New year brings new faces, tech to Fairfield schools
FAIRFIELD — The day the kids dread and the parents long for is almost here — the first day of school, Aug. 30.
And this year, there are plenty of changes in store.
The Board of Education has adopted a “Vision of the Graduate,” which Superintendent of Schools Toni Jones said has six tenets to it. All students are expected to be critical thinkers, collaborators, communicators, innovators, goal-directed and resilient learners, and responsible citizens.
“How are we going to enhance instruction in the classroom to make sure they have what they need when they graduate?” Jones said. One way, she said, is through the use of Chromebooks.
All incoming seventh-graders will get an assigned Chromebook starting this year.
“Chromebooks aren’t new for us, Jones said. “We’ve had Chromebooks and we’ve used Google Suite.”
But, Jones said, students shared the Chromebooks and laptops. They’d go into a classroom and take a laptop off a cart, requiring them to log on again, and lose instructional time. “It’s to really help out in the classroom,” she said.
Now students will get an assigned Chromebook, one they alone would use, and take home with them. Students at the high school level will also receive the laptops, starting this year with the ninth grade. The Chromebooks remain the property of the school district, much like a textbook.
At the K-5 level, Jones said, STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts and math — will be on a rotation to make sure students are introduced to it an early age. “And we want to make sure that they have access at all of the schools to things like coding and introduction to robotics.”
The school district has also made some new appointments, a few from within the school system and some from outside.
Ian Banner is the new principal at Sherman School. Banner has served as the assistant principal at Roger Ludlowe Middle School since 2010, and has also worked as a teacher at North Stratfield.
Steven DeAngelo, the dean of students at Roger Ludlowe Middle School for 12 years, has been appointed the assistant principal at Roger Ludlowe and Fairfield Woods middle schools.
Teresa Gingrave, the new principal at McKinley School, comes to Fairfield from Rhode Island, where she was an elementary school principal, English language director, K-12 STEM director, and classroom teacher.
Brian Keating has been hired as a housemaster at Fairfield Warde High School. He was the interim director of an alternative high school program in Greenwich. He began his career as an English teacher in Danbury.
David Hudspeth is the new principal at Osborn Hill School. He was an instructional improvement teacher and a gifted program teacher for the district, and was a teacher at Osborn Hill.
School starts for all students on Aug. 30, although teachers will be working Aug. 27-29 in professional development. Parents should check their school’s website for information on orientation days and the open house schedule.
The elementary school day runs from 8:55 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., except for Holland Hill. Holland Hill hours are 8:10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Middle schools start at 8:10 a.m. and end at 2:50 p.m., while Fairfield Warde and Fairfield Ludlowe run from 7:30 a.m. to 2:10 p.m. The Walter Fitzgerald hours are 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.