December 6, 2019

Commentaries on the Proposed 2019-20 Region 18 Budget

We received a request from Old Lyme resident Mona Colwell to publish the statement she read at the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Board of Education meeting last Wednesday, May 1.  Her statement (printed below) relates to the proposed 2019-20 Lyme-Old Lyme Schools budget on which the citizens of Lyme and Old Lyme will vote in a referendum on Tuesday.

Since the referendum is so close, we invited Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser to respond to the statement. He explained that he did not wish to do so as he is bound under election rules not to give an opinion on a matter being voted on by the public within seven days of that election.

In the interests of equity and independence to which we always attempt to ascribe, we are therefore publishing a statement on the budget given to us by Superintendent Neviaser back in February, which reads as follows:

“I am pleased that the Board of Education has voted to support the fiscally responsible budget that we proposed.  The 2.29 percent increase is one of the lower budget increases our communities have seen and is far lower than all of our surrounding districts.  This budget will continue to provide a top notch educational program to our students and communities with enhancements to what is already one of the strongest districts in the state.”

Colwell’s statement made May 1 to the Region 18 Board of Education reads:

“Four months ago, you, the Board, accepted an idea of pre-k expansion in the upcoming budget on a premise that it could work in the budget. However, you have been given misinformation about this proposed pre-k expansion.
You were told that the student population and the numbers of sections at Mile Creek were decreasing – they are not.
You were told that this was a way to avoid letting teachers go – however we now know this expansion requires increasing the number of teachers and Instructional assistants for Region 18
The data you were presented in support of pre-k expansion is not comparable to our area – there is no data to support the benefits of a 5 day, all day pre-k program for the socio-economic population in our towns.
The curriculum we have now was developed as a one on one peer based academic special needs program, so yes, we have a curriculum, but it’s not one that is created for a universal pre-k program.
You were told that the local businesses are ok with the expansion, but they are not and offering free pre-k for all will put local businesses out of business, further reducing the options available to our local families so they will have to go to Old Saybrook and East Lyme for other preschool options. Where are they going to buy a house then? According to Ian Neviaser, they’ll buy a house where their kids are going to preschool and that will not be in our towns.
You were told that everyone in our towns wants free pre-k for all kids – we have over 300 signatures on two petitions from people who don’t want the pre-k expansion in it’s (sic) current form, who are asking you as a Board to hold off on this proposal so that the program can be fully developed.Diane Linderman and Ian Neviaser told us at the Middle School PTO meeting in March that you, as a Board, still have time to rework the Region 18 2019/2020 budget, you can remove the proposed pre-k expansion costs of $400,000, you can adjust for the $150,000 in insurance savings that we already know about and you can decrease the heating expenses to Region 18 by $300,000 by taking steps to prevent heat loss in all of our buildings and offer a flat budget for the 2019/2020 school year without taking any programing away from our k-12 students.
By creating a flat budget, the current $1.2 million increase to the taxpayers of Old Lyme will be decreased by over $640,000.
Ian Neviaser has said that he’ll keep the pre-k expansion even if the budget gets voted down – the truth is that no one in our towns wants the budget to get voted down.
But we do want fiscal responsibility and we want you, the Board of Education, to represent us, the taxpayers. That’s why you were elected. As a Board, you can take the pre-k expansion out of the budget since it was put in under false pretenses. Then you’ll have time to explore how to add universal pre-k in a cost effective manner, with realistic logistics, minimal impact on the taxpayers and no negative effect on local businesses.
As a Board of Education concerned with children who may not be receiving pre-k exposure prior to kindergarten, you can change the lottery system, that we all know is not a blind lottery, to give preference to those families who have financial hardship and may not be able to afford sending their children to pre-school. We already as a community have accepted that the peer program is paid for by the taxes. So, make an adjustment to your acceptance of peers to ensure that those children most in need are taken over those who can afford to send their children to preschool.
Give us a budget that we can support on May 7th.
Thank you.”

 

 

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Lyme-Old Lyme HS Receives ‘College Success Award,’ Only 1,722 Schools Recognized Nationally

Lyme-Old Lyme High School has received the College Success Award from GreatSchools.org.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School has received the College Success Award, which honors schools that excel in ensuring students prepare for college, enroll in college and succeed once they get there.

Launched by GreatSchools.org, the 2019 College Success Award recognizes only 1,722 schools in 25 states. Award-winning schools have a successful track record of graduating students who later enroll in two- or four-year college, are ready for college-level coursework, and persist on to their second year, according to available data from each state.

College- and career-ready graduates are critical to fueling the U.S. economy, as 65 percent of jobs will require a post-secondary degree by 2020. Lyme-Old Lyme High School is one of the approximately 20 percent of eligible schools that won the College Success Award.

In response to this recognition, Superintendent Ian Neviaser stated, “This honor is a testament to the commitment of our students and their families, our dedicated staff, and the communities that continue to support our mission. We are honored to be recognized as a part of such an elite group.”

“Lyme-Old Lyme High School is providing their students with a high-quality education that equips and empowers them with the skills to forge a path to bright futures,” said Jon Deane, CEO of GreatSchools.org. “We applaud students, parents, teachers and the entire community for their dedication to pursuing college success.”

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Lyme Academy of Fine Arts Offers Pre-College Summer Arts Program

File photo of the Chandler Academic Center which comprises part of the newly-renamed Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is currently accepting high school students for enrollment in a series of pre-college summer art courses. Students with beginning to advanced level art training are welcome to enroll in college-level courses taught by master artists to further explore and expand their technical skills and abilities.

Course offerings include sculpture, drawing, oil painting, animation and more. Each course runs for one week, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Founded in 1976 by esteemed sculptor Elisabeth Gordon Chandler, Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is located in historic Old Lyme, which has been a vibrant center for the arts and artists in Southeastern, CT for more than 100 years. The Academy offers a variety of programs in art education under the guidance of master artists who share a deep respect for both traditional and innovative forms of teaching that provide students with the necessary foundation and skills to develop their own unique visual expression.

Interested students can find out more information and enroll by visiting the new Lyme Academy website at www.lymeacademy.org or email info@lymeacademy.org.

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Brady Sheffield Named Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber Business Student of the Month

Brady Sheffield (second from right) receives his Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce April 2019 Business Student of the Month award from (left to right) Rich Shriver,, Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce President; Jeanne Manfredi, Lyme-Old Lyme High School Assistant Principal, and Leslie Traver, Lyme-Old Lyme High School Business Department Chair.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School junior Brady Sheffield has been named the Chamber of Commerce Business Student of the Month for April 2019. Brady plans on working for his uncle’s social media company to learn about running a business — a nice tie in to the business classes he has taken.

The Chamber Business Student of the Month program continues the Chamber tradition of recognizing members of the junior class for demonstrating outstanding initiative in and out of the classroom.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce established the N. Rutherford Sheffield Memorial Award for Entrepreneurial Promise & Achievement for Lyme-Old Lyme High School juniors in 1999 as a way to honor Mr. Sheffield, a 50+ year member of the Chamber who was highly regarded in our Lyme-Old Lyme community. Thirty-five juniors at Lyme-Old Lyme High School were recognized through this program.

 

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Legislators, Superintendents, Residents Express Universal Opposition to Forced School Regionalization

Special to LymeLine.com

Sitting in the front row of the audience at Monday night’s forum on school regionalization were local school superintendents (from right to left) Ian Neviaser (Lyme-Old Lyme), Pat Ciccone (Westbrook) and Jan Perruccio (Old Saybrook.)

Over 100 people turned out for an Education and Regionalization Forum at Old Saybrook Middle School on Thursday, April 11. The event was hosted by Rep. Devin Carney, (R-23rd), with Senators Paul Formica, (R-20th), and Norm Needleman, (D-33rd).

While the two parties differ on Connecticut road tolls, all three local officials said they are against forced regionalization of school district bills proposed by Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, Senators Bob Duff and Cathy Osten, Deputy President Pro Tempore, and by Governor Ned Lamont.

Rep. Carney said there was an enormous public outcry by small towns and school districts, thousands of pieces of testimony received and hundreds of people, including students from Region 18 schools, who testified in March hearings.  While this probably means that the idea of aligning school districts with recently consolidated probate districts is not advancing, the matter of reducing and reallocating education costs is very much still alive, and pieces of proposed legislation could still become law.

“Nothing is truly ever dead until we gavel out at midnight on June 5,” Rep. Carney said, explaining the state legislative process and timelines of the ongoing session in Hartford. 

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) addresses the audience Monday night while (left) State Sen. Paul Formica (R-20th) awaits his turn to speak. Almost hidden from view, State Sen. Norm Needleman (D-33rd) stands to Rep. Carney’s right.

Of the six bills introduced that address regionalization of schools or services, three have been passed by the Education Committee and further action could be taken on them:

  • Governors Bill 874 establishes an appointed Commission on Shared School Services that is charged with developing shared school services recommendations, requires boards of education (BOEs) to report on currently shared school services and requires regional BOEs to post online monthly current and projected expenditures and to submit information to their town’s legislative body. The commission would issue a report in December 2020, recommendations could be binding on towns and districts. Because of costs of setting up a commission, the bill has been referred to Appropriations Committee;
  • HB 7350 requires regional education service centers (RESCs) to distribute an inventory of goods and services to member BOEs, and the Department of Education (DOE) shall develop a report of best practices by RESCs for regional cooperation. (LEARN, at 44 Hatchetts Hill Road in Old Lyme, is a RESC);
  • SB 1069, proposed by Sen. Needleman, which allows the DOE to study the effects of towns working together as Local Education Agencies, is intended to encourage voluntary regional cooperation and maximize efficiencies and cost savings without being mandated to become regional school districts.

Superintendents Ian Neviaser (Lyme-Old Lyme), Jan Perruccio (Old Saybrook), and Pat Ciccone (Westbrook) addressed how their districts have been sharing services and resources to reduce costs while maintaining the quality of curriculum along with educational, extracurricular and sports activities and programs.  Standard practices include health and dental insurance, energy, financial software, food service and supplies, plus student transportation for specialized programs.

Old Saybrook, Westbrook and Region 4 (Chester, Deep River and Essex plus the three elementary schools for each of those towns, which are not part of Region 4) school districts already share staff, Perruccio said, in an arrangement that has the flexibility to change yearly based on each districts’ demographic needs.

Perruccio said she was alarmed that the forced regionalization bills showed a lack of regard and understanding of how school districts are already sharing resources with a focus on quality of education.

Ciccone cited how the districts are coordinating to provide professional development for their teachers, and how Westbrook’s school facilities, sports programs and fields are utilized by the Town Parks and Recreation Department and local YMCA. The schools and town share legal and financial services support, as well. 

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser stands at the podium during Monday evening’s forum.

“There is a money issue here, we need to be frank about it,” said Neviaser, pointing out that significant redistribution of wealth from school districts with higher property values and tax base already occurs. 

Fifty-one percent of New London’s school budget is paid by the state, he said., as is over 60 percent of Norwich’s, 33 percent of Montville’s and 14 percent of East Lyme’s school budgets. Meanwhile, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools receive less than one percent of operating expenses from the state.

“There was no mention of improving educational outcomes in these regionalization proposals,” commented Tina Gilbert of Lyme. “It is because of our school district’s focus on that, we are in the top four in the country in education.  There is no discussion of parent involvement in schools; we are not wealthy or privileged people, we chose to live in this school district for our children.  What it takes to build [highly performing schools] is parent involvement, working with parents.”

When asked if they moved to their town because of the quality of the schools, a high number of people in the audience raised their hands.

While the majority of questions and comments addressed specifics of proposed legislation, the overarching issue of state fiscal problems and how to address government spending arose. Lyme and Old Lyme residents were some of the most vocal about the impact of proposed legislation on property values, taxes and the quality of local school districts.

“The majority of the state doesn’t have a problem, town government works in Connecticut, but Hartford is not responsible,” said Curt Deane of Lyme, pointing out a seven-page summary of education service-sharing produced by LEARN in February.  “The initial [regionalization] proposals would have raised my property taxes by 50 percent overnight. Taxes go up, property values go down. People have to understand, this is going to hit our property taxes and hit hard. This isn’t going to go away.” 

“We can’t be a state with only great little towns and not great cities,” Sen. Needleman said, citing imbalances of health care outcomes and school performance between wealthier communities and the state’s large cities. He continued, “While we don’t want to mess up what we have, we can’t turn our backs on the disparities.”

The legislators encouraged voters to speak up, write letters, follow grassroots organizations such as Hands Off Our Schools or form their own group to express concerns to elected officials.

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Rep. Carney, Local School Superintendents Host Forum Tonight on School Regionalization, Education

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) in conjunction with the School Superintendents from Lyme-Old Lyme (Ian Neviaser), Old Saybrook (Jan Perruccio) and Westbrook (Pat Ciccone) invite the public to attend an informational forum regarding education and school regionalization Thursday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. at Old Saybrook Middle School Auditorium, 60 Sheffield St., Old Saybrook.

This event, which is free and open to the public, will provide an update on the status of state legislation affecting local public education, including forced regionalization. School regionalization has been a major topic of discussion during the 2019 legislative session, and this event will allow area residents to share their concerns, get their questions answered, and discuss potential alternatives.

For further information and any other concerns regarding state government, email State Rep. Carney at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or call 800-842-1423.

For further information on Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, contact Superintendent Ian Neviaser at neviaseri@region18.org or 860-434-7238.

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Old Lyme BOS Schedules Special Meeting to Announce Citizen of the Year; Region 18 BOE Sets Date for Budget Referendum

UPDATED: The date of the referendum was incorrect in our original article.  We apologize for the error.

At their meeting on April 1, the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen settled on Tuesday, April 16, to hold a Special Town Meeting to announce the 2018 Citizen of the Year.  The announcement, which is normally made at the end of January, had to be postponed this year.

Also on the agenda will be two additional items as follows:

  • To consider and act on a proposal for the Town of Old Lyme to add 200 s.f. of Town-owned land to the area it is currently leasing out at the Boughton Road Fire Station at 189 Boston Post Road, Old Lyme, CT., to allow for an additional antenna to be installed on the cell tower now on the site and to make room for supporting equipment to be kept/ installed there.
  • To consider and act on proposed amendments to the Town’s Solid Waste Ordinance.

Copies of the proposed lease amendment and of a plan showing the current and proposed additional leased area and copies of the proposed amendments to the Solid Waste Ordinance are available on the Town website at www.oldlyme-ct.gov, and in the Town Clerk’s office at Town Hall during normal business hours.

Also on April 1, at the Public Hearing on Region #18’s 2019-20 proposed budget, the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Board of Education set the date for the referendum on the budget as Tuesday, May, 7, with the District Budget Meeting the evening before on Monday, May 6, in the Center School Board of Education Conference Room at 6:30 p.m.

All residents of Lyme and Old Lyme, who are age 18 or over and US citizens, are eligible to vote in the referendum.  Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.at Lyme Town Hall for Lyme residents and Cross Lane Firehouse for Old Lyme residents.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools BOE Hosts Budget Hearing Tonight in Center School

The Region 18 Board of Education (BOE) hosts a District Budget Hearing this evening at 6:30 p.m. in the BOE Conference Room in Center School.

On Feb. 6, the Region 18 BOE approved a $35,084,758 budget for the 2019-2020 school year. This proposed budget represents a 2.29 percent increase over the prior year.

The main program improvements are the Pre-K expansion, 1:1 technology expansion for K-12, updated Next Generation Science Standards materials and enhanced security.

The major facility projects in the Operating Budget are the replacement of three tennis courts ($225K), classrooms for the Pre-K expansion ($180K), partial redesign and carpet replacement of the Middle School Media Center ($45K), and carpet replacement in Lyme Consolidated School ($12K.) These projects total $462K.  The proposed installation of a solar electric system, which is part of the non-operating budget, will be funded by the purchase of a power agreement.

Certified salaries at $13.8 million comprise 39.9 percent of the budget while non-certified salaries at $3.2 million account for 9.8 percent.

Asked to comment on the budget passed by the BOE, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser said, “I am pleased that the Board of Education has voted to support the fiscally responsible budget that we proposed.  The 2.29 percent increase is one of the lower budget increases our communities have seen and is far lower than all of our surrounding districts.  This budget will continue to provide a top notch educational program to our students and communities with enhancements to what is already one of the strongest districts in the state.”

The BOE will set the date for the referendum on the budget at the end of the hearing.  Residents of both Old Lyme and Lyme are eligible to vote in the referendum, which in order to pass, must achieve a simple majority of the combined vote of both towns.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Host Public Forum This Evening on Pre-K Expansion

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools are hosting a Public Forum on Pre-K Expansion, Monday, March 25, at 7 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School auditorium.

The purpose of the forum is to address questions about the proposed expansion of the existing Pre-K program.

All are welcome.

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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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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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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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