BETHEL PUBLIC SCHOOLS E-NEWS
This week our beloved Dr. Cosentino accepted the Superintendency in Region 12. We extend heart-felt, though bitter sweet, congratulations to Dr. Cosentino. During her tenure in Bethel, “Dr. C.” has presided over two significant school renovation projects, moved BHS to NEASC accreditation, and contributed to a transformed culture of learning in Bethel. We wish her the very best in her new role!
Dr. Cosentino will serve as principal of BHS through the remainder of the school year and will begin her new work in Region 12 on July 1st. A search committee is currently being formed to find a suitable replacement.
As I have noted previously in this newsletter, to respond to a $400,000 budget reduction necessitates that we eliminate teaching positions. I share this information with the community at this point in the process because I firmly believe in transparency, and I also would like the community to understand that decisions like this are not made in the short term as a result of short-sighted thinking. Annually, in large part as a result of budget concerns, we review our staffing needs and examine worst-case scenarios. We critically assess all of the “what if’s?” and attempt to come to some better understanding about how to serve our children and families through maximum efficiency. ” What you will read below is the result of careful deliberation over a period of time. Consideration is given to short term and long term needs and weighs a multitude of factors. Our plan is also an initial plan. We come together regularly to assess this decision and incorporate any new thinking and adjust accordingly.
At this point in time, our current plan calls for the elimination of five teaching positions: 4 elementary school positions and 1 middle school position. These are actual teachers in actual positions. There is little likelihood at this point that we will be able to absorb these cuts through attrition.
Given the very many possibilities, our goal is to make cuts that will do the least amount of harm system-wide. Because we have operated under status quo budgets for years, staffing is the only place left to make reductions that will achieve the budget proposed by the Board of Finance.
The elementary school positions were selected based on a host of considerations. These cuts raise class sizes at the elementary level. The middle school position is a world languages position. Beginning next year, we will no longer offer world language instruction in grade 6. World language class sizes in 7th and 8th grade will increase.
The Public Hearing on April 4th will provide all residents an opportunity to speak directly to the Board of Finance regarding current budget proposals. This is an opportunity for parents to express their thoughts and questions. This meeting will take place at 7:30pm in the Bethel High School auditorium. I encourage all to attend this meeting.
All of the Board of Education Budget information is posted on our district website.
The Board of Education’s presentation to the BOF can be found on our homepage. (Click here)
Spread the Word
There is a great deal of good news about our schools right now. I encourage all parents and stakeholders to take some time get better acquainted with all of our budget, achievement, and program information that can be found on our website in order to understand all that we have accomplished to date and how we have done so while making every effort to contain costs. This link (Click here) will send you to a summary of recent accomplishments.
Brown Bag Lunch
If anyone would be interested in talking about some of these items in person, I invite you to contact my office and join me for a brown bag lunch. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (203)794-8601.
Many of you have recently seen articles concerning the addition of Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) to most ground beef sold in the United States since around 1990.
We are pleased to inform you that the United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created a new option for school lunch programs beginning with the 2012-13 school year that will enable Bethel Public Schools to purchase ground beef through the USDA commodities program without the addition of LFTB. As a result, we have directed Sodexo, our school food service company, to ONLY purchase ground beef without LFTB at the start of the 2012-13 school year.
USDA Press Release The press release affirms the safety of the LFTB product. The ground beef served in our cafeterias will contain LFTB through the end of this school year. As always, please instruct your children in accordance with your wishes when purchasing school lunches.
We are proud to announce this year’s district winners for the HRRA recycling poster contest!
The following list of winners will be recognized and awarded their ribbons at the Thursday, March 29thBoard of Education meeting at the Bethel Municipal Center. All winners and their families are invited to attend.
District Wide 2012 HRRA Recycling Poster Contest Winners
Congratulations to BHS junior Madhumita Das, who will begin an internship in June at the University of Virginia with Dr. Scott MacDonnell. In this internship, Madhumita will be conducting research related to renal disease. In preparation for this internship, she spent time last summer in a lab working on tissue engineering and drug discovery. In addition to these research opportunities, Madhumita also maintains a high academic average and participates in the Partners in Science program at Boehringer Ingelheim.
Congratulations to eight BMS choir students for being nominated for, and participating in, the Western Region Middle School Music Festival, held March 16 & 17 at WCSU. These students prepared music weekly after school with their music teacher, Todd Gorski, and joined choir students from nearly every middle school in Fairfield County to create a large choir of the highest quality. These students spent two days under the direction of Sophia Miller, a conductor of the Young People's Chorus in New York City. Congratulations to all of them for two months of hard work that culminated in an outstanding concert on Saturday! They are:
Sebastian (Celso) Fernandez
Congratulations to BHS students Aidan Ford and Elizabeth Locke, who were winners at the state's annual science fair at Quinnipiac University this past weekend. Aidan's project was titled, "Pigeon Talk: A Bio-acoustical Analysis of Variation in Male Fantail Pigeon Display Calls" and she was awarded the Audubon Connecticut & Arch Chemical Environmental Award. Elizabeth's project was titled, "Methods of Cleaning up an Oil Spill" and she was awarded a $50 savings bond and certificate from the U.S. Army.
Congratulations to BMS students Nicolas Cazzangia, Jessica MacIntyre, and Kallan Hook who were winners at the state's annual science fair at Quinnipiac University this past weekend. Nicolas' project was titled, "The Effects of Different Organic Materials on the Number of Ants Repelled." He was awarded the Pfizer Life Science Award, the Audubon Connecticut & Arch Chemical Environmental Award. The team of Jessica and Kallan won the Dominion's Millstone Power Station Physical Science Award and a $100 check from the American Society for Metals for their project, "How Does Combining Metals Lead to Rust Development?"
“Engaging Boy Writers” The Bethel Public Schools is hosting a parent/teacher workshop entitled "Engaging Boy Writers." Our guest speaker, Dr. Ralph Fletcher, has written many books on the topic of how to teach writing. He has toured the country enlightening his audiences while helping teachers and parents better understand boys and nurture them as writers. In clear language, he will give us his foundational principles as well as the major components we need as teachers and parents to help boys flourish as writers.
After his 45 minute presentation there will be time for questions, answers, and discussion. This presentation will be on Tuesday evening, March 27, 2012. Come join us at 7 pm in Berry School.
Summer’s BEST 2012
SAVE THE DATES: Bethel’s Summer’s BEST Programs will take place this summer from July 2-
July 27, 2012.
Summer’s BEST 2012 has arrived! The Bethel Public Schools will be offering many new and dynamic programs. We hope to create a summertime adventure of discovery, fun, and learning that will build knowledge and enrich your child. The goal of the summer program is to encourage children to explore new skills, talents, and interests as well as maintain and sharpen academic skills, boost academic confidence, and reinforce the value of education.
The Enrichment programs are self- funding. The cost of each program is set to cover the cost of the teacher and the materials. You will be sending your child to a fun, safe, educational program.
Enrichment registration begins on April 30, 2012 at the Bethel Board of Education Office. You may register after April 30th by mail or through the schools. Program information is available on our website or click here for Summer’s BEST Brochure and Registration Information
Save the month of July to enroll your child in a rewarding summer experience!
Presidential Service Awards
Presidential Service Awards - All records of volunteer hours are due to Linda Anderson at BHS by April 1st. Please see below for the criteria for each award.
Award Criteria: Any individual, family, or group can receive Presidential recognition for volunteer hours earned over a 12-month period or over the course of a lifetime at home or abroad. The following are the eligibility requirements for each age group:
Kids: Age 5-14
Young Adults: Individual Age 15-25
Adults: Individual Age 26 +
Presidential Volunteer Service Award Criteria Bronze Level
Kids: 50 to 74 hours
Young Adults: 100 to 174 hours
Adults: 100 to 249 hours
Family & Groups: 200 to 499 hours
Presidential Volunteer Service Award Criteria Silver Level.
Kids: 75 to 99 hours
Young Adults: 175 to 249 hours
Adults: 250 to 499 hours
Family & Groups: 500 to 999 hours
Presidential Volunteer Service Award Criteria Gold Level.
Kids: 100 hours or more
Young Adults: 250 hours or more
Adults: 500 hours or more
Family & Groups: 1000 hours or more
President’s Call to Service Award Presidential Volunteer Service Award Criteria All Ages
4,000 hours or more of volunteer service (over a lifetime).
Circle of Friends/Kindergarten News
Pre-School Screening - Are you concerned that your child might be experiencing developmental delays?
If so, you and your child (3-5 years old) are encouraged to participate in a Circle of Friends screening. While meeting the staff to discuss concerns or ask questions regarding your child’s development, your child will take part in informal play activities that include songs and motor activities.
The preschool team includes the Supervisor of Special Education, Preschool Special Education Teachers, Speech/Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist and School Social Worker.
Wednesday, March 28th from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Pre-registration is appreciated but drop-ins are welcomed.
For more information please contact Katharine MacDonald at 794-8679.
The Pre-school screen is open to Bethel residents only
Reminder to Parents about Kindergarten Registration
If you have a child who will be 5 years old on or before January 1, 2013, he/she is eligible to start kindergarten in August. If you have not already pre-registered, please do so by calling Sue White at 203-830-7355, Monday–Friday, between 9 AM and 3 PM.
If you have already received your registration packet, please call your child’s assigned school to set up a registration/screening appointment as soon as possible.
Berry School – 203-794-8680
Rockwell School – 203-794-8690
Middle School News
Middle school yearbooks are still on sale. They may be ordered online at JostensYearbooks.com or click here for the order form and submit (with a check for $36 made out to BMS Yearbook) to Mrs. Malatesta in the Library Information Center.
High School News
Bethel High Science Department Chair, Dr. Christopher Longo successfully defended his dissertation on March 10th at WCSU. His research took place at Bethel Middle School from October 2010 to April 2011. There were 229 students and 4 teachers who took part in this research, titled "Effects of an inquiry-based science program on critical thinking, science process skills, creativity and science fair achievement of middle school students." Learn more about this research at: http://prezi.com/gcm4td0dr76v/longo-doctoral-dissertation/
The Building a Bridge to Improve Student Success Program of Western Connecticut State University allows BHS students to participate in a Hurricane Research Program each year. This program is a collaborative between WCSU and the Danbury/Bethel Public Schools. The students have the opportunity each Thursday to learn how to conduct hurricane research which includes: preparing hurricane data charts, examining streamlines and hurricane temperatures, and understanding the daily operations of hurricane researchers. The program is headed by Dr. Albert Owino, Director of Western Connecticut’s Hurricane Research Program, along with Bridges leader, Marjorie Salem. Students participating in this year's program are Freshmen Victor Vieira and Quinn Vissak.
Each year, Bethel High students participate in Project Clear (Candlewood Lake Environmental Awareness and Responsibility Project), a program run in conjunction with Education Connection. Students conduct research with environmental scientists, students and science teachers from other schools, and members of the Candlewood Lake Authority (CLA). Through this research, students learn about the lake's ecology and social history. Students are chosen for this program by completing an application and essay. Students chosen for this year's program are: Bryan Rodriguez, Erik Thode, Kathryn Kennedy, Jon Delosantos, Will Ballard, Jen Cote, Sara Islam, Ashley Johnson, Alison Baranovich, Elizabeth Baranovich, Matt Janisch, Victoria Maceira, Jillian Giambruno, Vatsal Bhagwani, Paige Piera, Romana Pilepich, Brianna Paiva, Natalia Stifano, and Aiden Ford.
The BHS Key Club will be holding the third annual Easter Egg Hunt at Meckauer Park on Sunday, April 1st. The hunt begins promptly at 11:00, noon and 1:00. Admission is $5 per child. Bring your Easter basket and get ready for a hopping good time of games, sweets and more. We look forward to seeing you then!
International Dinner at Bethel High - Bring your friends and family to experience all of the great foods and talents Bethel High has to offer! The World Language Honor Society invites you to our first annual International Dinner on Tuesday, April 10th, at 6 pm in the BHS Cafeteria. The night will include ethnic foods from current language students, competitive skits between classes, musical performances and chopstick and origami tutorials! Admission is free. For any questions or more information, please contact Abdullah Hasan at email@example.com or Nestor Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children of ALL Ages....“Jack and the Beanstalk”- The Bethel High School On Stage Players will present two performances of the children’s play “Jack and the Beanstalk” on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 1:00 P.M. and 3:00 P.M. General admission is $5.00. Tickets reserved in advance will be $4.00. Anyone purchasing tickets at the door will be given a $1.00 discount on each ticket for each can of beans that is donated for the food pantry. Tickets may be reserved by emailing your order to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (203) 794- 8600, ext. 218.
NEED HELP FILLING OUT YOUR FAFSA? Naugatuck Valley Community College is hosting FAFSA Workshop on Saturday, March 24th. The workshop will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. If you plan on attending, be sure to bring the following information with you: 2011 federal tax return for parent and/or student; 2011 W2’s for parent and/or student; PIN for student and/or parent (this may be obtained prior to workshop by going to www.pin.ed.gov); green card (if you are an eligible non-citizen); social Security benefits amount received for 2011; 2011 food stamp and/or CASH amount; child support amount received in 2011; workmen’s compensation amount in 2011; and unemployment compensation amount received in 2011. For further event details, please call NVCC at 203-575-8274.
iPAD Raffle - The students traveling on the Bethel Abroad trip this summer are holding a fund-raiser to offset the cost of their trip to London, Paris, and Barcelona. We are selling raffle tickets for a 16GB iPad 2- 3G at $5.00 each. If you would like to purchase a ticket (and help in this fund-raising endeavor), you can purchase tickets from BHS teachers, Mari Lerz or Marjorie Overmier, or any of the Bethel Abroad students. We will be selling the tickets all spring. The drawing will be held in June.
Send cash or check (made out to BHS Student Activities) with your name, address, phone numbers and other important contact info to:
Bethel Abroad Program
c/o Mari Lerz and Marjorie Overmier
Bethel High School
300 Whittlesey Dr.
Bethel, CT. 06801
Don't miss out on an opportunity to win a great piece of technology!!!Thanks for supporting the Bethel Abroad program!
Elementary School Lunch News
Elementary Menu for March 26 – March 30
Monday – Oven-Baked Coleman’s All Natural Chicken Nuggets with Brown Rice OR Gardenburger on a Roll, daily selection of fresh healthy sides
Tuesday – Juicy Hamburger or Cheeseburger on a Roll with Tater Tots, daily selection of fresh healthy sides.
Wednesday – 100% Beef Coleman’s All Natural Hot Dog with 1/2 oz. Lay’s Potato Chips, daily selection of fresh healthy sides
Thursday – BREAKFAST FOR LUNCH French Toast Sticks with Breakfast Sausage, daily selection of fresh healthy sides
Friday - Freshly-Made Cheese or Pepperoni Pizza with Tossed Salad & Fresh-Baked Cookies or Tuna Sandwich, daily selection of fresh healthy sides
LUNCH PRICES –
Elementary - $2.45
Secondary - $2.85
Each lunch includes a main item, up to two sides and a milk.
Bethel Continuing Education News
Save gas Money – Try an Online Class at home! Bethel Continuing Education has a program that makes it easy for you to take high-quality, noncredit online courses, no matter where you are located. We have partnered with ed2go to offer hundreds of online, instructor-facilitated courses. This is your opportunity to brush up on an old skill, learn a new one, or take that course you have always been interested in. Most importantly, you will save money on gas! All of the courses provide well-crafted lessons, expert online instruction, and interaction with fellow students. You have the flexibility to study at your own pace, while still having enough structure and support to complete the course. Classroom access is available 24/7 from anywhere with an Internet connection. New sessions of each course run every month. They last six weeks, with two new lessons being released weekly (for a total of 12). The courses are entirely Web-based with comprehensive lessons, quizzes, and assignments. A dedicated expert instructor facilitates every course; pacing learners, answering questions, giving feedback, and facilitating discussions. To learn more, call Angela Guerriero at 203-794-8600 x450 or visit them online at www.ed2go.com/bethel.
Sports News & Information
You can now follow Bethel High School Athletics on Twitter @bethelsports
Free girls' basketball clinic next Monday, March 26th, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. at Bethel High School. This is open to all girls in the district.
Bethel Youth Football and Competitive Cheer Registration for the 2012 Season will be held
March 24th from 9AM – 1PM at the Municipal Center. Click here for more info.
Pro Access Teen Center News
What is your child doing after Friday night’s Ring Dinner?...Pro Access is having an all nighter to keep the party going! This is a great, safe way for your kids to continue the night of fun. We will be watching movies, playing games and more! We will be available at 5PM for kids to bring down their change of clothes, sleeping bags, pillows etc. or kids can come down directly after the dance. Kids not attending the dance who wish to come down, can come at 11PM. We will be opened until 8AM Saturday morning. Cost: $5. Please RSVP as soon as possible.
Art Class In this class you will learn to make beautiful artwork using charcoal. Each week we'll be doing a new project! Professional artist Laura McCormick will walk you through tons of interesting techniques and guide you in your creations. Whether you're an experienced artist or you can't draw a straight line, you're welcome to join this class. We'll be meeting for 3 Wednesdays starting next Wednesday, March 28. Cost: $20 (financial assistance available) RSVP necessary!
No Open Gym this Friday.
Next week we’ll be open on Wed. and Thurs. after school till 6PM and we’ll have Open Gym on Friday March 30.
For more information contact Hilda DeLucia at email@example.com or 203-778-7522.
Community News & Events
Announcing a SPECIAL INVITATION to all boys entering First to Fifth Grade!
Cub Scout Pack 54 is holding a NEW SCOUT RECRUITMENT NIGHT Wednesday, April 11, 7 - 8 PM at Rockwell’s Cafetoirum. Click here for more info.
Bethel Public Library Board Scholarship This one-year $500.00 scholarship is granted to a high school senior who is a resident of the Town of Bethel, Connecticut, and who plans to attend an accredited degree granting institution. Applications & all required documents are due at the Library before 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25, 2012.
Bethel Blooms Spring Festival and Art Walk is on Saturday March 31st from 11am to 4pm - Egg Hunt, Live Music, Art Demonstrations, and more! http://www.bethelchamber.com for complete details. Bethel Student Artwork will be on display at Bethel Photoworks.
Junior Achievement (JA) is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. JA programs empower students to make a connection between what they learn in school and how it can be applied in the real world - enhancing the relevance of their classroom learning and increasing their understanding of the value of staying in school.
This school year, Junior Achievement of Western Connecticut working in partnership with community and corporate volunteers will provide empowering programs to approximately 1,790 students in Bethel, CT. But we need your help! Junior Achievement provides the training, curriculum and Bethel students ready to meet you! Our volunteers receive a resource kit complete with an easy-to-follow teaching guide and learning materials necessary for program implementation. Volunteers present 5-8, one-hour activities, typically once a week, in a classroom during a convenient time for them within the school day. Volunteers are needed at F.A. Berry Elementary, Bethel High School and Bethel Middle School. For more information please contact Katie Rossi, 203-690-2336 firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about JAWCT visit our website, http://jawct.org or LIKE us on Facebook!
Connecticut Foundation for Dental Outreach (CDFO) in collaboration with the Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) is providing a free dental clinic for underserved and uninsured in Connecticut - The Connecticut Mission of Mercy is affectionately referred to as CTMOM. The two day clinic provides free dental care to the underserved and uninsured in Connecticut – those that would otherwise go without dental care. Oral health is inseparable from general health and can affect a person’s self-esteem, compromise their ability to work, attend school and lead a normal life.
CTMOM 2012 Information:
March 23- 24
Clinic opens at 6 a.m.
Western Connecticut State University
West Side Campus
43 Lake Ave. Ext.
Danbury, CT 06811
For additional information Patient Information