School infrastructure woes raise concern at education, finance board meetings

Water fountains boarded over at Ridgebury Elementary School, a crack running through Scotts Ridge Middle School, pavement at the front of Branchville Elementary School that “looks like it was paved one pothole at a time,” bathroom stall doors that won’t close at Ridgefield High School, dilapidated front steps at East Ridge Middle School  — the town’s nine public schools are … read more

Superintendent asks for 3.43% budget increase

Interim Superintendent JeanAnn Paddyfote presented a $98,261,254 budget for the 2019-20 school year — a 3.43% increase — to the Board of Education Monday, Jan. 14. The figure is less than the 5.2% increase Paddyfote suggested at the town’s annual tri-board meeting on Dec. 18. Paddyfote explained Monday night that the lower increase was created by the reduction of two … read more

$100-million budget? School spending increase to be discussed Monday night

A 5% projected budget increase would push Ridgefield’s public education costs close to the $100-million threshold for the 2019-20 school year. Interim Superintendent JeanAnn Paddyfote plans to present her official 2019-20 budget proposal to the Board of Education Monday, Jan. 14, in the town hall annex at 7 p.m. “I’m striving to get it below 5%, absolutely. And I’m hoping … read more

Capital items: Schools ask for $1.6 million in infrastructure improvements

The school security network is so old school officials worry a hardware failure could delay a police officer’s ability to enter the high school or Scotts Ridge Middle School — or might keep the district’s new array of security cameras from storing their digital tapes. Updating the security network is the second-highest priority on the list of capital improvement projects … read more

Lower enrollments reduce number of elementary school teachers

Fewer students are enrolling in Ridgefield’s nine public schools, which means the schools have eight fewer elementary school teachers than there were five years ago. The average number of elementary students in any given class is relatively small — out of 102 classes, only two are filled to the maximum capacity set by the school board — so there’s less … read more

Redistricting? Not so fast says school board

Despite falling enrollments, Ridgefield elementary school students won’t be redistricted next fall. That was the conclusion reached at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting where redistricting was discussed for the third year in a row. The Board of Finance, looking at three additional teachers who were hired post-budget for the 2018-19 school year, suggested the school board move students around … read more

Marconi eyes flat town budget, schools will create challenge

A flat budget — one with no increase in spending from this year to the next — might be on the table as the town sizes up the fallout from the new federal tax law. First Selectman Rudy Marconi said he was looking into the idea at a forum hosted by the Democratic Town Committee on Sept. 6. “We’re going … read more

Saying ‘No’ to start times: Parent questions ‘backwards’ initiative

Ridgefield High School might be starting later in the fall of 2019, but not if a group of petitioning parents has anything to say about it. “We’re met with a town that, two-to-one, doesn’t want this initiative,” said RHS parent Sean McEvoy March 23, pointing to a survey sent out by the district last fall that resulted in 2,133 votes … read more

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