June 1, 2020

Lyme-Old Lyme HS Seniors to Experience ‘Drive-In Graduation,’ Followed by Celebratory Parade Through Town


OLD LYME —
The Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Class of 2020 will be the first class in recent memory – and perhaps ever – not able to enjoy the pomp and ceremony of a full commencement event in the company of their peers on their graduation day, which this year is scheduled to be Friday, June 12.

Faced with the twin challenges of schools being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing rules still in effect, not only have Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools found a unique way to give the senior class a memorable graduation while still adhering to social distancing protocols, but also a group of parents of LOLHS  seniors have come up with an inspired opportunity for the community as a whole to celebrate the graduates.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools will host a meticulously planned “Drive-in Graduation” event from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. for students and their families only during which each graduating student will be able to drive up to the school at a specified time, hear their name read over the Public Announcement system, walk up onto the stage, and receive their High School Diploma from LOLHS Principal James Wygonik.

Caps and gowns — and masks — will be worn throughout and there will even be a moment allowed after the student receives his/her diploma for each family to take some photos. At that point, students — standing alone — may briefly remove their masks. Strict rules will be in place governing who can attend, the number of cars permitted per family and numerous other details.

Then on the evening of June 12, starting at 6:30 p.m., the students will form a parade of their personally-decorated cars in Town Woods Park. The parade will proceed from there to Boston Post Rd. and then follow that to Lyme Street continuing to the foot of the McCurdy.  The Old Lyme Resident State Trooper will supervise the parade and the Old Lyme Fire Department will also be participating.

The hope is that the townspeople will line the route to celebrate the graduates with cheering, waving signs, honking horns and generally making a supportive noise.  All those celebrating along the route are urged to follow social distancing guidelines at all times.

The parade is anticipated to last until 7 p.m.

The parade organizers, Teri Lewis, Katie Balocca,  Dottie Wells, Teri Arias and Linda Hamilton, are all parents of graduating seniors. Lewis explained in a text how the idea of a parade came about  saying, “We really wanted to give them [the graduating seniors] something to look forward to… [after] everything these kids have had to deal with.”

She commented that the First Selectman’s Office, the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce, the Old Lyme Resident Trooper and Police Department, and the Old Lyme Fire Department “have all been amazing” in helping to formulate the plans for the parade. Lewis summed up the process of turning the original idea of the parade into reality in the words, “Everyone has been extremely supportive.”  Plans are still in the works for precise details of the parade and more information will be forthcoming in due course.

Lewis added enthusiastically “I think this will not only be wonderful for our seniors, but the whole town needs this.”

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Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Middle School Announce Quarter 3 Honor Rolls

Lyme-Old Lyme High School
Quarter 3 Honor Roll 2019-2020

HIGH HONORS

Grade 12:

Charles Ames, Emma Bass, Audrey Berry, Madison Cann, Faith Caulkins, Rory Cavicke, Emilia Cheesman, Elizabeth Cravinho, Arianna DelMastro, Maria Denya, Raymond Doll, Theodore Enoch, Nicholas Fava, Leah Fouquette, Tanner Griffin, Samuel Guenther, Grace Hanrahan, Parker Hubbard, Lauren Huck, Jeffy Joshy, Caroline King, Renate Kuhn, Rachael Larson, Brenna Lewis, Connor Maguire, Melissa Mauro, Thomas McCarthy, Ryan McTigue, Natalie Meyers, Maxwell Morrissey, Chandler Munson, Kyle Myers, Samantha Olson, Cajamarca Pelaez, Carter Popkin, Jenna Porter, Andre Salkin, Jane Scheiber, Brady Sheffield, Garrett Smith, Emily Speckhals, Alec Speirs, Evan St.Louis, Olivia Stack, Haley Stevens, Olivia Tetreault, Taylor Thompson, Lydia Tinnerello, Sydney Trowbridge, Kiera Ulmer, Jackson Warren, Theodore Wayland, Trevor Wells, Nicholas White, Anna Williams, Anna Williams, Maggie Wisner, Conner Wyman, Katherine Zelmanow

Grade 11:

Juliette Atkinson, Rachel Barretta, Maxwell Bauchmann, Ava Berry, Emma Boardman, Kyuss Buono, Kate Cheney, Hunter Collins, Emerson Colwell, Megan Cravinho, George Danes, Sadie Frankel, Fiona Frederiks, Eveliz Fuentes, Jackson Goulding, Schuyler Greenho, Emma Griffith, Isabella Hine, Isabella Hine, Paige Kolesnik, Avery Lacourciere, Grace Lathrop, Owen Macadam, Luke Macy, Elle McAraw, Riley Nelson, Connie Pan, Lauren Pitt, Ezra Pyle, Jacob Quaratella, Hayden Saunders, Tait Sawden, Jesper Silberberg, Tessa St.Germain, Lian Thompson, Katrina Wallace, Lauren Wallace, Kelly Walsh, Alison Ward

Grade 10:

John Almy, Grace Arnold, Hannah Britt, Anne Colangelo, John Conley, Elias D’Onofrio, Elizabeth Duddy, Eleanor Dushin, Samantha Geshel, Ethan Goss, Austin Halsey, Madison Hubbard, Fiona Hufford, Zoe Jensen, Julia Johnston, Nevin Joshy, Kian Kardestuncer, Cora Kern, Robyn King, Michael Klier, Felse Kyle, William Larson, Reese Maguire, Abigail Manthous, Stephanie Mauro, Jacob Meyers, Evan Morgan, Elle Myers, Brendan O’Brien, Michael O’Donnell, Bella Orlando, Jacob Ritchie, Margaret Rommel, Lloret Sala, Olivia Schaedler, Calvin Scheiber, Abby Speckhals, Drew St.Louis, Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum, Victoria Stout, Maverick Swaney, Aidan Ward, Melanie Warren, Ellie Wells

Grade 9:

William Barry, Callie Bass, Livie Bass, Cooper Bowman, Gillian Bradley, Ava Brinkerhoff, Jamie Bucior, Gretchen Burgess, Sarah Burnham, Hayley Cann, Liam Celic, Grace Colwell, William Danes, Anna Davis, John Eichholz, Zachary Eichholz, Alexis Fenton, Clarence Hinckley, Willa Hoerauf, Karissa Huang, Aidan Kerrigan, Phoebe Lampos, Theodore Lampos, Jonah Lathrop, Marielle Mather, Madalyn McCulloch, Caden Monte, Calvin Monte, Cooper Munson, Alexander Olsen, Olivia Powers, Kelsey Pryor, Izzadora Reynolds, Benjamin Roth, Rhyleigh Russell, Anders Silberberg, Alyssa Spooner, Tova Toriello, Kaitlyn Ward, Harry Whitten, George Williams

HONORS

Grade 12:

Anabella Arias, Callum Astley, Emily Balocca, William Bartlett, Chloe Cahill, Sarah Conley, Ty Dean, Emily Evers, Araselys Farrell, Jada Fuentes, Sophia Griswold, Darin Hamou, Kamber Hamou, Connor Hogan, Benjamin Kelly, Daniel Kendall, Jared Ritchie, Colby Sides, Summer Siefken, Megan VanSteenbergen, Clair Wholean

Grade 11:

Kaylee Armenia, Sonia Bair, Keenan Burr, Martinez Carcamo, Chloe Cleveland, Jackson Cowell, Patrick Dagher, Paige Davis, Francette Donato, Corah Engdall, Leslie Farrell, Lillian Grethel, Regan Kaye, Mackenzie Machnik, Emma McCulloch, Brendan McTigue, Marina Melluzzo, Michael Milazzo, Timothy O’Brien, Sophia Ortoleva, Olivia Papanier, Gavin Porter, Aidan Powers, Julie Rudd, Isabella Smith, McKenzey Thompson, Katelyn Zbierski

Grade 10:

Mason Bagwell, John Caulkins, Evan Clark, Ryan Clark, Chadwick Coughlin, James Creagan, Lauren Creagan, Michael DeGaetano, Victoria Gage, Nicolette Hallahan, Lillian Herrera, Olivia Lecza, Langley Marshall, Emily Mesham, Samuel Mullaney, Adeline Riccio, Aidan Russell, Frank Sablone, Abigail Sicuranza, Parker Sprankle, Parker Sprankle, Daniel Stack, Daniel Stack, Olivia Turtoro, Evan Visgilio, Riley Warecke, Riley Warecke, Mary Wholean, Paige Winchell, Avery Wyman

Grade 9:

Whitney Barbour, Luke Celic, Alexander Chrysoulakis, Kylie Dishaw, Archer Evans, David Evers, Mason Freer, Arber Hoxha, Owen Ingersoll-Bonsack, Madison Krol, Karleigh Landers, Monique Lavoie, Ford Macadam, Sophia Marinelli, Joseph Montazella, Alain Pecher-Kohout, Jacob Rand, Santiago Rodriguez, Eli Ryan, Dylan Sheehan, Ned Smith, Joseph Steinmacher, Samantha Tan, Quinn Williams, Lea Wilson

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School
Quarter 3 Honor Roll 2019-2020

HIGH HONORS

Grade 8:

Emma Bayor, Oliver Berry, Alis Bicic, Drew Brackley, Natalie Buckley, Sarah Colangelo, Ava Cummins, Ella Curtiss-Reardon, Eric Dagher, Lucas DaSilva, Eva D’Onofrio, Amelia Gage, Ryder Goss, Sydney Goulding, Nyla Goulis, Alexis Grasdock, Justin Green, Katherine Gryk, Abby Hale, Nathaniel Heon, Agatha Hunt, Beatrice Hunt, Sabina Jungkeit, Emmerson Kaye, Brodie Lippincott, Anna McAdams, Griffin McGlinchey, Delaney Nelson, Isabelle O’Connor, Jack Porter, Luisa Raby, Cailin Ruhling, Owen Snurkowski, Hannah Thomas, Gabriel Tooker, Louisa Warlitz, Mason Wells, Summer Wollack

Grade 7:

Christopher Anderson, Emma Arelt, Quinn Arico, Ella Austin, Natalie Barndt, Molly Boardman, Chase Calderon, Andrew Clougherty, Tabitha Colwell, Chloe Datum, Andrea DeBernardo, Zoe Eastman-Grossel, Caeli Edmed, Anna Eichholz, Grace Ferman, Benedict Frazier, Hoshena Gemme, Marcella Gencarella, Ava Gilbert, Henry Griswold, Jonathan Harms, Kaela Hoss, Rowan Hovey, Kyle Ingersoll-Bonsack, Simon Karpinski, Olivia Kelly, Ella Kiem, Peter Kuhn, Ada LaConti, James Lahot, Elise Leonardo, Evan LeQuire, Andrew Liu, Hannah Miller, Abigail O’Brien, Kanon Oharu, Sophie Pennie, Mutia Quarshie, Drea Simler, Morgan Standish, Kathleen Walsh

Grade 6:

Charlotte Antonino, Zoe Brunza, Alec Butzer, Makayla Calderon, Tyler Cann, Julia Clark, Colman Curtiss-Reardon, Christopher Dagher, James Dahlke, Sophia D’Angelo, Synthia Diaz, Rose Dimmock, William Donnelly, Gabrielle Field, Arthur Fusscas, Eric Fusscas, Chase Gilbert, Alexander Glaras, Benjamin Goulding, Scarlette Graybill, Christopher Kachur, Thomas Kelly, Katherine King, Jade Lawton, Maya LeQuire, Jayden Livesey, Emily Looney, Ian Maeby, Elise Marchant, Yanza Marin, Yanza Marin, Samuel Masanz, Bridget McAdams, Carter McGlinchey, Jeremiah Miller, Ryan Miller, Eiley Montanaro, Sybil Neary, Nina Nichols, Ryan Ortoleva, Quenten Patz, Jenna Salpietro, Luca Signora, Emma Singleton, Charlotte Spiegel, Addison Spooner, Carson St.Louis, Andrew Taylor, Margaret Thuma, Lucian Tracano, Madeleine Trepanier, Connor Vautrain, Eve Videll, Elisabeth Viera, Warren Volles, Edith Williams, Julius Wilson, Oliver Wyman, Carl Zapatka, Katherine Zhang

HONORS

Grade 8:

Peighton Andrews, Elliot Bjornberg, Douglas Griswold, Grady Lacourciere, Luke Legein, Matthew Miller, Katherine Mullaney, Ronald Olin, Haley Shaw, Keara Ward, Tyler Wells

Grade 7:

Micah Bass, Gavin Biega, Nathaniel Bradley, Mark Burnham, Hannah Johnston, Elizabeth Lopez, Colette Marchant, Filip Pecher-Kohout, Audrey Spiegel

Grade 6:

Alexa Donovan, William Landon, Sebastian Lopez-Bravo, Michael Nickerson, Ryan Olsen, Madeline Power, Isabella Presti, Jacob Prokopets, Taylor Quintin, Tanner Snurkowski, Meredith Thompson, Gabriel Waldo

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Lyme-Old Lyme $2.28 Million School Turf Field Moves Forward (from The Day)

OLD LYME — After receiving unanimous approval from the town’s Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission on Tuesday evening, it appears a proposed $2.28 million synthetic turf field project the Region 18 Board of Education is considering building is moving forward.

The 143,000-square-foot, all-weather, multipurpose field, if eventually approved by the Board of Education, will be located …

Read the full article by Mary Biekert and published on theday.com at this link

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No Memorial Day Parade in Old Lyme This Year, Just a Small Cemetery Service — But Here’s The Homily From Mervin Roberts

This wreath was placed last year in front of the Memorial Stone in Duck River Cemetery. File photo by John Ward.

OLD LYME — There will be no Memorial Day parade in Old Lyme this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In our opinion, it’s a sad but sensible decision.

A small ceremony will be held at Duck River Cemetery at 11 a.m. when local veterans, representatives of the emergency services, and town dignitaries will gather to place a wreath by the Memorial Stone, which stands in front of the flagpole at the cemetery.

Those gathered there this morning will pay their respects, “To all who served and sacrificed so we could enjoy lasting freedom.” These are the words inscribed on the Memorial Stone along with these details, “Dedicated by American Legion Post 41, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1467, and the People of Old Lyme.”

Mervin Roberts, Chaplain of the Old Lyme Fire Department since 1960.

Mervin Roberts, who has served as the Chaplain of the Old Lyme Fire Department for 50 years, normally gives the homily towards the end of the service when the cemetery is packed with parade participants and onlookers.

There will be no crowd this year but before Roberts knew the parade was going to be cancelled, he had already prepared the homily. He anticipated this might be his final homily since he is feeling a little frail — we should add that Roberts is 98-years-young!

There is a possibility he will attend the ceremony this morning and read the homily, but since the majority of townspeople will not be there, a video has been made of Mr. Roberts reading the homily, which we are proud to publish below.

We have also received a copy of the text of the homily, which we are similarly honored to publish here (in italics):

As I review my previous Memorial Day homilies, I’ve come to realize that there is a pattern unfolding.  Taken together, they help to tell us why we are here again in this cemetery. I’ve had the occasion, and the challenge, to explore with you how and why we voluntarily meet here on this designated day to celebrate the lives and mourn the passings of preachers, teachers, siblings, parents, ancestors, neighbors, heroes, government officials, duck hunters, bird watchers, conservation commissioners, friends, lovers, spouses, artists, musicians, fishermen, cow farmers and others.

Truly a web of life.

There were people I knew who sometimes quit too soon and some who might have done better if they quit sooner. Perhaps it is our very individual differences that are a clue to our overall success as a species.  Certainly we are not all alike. In this world full of predators, parasites, and unforeseen diseases, if we were all alike, we would all have succumbed to whatever it was that struck.

But that has not been the case and somehow I suspect our fate lies elsewhere.

So let’s revel in glories of our various lives, our music and other arts, our religious faiths and, high on my list, our love for each other, for certainly what others have done for us should be an inspiration to all to keep up their good work. Here in Lyme and Old Lyme we have homes or resting places of so many people who lived here and left us with something to remember them by.  Let me mention a few in no particular order:  

  • Jim Noyes, who participated in beach landings in the Mediterranean In World War II, and  
  • Belton Copp, who left an arm in the Philippines, and 
  • Silver Star awardee Jack Appleby, and
  • Ezra Lee who was esteemed by Washington, and
  • Clara Noyes who drew thousands of women into World War 1 as nurses, and
  • Roger Tory Peterson, who helped us appreciate birds, and
  • Amy Henry, who taught hundreds of our children how history matters, and
  • E. Lea Marsh, who gave us whole generations of Borden Elsies.

They are not alone. 

From my own life, I would recount just one example.  My late wife Edith and I had born to us six children, the last being William John, named for one of his grandfathers.  Billy had Down syndrome. He was loving, kind, generous, sociable, and academically very limited. We could have had him live in an institution as was the common practice at that time, but instead we kept him home.  Here the Lyme Old Lyme Board of Education provided as much help as he could benefit from and, lo and behold, limited as he surely was, we, his family and our neighbors accepted him for what he was.

Now Dick and Jane Bugbee knew us. Dick and I were both duck hunters. Dick painted houses.  Jane taught piano. Although our homes were about one-half mile apart, Billy would occasionally meander over to visit Jane.  We didn’t take him there, or even show him the way or even suggest his movement.  He just found his own way and Jane would phone Edith that her son Billy was there having a cup of tea, and when he was through, Jane would see him start on his own way back home. 

No alarm of lost child, no social worker, no emergency, just Billy Roberts visiting for a cup of tea.  This is but an example of how this web of life worked for us. We certainly owe the people of Old Lyme our gratitude for everyone’s help. 

Incidentally, Billy was a strong supporter of the Old Lyme Fire Department and was elected an Honorary Member. 

On a personal note, I’ve been a member of this same Department since 1960, but now frail in my 98th year, I can no longer remain active as Chaplain. This, then, will probably be my last homily. 

I thank you for the opportunity to serve.

And to wrap up our coverage of this strange Memorial Day, visit this link to watch a wonderful video of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Bands playing “Taps for Band” by Thomas Knox and Jari Villanueva. We assume the video was made during the time the school was closed and the students were following a distance learning schedule — a time that continues to this day.

Many congratulations to Band Director Joseph Wilson and all the students that participated in this excellent performance!

Enjoy … and have a very Happy (socially- distanced) Memorial Day!

Editor’s Note: Visit this link to read At Age 98, Mervin Roberts Looks Back Over 50 Years of Service as Chaplain of Old Lyme Fire Department written by Michele Dickey and published May 24, 2020 on LymeLine.c0m.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education Passes $34.7 Million Budget Unanimously, Total Represents Largest “Negative Increase” Since 1973

Screen shot of Wednesday evening’s virtual Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Board of Education meeting at which the 2020-21 budget was passed.

LYME/OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Board of Education (BOE) unanimously passed the proposed 2020-21 Regional District #18 budget of $34,711,631 during a virtual meeting Wednesday night.

After a reevaluation of savings from the current year, the 2020-21 budget now shows a decrease of $373,127 (1.06 percent) over the current (2019-2o) budget according to Ian Neviaser, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent. There was a lively discussion among board members and the superintendent as to how to describe this decrease correctly, which BOE Chair Diane Linderman ended up declaring was, the biggest “negative increase” in the budget since 1973, when the regional district was formed.

Neviaser noted that a significant savings in the budget (5.5 percent) are due to a decrease in the need for special education programs for students as a handful of special needs students recently left the district. 

“Our special education providers are currently doing an excellent job. The unknown factor in special education is always needs and new students,” said Neviaser. “This could wildly swing the other way tomorrow depending on enrollment.”

Neviaser also addressed some recent news articles, which discussed the school district’s recent savings, saying that, although some expenses have been saved due to COVID-19, that does not explain the whole picture. “Some of the savings that we’ve incurred have to do with the closure; for example we are not hiring substitutes right now,” said Neviaser. “As we’ve been saying throughout the entire year, the majority of our savings have come from special education.” 

Due to the size of this year’s surplus, the project to resurface the six tennis courts on the main campus, which had been spaced over two years, will now be completed in the current financial year. Similarly, an additional project was also approved for waterproofing ($16,750.00) the exterior of the middle school’s split face cement blocks, which again had been included in the 2020-21 budget, but will now be moved into the current year.

Board member Rick Goulding, who chairs the Facilities Committee, mentioned there is a possibility that refinishing the high school gym floor might also be transferred into the current year’s budget. If it is decided to pursue that plan, he said that request will be made at the June BOE meeting.

Neviaser referenced the fact that the Gov. Lamont had recently declared that schools would remain closed for the remainder of the year.  He stressed that he has been working closely with the Connecticut COVID-19 Reopening Task Force to maneuver the next steps in opening up school districts in a safe manner, however a timeline is still very broad at this point.

“We will look to them for some input. Knowing the way the state functions, they will provide general guidance and because every district is different, we will make our own internal adaptations based on that guidance,” said Neviaser. 

Although a referendum in Lyme and Old Lyme is normally required in order to pass the school’s budget, this was not needed this year due to the Governor’s Executive Order 7I, which states that town and school districts were not required to vote on budgets by “any in-person budget adoption requirements.” 

Neviaser noted that both towns would benefit significantly from the decreased LOL Schools’ budget when they finalized their town budgets in the upcoming weeks. He said Old Lyme will pay the school district exactly the same amount as in the 2019-20 budget and Lyme will pay 3 percent less than this year. The amounts the towns pay respectively of the total budget are determined by the relative percentages of students from each town, which are usually in a roughly 80:20 ratio with Old Lyme paying 80 percent of the budget. The numbers for the 2020-21 year saw Old Lyme increase its percentage of students while Lyme’s fell correspondingly.

Neviaser took a moment during the meeting to recognize Educator Appreciation Week, and share his appreciation for the efforts of all of the LOL faculty and staff during this unprecedented time.

“There is no single road map to make this work, it’s a constant adjustment and adaptation to whatever students need,” said Neviaser. “I think I speak for the full board that we greatly appreciate what they’re doing and how hard they’re working.”

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Lyme-Old Lyme BOE to Vote on $34.7 Million 2020-21 School Budget This Evening, Public Can Attend Meeting Virtually

LYME/OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Board of Education (BOE) meets this evening at 6:30 p.m. for a regular board meeting.  The agenda includes “Approval of the 2020-2021 School Budget” under New Business.

This year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont in Executive Order 7I waived the requirement for towns and school districts to vote on budgets by “any in-person budget adoption requirements,” including town meetings or referenda.

The board of education can therefore vote on — and potentially pass — the proposed 2020-21 District budget at tonight’s meeting, which will be held virtually. Access information for the meeting can be found on the agenda.

The previously planned May 5 referendum on the proposed school budget was cancelled.

The budget on which the LOL Board of Education will vote this evening totals $$34,711,631, which now represents a 1.06 percent reduction over the 2019-20 budget. The budget number presented at the April 6 District Hearing was $34,909,697.

Asked this morning why the final number now showed a $198,066 reduction over the number presented at the District Hearing, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser responded, “We used some of our surplus from this year to move a majority of the tennis court project into this year’s budget.  We have a large surplus this year due to savings incurred throughout the year mainly in special education costs.”

At the District Hearing, Neviaser stated the goals of the budget were to support the objectives outlined in the Strategic Plan by:

    • Preserving and building upon the high standards of education in LOL while remaining fiscally responsible to our communities.
    • Supporting the ongoing renewal of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and staff development activities in response to the expectations of state and national standards.
    • Continuing to plan and provide technology infrastructure and applications that are consistent with highly effective and efficient programming and operational standards.
    • Maintaining high facility standards for all district buildings and grounds.
    • Maintaining a dynamic and responsive approach to programming needs and mandates in special education.
    • Maintaining both compliance and reasonability in response to state and federal mandates.

At that meeting, he ran through an Overall Budget Summary noting that the major significant decrease was in debt service, which is down 18.57 percent, while other decreases were present in employee benefits (5.36 percent), special education (5.5 percent) and administrative services (6.36 percent.) He said, “the budget pie looks like that of previous years,” with 40.8 percent of the budget allocated to Certified Staff, adding, “the breakdown has not changed drastically.”

Commenting, “We’ve been back to 1998,” Neviaser then stated, “This is the lowest budget increase on record.”

 

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Welcome, Caroline! Our Summer Intern for 2020

Introducing our 2020 Summer Intern Caroline LeCour.

OLD LYME — We are delighted to announce that Caroline LeCour has joined the LymeLine team and will serve as our 2020 summer intern. She has been a resident of Old Lyme all of her life, is a graduate of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2018, and is currently double-majoring in Communications and Journalism at The University of Connecticut.

As a journalist in the making, Caroline has worked as both a campus correspondent and the Social Media and Outreach Coordinator for The Daily Campus, UConn’s daily newspaper, as well as hosted her own radio show on WHUS Radio.

In her free time, Caroline is an avid rower and coxswain for the Blood Street Sculls of Old Lyme.

She tells us, “I am excited to be interning at LymeLine this summer and looking forward to all the experience I will gain during my time here.”

Caroline will be covering events for us in Lyme and Old Lyme as and when they start taking place again, but in the meantime, she will be “attending” some town and school meetings virtually and then reporting on them. She will also be writing articles and feature stories on a variety of topics focused on Lyme and/or Old Lyme and taking photographs for us.

Additionally, Caroline has a great deal of experience with social media and will be using it to improve our social media presence across multiple platforms.

Say hello to Caroline if you see her around town and let her know how pleased we are that she’s joined us.  She’s a terrific addition to our team.

If you want to suggest a story to Caroline or contact her for any other reason, she can be reached at caroline.lecour@uconn.edu.

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Lamont Says School Buildings Will Remain Closed For The Rest of School Year; Distance Learning To Continue

Lyme-Old Lyme High School along with all other Lyme-Old Lyme Schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year.

HARTFORD — Gov. Ned Lamont made it official Tuesday and announced that school buildings will remain closed for the rest of the school year. He has not made a decision yet about summer school programming.

Lamont will require schools to continue to provide meals to children and teachers will continue to provide distance learning opportunities …

Read the full article by Christine Stuart and published on CTNewsJunkie.com this morning at this link

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Lyme-Old Lyme High School Ranked 17th in Connecticut in US News & World Report’s ‘2020 Best High Schools’ 

Lyme-Old Lyme High School has just been named the 17th Best High School in Connecticut by US News & World Report.

LYME & OLD LYME — Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) was named the 17th best public high school in Connecticut by US News & World Report in their listing of 2020 Best High Schools published April 21, 2020. It was the only non-magnet high school to be included in the Top 20 in either New London or Middlesex County.

Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News, said in a press release, “The Best High Schools rankings provide the most comprehensive, data-based information on nearly every public high school in the country,” noting that the report compared data from 17,700 high schools,  “evaluating how well they serve all of their students, regardless of economic or ethnic background.” Lyme-Old Lyme High School ranked nationally at #754.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented, “It is extremely rewarding to see Lyme-Old Lyme High School ranked so high compared to other schools across the state, and especially in the local region. It validates the extraordinarily high quality of teaching that our students receive and the positive, holistic experience they gain at our schools.”

Lyme-Old Lyme High School graduates regularly go on to attend some of the top schools and colleges in the country. Photo by Kim Tyler.

Neviaser added, “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” in addition to such schools as Duke, MIT and Stanford.”

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 now of a quality and sophistication that resembles a college environment, rather than a high school.

Chinese is a popular elective class at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

Current enrollment at LOLHS is 481 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 including High School Bowl, Mock Trial, and Key Club.

The Wildcat teams of Lyme-Old Lyme High School consistently bring home numerous sports awards. This photo was taken after both teams had won their respective Shoreline Soccer Conferences in 2018.

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.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools accept students who reside outside Lyme or Old Lyme on a tuition basis.

For further information on Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, visit Region18.org or call Superintendent Ian Neviaser at 860-434-7238.

 

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Old Lyme’s Kindness Committee Creates Two Encouraging Videos for the Community

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Kindness Committee has been hard at work in an effort to stimulate a positive environment throughout the community in these challenging times.

First, members developed a campaign to support frontline workers, neighbors, seniors as the numbers of those infected with COVID-19 continues to rise. They asked the Old Lyme community to post hearts on doors or anywhere else visible to passers-by and to share photos of kindness they have seen within the community on their social media pages. 

The community rallied and hearts popped up all over town and images of kindness in the community were posted on multiple social media sites. The Old Lyme First Selectman’s Office then compiled many of these images into a wonderful video that has been shared on the Town’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

“One of the most beautiful things to come out of this crisis is seeing how much love and support is being shared, between people decorating their doors, sharing uplifting news on social media, and looking for ways to be helpful,” said Melanie Lee, a member of the Old Lyme Kindness Committee.

Next, the Old Lyme Kindness Committee discussed the idea of doing a project to let the teachers, staff and administration of Lyme-Old Lyme Schools know they are appreciated and valued during these times when they are physically separated from their students. The committee developed the idea of a video in which residents could submit short 20-second clips to be compiled into a larger video that would be sent to everyone who works within the school system.

One week later the Old Lyme First Selectman’s office compiled and released the almost eight-minute long video with special guests U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, and State Representative Devin Carney.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools expressed their thanks for the video to the selectman’s office and also ensured that all members of the LOL Schools community received the link to the video.

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Lyme-Old Lyme BOE Agrees to Move Vote on $34.9M Budget to Next Meeting, Referendum Not Required This Year

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser. (File photo)

LYME/OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Board of Education (BOE) met last Wednesday in a virtual meeting to host a District Budget Hearing regarding the 2020-21 budget. This would normally be the final meeting at which the public could comment on the budget prior to it be the subject of district-wide referendum in early May. (There is a meeting the night before the referendum, but that one traditionally is a formality at which the budget is officially continued to a referendum the following day.)

As with so many things this year, the scenario described above has been changed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Executive Order 7I, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont waived the requirement for towns and school districts to vote on budgets by “any in-person budget adoption requirements,” including town meetings or referenda.

The board of education can therefore vote on — and potentially pass — the proposed 2020-21 District budget at their next regular meeting scheduled for May 6, which will be held virtually. The boards of finance of the Towns of Lyme and Old Lyme can similarly vote on — and potentially pass — their proposed 2020-21 town budgets at a scheduled virtual meeting.

The LOL Schools BOE had scheduled a referendum for May 5 and the towns were planning Town Meetings later in May. The referendum has been cancelled and the town meetings will no longer be required in order to vote on each town’s budget.

The April 6 District Hearing was held as a Zoom meeting with all the board members online and members of the public also able to participate. It began with LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser making a presentation on the LOL Schools’ proposed $34,909,697 budget, which reflects a 0.5 percent decrease over the 2019-20 budget of $35,084,758 2020-21.

He stated the goals of the budget were to support the objectives outlined in the Strategic Plan by:

    • Preserving and building upon the high standards of education in LOL while remaining fiscally responsible to our communities.
    • Supporting the ongoing renewal of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and staff development activities in response to the expectations of state and national standards.
    • Continuing to plan and provide technology infrastructure and applications that are consistent with highly effective and efficient programming and operational standards.
    • Maintaining high facility standards for all district buildings and grounds.
    • Maintaining a dynamic and responsive approach to programming needs and mandates in special education.
    • Maintaining both compliance and reasonability in response to state and federal mandates.

Neviaser ran through an Overall Budget Summary noting that the major significant decrease was in debt service, which is down 18.57 percent, while other decreases were present in employee benefits (5.36 percent), special education (5.5 percent) and administrative services (6.36 percent.) He said, “the budget pie looks like that of previous years,” with 40.8 percent of the budget allocated to Certified Staff, adding, “the breakdown has not changed drastically.”

Commenting, “We’ve been back to 1998,” Neviaser proudly stated, “This is the lowest budget increase on record.”

He summarized the major proposed program improvements as musical instrument replacement, social-economic learning (SEL) programming, updated materials for Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for Kindergarten through fifth grade and Smartboard replacement in the high school.

Finally he mentioned that proposed facility projects included in the budget were the replacement of three high school tennis courts ($240,000) and renovation of the Lyme School gymnasium ($435,000) and a special project to install a solar electric system at Center School, which would be funded by a Purchase Power Agreement. He also noted that he had recently heard it may be possible to add Mile Creek School to the project.

Old Lyme resident Mona Colwell had submitted seven written questions in advance, the first seeking clarification as to why the Per Pupil Expenditure had increased. Neviaser responded that this was a function of the drop in enrollment by 50 students between the 2016-17 and 2018-19 budgets. Colwell also asked why LOL Schools published rating had decreased. Neviaser said he assumed she was referring to the ‘Great Schools’ ranking and said it was “not accurate” and his staff were investigating the issue.

The third question related to pupil transportation costs and why they had increased by 26.9 percent. Neviaser noted the school district had previously benefitted from a $170,000 transportation grant which was no longer received, but also was about to start a new bus contract.

Colwell’s remaining questions related to why the board of education was allocated $400,000, why the expenditure on the tennis courts was higher this year, why non-certified salaries had increased and why $18,000 was being spent on a program to promote and enable foreign students to attend Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.

In response, Neviaser gave a detailed breakdown of BOE expenditures, which included $130,000 for purchased services, absence management, recognition banquets and background checks, and $85,000 for attorneys and licensing fees.

He noted the tennis courts was a planned expenditure and that there has been a change in the classification of non-certified staff, which affected that number. Regarding the amount planned to be spent on the foreign student program, Neviaser said unequivocally, “We will make money on that,” as a result of the tuition fees the district will receive from enrolled students.

Diane Linderman, BOE Chair, expressed her appreciation to all those involved in preparing the budget saying, “The administration has done an excellent job.”

The meeting closed with the board voting unanimously to move the vote on the proposed budget to their May 6 meeting.

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Lyme-Old Lyme HS Art Students Win Major Awards at ‘Future Choices’ Contest

LOLHS Junior Marina Melluzo was awarded First Place in Drawing and Best in Show for her charcoal drawing ‘Containment’ at the 2020 Future Choices Art Show, sponsored by the Shoreline Arts Alliance.

LYME-OLD LYME — The Visual Arts Department of Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) has announced outstanding results from this year’s Future Choices Art Show, sponsored by the Shoreline Arts Alliance.

Junior Marina Melluzzo won First Place Drawing and Best in Show for her charcoal drawing, “Confinement,” also earning the Earl Grenville Killeen Founders Award for Will Allik as teacher of the Best in Show recipient.

Other first place winners included Junior Riley Nelson in Mixed Media and Sophomore Olivia Schaedler in Ceramics.

‘Reflecting the Light’ by Olivia Bartlett, a second place winner in Mixed Media in the ‘Future Choices’ contest.

Taking second place in Drawing, Printmaking, Ceramics and Mixed Media respectively were Senior Sam Dushin, Senior Jane Scheiber, Junior Grace Lathrop and Junior Olivia Bartlett.

Junior Connie Pan took Third in Painting, while Seniors Emily Evers and Summer Siefken were both awarded Honorable Mentions in Drawing. Riley Nelson also received an Honorable Mention in the Painting category, and this year’s Ruth Baxter-Tagliatela Award goes to Summer Siefken for her drawings.

‘Portait #3’ by Summer Siefken, who won the Ruth Baxter-Tagliatela Award.

Other students with works juried into the show included Sonia Bair, Jack Conley, Sarah Conley, Gabe Lavoie, Brianna Melillo, Aidan Powers, and Taylor Thompson, all of whom deserve credit for helping LOLHS win the Judy Streeter Outstanding School Award for our Art Department.

Students who reside or attend school in the 24-town Shoreline Region are eligible to submit up to three works each for this juried competition. Award-winners earn cash prizes and other scholarship awards

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Hold District Budget Hearing This Evening as Virtual Meeting, Public Must Register in Advance to Participate

Lyme-Old Lyme High School. (File photo.)

LYME/OLD LYME — UPDATED 12pm, 1pm & 2pm (updates in red): Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools will hold their District Budget Hearing this evening as a virtual meeting starting at 6:30 p.m.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser noted that the proposed budget has been reduced by a further $156,410 over the figure of $35,066,107 quoted in the recently published Focus on Education since, “We were able to reduce it [the total budget request] further due to a reduction in healthcare costs for next year. “

The revised 2020-21 proposed budget of $34,909,697 now reflects a 0.5 percent decrease over the 2019-20 budget of $35,084,758 in contrast to the 0.05 percent decrease quoted in Focus on Education.

Neviaser said, “We are very pleased to be able to deliver the lowest budget on record for the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.” 

Members of the public can participate in tonight’s meeting live by registering at the link below. 

Register in advance for this meeting: https://us04web.zoom.us/meeting/register/v50qdO-hqTMuenqqS1nGDs4x4hg4-ZTE5Q 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

Neviaser explained to us this morning that pre-registration is being required is, “To avoid Zoom Bombers and to follow our normal protocol where we ask for the public to state their name and town of residence prior to speaking.”

The Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education has approved the proposed 2020-21 budget, which is $175,061 less than the current (2019-20) budget, but cuts neither programming nor staff in the district.

The respective numbers used for students and staff in the 2019-20 budget (which were projected fall 2018) were 1,214 students, 150 certified staff and 133.13 non-certified staff while those used for the 2020-21 budget (which were projected in October 2019) were 1,241 students, 150.7 certified staff and 135.06 non-certified staff. Neviaser noted that the projected numbers for the 2020-21 budget are “already way too low.”

The decrease is due primarily to refinancing the remaining bonds being used to paying for school renovation projects and thus achieving a significant drop in debt service.

According to the recent edition of the LOL Schools publication Focus in Education, “In addition, … health insurance rates continue to grow at a pace that is far lower than the state average.”

Focus on Education also notes that, “two major capital projects; the renovation of the Lyme School gymnasium [$435,000] and the completion of the high school tennis court replacement [$225,000],” are included in the proposed budget. The latter project is scheduled to begin in June.

Other enhancements mentioned in Focus on Education that are included in the budget are to replace SmartBoards with digital display boards and purchase new musical instruments to replace some older pieces. Also included are costs associated with continuing to grow the curriculum around the Next Generation Science Standards and adding to the District’s existing social/emotional learning programs.

There will not be a district-wide referendum on the budget this year as a result of the Governor’s Executive Order permitting town and school district budgets to be passed by a majority vote of the appropriate town finance or school board. This change has been implemented for this year only due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

The LOL Schools Board of Education will vote on the proposed 2020-21 budget at their Wednesday, May 6 meeting.

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Car Parade During Shutdown Demonstrates Strength of Student, Teacher Bonds at Lyme School

The “Teacher Parade” comprising 35 vehicles winds its way through the streets of Lyme.

LYME — Describing it as “one of the most heart-lifting events that I’ve ever been a part of,” Lyme Consolidated School music teacher Melissa Rostkoski explained that the inspiration for the 35-strong car parade that wound through the streets of Lyme on Tuesday afternoon lay in social media.

She had seen a video-clip of a motivational car parade being held “nowhere round here” shortly after Lyme-Old Lyme Schools were closed March 13 due to the COVID-19 crisis and it started her thinking about trying to do the same thing in Lyme.

Rostkoski said she shared the video with her colleague and friend, Lyme School’s Physical Education teacher Bonnie Ambruso, and together they rapidly agreed, “We should do this.”

From there, the two teachers set out to enlist broad parental and faculty support for the idea and gain all the necessary approvals from the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, Police and Fire Departments. Rostkoski noted that after, “lots of back and forth,” a date was set and then the detailed planning really started.

Emily Reynolds, who has two girls at the school and also runs Lyme School’s Facebook page, was soon involved. She said, “I looked at all the Lyme School bus routes and developed a master route,” adding with a smile that it turned out to be an exercise that, “required a PhD in logistics!”

Another parent, Adam McEwen was soon on board and, in Reynolds’ words, “He tested the route,” and moreover, “… it worked!”

Stacey Leonardo, who is president of Lyme School’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and also a Region 18 Board of Education member, joined the effort and Reynolds described how Leonardo, “Put her graphic designs skills to work and developed a flier which we posted to the Lyme PTO pages and shared to all room parents to disseminate to the families.”

Fourth grader Lillian Reynolds expressed one of her concerns regarding the current school closure situation!

Reynolds said that, at that point, the parade concept had “really created a movement within the town.”

A few days prior to the event, Reynolds said, “Old Lyme Fire Department member Jarrod Flagg, who has children at Lyme School, reached out and wanted to help coordinate fire department support.

The Lyme and Old Lyme Fire Departments then went to work, and got drivers and firetrucks ready for the event.” She noted, “Jarrod was really committed to making this a special event for the kids.”

 

Keeping things in the family, so as to speak, the Lyme firetruck driver was Lyme School alumnus Will Firgelewski, pictured above, who graduated from Lyme-Old Lyme High School in 2005.

Finally, in the true spirit of community, the Old Lyme Resident Trooper contacted Rostkoski March 30 and said he too “wanted to be part of it” and would help take care of the safety aspects of the parade.

And so it came to pass that all the Lyme School teachers, Instructional Assistants and nurse, along with Principal Jim Cavalieri gathered in the Rogers Lake parking lot a little before 4 p.m. last Tuesday in preparation for the parade. The route had taken McEwen around a little over an hour when he tested it — this time it took more than twice that length of time.

The streets were filled — but always at a safe social distance — with children and parents holding wonderful, often amusing homemade signs, waving and cheering as the parade of cars filled with their teachers and support staff drove past.  In many cases, the cars were bedecked with balloons and the drivers regularly blew their horns.

Rostkoski said, “It made everyone incredibly happy.  There were definitely some tears.  It was very therapeutic for everyone. We wanted the kids to know that we miss them terribly and would much rather be in a building with them than driving by them.”

Reynolds added, “The turnout was extraordinary. The goal [of the parade] was really to remind all of these young people that even though we are all apart, the amazing teachers of Lyme School are here for them, care about them and will support them through this challenging time. It’s all about connection – we are wired to be connected and this parade achieved that; it made everyone feel part of this special community.”

Cavalieri commented, “My staff wanted to bring a little “normal” back into the students lives. Hopefully this was accomplished as we drove by the smiling faces of the students and parents. We wanted to give them hope during this time of uncertainty. All of the students want to be back in school with their teachers and friends. They just want life to be back to normal.”

Rostkoski was anxious to express her thanks to, “Everyone that made the parade flow so beautifully and kept it safe.”  Cavalieri similarly wanted to give, “A big thank you to the Lyme and Old Lyme Fire and Police for their support and guidance in making this parade so fabulous,” concluding, “We all want to be safe and remain healthy, but we all want to get back to what we do best … being in our classrooms and teaching the kids.”

Editor’s Note: We apologize that we do not know the names of all the students, teachers and parents in these photos. Please send us those details if you wish us to add them. And we received so many wonderful photos from the parade that, contrary to our normal policy of only publishing a limited number of photos with an article, we have published almost all of them!

 

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Lyme-Old Lyme Girls Club Basketball Team Win Prestigious Neil Hoelck Basketball Tournament

Champions! These girls emerged victorious in the recent Neil Hoelck Basketball Tournament held at Waterford High School. From left to right are (back row) Coach Mike O’Brien, Kelly Sheehan, Grace Ferman, Olivia Kelly, Abby O’Brien, Kate Walsh, Samantha Fiske, Coach Sarah Walsh, and Coach Geoff Ferman, (front row) Bronwyn Kyle, Kanon O’Haru, and Natalie Barndt. Not pictured is Morgan Standish. (Photos submitted.)

LYME/OLD LYME — As we currently ride this choppy sea of challenging and frustrating news, here’s a little piece of thoroughly good news to brighten your day!

Over the weekend of March 7 and 8, the Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Girls Club Basketball team swept the 7th Grade Division in the 41st Annual Neil Hoelck Basketball Tournament at Waterford High School. The girls defeated Waterford, and New London (twice) in the opening rounds. and then faced Madison in the championship game.

The final was a real nail-biter, but the LOL girls ultimately defeated Madison by 30-28 to win the tournament.

The winning tean proudly display their medals.

Pictured celebrating their victory in the photo above are from left to right, (back row) Abby O’Brien, Kanon O’Haru, Kate Walsh, Olivia Kelly, Grace Ferman, Sam Fiske, Kelly Sheehan, Natalie Barndt, and (front row) Bronwyn Kyle.  Not pictured is Morgan Standish.

All of the girls attend Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.

Many congratulations to the team and their coaches!

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Closed Immediately for Minimum of Two Weeks

Lyme-Old Lyme High School will be closed effective immediately along with all other Region 18 Schools and offices.

LYME/OLD LYME — Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser announced the closure of all Lyme-Old Lyme Schools in an email that went out to all parents, faculty and staff at 12:30 p.m. today. The closure is effective immediately and will continue for a minimum of two weeks, but warns, “Please be aware that as guidance is updated, this may need to be extended.”

He explains the background to the decision to close the schools as follows, emphasizing how this is a collective decision made by all southeastern Connecticut school superintendents, “On the advice of our local health departments, the school superintendents in southeastern Connecticut have come together to make a decision to put the health of our community (both our school community and the community at large) at the center of our decision to close schools.  We have been advised by local health authorities that the implementation of social distancing measures is a proven science-based intervention that has been shown to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with communicable disease outbreaks. In the past, communities in which schools closed were able to positively impact and reduce the spread of disease. We felt compelled to make this decision to prevent the spread of illness among our students, staff, and our communities.” 

Neviaser then notes, “We have also been advised that we cannot confirm that this illness will run its course in two weeks, in fact, it is not likely that it will.  We made the determination to make this closure “indefinite” based on that information. This decision was made in consultation with and with the support of the health departments, elected officials, and emergency management professionals.”

Regarding the possibility of distance learning during the closure, the Superintendent states, “There has been much discussion about the concept of distance learning during prolonged absences.  At this time the Connecticut State Department of Education has discouraged school districts from utilizing this approach due to concerns over instructional consistency (especially in the early grades), equity of access both intra-district and inter-district, disruption of special education services, and multiple employee contractual issues.  We will continue, during this school closing, to seek ways to provide supplemental education to our students. Should we need to utilize a distance learning model in the future, we will notify parents, students, and staff members of how this will be implemented.”

He concludes, “While I have no other information to share at this time, I will continue to communicate as we receive updated guidance from our public health officials, the CDC, and state officials.  Please continue to monitor your email to ensure receipt of the most current information. It is my intention to send, at a minimum, a weekly communication as this situation evolves.”

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools to Remain Open in Immediate Future; if Closed Later, Will be for Two Weeks; Parents Should Start Preparing Now for Closure

LYME/OLD LYME — Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser sent out a detailed communication regarding the COVID-19 outbreak to all parents, staff and faculty this afternoon (March 11.)  Key points from the communication are as follows:

  • All school and district offices will remain open, in regular session, for students and staff.
  • Should there be a need to close schools (due to a confirmed case of COVID-19), (the affected school) or (all schools and district buildings) will be closed for a two-week duration. Parents/caregivers are urged to begin to prepare alternative accommodations for your child in the event that a closure is warranted.
  • All enrichment activities/events (evening school concerts, plays, family engagement events, etc.) that are planned for groups of more than 100 people are cancelled starting March 11 through April 30
  • All out-of-state field trips are cancelled between March 11 and April 30.
  • All winter sports championship tournaments are cancelled.
  • All state employee travel on state business outside Connecticut is frozen.
  • All state-organized gatherings anticipated to have more than 100 people in attendance will be evaluated as to whether they should be postponed or changed to teleconference events.

The full text of the communication is below.

“Yesterday, Governor Lamont announced Public Health and Civil Preparedness Emergencies, effective through September 9, 2020 which read in part, “local education officials are directed to follow previously issued guidance and apply relevant principles of risk management to decisions about whether to cancel, modify, or postpone large gatherings, public events, or travel.“  The guidance he references is below.

Districts, in consultation with the municipal or district health department, should consider the directives made to state agencies by the Governor (below) in considering district planning for large events where there would be 100 or more people in attendance such as:

·       Athletic events

·       School plays/Spring concerts

·       Field trips

Summary of Guidance from Governor to State Agencies:

·       An immediate freeze on state employee travel for state business outside of Connecticut until further notice.

·       Any State of Connecticut-organized large meetings, conferences, or gatherings anticipated to have more than 100 people in attendance will be evaluated as to whether these events should move to teleconference or be postponed.

·       For events or meetings with large numbers of people within arm’s length of each other, encourage those who are at higher risk due to age (70 or older), cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or chronic lung diseases like COPD, as well as those with severely weakened immune systems, not to attend or dial in.

If Connecticut experiences widespread sustained community transmission, public safety considerations including extended school closures as a public health prevention measure will be made at the direction of the Office of the Governor with input from Connecticut State Department of Education, Department of Public Health, and Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

We are in regular communication with our district medical advisor, Vijay Sikand M.D., and the Ledge Light Health District (our local health department).  We also monitor the CDC website on a daily basis.  

Today, the Ledge Light Health District provided the following notification to school districts within its coverage area.

At this time, school closures in Connecticut have not been directed by Federal and/or State officials. Instead, the Governor and Commissioner have issued guidance https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus. The decision to close schools will be made by school district administration in coordination with and/or at the direction of local health officials. The following protocols are hereby implemented: 

Effective Immediately:

·       At this time, all school and district offices will remain open, in regular session, for students and staff.

·       All enrichment activities/events (evening school concerts, plays, family engagement events, etc.) that are planned for groups of more than 100 people are cancelled beginning today, March 11th through April 30th. 

·       All out-of-state field trips are cancelled between March 11th and April 30th.

·       All winter sports championship tournaments are cancelled. This announcement was made by the CIAC on March 10. 

If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 within a school district:

·       Should there be a need to close schools (due to a confirmed case of COVID-19), (the affected school) or (all schools and district buildings) will be closed for a two-week duration. Please begin to prepare alternative accommodations for your child in the event that a closure is warranted. The school community will be informed about the need for a school closing through our regular communication methods. In addition, the district will keep the school community apprised of updates through regular communications, as the situation may change.

·       Should the district need to close, the days missed will be made up between June 22-30, 2020 as well as April 15-17, 2020.

In an effort to limit the exposure to COVID-19 for high risk individuals, elderly or immunocompromised individuals are discouraged from coming to our campuses.  We also are imploring everyone to follow the procedures shared with you in our last two communications which are repeated below. It is expected that all of us ensure our students understand the necessity of proper hygiene to avoid illness.  Therefore, please share this information with your student(s). We will continue to reinforce these practices during the school day.

Use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol is recommended if soap and water are not available. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Illness prevention is the first line of defense. The following are recommended measures that can lower the risk of any illness including COVID-19:

·       Frequent and thorough handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is recommended.

·       Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.

·       Cover the mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

·       Clean frequently-touched objects and surfaces with a disinfectant product.

·       Avoid sharing drinking cups, food, and other personal items.

·       Stay at home if you are ill to minimize the transmission of illness and disease.

·       It is important that parents communicate with their child’s teacher if they are out with illness.

Students and staff should not attend school with the following symptoms of common illness or disease:

·       Temperature of 100 degrees or greater. Individuals should be fever-free without use of a fever-reducing medication for a minimum of 24 hours before returning to school.

·       Vomiting and/or diarrhea. Individuals should remain at home until they have stopped vomiting for at least 24 hours and are able to tolerate fluids and solid foods.

·       Sore throat that is accompanied by fatigue, body aches, and fever.

·       A persistent/disruptive cough lasting for more than a few days or with fever.

·       Eye discomfort with itching, redness, pain, and drainage.

·       Skin rash suggestive of a communicable disease. We ask that any blisters or open sores be healed before returning to school

·       We request a note if a student has seen a physician and been absent due to a communicable disease.

For more information regarding COVID-19, please click on the following links.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Public-Health-Preparedness/Main-Page/2019-Novel-Coronavirus

2 – LLHD COVID-19 Reference.pdf 

3 – LLHD COVID-19 Reference 2.pdf 

4 – COVID-19_parent_handout_NASP_NASN_2-20_FINAL.pdf 

5 – COVID-19 Hotline.pdf 

We continue to monitor recommendations from the CDC, our district medical advisor, and the Ledge Light Health District and will adjust our position if needed.  Any changes will be communicated to parents and staff via email. “

The communiation ends with an invitation to anyone receiving it to feel free to contact the Superintendent 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or your school nurse with any questions or concerns.

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Lyme-Old Lyme HS, MS Announce Second Quarter Honor Rolls

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Honor Roll
2019-20 Quarter 2

High Honors

Grade 12: William Bartlett, Emma Bass, Audrey Berry, Madison Cann, Faith Caulkins, Rory Cavicke, Emilia Cheesman, Elizabeth Cravinho, Arianna DelMastro, Maria Denya, Raymond Doll, Nicholas Fava, Avery Grethel, Tanner Griffin, Sophia Griswold, Lauren Huck, Jeffy Joshy, Renate Kuhn, Rachael Larson, Brenna Lewis, Thomas McCarthy, Ryan McTigue, Jeremy Montazella, Dylan Mulligan, Chandler Munson, Samantha Olson, Carter Popkin, Jenna Porter, Jared Ritchie, Andre Salkin, Jane Scheiber, Brady Sheffield, Garrett Smith, Emily Speckhals, Evan St. Louis, Haley Stevens, Olivia Tetreault, Lydia Tinnerello, Sydney Trowbridge, Kiera Ulmer, Jackson Warren, Theodore Wayland, Trevor Wells, Maggie Wisner, Conner Wyman, Katherine Zelmanow

Grade 11: Paige Alpha, Juliette Atkinson, Rachel Barretta, Ava Berry, Emma Boardman, Kyuss Buono, Kate Cheney, Emerson Colwell, John Cox, Megan Cravinho, George Danes, Emily DeRoehn, Leslie Farrell, Fiona Frederiks, Jackson Goulding, Schuyler Greenho, Emma Griffith, Isabella Hine, Regan Kaye, Avery Lacourciere, Grace Lathrop, Owen Macadam, Luke Macy, Elle McAraw, Emma McCulloch, Brianna Melillo, Riley Nelson, Sophia Ortoleva, Connie Pan, Gavin Porter, Julie Rudd, Tait Sawden, Jesper Silberberg, Tessa St. Germain, Lian Thompson, Angus Tresnan, Lauren Wallace, Kelly Walsh, Alison Ward, Ellery Zrenda

Grade 10: Grace Arnold, Hannah Britt, Evan Clark, John Conley, Caroline Crolius, Henry Cutler-Stamm, Elias D’Onofrio, Elizabeth Duddy, Eleanor Dushin, Nicolette Hallahan, Austin Halsey, Jackson Harris, Fiona Hufford, Zoe Jensen, Julia Johnston, Nevin Joshy, Robyn King, Michael Klier, Felse Kyle, William Larson, Reese Maguire, Abigail Manthous, Elle Myers, Adeline Riccio, Jacob Ritchie, Margaret Rommel, Alexander Roth, Lloret Sala, Olivia Schaedler, Calvin Scheiber, McLean Signora, Abby Speckhals, Drew St. Louis, Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum, Victoria Stout, Aidan Ward, Melanie Warren, Ellie Wells, Avery Wyman

Grade 9: William Barry, Callie Bass, Livie Bass, Cooper Bowman, Gillian Bradley, Jamie Bucior, Gretchen Burgess, Sarah Burnham, Hayley Cann, Liam Celic, Luke Celic, Alexander Chrysoulakis, Grace Colwell, Nicholas Cox, William Danes, Anna Davis, John Eichholz, Zachary Eichholz, Clarence Hinckley, Willa Hoerauf, Arber Hoxha, Karissa Huang, Aidan Kerrigan, Phoebe Lampos, Theodore Lampos, Jonah Lathrop, Jacob Lopez-Bravo, Marielle Mather, Madalyn McCulloch, Caden Monte, Calvin Monte, Cooper Munson, Alexander Olsen, Alain Pecher-Kohout, Olivia Powers, Kelsey Pryor, Izzadora Reynolds, Eli Ryan, Anders Silberberg, Alyssa Spooner, Joseph Steinmacher, Samantha Tan, Tova Toriello, Kaitlyn Ward, Harry Whitten, George Williams, Lea Wilson

Honors

Grade 12: Charles Ames, Chloe Cahill, Lisbet Carcamo, Philip Cone, Sarah Conley, Ty Dean, Samuel Dushin, Theodore Enoch, Leah Fouquette, Jada Fuentes, Lucy Gilbert, Darin Hamou, Kamber Hamou, Connor Hogan, Parker Hubbard, Daniel Kendall, Connor Maguire, Natalie Meyers, Kyle Myers, Jenny Pelaez, Chase Reneson, Samuel Roth, Colby Sides, Ryan Tetreault, Taylor Thompson, Aedan Using, Megan VanSteenbergen

Grade 11: Colbe Andrews, Kaylee Armenia, Maxwell Bauchmann, Sadie Bowman, Hunter Collins, Jackson Cowell, Patrick Dagher, Bianca Dasilva, Paige Davis, Corah Engdall, Sadie Frankel, Eveliz Fuentes, Paige Kolesnik, Gabriel Lavoie, Mackenzie Machnik, Emma Meekhoff, Marina Melluzzo, Timothy O’Brien, Olivia Papanier, Lauren Pitt, Aidan Powers, Jacob Quaratella, Jake Stewart, Katrina Wallace, Avery Welch, Katelyn Zbierski

Grade 10: Nicholas Adeletti, John Almy, Dylan Avelange, Mackenzie Bussolotti, Ethan Carr, John Caulkins, Ryan Clark, Grace Coverdale, James Creagan, Lauren Creagan, Liam Fallon, Victoria Gage, Samantha Geshel, Ethan Goss, Lillian Herrera, Madison Hubbard, Cora Kern, Alex Lee, Stephanie Mauro, James Mazzalupo, Emily Mesham, Jacob Meyers, Brendan O’Brien, Michael O’Donnell, Bella Orlando, Aidan Russell, Frank Sablone, Madison Thompson, Evan Visgilio, Mary Wholean, Paige Winchell, Ryan Zbierski, Jerry Zhang

Grade 9: Elsie Arafeh-Hudson, Jordan Beebe, Marjorie Curtis, David Evers, Alexis Fenton, Matthew Grammatico, Makenna Harms, Dylan Hovey, Owen Ingersoll-Bonsack, Karleigh Landers, Monique Lavoie, Ford Macadam, Kennedy McCormick, Joseph Montazella, Allott Patterson, Jacob Rand, Santiago Rodriguez, Benjamin Roth, Rhyleigh Russell, Dylan Sheehan, Ned Smith, Peter Tkaczuk

 

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Honor Roll
2019-20  Quarter 2 


High Honors

Grade 8: Peighton Andrews, Emma Bayor, Oliver Berry, Alis Bicic, Elliot Bjornberg, Drew Brackley, Natalie Buckley, Jackson Bullock, Bianca Carrion, Nicholas Cheesman, Sarah Colangelo, Ava Cummins, Ella Curtiss-Reardon, Eva D’Onofrio, Eric Dagher, Amelia Gage, Ryder Goss, Sydney Goulding, Alexis Grasdock, Justin Green, Katherine Gryk, Abby Hale, Mohamad Hamou, Leland Hine, Agatha Hunt, Beatrice Hunt, Sabina Jungkeit, Dakota Kotzan, Grady Lacourciere, Brodie Lippincott, Anna McAdams, Griffin McGlinchey, Matthew Miller, Elaina Morosky, Katherine Mullaney, Delaney Nelson, Jack Porter, Luisa Raby, Hannah Thomas, Keara Ward, Louisa Warlitz, Mason Wells, Tyler Wells, Summer Wollack

Grade 7: Christopher Anderson, Emma Arelt, Quinn Arico, Ella Austin, Oliver Avelange, Natalie Barndt, Molly Boardman, Nathaniel Bradley, Mark Burnham, Chase Calderon, Tabitha Colwell, Gloria Conley, Chloe Datum, Andrea DeBernardo, Zoe Eastman-Grossel, Caeli Edmed, Anna Eichholz, Grace Ferman, Hoshena Gemme, Ava Gilbert, Henry Griswold, Jonathan Harms, Kaela Hoss, Kyle Ingersoll-Bonsack, Shyla Jones, Simon Karpinski, Olivia Kelly, Ella Kiem, Peter Kuhn, Ada LaConti, James Lahot, Elise Leonardo, Andrew Liu, Elizabeth Lopez, Colette Marchant, Abigail O’Brien, Kanon Oharu, Filip Pecher-Kohout, Sophie Pennie, Drea Simler, Audrey Spiegel, Morgan Standish, Kathleen Walsh, Ava Wilcox

Grade 6: Charlotte Antonino, Zoe Brunza, Alec Butzer, Makayla Calderon, Tyler Cann, Julia Clark, Colman Curtiss-Reardon, Christopher Dagher, James Dahlke, Rose Dimmock, William Donnelly, Alexa Donovan, Gabrielle Field, Eric Fusscas, Chase Gilbert, Alexander Glaras, Benjamin Goulding, Scarlette Graybill, Christopher Kachur, Katherine King, Jade Lawton, Jayden Livesey, Emily Looney, Elise Marchant, Nayeli Marin, Samuel Masanz, Bridget McAdams, Carter McGlinchey, Ryan Miller, Eiley Montanaro, Sybil Neary, Nina Nichols, Ryan Olsen, Ryan Ortoleva, Jackson Pannier, Quenten Patz, Jacob Prokopets, Jenna Salpietro, Luca Signora, Emma Singleton, Charlotte Spiegel, Addison Spooner, Carson St.Louis, Andrew Taylor, Meredith Thompson, Margaret Thuma, Lucian Tracano, Madeleine Trepanier, Connor Vautrain, Warren Volles, Edith Williams, Julius Wilson, Oliver Wyman, Carl Zapatka, Katherine Zhang

Honors

Grade 8: Henry Boremski, Naomi Clark, Lucas DaSilva, Mulanga Drysile, Nathaniel Heon, Sedona Holland, Luke Legein, Kayla O’Leary, Grace Phaneuf, Cailin Ruhling, Kylie-Jean Sevigny, Owen Snurkowski, Gabriel Tooker, Kalea VanPelt

Grade 7: Micah Bass, Justin Bonatti, Dominic Clark, Erin Durant, Davis Fallon, Abigail Griffith, Hannah Johnston, Aven Kellert, Evan LeQuire, Max Novak, Andrew Sicuranza, Nola Slubowski, Madeline Supersano, Charlotte Tinniswood

Grade 6: Trevor Buydos, Jack Conroy, Sophia D’Angelo, Braden Dawson, Synthia Diaz, Bodie Holland, Thomas Kelly, Sebastian Lopez-Bravo, Daniela Marin, Isabella Presti, Tanner Snurkowski, Eve Videll, Gabriel Waldo

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools’ Board of Education Hosts Public Forum on Proposed Artificial Playing Surface, March 25

This playing field behind Lyme-Old Lyme High School is the proposed site of the artificial athletic field. This project will be discussed at a Public Forum to be hosted March 25 by Lyme-Old Lyme Schools’ Board of Education.

OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme Schools’ Board of Education is hosting a Public Forum in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School auditorium Wednesday, March 25, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss their proposal to install an artificial playing surface at the Lyme Street campus.

After a presentation on the background for this proposal, possible infill options, and the funding sources, attendees will have an opportunity to ask the Board questions and provide feedback on this concept.

All are welcome. Board members suggest readers should bring their thoughts, ideas, and questions.

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Old Lyme Boys End Regular Season at Top of Shoreline; Now Onto Conference, State Championships as #1 Seed

Pictured above is the top scorer in yesterday’s Shoreline Conference game against Morgan, Old Lyme Senior Aedan Using. File photo by C. Using.

OLD LYME — Old Lyme defeated Morgan 67-50 last night Old Lyme to nab the top place in the Shoreline Conference at the end of the regular season. They now enter both the Shoreline and the CIAC State Division V Championships as the top seed.

Wildcat Senior Ray Doll drained 20 points in yesterday’s game against Morgan HS. File photo by C. Using.

In yesterday evening’s game played away at Morgan, Senior Aedan Using had 22 points,12 rebounds and eight assists while fellow seniors Ray Doll and Jared Ritchie notched 20 and 12 points respectively. Senior Brady Sheffield grabbed nine steals and also had six assists.

Jason Cohen led Morgan with 17 points.
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