School board revives outreach committee

Residents turning up to demand the resignation of the superintendent, students protesting cuts to the high school English department, Scotland Elementary School parents calling for their school principal to be fired, petitions pushing for a vote to rescind later start times — the bi-weekly Board of Education meetings have been a raucous place the past 12 months. Concerned about the … read more

Compassion, construction, and re-election: Marconi looks ahead to 2019

A new parking lot for the commercial district, renovations at the Venus Building to accommodate Playhouse expansion plans, progress on the state’s Main Street renovations, handicapped access improvements, extending sidewalks — the town has plans and projects aplenty to pursue. But First Selectman Rudy Marconi has another goal for 2019, one requiring no bricks or bulldozers: He wants a more … read more

Tri-board meeting: Town finances look strong, schools’ maintenance lags

Neglected school infrastructure will be getting a closer look from a new committee, the finance board is shooting for a tax increase below 2% next year, and the 2019-20 budget work will start with a projected 5.2% school spending increase while the selectmen — having cut several positions — are hoping to hold town departments to a near-zero increase. That … read more

School board green-lights $1.7 million in capital upgrades

The Ridgefield Board of Education gave a thumbs up for $1,665,078 in capital improvements — major upgrades of infrastructure or equipment that cost more than $50,000 — for the 2019-20 school year at the board’s Dec. 10 meeting. The request will now go to the Board of Selectmen, who can add or delete projects by line item. It will then … read more

Dr. William Collins named Ridgefield’s new superintendent of schools

Ridgefield has a permanent superintendent once again. Dr. William Collins — former superintendent of Newington Public Schools — was hired Tuesday, Dec. 18. He will take over the job from Interim Superintendent Dr. JeanAnn Paddyfote on Feb. 19, 2019. A self-professed local history enthusiast, Collins started working as a bus driver back in his teen years. “I drove a school … read more

Tri-board meeting is Tuesday in town hall annex

The tri-board meeting — the annual town meeting of the Board of Finance, Board of Selectmen, and Board of Education — will be held Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 7:30 p.m. It will be held in the Board of Education conference room in the town hall annex, located at 66 Prospect Street. The meeting typically looks at the town’s financial picture … read more

School board backs down on start times (UPDATE)

Ridgefield High School students won’t be setting their alarm clocks an hour later next year. The Board of Education voted Monday, Dec. 10, to throw out a decision it made in October 2017 to implement later start times for the 2019-20 school year. “I think you heard the board saying that at some point this could come back … but … read more

School board reverses start times stance (VIDEO)

The Ridgefield Board of Education will not pursue later school start times for the 2019-20 school year. The school board voted 6-1 at its meeting Monday night to rescind a 2017 motion that aimed to implement healthier school start times by the fall of 2019. “I think you heard the board saying that at some point this could come back … read more

Letter: Medicine is sure on start times

To the Editor: As an adolescent medicine specialist, I have extensively reviewed the literature on school start times, and followed along with public opinion. It is important for me, as a healthcare provider, to state that there are few topics in medicine with this much definitive literature. The effects of sleep deprivation on adolescents are widespread and serious, including increased … read more

Letter: Common sense not demagoguery

To the Editor: Ridgefield residents who are asking difficult questions of the BOE are not “demagogues.” We are involved, concerned parents and tax-paying citizens. Opposition to SST concerns a lack of cost transparency, viable start and end time scenarios, and a plan that considers the needs of all student populations. In just two weeks, an opposition petition has obtained close … read more

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