts, 12 of 21 districts reported the following shared services, programs, and cooperative regional efforts:

  • Shared Business Operations  and Facilities (9 of 12)

These operations represent a broad range of services, including but not limited to:

Food service cooperative purchasing (electricity, school supplies, oil, building management systems, and energy efficiency), workers’ compensation, financial software, a finance director, liability insurance, medical benefits.  Six entities share a health cooperative, ECHMC.

These cooperative efforts include partnerships between school districts and their local municipalities, between school districts, and with regional educational service centers.

School districts also cooperate with their municipalities on their facilities.  For example, sharing with their town for snow removal and sanding of lots, fields and campus upkeep, emergency management drills, and the use of schools as evacuation sites.  School districts also cooperate with community organizations, sharing with parks and recreation and other town organizations, classroom exchanges and before and after school programs.

  • Transportation (8/12)

School districts cooperate between and among themselves to provide regional transportation to reduce costs and address specific needs.  Multiple districts report ride sharing for special education transportation to similar special education sites. School districts also share transportation for some magnet school routes, as well as to technical schools and vocational agricultural schools.  Clubs and athletics were also noted as a place where transportation has been shared. 

At LEARN, fourteen of our member towns use our hub system for transporting students to LEARN magnet schools.

  • Human Resources (7/12)

More than ½ of the districts report sharing human resources, that is a position that is shared between two school districts.  Specifically, cafeteria management director, teacher of the blind, social worker, BCBA, English language learner teacher.  Several report sharing positions with their municipalities including Finance Director, Department Facilities Manager, Human Resources, Grounds management, Information Technology, school resource officers, and school to work coordinators.

  • Special Education (3/12) 

A number of school districts share special education services, such as a regional parent night, the STRIVE program—between three school districts. 

Several districts also report shared transitions services 18-21 and mandated services. 

At LEARN, our regional educational service center, 16 school districts utilize our out-placement programs for students with autism and complex highly specialized needs.  Every district in LEARN’s member area use some Student Support Services, such as related services, BCBA services, instructional support staffing, Extended School Year, consultations services and technical assistance, and professional learning opportunities for educators among others. 

  • Professional Development (10/12)

The large majority of reporting school districts indicate the use of regional professional development opportunities.  The majority of all LEARN area school districts participate in regional professional development opportunities, either with LEARN, with our sister RESCs, and/or providing opportunities between and among each other based on needs and interests.  For example, districts report sharing professional learning in a five district consortium, a four district one including a charter school, across all LEARN districts for regional professional development days and regional offerings at LEARN, to name a few. All LEARN districts report participating in LEARN roundtables, networks and communities of practice. 

All LEARN districts participate in establishing a voluntary regional calendar that establishes regional professional development days that are in common.   This regional planning has promoted professional learning communities across a wide array of disciplines to help educators refine their skills.

  • Technology (3/12)

School districts cooperate with their municipalities as well as other towns regarding technology. Specifically, districts report shared efforts in network management, security cameras and ID’s and purchasing software. They also report sharing technology staff (such as network management and data management technician).

  • Other Educational Programming (6/12)

At least half of the reporting districts shared a broad array of educational programs.  These include areas such as alternative education—small school co-funded with another district, extended school year with another district, diversity training—student leadership with two other school districts, athletics—cooperative teams (gymnastics, girls swimming, boys swimming, ice hockey).  Three districts have a six team hockey cooperative,  among others. There are shared expulsion programs across two towns.  There are shared extended school year services and social skills programs.  One district also reported cooperation with community partners for a summer feeding program, benefiting a 9-town area. 

There are also grant funded opportunities across school districts lines, such as inter-district grants, Title III and Perkins with LEARN, and shared federal funding for intra and inter-district magnet schools.  Sixteen Districts cooperatively purchase on line learning for students through LEARN.

The Military Superintendents Liaison committee (MLSC). MSLC is a partnership between the Naval Submarine Base, the US Coast Guard Academy, the National Guard, and local school districts in New London County. It works together for the improvement of transition, as well as academic and school experiences for military and highly mobile students. This leadership group has influenced policies and established practices to support military families.

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LOL Chamber Members to Address Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) at LOL High School

Tomorrow,  Feb. 28, a small group of professionals in Old Lyme will share highlights of  their educational and professional backgrounds with business students at Lyme-Old Lyme High School. Sponsored by the high school’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), the career panel has been coordinated by the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Committee.

Participants will include: 

  • Katie Huffman, Director, Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library
  • Richard Shriver, engineer/statistician/author 
  • Richard W. Stout, Certified Financial Planner with Benchmark Wealth Management
  • Brent Thompson, Sales and Marketing professional who recently opened APC Driving School in Old Lyme 
  • Sophie Marsh, sign designer/ manufacturer, and founder, Brushline Design or Gail Stevens, co-founder/director of Music Now Foundation.
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Matthew Shafner Memorial Scholarship for Sons/Daughters of Disabled Workers Now Accepting Applications

The Disabled Workers’ Committee, a Connecticut-based, not-for-profit organization, whose mission is to help impaired workers, has issued new criteria for the single scholarship of $10,000 that it is offering to assist a senior high school student resident in Connecticut.  A student qualifies as a candidate for this scholarship if one or more of the following criteria are satisfied by their parent or legal guardian: 

  • is deceased as a result of a work-related injury; 
  • has been found to be permanently and totally disabled from all forms of work;
  • has sustained a work-related injury resulting in loss of a limb or;
  • has sustained a work-related permanent disability that has resulted in an inability to return to their former employment and has suffered a permanent wage loss.
  • the disability must arise out of a workplace injury.

The 2019 scholarship provides $1,250 per semester for four years.  The amount of the scholarship fund is awarded to the child or dependent of a disabled worker, who demonstrates both academic excellence and the financial need to go on to college.  The disability must arise from a workplace injury, and be confirmed by acceptance of the claim, a workers’ compensation final decision or social security award.

“The pressures that fall on disabled workers and their families are tremendous” explained Matthew Shafner in 2010 when he was chairman of the committee. “This scholarship fund eases one of the important financial burdens that disabled workers often face.”  Shafner, a nationally recognized attorney and former Chairman of the Disabled Workers Scholarship Subcommittee, passed away in September 2015. 

Applications are available throughout Connecticut in the offices of high school guidance counselors, labor unions and Workers’ Compensation Commission offices. The applications should be received by April 1, 2019 at the Scholarship fund, Disabled Workers Committee, Inc., c/o Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-law, 2 Union Plaza, Suite 200, New London, CT 06320. A statewide committee of prominent educators will carry out the screening and select the successful student.  

The Disabled Workers’ Committee is dedicated to educating the public about the importance of returning impaired workers to the workplace as soon as possible.  

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See ‘Anything Goes’ Before it Goes! Today at 2 or 7pm

Philip Sweeney, as Billy Crocker, and Elyza Learned as Reno, play the lead roles in ‘Anything Goes,’ which opens tonight at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

It’s Delightful, It’s Delicious … it’s Anything Goes!

An exciting moment for the ocean liner’s passengers in Anything Goes.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s (LOLHS) spring musical Anything Goes opens tonight: Welcome Aboard!

The full cast of ‘Anything Goes’ in the dress rehearsal earlier this week.

Anything Goes follows nightclub singer Reno Sweeney on her voyage from New York City to England aboard the ocean liner the S.S. American. Reno’s friend Billy Crocker, a stockbroker, has stowed away aboard the ship in pursuit of his love, Hope Harcourt.

‘Anything Goes’ Director and professional opera singer Brian Cheney, second from right, gives some advice to Thomas Pennie (center) who plays Lord Evelyn Oakleigh in the musical.

The only problem is that Hope is already engaged to a rich British man, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.

Rehearsing a scene are from left to right, Margot Paynter (back), Olivia Rugg, who plays Evangeline Harcourt, Liam Clark who approses the role of Eli Whitney, Caroline King (back), the male lead, Billy Crocker, played by Philip Sweeney, Maggie Rommel, Madison Babcock, Sadie Frankel (black/white striped sweater in the back-plays Henrietta T. Dobson), and Hannah Morrison (red shirt-plays Hope Harcourt

The show includes memorable songs by Cole Porter that many audience members will recognize, such as I Get a Kick Out of You, It’s De-Lovely, You’re the Top, and of course, Anything Goes. 

Joining the love triangle is Moonface Martin, Public Enemy #13 who has boarded the boat disguised as a minister, and his sidekick Erma. Together with the help of the dancing sailors and two Chinese gangsters, Reno and Moonface must assist Billy on his mission to win back Hope’s heart.

Anything Goes features choreography by Bethany Haslam of The Dance Center of Old Lyme, set construction by LOLHS Art Department Chair William Allik, costume design by Denise Golden, music direction by LOL Middle School Chorus teacher Laura Gladd, and direction by Brian Cheney.

Although this is Cheney’s first time directing a production at LOLHS, he has been the assistant director to Laura Gladd at LOL Middle School for the past few years as well as directed many other high school and college productions.

Cheney has also been a professional performer for more than 20 years and is an acclaimed opera singer both nationally and internationally. He says, “I think what’s been the most fulfilling thing for me is to be able to give the students a glimpse at what a professional rehearsal process is like.” Cheney adds, “It’s been great being able to support them in that way.”

“Mr. Cheney really lets you as the actor discover who the character is yourself,” says junior Philip Sweeney, who plays Billy Crocker. “Then he’ll just make any changes if there’s any problems.”

“And if you have a question, you know he has an answer for you,” adds senior Elyza Learned, who plays Reno Sweeney. “And if he doesn’t right away, he’ll get back to you.”

In addition to Sweeney and Learned, the musical stars senior Hannah Morrison as Hope Harcourt, junior Jonathan Hamilton as Moonface Martin, and senior Thomas Pennie as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. The show also features senior Liam Clark as Eli Whitney and senior Olivia Rugg as Evangeline Harcourt, and senior Kendall Antoniac as Erma.

“I hope people come see the show because we’ve worked really hard, and it’s also really funny,” says Morrison. “There’s some awesome dancing and our costumes are going to be great and our set is really cool…overall, it’s just going to be a great show!”

“It’s a classically-period, comedic piece so it’s a really funny show,” adds Cheney. “And I believe this is going to be one of the best musical performances the community has seen at the high school.”

Anything Goes opens at LOLHS on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. There are also 7 p.m. performances on Friday, Feb. 8, and Saturday, Feb. 9. Additionally, there is a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Tickets can be purchased at this link or at the door, $12 for students and senior citizens and $15 for adults.

For more information, call the high school at 860-434-1651

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Public Forum on Proposed Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Budget to be Held Tonight, Regular BOE Meeting Follows

The Region 18 Board of Education hosts a Special Meeting this evening at 6:30 p.m. that includes a Public Forum on its proposed 2019-20 school budget.  The meeting will be held in  the Board of Education Conference Room at Center School and will be followed by a Board of Education Regular Meeting at 7 p.m.  in the same location.

The meeting will be preceded by a Facilities & Finance Committee Meeting in the Central Office Conference Room at 5 p.m.

The public is welcome to attend all these meetings.

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Op-Ed: Region 18 School Budget is Cause for Concern, Public Forum Tonight is an Opportunity to Raise Questions

This op-ed was submitted by Emerson Colwell of Old Lyme.

As a taxpayer in Lyme/Old Lyme, I am writing today because I am extremely concerned about the 2019/2020 School Budget. I feel like there should be a great deal more discussion around a town funded preschool program, something that will directly affect our taxes forever if adopted. Below are just a few of the questions and concerns I have about the proposal.

Region 18 has a large responsibility with the highly achieving academics in our K-12 programs. While the idea of free preschool is one that most people would feel positive about, is $400,000 an expense that you feel should come before our current program needs?

At the last Board meeting on January 16th, Mr. Neviaser clearly stated that he would not take the preschool program out if the budget does not get approved. Region 18 is willing to spend $400,000 + of taxpayer money (that has not been approved by the town) to start a preschool for 17 children and take money out of programs for our currently enrolled 1200 students to fund it?

How is spending $400,000 on a new program that will require yearly funding and take potential funds away from existing programs “for” our kids?

Why is it necessary for taxpayers to pay for every kid to go to preschool?

One “fear” brought up in favor of rushing the proposed plan is that if it’s not done this year, the cost of remodeling Center School will go up. Let’s counter that with the “fear” that the longer our facilities are left unrepaired, the larger those costs will be on the taxpayers.

For less than $400,000, Lyme Consolidated could have a new hvac system and gym floor, two costs identified as necessary in the five year plan. For $250,000, Region 18 can fully fund the entire cost of the tennis courts which were deemed unusable. Why isn’t there a rush to repair our existing facilities that are servicing our 1200 students? Why can’t either or both of these costs be in this year’s budget instead of a new program that services so few children?

I’ve heard that the school board is going to ask to borrow money in a few years to cover all the facility costs. Does it make sense to push through a new preschool program that will need continuous yearly funding when we aren’t putting money in to repair our existing programs that need immediate repair?

There was a lot of talk about kindergarten readiness. Chances are that, here in CT, most kids have been provided with some form of early education. Does anyone know exactly how many of our current kindergarteners have had zero school exposure before entering Region 18? Do we know how many people would willingly pay to send their kids to preschool? Is it really necessary for the taxpayers of Lyme and Old Lyme to pay $400,000 for all of the 17 four year olds to have a preschool experience? Especially when we have current programs that are not being funded in the 2019/2020 budget?

The proposed preschool expansion cost of $400,000 is approximately $22,000 per child for 17 children. This cost is not just this year, it’s forever. Have  they forecasted the complete annual costs for the program including facilities, repairs, teachers, IAs’, and the cost of the specials programs? Will the program require an administrator? Have they created a twenty year projection of the tax impact on the people who live in town? Have the BOE thought about using existing classrooms at Lyme Consolidated or Mile Creek that already have age appropriate toilets? Then Center School wouldn’t need $180,000 for a four to three room makeover, that’s a large amount of money that could be saved. Just because a space is empty doesn’t mean that you spend $400,000 to fill it.

The current success of our K-12 schools and programs has nothing to do with whether the children attended preschool or not. It has to do with the education and support they are receiving during those years. Is the current Region 18 staff 100% happy? Are they being provided enough support? Is there money that should be used to better support our current teachers and administrative staff? I understand that they are working on a review program, that’s great. I hope they really hear the concerns of the public

I highly encourage everyone opposed or in favor of this proposal to attend the BOE meetings tomorrow night at Center School at 5 pm for facilities meeting and 6:15 pm for the proposed 2019/2020 budget.

Editor’s Note:  Information we have received indicates that the Special Board of Education Meeting, which includes a Public Forum on the proposed 2019-2020 budget for the Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools, is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. in the Board of Education Conference Room at Center School.

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Two Bills in Hartford Propose Regionalizing, Consolidating School Districts

This morning we are providing links to several articles and an op-ed relating to a subject of great interest to residents of Lyme and Old Lyme.  Two bills have been proposed in Hartford that promote the regionalization and consolidation of school districts in Connecticut.

The first three were published by CTNewsJunkie.com, a fellow member of the Local Independent Online News (LION) publishers national organization, with whom we are pleased occasionally to cross-publish our stories.

The second three were published by another member of LION publishers, Good Morning Wilton.com.

Down in Wilton, Conn., there has already been a great deal happening in response to the proposed Senate Bill 738 formerly 454, including the formation of a grass roots group called Protect Wilton Schools organized by Wilton residents and opposed to the regionalization proposals.

Links are provided to each article at the end of the brief introduction taken verbatim from the article itself.

Regionalization and Consolidation of School Districts Has Towns on Edge

HARTFORD, CT — The concept of regionalizing and consolidating school districts to save the cash-strapped state is not a new one, but two new bills pushing the initiative have moved the issue front and center this legislative session.

Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, proposed a bill which would force school districts in towns with less than 40,000 residents to consolidate with a neighboring district.

Senate bill 454 would force the regionalization of a large number of towns in the state, merging their school districts with larger municipalities or cities. Only 24 municipalities in Connecticut …

Read the full article by Jack Kramer and published at 5 a.m. on CTJunkie.com Jan. 28, at this link.

Education Committee: ‘Let’s At Least Talk About Regionalization’

HARTFORD, CT — A routine meeting of the Education Committee drew a standing-room-only crowd because the agenda included an item on school regionalization.

The Education Committee voted unanimously to draft 30 “concepts” as bills. One of those “concepts” was …

Read the full article by Jack Kramer and published at 1:47 p.m. on CTJunkie.com, Jan. 28, at this link.

OP-ED | Proposal For Forced School Consolidation A Nonstarter

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from covering local and state government on and off for the last 23 years, it’s that breaking up fiefdoms is a terribly difficult thing to do. And nowhere is that simple truth more evident than in the reaction to a couple of bills floating around the Capitol that propose to force smaller school districts to consolidate with larger ones.

Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, has put forward legislation that …

Read the full op-ed by Terry Cowgill and published Feb. 4, on CTNewsJunkie.com at this link.

Another of fellow members of LION publishers, Good Morning Wilton.com, has been covering the developments.  Here are links to a selection of their articles:

Bill that Would Consolidate Wilton & Norwalk School Districts Proposed in Hartford

Wilton residents up in arms over a state bill proposing regionalizing school districts have formed “Protect Wilton Schools,” to organize efforts to try to stop the bill completely. At a meeting Thursday night attended by more than 200 people, organizers provided information about the legislative process and the plans they’ve started building to coordinate opposition.

The bill was introduced by the State Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney (D-11), who represents New Haven. It calls for …

Read the full article by Heather Borden Herve and published Feb. 1, on GoodMorningWilton.com at this link.

“Protect Wilton Schools” Group Formed to Respond to Hartford’s School Regionalization Push

Wilton residents up in arms over a state bill proposing regionalizing school districts have formed “Protect Wilton Schools,” to organize efforts to try to stop the bill completely. At a meeting Thursday night attended by more than 200 people, organizers provided information about the legislative process and the plans they’ve started building to coordinate opposition.

The effort to defeat the bill was organized by …

Read the full article by Heather Borden Herve and published Feb. 1, on GoodMorningWilton.com at this link.

School Consolidation Wrap Up: The Latest in Wilton’s News on SB 454/738

Since last week’s grass roots start of Protect Wilton Schools, the group organized by Wilton residents opposed to regionalization of school districts in Connecticut, there have been some new developments. Here’s the latest on what’s new, and some helpful links to information and news about the issue.

New Logo and Hashtag:  Hands Off Our Schools

Protect Wilton Schools introduced a hashtag for residents …

Read the full article by Heather Borden Herve and published today, Feb. 5, on GoodMorningWilton.com at this link.

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Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation Awards Music Scholarships to Lyme-Old Lyme HS, MS Students

The Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that it has recently awarded private study music scholarships for 2018-2019 to students from Lyme-Old Lyme High School and Middle School.

Award recipients from the High School are: Emma Bass, Kate Chenery, Elizabeth Cravinho, Megan Cravinho, Jackson Goulding, Kylie Hall, Nevin Joshy, Owen Kegley, Ryan McTigue, Connie Pan, Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum, Lian Thompson, Avery Wyman, and Connor Wyman.

Award recipients from the Middle School are: Bridget Allan, Callie Bass, Livie Bass, Micah Bass, Natalie Buckley, Shane Eastman-Grossel, Ava Gilbert, Alexis Grasdock, Nyla Goulis, Karissa Huang, Aggie Hunt, Beatrice Hunt, Phoebe Lampos, Van Lampos, Brendan Landry, Audrey LeCour, Evan LeQuire, Andrew Liu, Marielle Mather, Eli Ryan, Morgan Standish, and Luisa Warlitz.

As a supporting organization for Region #18 schools, the Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation awards scholarships to be used for private instruction to instrumental students participating in Lyme-Old Middle and High Schools band programs.

The 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation formed in 1999 after the retirement of Ruth Ann (King) Heller from Lyme-Old Lyme High School, with a mission to consistently strengthen and improve the instrumental music program in our schools.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Host Kindergarten Registration Today

Registration for Kindergarten in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools for the fall of 2018 is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 28 and 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lyme Consolidated School and Mile Creek School.

Children who will be five-years-old on or before Jan. 1, 2019 are eligible to register for this year’s Kindergarten class.

While you may complete the registration process at either school, your child’s school placement will depend on District attendance zones.

Please bring to registration your child’s

  • Birth Certificate
  • Immunization/Health Records
  • Three forms of proof of residency

If you cannot register on these days or would like additional information, call either school at these numbers to place your child’s name on the Kindergarten list and/or have your questions answered:

  • Lyme Consolidated: 860-434-1233
  • Mile Creek: 860-434-2209

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools look forward to welcoming your child.

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Letter to the Editor: Pre-K for Some, But Not All

SEE COMMENT ADDED 1/27. According to the writer of the Comment, the Region 18 Board of Education has changed its proposed policy to include children born between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31

To the Editor:

The LOL Board of Education has proposed to expand the current special-needs lottery pre-K program into one available to all children in the district. This is great news!  Unfortunately, there is a gaping hole in the proposed program. It introduces a September 1st age eligibility cut off date even though the state of Connecticut strongly encourages children turning five before January 1st to enter kindergarten. This discrepancy means that children born after September 1st cannot participate in the program the year before they are slated to begin kindergarten.

Leaving out children born in the last four months of the year results in one out of every three children in a potential incoming kindergarten class being excluded from attending pre-K. It seems to directly contradict the stated intentions of the program. If the proposed pre-K program wants to “ensure limited variability among kindergartners in terms of skills and school readiness,” then why are we leaving out one in three kids?  Surely kindergarten teachers would prefer all of their students, not just some, have access to pre-K before coming to them.

This program has the potential to be a transformative equalizing force for our children and for our town, but it needs to truly include every child in order to do so. If the program is just available for some of our children while leaving out the youngest members of an incoming kindergarten class, it becomes instead something great for only some and a way for others to be left behind, and that isn’t universal or fair.

If you are interested in signing a letter in support of having the LOL pre-K expansion program’s age eligibility align with that of Connecticut kindergarten, please go to https://tinyurl.com/preK4all and thanks!

Sincerely,

Danielle Kuczkowski,
Old Lyme.

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