Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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Education

Coleytown Middle School Handover Delayed

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice today issued the following update to school families:

Dear Westport Families and Staff,

Last evening the Coleytown Middle School Building Committee (CSMBC) informed the Westport Board of Education (BoE) that the school renovations will not be completed on time. This will delay the handover of the school from the CSMBC to the BoE as scheduled for November 20, 2020. The CSMBC will provide a formal update to the BoE at the November 16, 2020, BoE meeting, at which time the BoE expects to determine a new date for a handover of the school.

The comprehensive timeline for reopening Coleytown Middle School from the date of handover by the CSMBC to the BoE, as discussed by the BoE at its prior meeting, remains intact. These preparations by the BoE and administration will ensure the school is ready to greet staff and students as soon as the CSMBC completes its work.

Sincerely,
Thomas Scarice
Superintendent

Bedford/Coleytown Middle School, Staples to Full Remote Nov. 12 & 13

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice today issued the following update to school families:

Dear Westport Families and Staff,

For November 12th and 13th, Bedford/Coleytown Middle School and Staples High School will be operating through a full remote teaching model for all students and staff. The principals will be sending further information this evening about the schedules for both days.

The decision to move our secondary schools to a remote model for two days came as a result of several individuals testing positive and the subsequent need to quarantine many individuals and continue contact tracing. Due to the number of quartainted staff members, we are unable to appropriately staff our secondary buildings and supervise our students.

As of the time I am writing to you this evening we have 12 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the following schools, including 5 new cases in the past few hours:

  • Coleytown Elementary School - 2
  • Greens Farms Elementary School - 2
  • Kings Highway Elementary School - 1
  • Bedford/Coleytown Middle School - 2
  • Staples High School - 5

Staples Volleyball Wins FCIAC Central Championship

Staples (Westport, CT) Volleyball Wins FCIAC Central Championship, Nov. 10, 2020, photo by Paige Schwartz
Staples Girls Volleyball swept Ridgefield tonight at home, winning the FCIAC Central Championship by a score of 25-16, 25-23, 25-13. Top row (l-r): Layla Bloomingdale, Ally Schwartz, Elle Laub, Natasha Taubenheim, Gabby Messenger, Lucie Nivaud, Grace Alfero, Kate Valante, Grace Cauley. Bottom row (l-r): Faith Lampugnale, Elle Videler, Kaytlyn Carnahan, Annabelle Iannone (captain), Nicole D’Erario, Linnea Jagenberg (captain), Sutton Lindau, Michelle Kaminski. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Paige Schwartz for WestportNow.com

Health & Safety Update for Staples High School from Superintendent Scarice

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice today issued the following update to school families:

Dear Westport Families and Staff,

This evening we were made aware of two individuals at Staples High School who tested positive for COVID-19. The affected persons will be excluded from the school environment and have been instructed to quarantine at home. 

Upon learning of the positive COVID-19 case, the Westport Public Schools conducted initial contact tracing. Those determined to be “close contacts” are defined as individuals who were within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes over a 24 hour period, starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling ill or 48 hours prior to a positive test of an asymptomatic individual. It has been determined that there were staff members and multiple classes within Staples High School needing to quarantine. Others who have been identified as close contacts outside of school have been notified, and contact tracing will continue through the Westport/Weston Health District.

The school district administration is required to comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding student and employee confidentiality and privacy.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) precludes sharing the identity of an individual, with the exception of sharing the individual’s identity with a public health agency (e.g., Westport/Weston Health District).  In addition, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prevents the school district from publicly sharing personally identifiable information derived from student education records.

Three Health & Safety Updates from Superintendent Scarice

Superintendent Thomas Scarice sent three health and safety notices today. We have combined them below. Immediate impact—Coleytown Elementary School (from 2nd Notice): both cohorts of each kindergarten and 4th grade classroom will switch to remote learning.

Dear Westport Families and Staff,

First Notice: This afternoon I was made aware of both positive and presumptive cases of COVID-19 at Greens Farms Elementary School. The affected individuals have either been in quarantine previously or will be moving forward.

Upon learning of the positive and presumptive COVID-19 cases, the Westport Public Schools conducted initial contact tracing. Those determined to be “close contacts” are defined as individuals who were within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes over a 24 hour period, starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling ill or 48 hours prior to a positive test of an asymptomatic individual. It has been determined that there were exposures in two fifth grade classrooms and on one school van. Those impacted have been notified.

Second Notice: This evening I was made aware of two additional positive cases of COVID-19, this time at Coleytown Elementary School. The affected persons will be excluded from the school environment and have been instructed to quarantine at home.

Wreckers Field Hockey Continues Winning Season

Westport CT Staples Wrecker Field Hockey shuts out Norwalk's Brien McMahon 8-0, Nov. 7, 2020, by JC Martin
The Staples field hockey team kept their perfect season intact with another shutout, defeating Norwalk’s Brien McMahon 8-0 in today’s FCIAC central region semi-final tournament match. Scoring was led by Senior Julia DiConza, who scored three goals. Sophomores Jess Leon and Francine Stevens, Junior Romy Nusbaum, Seniors Laine Ambrose and Maya Reiner added one goal each. The Wreckers face Ridgefield at home on Tuesday, Nov. 10 for the FCIAC central region final. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

Superintendent Scarice: Positive COVID-19 Case at Coleytown Elementary

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice today issued the following update to school families:

Dear Westport Families and Staff,

This afternoon, Mrs. Janna Sirowich, Principal of Coleytown Elementary School, was made aware of an individual in the school who tested positive for COVID-19. The affected person will be excluded from the school environment and has been instructed to quarantine at home. 

Upon learning of the positive COVID-19 case, the administration began immediate contact tracing. Those determined to be “close contacts”, including the health office staff at Coleytown Elementary School, have been notified. These individuals spent a significant amount of time in the presence of the positive case, and as a result, were informed that they will be excluded from the school environment and recommended to quarantine for 14 days from the date of contact, October 30. Other nursing staff will be assigned to the Coleytown Elementary School health office during the quarantine period.

As I have shared in prior communications of a similar nature, working closely with the Westport/Weston Health District and our medical advisor, it has been confirmed that the staff and students have implemented our mitigating measures by maintaining distance to the maximum extent possible, and by wearing masks. However, the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE)/Department of Public Health (DPH) guidance (Addendum 5 and Addendum 9) indicates that decisions for exclusion from school and quarantine will be based on the individual circumstances of each case, including those who have spent a significant amount of time (i.e. more than 15 minutes) in the presence of a positive case, regardless of mask wearing.

Superintendent Scarice Issues COVID-19 Update

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice today issued the following update to school families:

Dear Westport Families and Staff,

This afternoon the district was made aware of two related positive COVID-19 cases in our schools. The affected individuals, one from Kings Highway Elementary School, and the other, from Bedford Middle School, have not been in the schools in recent days. They will remain excluded from both school environments and have been instructed to continue quarantining at home. 

Upon learning of the positive COVID-19 cases, the administration began immediate contact tracing. It has been determined that no other individuals at either school were identified as “close contacts.”

As I have shared in prior communications of a similar nature, working closely with the Westport/Weston Health District and our medical advisor, it has been confirmed that the staff and students have implemented our mitigating measures by maintaining distance to the maximum extent possible, and by wearing masks. However, the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE)/Department of Public Health (DPH) guidance indicates that decisions for exclusion from school and quarantine will be based on the individual circumstances of each case, including those who have spent a significant amount of time (i.e. more than 15 minutes) in the presence of a positive case, regardless of mask wearing.

A Remarkable First For Staples Boys Soccer

Westport v Norwalk boys soccer livestreamed at Remarkable Theater Drive-In, Oct. 28, 2020, photo by Neil Brickley
In a first for Staples High School sports—and perhaps any team anywhere in the country—the Staples boys soccer team’s match was livestreamed last night at the Remarkable Theater’s enormous drive-in screen. Soccer fans were treated to a very well-played match. The Wreckers looked strong all over the field, and rode goals by Haydn Siroka and Alan Fiore to a 2-1 victory over Norwalk. Keeper Sebi Montoulieu saved a penalty kick. Central defender Surya Balaji and center midfielder Murilo Moreno were among the keys to the win. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Neil Brickley for WestportNow.com