Submitted by Jennifer Favalora.
Cougar Pride: HKIS Principal Eric Larson invited the cast of the school’s Lion King production for a special presentation for the Board and Community. Music Teacher and show director, Katherine Jones, led an ensemble performance from the show which was held before a live audience in November.
Superintendent Wihbey reported that the HKHS Robotics club competed with two robots against 65 teams from Connecticut and Massachusetts. The students were required to modify robots, update programming code and troubleshoot issues throughout the day. This was the first robotics competition for many on the team and they will be competing again in January in Middletown.
Superintendent’s Update: Superintendent Jeff Wihbey presented an overview of the fifty new bills pertaining to school districts that had been passed in the 2021 Legislative Session and June special session. These bills range from curriculum updates and mental health wellness days for students, to training required for the hiring process and requirements for providing annual staffing reports to local unions. Many of these new unfunded mandates will require additional resources and work from the District.
Board Committee Chairs Named: In December, the Board of Education welcomed three new members: Lisa Connelly from Killingworth and Hamish MacPhail and Corey Roberts from Haddam. With the election of a new Board comes the appointments of new Executive Board Members, Committee Chairs, Committee Members and Liaisonships. The new Executive Board elected are Suzanne Sack – Chair, Jennifer Favalora – Vice Chair, Peter Sonski – Treasurer, and Joel D’Angelo – Secretary. Committee Chairs are Shawna Goldfarb – Communications, Kathy Zandi – Curriculum, Peter Sonski – Facilities, Peter Sonski – Finance, Suzanne Sack – Personnel & Evaluation, Nelson Rivera – Policy, Jennifer Favalora alongside Prem Aithal as a non-voting member – Strategic Planning.
Average Daily Membership (ADM) – Superintendent Wihbey shared the October 2021 Average Daily Membership for the Towns of Haddam and Killingworth. The ADM determines the assessment to each town in the form of a percentage of the number of students each town has related to total enrollment. For 2022-2023, Haddam’s share is 61.20% and Killingworth’s is 38.80%, which will be an increased assessment for Haddam.
School Continuous Improvement Plans Each year the Administrators report on District progress in the last year and areas they are going to work towards in the next year in the Curriculum Improvement Reports. Curriculum Coordinators Heather Rigatti and Jenn Beermunder reviewed state testing results from the Spring, which confirmed previous data on learning loss in both Math and Science. Each of the Principals shared the themes for this year in their schools. Major themes across all schools included Adjusting and Accelerating Instruction for Academic Growth, Supporting Individual Social-Emotional Wellness, Building and Maintaining Positive School Culture, and Ensuring that the students feel accepted and respected.
On our Website: You can find the District’s Continuous Improvement Plans on the RSD17.org website under each school’s homepage.