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

No calls for redistricting despite enrollment decline

Projected enrollment decline at the town’s two middle schools and at the high school over the next decade isn’t enough for the Board of Education to consider redistricting Ridgefield students. Not yet at least.    That’s because the district’s six elementary schools are expected to bottom out during the 2019-20 school year and are projected to begin growing slowly starting … read more

Back-to-school enrollments: District hires three teachers post-budget

A decrease in first-day enrollment numbers — 4,863 students last year compared to 4,781 students walking Ridgefield’s hallways on Aug. 31 this year — did not stop public school district from hiring three additional teachers. The hires — one elementary school teacher at Barlow Mountain, another at Veterans Park, and a special education teacher at Scotts Ridge Middle School — … read more

Farmingville class sizes draw parent frustration

Parents of Farmingville students shared their concerns about the school’s class sizes at the Board of Education meeting Monday night, Dec. 11. Five parents spoke out in opposition to the school’s second grade class size, which they said unfairly put their children at a disadvantage. “For two years in a row, our children have been enrolled in classes with the … read more

Inside Education: Enrollment projections report

Annually, the Board of Education receives updates on student enrollment and future projections.  The demographer hired by the district, Milone & MacBroom, works throughout Connecticut to understand trends in demographics. This report includes a comprehensive, current enrollment analysis and projects them onto factors that influence future school enrollments. These factors include trends in demographics, births, housing and development, and private … read more

Enrollment: More students than projected on first day of school

While enrollment numbers continue to decrease throughout the public school district, the first day of classes brought some welcome news: the number of students in Ridgefield hallways to start the year was four more than projected. “We have lost 167 students,” said Fran Walton, chairwoman of the Board of Education. “When people hear that we’ve gained students — what that … read more

Start times talk looms loud at budget hearing

Lobbying for later school start times joined a wide range of concerns — science curriculum, special education spending, a possible school closing — as speakers at Saturday’s public hearing reacted to Superintendent Karen Baldwin’s $93.5-million budget request, which would increase school spending by 3.48% in 2017-18. “Every day we delay in implementing better start times we are hurting our children’s … read more

Tough decision: Schools opt to redistrict

A little creativity goes a long way. It’s a lesson all Ridgefield students learn throughout the year, and one that the Board of Education and Superintendent Karen Baldwin demonstrated Monday night. Baldwin got the district’s proposed 2017-18 operating budget under the state’s 2.5% spending cap by electing to redistrict the town’s six elementary schools to create an even “three and … read more

Schools vow to meet state cap

School officials fended off any commitments about closing a school, but told the finance board Tuesday they’re working to bring next year’s budget in under the proposed 2.5% state spending cap. However, the increase may be higher, since some categories of spending, including special education, are excluded from the calculation. “The 2.5% cap, is that still a working number?” finance … read more

Enrollment decline: Schools to look at five options Monday

Pull fifth grade out of the elementary schools, convert the middle schools to fit a fifth-through-eighth-grade configuration, and close an elementary school — that’s one of five options on the table for the Board of Education when it meets Monday night to examine solutions for the district’s ongoing enrollment decline. But will the board go through with closing one of … read more

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