From the Superintendent
Welcome to Regional School District 13: Durham/Middlefield. Together our two communities combine to create an outstanding school district and learning community that is characterized by pride and commitment. Our decisions are based upon our District mission and our individual and collective actions are predicated upon our Core Ethical Values. Our mission statement highlights our reverence for the traditions that exist in our communities and within our schools while acknowledging the importance of challenging yet caring learning experiences. We understand and embrace the concept of change and acknowledge that we are contributing citizens of the world. Our shared Core Ethical Values of respect, responsibility, honesty, kindness and courage provide us with a shared sense of pride. We are guided by our values and they provide both a guiding star and a measure of our integrity. We support one another, we believe in the good work that we do on behalf of children and we know for certain that collectively we are contributing to our community and to the world.
As we begin 2014 our work is marked by significant firsts in educational history. With states from across the country we are embarking on changes in curriculum due to the framework of the Common Core State Standards that in turn effects changes in teaching and learning. Our statewide assessments have changed to match these changes and this spring will mark the first full-district administration of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. The framework and process by which teachers and other certified staff members are evaluated has also changed across the state. While these significant shifts are an indication of increased knowledge and a more targeted and refined focus on teaching, learning and accountability, it represents a remarkable commitment of time, energy and resources at the local school level.
In Region 13 we are currently working as an administrative team with the Board of Education to present a budget to the community that is clear and responsible and is easy to understand in terms of its connections to our mission and the District goals. Our budget must maintain and enhance the programming, staffing and other resources that make our students successful. The process of building a responsible budget includes keeping a careful eye on the future. Similar to the trend in Connecticut and across the northeast, our enrollment projections in the foreseeable future show a decrease. This is also an important variable in our decision-making as we move through the Utilization Study process which is coordinated by DRA with an intended outcome of making an informed decision about our building usage.
Our work is truly courageous in our refusal to compromise our Core Ethical Values in pursuit of our shared mission.
Kathryn Y. Veronesi, Ed.D
Dr. Veronesi sends out a monthly update to parents and families in District 13. Read the latest update here. Past months updates will remain on the site, just in case you miss one.
June 12, 2014
Dear Parents and Families,
At the end of the month I will have been here in district for six months. It has been an amazing introduction to a very fine school district. Yesterday when I left my office and drove down Pickett Lane I once again saw the sight that first drew me to District 13. Children and families were out and about on the fields. It was close to 7 pm so some were headed out to their cars perhaps headed home for a late dinner. This time I was able to recognize some of the children as “my” students. The end of the year has included many events at our schools with celebrations of learning, the arts and athletics. I hope you have been able to pause from your busy schedules to enjoy these special events in our school community.
As we head into the summer, please know that I am available and do not hesitate to reach out to me at my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns, or ideas you may have.
A few updates as we close out the year:
New High School Principal
At a special Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night, Brian Falcone was appointed as the next Principal of Coginchaug Regional High School. Mr. Falcone will begin his tenure here in Region 13 on July 1st. Please join me in extending a gracious welcome to him. I would like to acknowledge the members of the search committee who worked within a confidential and professional process to select the best candidate for our high school. Mr. Falcone is currently the Principal of Terryville High School where he has been principal since 2010. Prior to that he was an Assistant Principal at Eli Terry Middle School, Prospect Street Elementary School and Main Street Elementary School. Mr. Falcone began his teaching career at Eli Terry Elementary School in Stratford in 1999 where he taught sixth grade until 2005. Mr. Falcone attended Sacred Heart University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree (1998) and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education (1999). He went on to receive a Sixth Year in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University in 2004. Mr. Falcone lives in Cheshire with his wife and three young daughters.
Please thank the members of our interview committee for their efforts in selecting an outstanding leader for our exceptional staff and school:
Amy Jacques-Purdy: Social Studies Elizabeth Shoudy: Transition Counselor, Parent
Nancy Boyle: BOE Elizabeth Coon: Special Education
Anthony Onofreo: BOE Lynn Schofield: Guidance
Patrick Gustafson: Administration, CRHS Erika Anderson: Science
Scott Sadinsky: Administration, Strong Middle School Jeff Siena: Custodian
Craig Bradanini: Math/REA Co-President Oahn Stephan: Parent
Shari Adams: Parent Kari Kuehnle: Support Staff
Pam McDuff: Administrative Assistant to the Principal, CRHS
Thank you for taking the time to complete the School Climate Survey that was available on-line. The results of this survey inform us in terms of areas where we are performing well and where we can make improvements. Of particular interest to us are your perceptions of how well we are communicating as individual staff members and as schools. Please continue to share any feedback you may have with the administrator at your child’s school.
A reception will be held in the cafeteria at CRHS on Monday June 16th from 2:30-4:30 to honor this year’s retirees: Jack Fairburn, Ted Lombardo, Fran Pease, and Barry Mickle. Parents and community members are welcome to attend. We would enjoy your company, so please don’t hesitate to attend.
The Utilization Committee continues to meet to review the outcomes of the Facilities Utilization Study conducted by DRA. They are currently reviewing the Executive Summary as well as a projected timeline that would guide the calendar for any facilities work that will be done in our district. Several considerations must be taken into account when planning for any type of facility work including accessing bids, submissions of plans to the state, legislative approval, a town vote, and other time sensitive requirements. For this reason the very earliest that even beginning stages of work would be started would be 3 years. The committee has reviewed all possible options proposed by DRA and is narrowing their focus to specific options that appear most viable given current and projected enrollment, building specifications, and necessary renovations. As the committee moves closer to suggesting an option to the Board of Education they are aware that other existing facilities and capital improvements would also be considered at that time.
Congratulations to the CRHS Softball team for advancing to the quarterfinals of the CIAC Softball tournament. The team had wins over Parish Hill, East Granby and St. Bernard, then losing to Shoreline Conference rivals, Old Saybrook, with a score of 4 to 5. Great effort by the coaching staff and student-athletes!
The Girls’ Track team finished their regular season 2nd in the Shoreline Conference Meet and 2nd in the Class S State Championships, which is the highest placing in over 10 years.
1st Team All-Conference honors went to:
• 4x800 meter relay team: Jessica Drop, Samantha Drop, Bailey Thayer and Allie Alsup.
• 4x100 meter relay team: Bailey Maus, Allison Luther, Megan Decker and Kasi Whitacker.
• 4x400 meter relay team: Bailey Maus, Jessica Drop, Allison Luther and Bailey Thayer.
All three relays set new school records this season. Jessica Drop also achieved All-State in the 800 meter run.
At the State Open, the girls’ 4x800 meter relay placed 4th overall and broke their own school record by another 10 seconds, qualifying them for the elite championship race at Nationals. The 4x800 meter relay team will compete on Saturday in Greensboro, NC.
Congratulations to Christian Alberico of the Boys’ Track team for achieving both All-Conference and All-State honors. Christian was All-Conference in the 1600 meter and 3200 meter run. He achieved All-State honors in the 3200 meter run.
I am proud of your children. Thank you for your continued support of our schools.
Kathryn Y. Veronesi, Ed.D.