July 16, 2020

LYSB, Local Social Services Launch Summer Lunch Program Today

LYME/OLD LYME — The Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) is launching the community’s first Summer Lunch Program for families who have been negatively impacted financially by COVID-19, or qualify for the SNAP or Free/Reduced Lunch Programs.

Funded by private donations, the Summer Lunch Program is organized by LYSB in partnership with the Social Services Departments from the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme.

Free and nutritious lunches will be distributed curbside between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. behind LYSB on the middle school driveway, starting Thursday, July 16, and continuing every Tuesday and Thursday through Aug. 20.

Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau Director Mary Seidner explained, “The school lunch program ended in June and we wanted to fill the gap to help feed children whose families are struggling to afford their basic needs.  Our community is so generous when neighbors need help.”

Seidner adds, “We are working with local restaurants to provide much of the food, and the lunches will be delicious!”
Lunches will be provided to any child 18 and under.

To learn more about LYSB’s Summer Lunch Program, contact LYSB at 860-434-7208 or visit www.lysb.org

Share

Join a March for Justice Tonight in Saybrook, Hear Tulimieri Speak on History of Slavery in CT

The Old Saybrook March for Justice meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in front of ‘the Kate’ in old Saybrook to hear speakers and then march down Main St.

OLD SAYBROOK/LYME/OLD LYME — The Old Saybrook March for Justice is an inclusive and welcoming coalition of friends and neighbors, who care deeply about basic human rights. The group gathers each Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. in front of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook — the Kate — where they listen to a speaker and then, immediately following the speeches, march peacefully up and down Main St. All are requested to wear masks.

Their mission statement says, ” We are outraged by centuries of structural racism in this country. We stand with Black Lives Matter. We listen, learn and act. We understand that silence is not an option and we will not be bystanders to white supremacy.”

The statement continues, “We aim to be allies and antiracist. We are respectful, nonpartisan and inclusive. We welcome all who share our values. We educate ourselves and join in weekly marches.”

Signs were held high at a previous rally as the marchers crossed Main Street in Old Saybrook.

Today, Wednesday, July 15, all are welcome to meet at the Kate at 6 p.m. for a teach-in followed by a march.

The speaker at this evening’s event will be Kevin Tulimieri on, “Histories of Slavery in Connecticut and the Story of Venture Smith.”

Share

‘The Bizz’ Goes Virtual, Deadline for Audition Video Submissions is This Friday

OLD LYME — In a creative response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) is hosting its enormously popular Annual Youth Talent Show, The Bizz as a virtual performance this year.

It will be streamed free online Friday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m.

The deadline to submit acts is this coming Friday, July 17. The rules pertaining to video submission are as follows:

• Email video submissions to lysb@lysb.org .
• Include all names and ages of performers in your email.
• All submissions must be prerecorded and sent by Friday, July 17th.
• All submissions must be under 2 minutes in length.
• All submissions must be shot in landscape mode with good lighting and sound (LYSB will be in touch if your video does not meet these criteria). You may be asked to re-film.
• Depending on the number of submissions, LYSB reserves the right to edit video to make them shorter in length.
• Group acts are encouraged, but please be respectful of social distancing.  Be creative with editing.
• No lip-synching.
• All acts must have lyrics that are appropriate for a family audience.
• One act per person.  You cannot participate in more than one act.

If you have questions or comments, contact Missy Garvin at lysb@lysb.org prior to sending your video.

Share

All Lyme, Old Lyme Churches Continue Online Services Today, CTK Also Offers In-Person Masses for (Max.) 100

LYME-OLD LYME — In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, all churches in Lyme and Old Lyme are again planning online services for this Sunday, July 12. Christ The King, however, will also offer in-person masses with a restriction on the number of congregants.

CHRIST THE KING CHURCH:

At Christ The King, public attendance will now be allowed at weekday mass only (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.), in accordance with directives from the Norwich Diocese.  All who attend will be required to wear face masks, use hand sanitizer, and follow social distancing guidelines. This mass will continue to be live-streamed via Zoom for those who cannot come to church or are in a vulnerable population and wish to stay home..

Details of this weekend’s services are as follows:

Public attendance is now allowed at weekend Masses, as announced by Bishop Cote.  Christ the King Church will return to its usual schedule of Masses: 5 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

All who attend will be required to wear face masks, use hand sanitizer, and follow social distancing guidelines, and attendance will be limited to no more than 100 at each Mass.  Because of this, a brief survey has been created — just three questions — which will helps determine how many parishioners to expect at each Mass. 

If you are sick, have a fever, or think you may have been exposed to the coronavirus, stay home.

The Sunday obligation to attend Mass is still suspended, and Masses will continue to be live-streamed via Zoom for those who cannot come to church or prefer to stay home.

Click here for links to participate to live-streamed Masses.

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF LYME:

Email Pastor Susan Olson at pastorsusanolson@gmail.com or Emily Bjornberg for the URL to view the Sunday service.

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF OLD LYME:

Visit this link for today’s (July 12) service.

The Church will host a Fellowship Hour via Zoom at 10 a.m. this morning. Visit this link for more details of how to access the event.

SAINT ANN’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH:
Online services are available at this link.

 

SOUTH LYME UNION CHAPEL:
Worship services are being held online at 11 a.m. each Sunday. Email Karen Geisler at karengr007@gmail.com for connection details.

Share

Lyme Church Offers “Hate Has No Home Here” Yard Signs for Sale

Selam Olson.13, displays one of the yard signs being sold by the First Congregational Church of Lyme. Selam is the daughter of Susan Olson, who serves as the church Pastor. Photo submitted.

LYME — The First Congregational Church of Lyme is partnering with Hate Has No Home Here to sell yard signs to members of the community. The signs show the message in a number of languages.

Lyme First Congregational Pastor Susan Olson notes, “While we’re a church, the movement is not related to a religion or political party–everyone can participate.”

Asked why the church decided to start selling the signs, Olson explains in a text to LymeLine, ” I came across the Hate Has No Home Here Project while doing some research for a sermon a few weeks back. I liked the origin of the project. It comes from a residential neighborhood in Chicago, mostly focused on families in walking distance of one particular elementary school.”

She continues, “A third grade child coined the phrase and the neighbors created the signs. The idea has spread like wildfire across the globe.”

Pointing out, “The project made sense for us at Lyme Church. We bought 100 signs to resell because we know that 100 signs denouncing hate will make a big splash in the Lyme area, whereas in a larger town like Hartford or New Haven, it would be harder to see them as part of a movement.”

“As Christians,” Olson adds, “We are deeply concerned about current events, about the deep stain of racism, and how hatred in all its forms is poisoning our communities and our world. We wanted to respond in a way that includes the whole community–not just our church–and the sign campaign seemed to be a good place to start.”

She concludes, “We hope that many of our neighbors and friends will join us in saying that hate has no home here.”

The signs are being sold for $6. The next opportunity to purchase signs will be Sunday, July 12, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the church parking lot.

Those wishing to buy a sign should bring a check payable to First Congregational Church of Lyme or exact change. Distribution of signs at the church will be contactless. The church’s Facebook page states, “Drive up, pop your trunk, drop your money in a box outside your window and off you go. We’re spreading love, not germs!”

Once a sign has been obtained, people are invited take a picture of their family with their sign and the church will post it (with appropriate permissions) on the church’s social media accounts.

Share

Neviaser Discusses Lyme-Old Lyme Schools’ Draft Reopening Plan with BOE; Says “This is New to Everyone. Schools Have Never Run Like This”

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser discusses the reopening plan for LOL Schools during the Board of Education meeting held virtually July 1.

LYME/OLD LYME — At its regular monthly meeting held virtually July 1 via Zoom, the Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Board of Education discussed the Connecticut State Department of Education’s plan titled, “Adapt, Advance, Achieve,” which had been received the previous week.

The plan gives guidelines for reopening all schools in the state in fall 2020 and requires all Connecticut towns and regional school districts to submit their own specific plans for reopening, which incorporate the state’s guidelines, by July 24.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser noted that the 50-page document from the state, “Covers the major areas the state expects us to focus on,” which he said LOL Schools have broken down into five main sections.

The first is ‘Priorities,’ which gives “a general focus on a reopening model, in which every single student will have the opportunity to return in the fall,” adding that it does however, “have an allowance for students not to participate.” There are also requirements to appoint a School Liaison point-person, who will be available for any questions on the reopening of LOL Schools, and to create both a Communications Plan and a Data Collection Plan for the district.

The second section is ‘Operations,’ which includes the areas of facilities, cohorting, child nutrition (school lunches) and transportation. Neviaser commented that there was considerable work to be done to determine how lunches would be handled, but they “Won’t look the same.” He also mentioned that transportation is “the only area where they [the state] have identified a detailed description of what it will look like,” noting that all students will be required to wear masks on buses.

The third area of ‘Health Practices and Protocols’ focuses on training for staff regarding COVID-19 on, for example, how to sneeze and/or cough, and identifying symptoms of the virus. It also describes a Health Monitoring Plan, which must be maintained to record the numbers of COVID-19 cases reported, and also shared with the local health department.

A fourth area titled, ‘Family Support and Communication’ relates to the issues of social and emotional support with, “a strong focus on reconnecting students and families with school.”

The final section of ‘Staffing and Personnel’ relates to matters including teacher certification and professional development.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Board of Education Chairman Diane Linderman listens as the Superintendent discusses the reopening plan for LOL Schools.

Neviaser explained that two LOL Schools’ Committees — namely ‘Operations’ and ‘Distance Learning,’ (which Neviaser mentioned should now be called ‘Remote Learning’ to be consistent with the state’s terminology) — have been working intensively since the schools were closed in March.  The latter is planning models for both ‘blended’ (a combination of in-school and at-home study) and ‘at home’ programs since, in Neviaser’s word, “We need to be prepared for both of those.”

The superintendent had prepared a draft calendar for LOL Schools for the 2020-21 school year in which all six teacher development days are moved to the beginning of the school year and the first day of school is pushed back to Sept. 1. The idea behind this proposal is that “a lot of educating for our staff” needs to take place before students can return, adding, “There is much more to open school this year than any other year.”

He stressed that the draft calendar is very tentative at this stage and still a topic of active discussion. Similarly, Neviaser noted that although a reopening plan has to be submitted to the state by July 24, things may still change after that, “on a day to day basis,” and emphasized the need for staff, students and parents to be flexible with adapting to the reopening procedures.  

Nevaiser stated the reopening plan, “will continue to evolve — even after school has started … What we say today could very well change two months from now … We fully anticipate that there will be changes and we recognize that we need to adapt to those changes.”

Questions from board members ranged from how the plan is going to be communicated to parents and how attendance will be recorded — especially in light of the ‘opt-out’ possibilities for students — to how the type of masks used by students will be regulated and what the provisions will be for teachers and/or students who are unable to wear masks.  There were also questions about whether additional staff would be required to implement the reopening plan and how the requirement for students to wear masks all day would be handled.

Neviaser responded that, in many cases, “We don’t have all the answers yet,” but said “mask-breaks” were being planned when students could remove their masks under certain specified circumstances.  He noted schools will be required to have isolation rooms for students and teachers who may have contracted COVID and emphasized that, “This is going to look slightly different at each school building … school principals will develop plans for their building.”

Regarding communication of the plan, Neviaser said he anticipated “providing information to parents” in late July or early August and would follow that with a parent survey seeking responses on whether their children would be returning to school, whether they would be using school buses (Neviaser noted use of buses will be discouraged where possible) and whether the student(s) would be using the school lunch service.

Neviaser summed up the whole reopening situation saying, “This is new to everyone. Schools have never run like this; we will adapt and improve, and work towards getting better at this every day.”

Editor’s Note: Olwen Logan contributed to this article.

Share

Two Ministers – Jack Madry of New London, David Good of Old Lyme – to Speak at Old Saybrook March for Justice This Evening

The Old Saybrook March for Justice meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in front of ‘the Kate’ in old Saybrook to hear speakers and then march down Main St.

OLD SAYBROOK/LYME/OLD LYME — The Old Saybrook March for Justice is an inclusive and welcoming coalition of friends and neighbors, who care deeply about basic human rights. The group gathers each Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. in front of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook — the Kate — where they listen to speakers and then, immediately following the speeches, march peacefully up and down Main St. All are requested to wear masks.

Their mission statement says, ” We are outraged by centuries of structural racism in this country. We stand with Black Lives Matter. We listen, learn and act. We understand that silence is not an option and we will not be bystanders to white supremacy.”

The statement continues, “We aim to be allies and antiracist. We are respectful, nonpartisan and inclusive. We welcome all who share our values. We educate ourselves and join in weekly marches.”

Signs were held high at a previous rally as the marchers crossed Main Street in Old Saybrook.

Today, Wednesday, July 8, all are welcome to meet at the Kate at 6 p.m. for a teach-in followed by a march.

Rev. David W. Good, Minister Emeritus of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

The speakers at this evening’s event will be Rev. Jack Madry from New London and Rev. David Good from Old Lyme. The question they will address is: “What role should the faith community be playing in advancing our national movement on racial justice?”

Rev. Jack Madry is the pastor of the Madry Temple, a predominantly Black congregation in New London, named in honor of Pastor Jack’s father.  Rev. Jack Madry is also an accomplished jazz pianist and for many years performed at Mashantucket. 

Rev. David W. Good is the Minister Emeritus of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, a predominantly White congregation. 

Through many years of interracial friendship, the two congregations have shared picnics, jazz concerts, volleyball games and church banquets.  Their ministers have preached in each others’ pulpits and shared Christmas and New Year’s Eve worship services.

Out of this friendship, the two congregations have partnered with Habitat for Humanity, building houses in New London County, starting first with a home on Pattagansett Road in East Lyme on land donated by Judy and Phil Simmons, members of the Old Lyme church. In Salem, members and friends of both churches had the honor of working side by side with Rachel Robinson — wife of Jackie Robinson, the great player and pioneer in racial justice — on land she donated to Habitat for Humanity.  

Representatives of each church then traveled to South Africa, along with Rachel Robinson and Emmanuel Red Bear (a proud descendant of Sitting Bull) to take part in the Jimmy Carter Work Project for Habitat for Humanity, working side by side with Black choir members from Soweto and Johannesburg. 

To celebrate Nelson Mandela’s release from prison and the end of Apartheid, Madry Temple and The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme organized the “World House Tour” for a 50-member choir from South Africa that performed throughout New England and New York, including the Garde Theater in New London. 

“World House” came from Martin Luther King Jr.’s book, “Chaos or Community: Where Do We Go From Here?”  In the last chapter, Dr. King recommended that all imagine that the human race had inherited a large house — a World House — in which all the races, religions and nationalities had to learn how to live together in peace.

Share

Reading Uncertainly? ‘Code Red’ by E.J. Dionne

Would you be eager to read a book that is sub-titled “How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country?

If you lean to the right, probably no; to the left, sure. But as I am a determined independent, I paused.

Dionne is a well-known commentator on evening news programs, a columnist for the Washington Post, and on the faculty of both Georgetown  and Harvard Universities. Whenever I have heard him on the news he has been clear, challenging and articulate.  So I read this book.

We seem to hear nothing but complaints and savage accusations these days, gloom and potential doom; the few of “us” fighting of all of “them.” Dionne opens his treatise with “a spirit of hope, but with a sense of alarm.” Not “doom” but alarm. And that dual sense dominates his entire argument.

He writes, “In a democracy, there are no final victories – or defeats.” We simply evolve imperfectly and with stuttered steps. Dionne suggests that one possible course of action is to try and enlist two “groups” – the moderates and the progressives – to work more closely together for necessary changes in this country.

First, a problem of labels: why are we so willing to plant a defining title on almost everyone? This denies the inherent complexity of each one of us.

Far too often we are assigned a label: left; right (but not up or down!); alt-right; conservative; moderate; progressive; lefty; socialist. The Scandinavian states are labeled “socialist” but many of us might well prefer to live in those societies rather than in our tumultuous group of states.

Dionne notes “… our tendency to confuse labels and reality,” denying our natural human individuality. We are also too quick to assign each one of us to a “class,” another artificial sorting that brings confusion and increasing distance.

Well into his thesis, Dionne quotes Stephen Pearlstein, “ The wealth of nations depends on the vigorous pursuit of self-interest by individuals whose natural and productive selfishness is tempered by moral sentiments such as compassion, generosity and a sense of fair play.” That’s our continuing difficulty: dealing with our natural human altruism and selfishness.

Dionne doesn’t dump all those to his right, but he suggests a first step begin with bringing two “groups” together in an effort to change things. His three themes: First, “a more democratic political structure” reducing the power of money and “the influence of the connected”. Second, addressing “the fraying of community and family bonds”, and third, to “experiment with more ambitious regional and place-based policies”.

In other word, decentralize: more responsibility for states, cities, and towns. It is “our obligation to challenge a system that guarantees only the freedom that money can buy.” Dionne’s suggestion: “the politics of visionary gradualism.” Slow but sure …

Dionne wants to replace a nation of numerous and fractious labels, snarling at each other through social media, with “a sense of ‘we’ … belonging and connectedness … provide the fiber for a health democratic polity.” This requires mutual respect and a willingness to listen, politely, to each other.

Is this possible? Dionne concludes his challenge, “This book offers what might be called articles of conciliation … We must learn to say, ‘We’ about all of our fellow-citizens – and mean it.”

Time to start?

Editor’s Note: ‘Code Red’ by E. J. Dionne is published by St. Martins Press, New  York 2020

Felix Kloman

About the Author: Felix Kloman is a sailor, rower, husband, father, grandfather, retired management consultant and, above all, a curious reader and writer. He’s explored how we as human beings and organizations respond to ever-present uncertainty in two books, ‘Mumpsimus Revisited’ (2005) and ‘The Fantods of Risk’ (2008). A 20-year resident of Lyme, Conn., he now writes book reviews, mostly of non-fiction, a subject which explores our minds, our behavior, our politics and our history. But he does throw in a novel here and there.
For more than 50 years, he’s put together the 17 syllables that comprise haiku, the traditional Japanese poetry, and now serves as the self-appointed “poet laureate” of Ashlawn Farm Coffee, where he may be seen on Friday mornings. His late wife, Ann, was also a writer, but of mystery novels, all of which begin in a village in midcoast Maine, strangely reminiscent of the town she and her husband visited every summer.

Share

Another COVID Case Reported in Old Lyme Raising Total to 23 Including Two Deaths

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

OLD LYME/LYME — Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold confirmed to LymeLine by text message Monday, June 29, that another new case of COVID-19 has been reported in Old Lyme. This additional confirmed case is a 48-year-old female.

There are now 21 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme plus two fatalities. Eight of these surviving cases are male and the remaining 13 are female. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 83-year-old male.

To demonstrate the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine.com has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes both fatalities.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
April 2514
May 115
May 1517
May 2618
June 819
June 1020
June 1421
June 2222
June 2423

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed cases to date are now as follows:

  1. Female, age 64
  2. Female, age 21
  3. Male, age 27
  4. Female, age 53
  5. Female, age 61
  6. Female, age 29
  7. Male, age 40
  8. Male, age 53
  9. Female, age 60
  10. Male, age 48
  11. Female, age 85
  12. Female, age 95
  13. Female, age 20
  14. Female, age 43
  15. Female, age 48
  16. Male, age 70
  17. Male, age 67
  18. Female, age 68
  19. Male, age 73
  20. Male, age 21
  21. Female, age 48

Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case was tested in Florida, but used an Old Lyme address although she does not live here. Because she gave the Old Lyme address, Griswold said that Ledge Light Health District must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

Lyme’s first and only confirmed case is a 34-year-old male.

Share

Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Offers Small Group Eco-adventures in Lyme, Old Lyme for Ages 10-15

“Ponding” with RTPEC instructors is always an educational and fun experience. Photo from RTPEC.

LYME-OLD LYME — What lies beneath the water? How can you find your way in the woods? Can you use cabbage to create art?

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center (RTPEC) is offering small group, in-person programming to explore these questions and more beginning July 13 and following all current COVID-19 safety procedures. The RTPEC building on Halls Rd. will, however, remain closed.

Join in hands-on activities while discovering local biodiversity, using scientific tools, and creating beautiful natural art pieces. Morgan Allen, a RTPEC teacher-naturalist, will lead participants in outdoor, experiential field programs focusing on different daily topics in different locations.

Pond Exploration at Jewett Preserve in Lyme 
Monday, July 13, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Tuesday, July 21, 3 – 5 p.m.
Join Allen in exploring what plants and animals may live in the pond using nets, solar microscopes, and more. Discover the chemical characteristics of the pond by learning how to take temperature and pH samples. Test the water quality using our Creek Critter app to identify macroinvertebrates and learn how to become a citizen scientist. Bring close-toed water shoes, a towel, and wear clothing that can get wet.

Hiking Adventures at Beckett Hill State Park in Lyme
Wednesday, July 15, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Thursday, July, 23, 3 – 5 p.m. 
Take an adventure into the woods. Learn how to use binoculars, solar scopes, and field guides to identify plants and animals. Use a soil sieve to discover what’s hiding in the soil.  Not sure which way you are traveling? Learn how to use a compass to navigate your way. Wear sturdy hiking shoes.

Art in Nature at Ferry Landing State Park in Old Lyme
Friday, July 17, 10 a.m – 12 p.m. and Saturday, July 25, 3 – 5 pm 
Release the artist within! Over these two hours, Allen will teach participants how to create a variety of natural art pieces including designing a seascape with sand and shells, clay pressings using natural materials, and making your own natural tie-dye. Wear clothing that can get messy and something to tie-dye.

To register and for more information, visit https://www.ctaudubon.org/rtp-programs-events/
Register for one, two, or three days. There is a 10-person maximum for each day.
The price is $30 RTPEC member/day, $35 non-member/day; $75 RTPEC member/three days, $90 non-member/three days.

Each child should bring a water bottle daily.

Masks are required and social distancing guidelines will be followed.

Share

Lyme’s Traditional Fourth of July Parade Cannot be Held This Year Due to COVID-19 Crowd Size Restrictions

Lyme’s Fourth of July parade will not take place this year. File photo from a previous parade by Michele Dickey.

LYME — At their meeting Monday afternoon, the Lyme Board of Selectmen discussed whether the Fourth of July parade, which traditionally takes place on Cove Rd., should be held this year. First Selectman Steve Mattson stressed “It is not a Town of Lyme function,” but rather, “A community function … whoever shows up walks, rides or whatever.”

Mattson said, “It is my opinion that the event should not be held this year.” Selectman John Kiker agreed, saying, “I just think it’s too soon,” and Selectman Parker Lord added, “I agree it’s the thing to do.”

In addition, recognizing the revised restrictions imposed by Governor Lamont in terms of the size of public gatherings, the Town has now posted the following announcement on their website advising residents, “The traditional Cove Road July 4th Parade cannot be held this year, in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order #7TT, which prohibits public gatherings of more than 25 people during this phase of the pandemic.”

Share

Neviaser “Very Pleased” with Governor’s Plan to Reopen All CT Schools in Fall 2020

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser

OLD LYME — Asked his reaction to Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona’s announcement yesterday that all schools statewide should plan to reopen to all students in the fall of 2020, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser told LymeLine exclusively by phone this morning that he is “very pleased with the Governor’s plan.”

The plan calls for mandatory mask-wearing by students and staff with certain exceptions, cohorting so that teams function independently as much as possible, and social distancing combined with heightened health and safety protocols.

The full press release from the Governor’s office is published in its entirety below.

Neviaser said, “I’m especially glad to see that they’re giving local flexibility … one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to schools … schools are different sizes, have different populations … or to put it another way, we’re different from Old Saybrook and East Lyme … and Hartford.”

Regarding next steps, Neviaser explained, “We have two committees already in place that have been anxiously awaiting this guidance.” He said that apart from the full return to school option, they have been looking into “remote learning” and also “a hybrid model with students coming into school on alternate days.”

Now the committees will work intensively to determine the optimum ways to implement the Governor’s plans specifically for Lyme-Old Lyme Schools. Neviaser said, “Ideally, we’ll get everyone back [to school] in a way that follows all the guidelines to keeps students and staff safe.” He added that LOL Schools will be working with the local health departments to ensure they comply with all health and safety guidelines.

Asked whether he thought the fall sports program would take place, Neviaser responded, “We intend to [have it in place] … the CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference) does too [for all schools in the conference] — we just don’t have any details yet.”

Finally, Neviaser noted that he does not know yet whether LOL Schools will have to supply masks to students and faculty, if the state will supply them or if students and faculty will be required to supply their own. Indicating he awaits further direction on that, he said that in the meantime, “I just have no idea.”

The following is the full press release issued by Governor Ned Lamont’s office yesterday, June 25:  Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona announced details yesterday of the framework to allow all students – in all school districts statewide – the opportunity to have access to in-school, full-time instruction at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year, as long as public health data continues to support this model.

While Connecticut has determined reopening schools for in-person instruction can be achieved based upon the state’s successful COVID-19 containment efforts, this model will be supported with more intensive mitigation strategies and specific monitoring, containment, and class cancellation plans.

“While we’ve made good strides to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Connecticut, the virus hasn’t gone away and we need to do what we can to keep students and staff safe while also doing our best to provide our young people with access to an education that prepares them for the future,” Governor Lamont said.

He continued, “Working with public health and medical experts, and with the support of our educators, we are preparing a number of steps that protect the health and safety of everyone who makes contact with our school system.”

In assessing the approach to a required operating model, the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) considered input from school representatives, educators, families, students, educational stakeholders, advocacy organizations, and union representatives. The department conducted a review of nationally and globally published school reopening plans. The importance of access to in-person schooling rose as a priority related to educational opportunities, safety, wellbeing, and social-emotional learning.

“This pandemic represents more than a virus, it represents an historic disruption to our school communities and created barriers to how we best deliver academic and non-academic supports in a way that is accessible, equitable, and meaningful,” Commissioner Cardona said.

“Addressing the educational setbacks and the social-emotional toll caused by COVID-19 is best addressed by maximizing in-person instructional time,” noted Cardona, adding, “In developing this plan, we worked in close consultation with public health officials to prioritize the safety of our school communities and, just as intensively, engaged students, parents, and educators for their critical input. We stand with our districts, educators and families as we commit to making 2020-21 a year devoted to creativity, innovation, courage, and reimagining education together.”

In addition to the framework released today, SDE plans to release a more detailed guidance document next week that will provide more comprehensive information for school districts.

**DownloadExecutive summary of Connecticut’s 2020-21 school planning
**DownloadPresentation on Connecticut’s 2020-21 school planning

Framework for Connecticut Schools During the 2020-21 Academic Year
Guiding Principles

As Connecticut schools plan to reopen, the guidance and considerations outlined in this framework are grounded in six guiding principles:

  1. Safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff;
  2. Allowing all students the opportunity to return into the classrooms full time starting in the fall;
  3. Monitoring the school populations and, when necessary, potentially cancelling classes in the future to appropriately contain COVID-19 spread;
  4. Emphasizing equity, access, and support to the students and communities who are emerging from this historic disruption;
  5. Fostering strong two-way communication with partners such as families, educators and staff; and
  6. Factoring into decisions about reopening the challenges to the physical safety and social-emotional well-being of our students when they are not in school.

These guiding principles require all districts to develop their plans with a certain level of consistency, however they retain wide discretion in implementing approaches to reopening given unique local considerations. School districts must balance their planning with contingency plans to provide robust, blended learning or remote learning for all grades in the event that a school, district, or region has to cancel or limit in-person classes due to health precautions.

Main Operational Considerations

Cohorting

  • Districts should emphasize grouping students by the same class/group of students and teacher (into a cohort) so each team functions independently as much as possible. Consider this methodology by grade levels.
  • Placing students in cohorts is strongly encouraged for grades K-8, and encouraged where feasible for grades 9-12.

Social Distancing and Facilities

  • Review building space and reconfigure available classroom space, such as gymnasiums and auditoriums, to maximize social distancing, consistent with public health guidelines in place at that time.

Transportation

  • Districts should plan for buses to operate close to capacity with heightened health and safety protocols, including requiring all students and operators wear face coverings.
  • Plans must be developed to activate increased social distancing protocols based upon community spread.

Face Coverings

  • All staff and students will be expected to wear a protective face covering or face mask that completely covers the nose and mouth when inside the school building, except for certain exceptions including when teachers are providing instruction.

Ensuring Equity and Access

  • Equitable access to education is a top priority that supports a full-time in-school model by mitigating any barriers to education or opportunity gaps that increased during the pandemic. Efforts to support equity, close the opportunity gap, and provide a wide range of support for students in the state is best achieved with in-person schooling opportunities for all ages.
  • Districts should identify gaps and develop action plans for reopening that specifically address inclusion, equity, and access for all learners with strategies and clearly defined action steps.
Share

Lyme Land Trust Hosts Annual Meeting This Evening Via Zoom

LYME — The Lyme Land Conservation Trust will host its Annual Meeting virtually via Zoom, Friday, June 26, at 6 p.m.

The agenda is as follows:
Welcome – Kristina White
Overview of Year – John Pritchard
Presentation of By-laws revisions and vote – Dan Hulseberg
Re-election of Board Members – Ann Rich
Presentation of Volunteer of the Year – Mal Karwoski
The Zoom meeting details are:
Website: https://zoom.usMeeting ID: 863 9314 1385
Password: 517285
To dial in with phone: +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Share

Lyme Ambulance Association Seeks IT Volunteer, Four Hours Per Month

Carl Clement (left) accompanied by George Mooney and other members of Lyme Ambulance Department march in the 2017 July 4 parade. File photo by C. Judy.

LYME — Lyme Ambulance Association is looking for a volunteer Information Technology Person to assist with a variety of tasks including simple web updates (training is available), interactions with the hosting provider and monitoring the donation widget.

The approximate time requirement is four hours each month, but could be longer if desired.

For further information, contact Ariana Eaton at 860.510.2815 or deputychief@lymeambulance.org

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Award Four Scholarships to LOLHS Seniors


OLD LYME — On Wednesday, June 17, the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions awarded four $1500 scholarships to deserving Lyme-Old Lyme High School Seniors in the Meeting Hall at the Old Lyme Town Hall.

Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold, right in photo above, presented the scholarships and was assisted by Michael Kolar, President of the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions, left in photo.

Also pictured in the photo above are, from left to right:

  • Kyle Myers, recipient of the Don McCue Memorial Scholarship, which is offered in memory of Donald McCue, a man dedicated to his community
  • Evan St.Louis, recipient of the Lew Krouse Memorial Scholarship, which is offered in memory of one of the greatest Lions to belong to the LOL Lions Club. In honor of his profession, the primary criteria for award eligibility is a desire to pursue an undergraduate degree in communications. Other criteria that will affect the decision include community service, academics, and athletics.
  • Julia Stout, recipient of the Harold Nickerson Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded based on a combination of scholastic and athletic achievement.
  • Elizabeth Cravinho, recipient of the Ralph Kehoe Memorial Scholarship, awarded to a graduating senior with a solid academic record, who has been accepted as a full-time student at a post-high school accredited institution and involved in some community and/or school activities.
Share

Happy Father’s Day!

Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

Happy Father’s Day to all our readers who are fathers or serve as father figures in someone’s life.

And to celebrate the day, here are a few of our favorite quotes on the subject of fathers and fatherhood – feel free to share yours!

“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.”
– Unknown

“A father picks you up when you fall, brushes you off and lets you try again.”
– Unknown

“A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be.”
– Frank A. Clark

“Anyone who tells you fatherhood is the greatest thing that can happen to you, they are understating it.”
– Mike Myers

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us.”
– Umberto Eco

“Every father should remember one day his son will follow his example, not his advice.”
– Charles Kettering

“You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons.  And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes.”
– Walter M. Schirra, Sr.

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Recognize Four Students with CABE Leadership Awards

Emily Balocca (left), pictured in this screenshot from the June 6 LOL Board of Education virtual meeting was the female recipient of the 2020 CABE Student Leadership Award. Emily’s mother Katie is pictured at right in photo.

OLD LYME — Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser and the LOL Board of Education recognized Emily Balocca and Raymond Doll at the June 3 Board of Education meeting as recipients of Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) Student Leadership Awards. Both Balocca and Doll are 12th grade students at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

Delaney Nelson and Justin Green, who are 8th grade students at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, were also recently recognized with CABE Student Leadership Award.

Students are nominated to receive this award by their school principal and must have exhibited the following leadership skills:

  • Willingness to take on challenges
  • Capability to make difficult decisions
  • Concern for others
  • Ability to work with others
  • Willingness to commit to a project
  • Diplomacy
  • Ability to understand issues clearly
  • Ability to honor a commitment
Share

It’s (a Virtual) ‘Make Music Day’ Today!

Ramblin’ Dan Stevens entertains audiences outside Nightingale’s at last year’s ‘Make Music Day.’

OLD LYME — It’s Make Music Day on Sunday, June 21, which is also the longest day of the year!

Readers may recall last year’s event in Old Lyme was hugely successful but this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Make Music Southeastern CT 2020 will be a virtual event with live, free, and accessible music that anyone can enjoy from home.

Visit this link for further information … and enjoy!

Share

It’s Juneteenth — But What Does That Mean? (from ‘The Boston Globe’)

LYME / OLD LYME — To be honest, we have never mentioned Juneteenth before on LymeLine.com but, in a sign of the times, we feel we can’t let this day pass us by this year without comment.

Quiet, overwhelmingly white Lyme and Old Lyme have already displayed a remarkable awareness of the changing world in which we are living with rallies for racial justice in each town on the most recent two weekends.

Something is happening — even in our peaceful, rural backwaters — that is touching the community conscience and sparking action.

We stumbled on this powerful opinion piece by Adrian Walker titled, What we celebrate this Juneteenth, published yesterday (June 18) in The Boston Globe, which digs deeper into this ongoing phenomenon and explains the history of Juneteenth far better than we are able.

Walker says,  “And this Juneteenth finds Americans in the streets, joined again in a battle for that elusive idea of freedom. Fighting, once again, for true equity in the land where all of us were created equal. As much as anything, Juneteenth is an observance of promises still waiting to be delivered.

He concludes, “If we are lucky and brave and bold, this insane year of pandemic, uprising, and upheaval might be another beginning. Americans stand on the shoulders of idealists, but grounded in the realities of the oppressed. Juneteenth, from its beginning, has been a monument to that tension.

For once, that drama is front and center.

Read Walker’s full column at this link.

Share

Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation’s 15th Annual Walk Goes Virtual, Registration Now Open

LYME/OLD LYME — Registration for the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation’s 15th annual walk is open.

This year, the foundation is hosting a “Virtual Walk to Cure Breast Cancer” on Saturday, Oct. 3, but participants can walk, run or bike anywhere they choose at any time. Registration is available online at www.TBBCF.org

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, registration will be open through the end of October. A few virtual events are planned on or around Oct. 3, the designated Walk Day. The plan is to be able to gather together again in person, as a foundation, the first Saturday in October, 2021.

The registration fee is $25 and is non-refundable. Participants must be 12 and older. Because this is an extraordinary year, and the potential challenges around fundraising are recognized, fundraising targets for 2020 have been reduced as follows: $150 for all walkers and $100 for cancer survivors and students, ages 12 to 22. As in past years, all fundraising should be completed by the end of the year.

The foundation acknowledges and supports the many participants, who set their own fundraising goals, and raise much more money for breast cancer research than required.

Although the format of the signature walk has changed for this year, the mission stays the same – a commitment to fight breast cancer by directing 100 percent of gross fundraising dollars directly to breast cancer research.

Since 2020 is virtual, the foundation hopes friends and family from across the country and the globe will join in this fundraising event.

Share