The mission of the Fairfield Public Schools is to inspire students to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to be lifelong learners, responsible citizens and successful participants in an ever changing global society. So too are the ever changing events and updates within the schools.
Newly implemented for parents this year is ‘Infinite Campus’, a web-based student information system designed to improve access to student data and communication between faculty, students and parents. Information provided will include constant updates on assignments, communications from the schools, grades, attendance and personal household information.
For the first time in nearly two decades, the federal government recently issued new nutrition standards for meals served to America’s schoolchildren, based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This year school lunches will have a new look with many more healthy choices for your child each day. Changes this year include limits on calories, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium in school meals. Each lunch will include five meal components: Meat or meat alternative (i.e.: yogurt, lean beef, chicken or low-fat cheese), Grain (whole wheat bread or brown rice), Fruit selection (fresh or canned when the availability of fresh fruit is limited), Vegetable (dark green and red/orange raw or cooked) and Milk selections (low fat or fat free). The biggest change is that students ‘must’ select a fruit or veggie with their lunch each day.
From 2009 to 2014/2015 the total grade enrollments are projected to increase from 9,899 to 10,254 students, creating a need for the expansion/upgrades in many schools. Dwight Elementary, Roger Sherman Elementary, Osborn Hill Elementary, Fairfield Woods Middle School and Fairfield Ludlowe High are each involved in varying construction projects.
Increased Security Measures: Last spring the Fairfield Police Dept. spearheaded efforts to improve security in each of the schools in town. Efforts that include:
- a school security task force that will focus solely on safety and crime prevention in schools and will provide a police presence in the district
- consistent security training to all teachers, administrators, and other school personnel across the district
- establishing better communication and information sharing between the department and school teachers and administrators.
The legislature and state officials established a ‘School Safety Infrastructure Council’ to develop safety infrastructure standards for school building projects such as reinforcement of entry ways, ballistic glass, solid core doors, double door access, computer controlled electronic locks, remote locks on all entrances and exits, along with buzzer systems, camera’s and other security devices as they become industry standards. “School should be a safe place for learning and we’re doing everything in our power to insure that,” said Sgt. Lussier.
New Principals abound in Fairfield Schools as Meg Tiley, who for the last year has been the Housemaster of Webster House, Fairfield Ludlowe High, has been selected as the new Principal of Ludlowe Middle School, succeeding Glenn Mackno who is retiring. Sally Bonina, Principal of Derby High School for the last 7 years has been selected as the new Principal at Tomlinson Middle School succeeding the retiring Connee Dawson. Scott Bannon, Dwight Elementary Schools Principal resigned. Mimi Maniscalco, an interim Asst principal at Saxe Middle School in New Canaan will take over as their Principal and Ginger Vail; Principal at McKinley School also resigned. Leslie Pearson, Asst Principal at Miller-Driscoll School in Wilton will assume this position.
Philip Dwyer, Chairman, Fairfield Board of Ed, presented a proposal of the 2013 to 2014 budget to the Board of Selectmen for consideration, with an operating budget in the amount of $155,829,234. This proposed budget represents a 4.63% increase over last years'. “In developing this budget we balanced the needs of our highly regarded school system with the financial capabilities of our town. The single driving force in this budget is the sharp increase in the cost of health insurance. Approximately 79% of the increase in this budget is due to this one factor.” Higher than expected claims combined with the increased costs of services and federal mandates along with Pension costs due to non-certified staff are the main reasons for this large increase.
For more information please visit www.fairfieldschools.org.
Fun fact: Fairfield boasts a total of 16 public schools, 7 private elementary schools, 2 private high schools and 2 private universities!