.

Dr. Gary Chesley's Last Newsletter

Dr. Gary Chesley is set to retire in just a few days. This is his last newsletter, which is so good, it gives all other local news sources a run for their money.

Bethel Public Schools E-Newsletter

Ahead of the Pack!    We want everyone to know that the Bethel Schools will be featured as part of a documentary on Connecticut Public Television on February 2, we think beginning at 8:30 p.m.  The show is about the Connecticut student achievement gap.  The film crew came to Bethel because our schools are being featured as role models for other districts in how to overcome the achievement gap.  A large number of Bethel teachers were interviewed as part of this show.  We are widely recognized in Connecticut as a high-performing school system.  It is great to have affirmation --- and it does help home prices!.

 

Fast Fact:  There were more books published this Monday through Friday (January 23-27, 2012) than there were during the 365 days of 1950.

 

Special Report:    Dr. Chesley requests that Board of Education members occasionally spend part of a day to see for themselves the programs that taxpayers are funding.  Part of the visitation includes a submission of a written report to the community about what the Board member say.  We believe Board members have an obligation to see for themselves before they are asked to make decisions about programs.  Board members Craybas, Carlsen, Duff, Lacey, O’Brien, and Stevenson made a recent visit to observe technology integration in classrooms at BHS and BMS.  Ted Stevenson wrote the following:

 

On January 24, members of the Bethel Board of Education visited BHS and BMS to observe how technology is being put to work in the district to enhance and enrich learning. Our principle tour guide was Karen Fildes, Chair of the Department of Applied Education.

 

In all, we visited ten classrooms – an integrated journalism/TV production class, a "digital English" class, the Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) classes at both the high school and the middle school, science and math classes – even orchestra.

 

There were smartboards in most of the rooms – blackboard-size electronic devices that duplicate the display of a connected computer, and which can be manipulated in the same way as a Web browser, scrolling, clicking hyperlinks, etc. In a number of classes, smartboards were being used in conjunction with Senteos, handheld wireless units that administer quizzes and tabulate and transmit the results in real time, giving teachers instant visibility into which class members have "gotten" the material, which need further instruction.

 

In one science class, following a lesson and a quiz, the teacher was able to delegate the following lesson segment for those ready to "move on" to a pre-recorded session, presented on the smartboard. He then met with the remainder of the students in another area within the classroom.

 

iPads, laptops, and desktop computers are everywhere in these schools, running an impressive array of sophisticated software – two examples being professional-level graphic layout and design packages from Adobe, and 3-D CAD modeling tools, along with numerous free online design, editing, and other services.

 

While we saw too much to go into detail about everything, I'd make the general observation that technology is pervasive in these schools and is being integrated into the teaching routine in highly imaginative ways. The result is a whole new texture to the classroom experience, with various groups of students working simultaneously on different tasks and activities.

 

Moreover, as we saw in multiple contexts, technology gives students a means to independently pursue solutions to real-world problems, encountering obstacles, and working through them to achieve solutions: real-world problem solving.

 

I was particularly struck by two items that I would like to zoom in on: first, the evolution and propagation of tech-supported teaching within the district, and, second, one highly collaborative project that makes extensive use of professional resources outside the school district.

 

The Tech Champion program, which originated in Bethel several years ago – and which is no doubt being emulated elsewhere – identifies teachers who have a passion for technology in education, along with the people skills to "go viral" – to pass their passion and knowledge on to other teachers. The result we observed is an impressive level of learning engagement for both students and teachers.

 

In the Sikorsky STEM Challenge team, a small group of high school seniors gathers experience in grappling with real engineering problems. The Sikorsky team defines a problem for the Challenge team to tackle. Working with the Sikorsky engineers, both via a collaborative Website and in person (during evenings), the students work through the process of developing requirements, working out a solution, and every other stage of arriving at a successful engineering result. Wow!

 

Today’s e-newsletter marks the last one I will do.  To the Bethel community, the faculty and students, I thank you for your many kindnesses and support for 14 years.  We have accomplished a great deal.  You have every reason to be proud of your schools, their teachers, staff, and principals.  It is my hope that together you will commit to making even more great opportunities for our students and the professionals who work so hard with them each day.  All the best to Bethel!

Gary M. Chesley, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

 

Topic #1:    If you have not done so and wish to join Central PTO there are still directories available for $12.00. Please contact Celaine Brillon at celaine.brillon @gmail.com if you have any questions or wish to purchase a directory.

 

Topic #2:    Congratulations to Mr. Franco and our Bethel High School thespians who have been nominated to perform at the 2013 American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Nominations were submitted by directors from state, regional, and nation theatre organizations, university professors and AHSTF alumni directors.  This nomination is an honor that recognizes the superiority of our performance program.

 

 Topic #3:    Bethel High School had several recent award winners presented by the Connecticut Art Educator’s Association as part of the Scholastic Arts Awards for 2012.  Beverly Johnson won a gold award in the Comic Art Category, and Amanda Prout also won a gold award in the Ceramics category. Both girls are seniors.  BHS had three silver key award winners: Stephanie Hirst, Gr. 12, for Ceramics Kristina MacNicholl, Gr. 12, for Drawing and ChenXI Huang, Gr. 11, for Printmaking ChenXi recently moved here from China, speaks very little English, but makes excellent quality art work.  Rachel Dennerlein, Gr. 11, won an Honorable Mention for her photograph.

 

Topic #4:    Congratulations to Mrs. Mari Lerz and Ms. Marjorie Overmier and the many BHS writers and artists who contributed to Mirage.  Once again these ladies and their students produced Connecticut’s outstanding high school literary magazine, Mirage.  The 2011 edition Mirage magazine received a rank of EXCELLENT in the 2011 NCTE Program to Recognize Excellence in Student Literary Magazines.

 

Topic #5:    The Bethel High Student Film Festival!  The members of Mirage are sponsoring the 2nd annual Bethel High Student Film Festival to be held on Thursday, March 1st at 7 p.m. in the BHS Auditorium. All Bethel High students are invited to submit their short films for the event. Prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

 

Here are the rules:

 

-          The theme is dreams (silly or serious, anything dream-related counts!)

-          Time limit of 7 minutes

-          Videos are due Thursday, February 23 on DVD to Ms. Lerz or Ms. Overmier

-          You must include credits at the end of the video that list your actors, any music you    used, any images, graphics, art.  If you used it, credit it!

 

Topic #6:    We are currently seeking an individual to help supervise students while they are eating lunch at Johnson School. The hours are 10:45 am to 1:45 pm each day school is in session. Please submit your application online at www.applitrack.com/bethel/onlineapp. If you have any questions, call Laila Rudinas, Human Resources Manager at 203/794-8611.

 

Topic #7:    The BETHEL PARK & RECREATION flyer will be distributed to the schools this week.       

Registration will be Saturday, February 4th from 9:00am-12:00pm in the Municipal Center.  The flyer is currently online atwww.bethelparksandrec.com.  Registration for Baseball, Softball, Soccer, Lacrosse and Women’s Softball will take place on Wednesday, February 1st from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. in the Municipal Center G.P. Room. (Snow date is February 2nd). DO NOT fill out a Parks & Rec. registration form for these spring sports as they each have a special form of their own, available at registration.    

Reminder:    The Board of Education employs this weekly e-newsletter as a tool to publish information about school and community events.  We are grateful for the positive feedback we receive about this simple publication.  This newsletter is not restricted to those having children in the Bethel Schools.  If you know of a neighbor or friend who would like to receive this e-newsletter, let them know that they can go to:  www.bethel.k12.ct.usClick on the link Click here to subscribe to the Superintendent eNewsletter then enter name and email address. That will make them a subscriber.   Noemail address provided to the Board of Education is shared with or sold to any other organization or business.

 

You can now follow Bethel High School Athletics on Twitter @bethelsports

 

Topic #8:    We are the music makers... and we are the dreamers of dreams" Willy Wonka. Travel to a world of pure imagination when Bethel High School presents the stage musical of Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka.” The family-friendly production features lavish sets and memorable songs. Performances are Friday, February 3 and Saturday, February 4 at 7:00 p.m. , with a special matinee on Sunday, February 5 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and senior adults, and can be ordered in advance with the attached form.

 

Topic #9:    Calling ALL youth Photographers to an Amateur Gallery Art Show.   Themes for the show--almost anything.  Bethel Photoworks is having a youth art show March 10, 2012 at  6:00 p.m.  This will be a Juried Art show.  Framed art needs to be handed in by March 3 to be judged.  Bring it in by February 24 if you need the photograph to be framed… There will be special pricing for 8 X 12 photos as well as10 X 14 photos… Contact  Bethel Photoworks

These Framed pieces of art should be for sale-have a price in mind!  Photography tips and mini classes will be available in January.  Black and white or Color photography will be accepted.  Print size NO LARGER than 11 X 14 will be accepted and hung.  NO PORTRAITS  --this means no people faces****

 

Judging will be broken up by approximate school ages…     Rockwell & Berry-5-8 years, Johnson-9-11, middle-12-14 years,     BHS- 15-18years. Note-   many photo art shows require white matting and black frames….this will NOT be a requirement but just something to keep in mind when framing your photograph.  CONTACT --Ray Flanigan at 203.748.1999 or try bethelphotoworks.com

Bethel Photoworks Gallery---14 Depot Place    

 

Topic #10:    Get your friends together for the 6th Annual Barnum Ball!  Tickets are on sale now and a table for ten is $650 - a savings of $5 on each ticket.  Join the Bethel Education Foundation, your neighbors, school staff and administrators as we celebrate education in our community at "A Toast to Bethel" on March 24th at the Ethan Allen Hotel.  The event begins with an open bar from 7:00-9:00pm, dinner, dancing and live and silent auctions including a ride to school in a fire truck, golf outing, 3-credit WCSU course and much more.  All proceeds benefit the BEF, which supports public and private education and community initiatives in Bethel through grants to teachers, administrators and community members.  Purchase your tickets today using the attached order form or by visiting www.betheledfoundation.org/BarnumBall2012.html.

 

REMINDER:    Parents whose children will be 5 years old on or before January 1, 2013, your child will be eligible to start kindergarten in August, 2012.  If you have not already pre-registered, please do so by calling Sue White at 203-794-8755, Monday - Friday, between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM. We will ask you for some basic contact information so that we can provide you with paperwork prior to our formal registration in April.  If you know a friend or neighbor fitting this category, please let them know if they don’t already receive this newsletter.

 Topic #11:    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.

 

Screening date: Wednesday, February 22nd 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

 

Topic #12:    Bethel Youth Wrestling is proud to announce the following placements in their weight/age bracket at the Danbury Youth Folkstyle Tournament on Sunday, January 15, 2012.  There were over 200 wrestlers who competed from all over New York and Connecticut:  1st Place Clayton Thunhorst and Nicholas Cote.  2nd Place Spencer Hoch, Max Lynch, Max Khoshabo, Michael Giordano, Jack Lynch, and Bryan Bornn.  3rd PlaceAlex Hoch, Thomas Smith, John Kenny and Tyler Cole. 

 

Following are BYW placements for the Oxford beginners tournament on Saturday, January 22, 2012:   1st Place Miles DeRosa, John Kenney and Brad Bornn.  2nd Place Angelo Mascioli, Justin Mascioli and Bryan Bornn.  3rd place Jerry Hill, PJ Brown, Ben DeRosa and Andrew Sayers.

 

Topic #13:    Elementary Menu for January 30 – February 3

Monday –  Oven-Baked Coleman’s All Natural Chicken Nuggets with Brown Rice & Steamed Carrot Coins  OR Gardenburger on a Roll,  daily selection of fresh healthy sides

Tuesday –  Juicy Hamburger or Cheeseburger with Tater Tots,  daily selection of fresh healthy sides

Wednesday –  100% Beef Coleman’s All Natural Hot Dog with  Rold Gold Pretzels, 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.

 

Topic # 14:    THE GREATER DANBURY COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER MOBILE HEALTH VAN will provide access to primary Medical, Dental and Behavioral Health care to residents from the surrounding communities.  The BETHEL VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATION located at 70 Stony Hill Rd., Bethel will host the van in their parking lot on the following Wednesdays in  February.

                February 1st                        9:30am to 12:00pm

                February 8th                        9:30am to 12:00pm

                February 22nd                     9:30am to 12:00pm

                February 29th                     9:30am to 12:00pm

 

On February 15th the van will be at the Bethel Senior Center, 1 School St., Bethel.  There is a sliding fee schedule based on family income.  For more information please call 203-743-0100  - ext 342

 

Topic#135:    Here's what's playing this weekend on BEtv: Dr. Chesley sits down with Dr. Smith and talks about his plans for the future of Bethel's Schools and our Johnson School Strings students put on a great concert showing off all their talent!! Be sure to tune in to BEtv this weekend!

 

Schedule for Friday, 1/27/2012

12:00AM    

Principal’s Wrap - French Trip

12:39AM    

Dr. Smith - Teaching on the Leading Edge of Change

1:00AM    

*BOE Regular Meeting 1-19-12

2:28AM    

*BOE Budget Meeting 1-24-2012

4:00AM    

*Bethel Schools Today - Dr. Chesley & Dr. Smith

4:35AM    

Cooking Time 2011 Ed 5

5:00AM    

*BHS Happenings - Athletic Director & Digital Academy

5:35AM    

Dr. Smith - Teaching on the Leading Edge of Change

6:00AM    

*Johnson School Strings Concert

6:30AM    

Principal’s Wrap - French Trip

7:15AM    

*BHS Happenings - Athletic Director & Digital Academy

7:58AM    

*Bethel Schools Today - Dr. Chesley & Dr. Smith

8:30AM    

Dr. Smith - Teaching on the Leading Edge of Change

8:58AM    

*BOE Budget Meeting 1-24-2012

10:30AM    

*Johnson School Strings Concert

11:00AM    

Principal’s Wrap - French Trip

11:39AM    

Cooking Time 2011 Ed 5

Schedule for Saturday, 1/28/2012

12:00PM    

*BOE Regular Meeting 1-19-12

1:28PM    

*BOE Budget Meeting 1-24-2012

3:00PM    

Dr. Smith - Teaching on the Leading Edge of Change

3:28PM    

*Bethel Schools Today - Dr. Chesley & Dr. Smith

4:00PM    

*Johnson School Strings Concert

4:30PM    

Principal’s Wrap - French Trip

5:09PM    

Cooking Time 2011 Ed 5

5:30PM    

*BHS Happenings - Athletic Director & Digital Academy

6:05PM    

Dr. Smith - Teaching on the Leading Edge of Change

6:28PM    

*BOE Budget Meeting 1-24-2012

8:00PM    

*Johnson School Strings Concert

8:30PM    

*BHS Happenings - Athletic Director & Digital Academy

9:15PM    

Principal’s Wrap - French Trip

9:55PM    

*BOE Budget Meeting 1-24-2012

11:28PM    

*Bethel Schools Today - Dr. Chesley & Dr. Smith

 

Schedule for Sunday, 1/29/2012

8:00AM    

*Johnson School Strings Concert

8:30AM    

*BHS Happenings - Athletic Director & Digital Academy

9:09AM    

Dr. Smith - Teaching on the Leading Edge of Change

9:30AM    

*Bethel Schools Today - Dr. Chesley & Dr. Smith

10:05AM    

Principal’s Wrap - French Trip

10:50AM    

*BOE Budget Meeting 1-24-2012

12:30PM    

*BOE Regular Meeting 1-19-12

10:00PM    

*BOE Budget Meeting 1-24-2012

11:35PM    

Dr. Smith - Teaching on the Leading Edge of Change

 

 

Schedule for Monday, 1/30/2012

12:00AM    

Principal’s Wrap - French Trip

12:39AM    

Dr. Smith - Teaching on the Leading Edge of Change

1:00AM    

*BOE Regular Meeting 1-19-12

2:28AM    

*BOE Budget Meeting 1-24-2012

4:00AM    

*Bethel Schools Today - Dr. Chesley & Dr. Smith

4:35AM    

Cooking Time 2011 Ed 5

5:00AM    

*BHS Happenings - Athletic Director & Digital Academy

5:35AM    

Dr. Smith - Teaching on the Leading Edge of Change

6:00AM    

*Johnson School Strings Concert

6:30AM    

Principal’s Wrap - French Trip

7:15AM    

*BHS Happenings - Athletic Director & Digital Academy

7:58AM    

*Bethel Schools Today - Dr. Chesley & Dr. Smith

8:30AM    

Dr. Smith - Teaching on the Leading Edge of Change

8:58AM    

*BOE Budget Meeting 1-24-2012

10:30AM    

*Johnson School Strings Concert

11:00AM    

Principal’s Wrap - French Trip

11:39AM    

Cooking Time 2011 Ed 5

12:00PM    

*BOE Regular Meeting 1-19-12

1:28PM    

*BOE Budget Meeting 1-24-2012

3:00PM    

Dr. Smith - Teaching on the Leading Edge of Change

3:28PM    

*Bethel Schools Today - Dr. Chesley & Dr. Smith

4:00PM    

*Johnson School Strings Concert

4:30PM    

Principal’s Wrap - French Trip

5:09PM    

Cooking Time 2011 Ed 5

5:30PM    

*BHS Happenings - Athletic Director & Digital Academy

6:05PM    

Dr. Smith - Teaching on the Leading Edge of Change

6:28PM    

*BOE Budget Meeting 1-24-2012

8:00PM    

*Johnson School Strings Concert

8:30PM    

*BHS Happenings - Athletic Director & Digital Academy

9:15PM    

Principal’s Wrap - French Trip

9:55PM    

*BOE Budget Meeting 1-24-2012

11:28PM    

*Bethel Schools Today - Dr. Chesley & Dr. Smith

 

Cindy Feuerman 
Media Technology Specialist

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