Thursday, January 20, 2022

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Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020


Westport Town Offices, Schools, & Senior Center are closed.
10:30 a.m. – 646-876-9923 ID:  848 2237 1212 – Westport Transit District
2 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Westport Library – Open for limited services
4 p.m. – Virtual Westport Library – Camp Explore: Author R.L. Stine
5 p.m. – 646-876-9923 ID:  857 5594 8313 – Department of Human Services Public Hearing
8 p.m. – via Zoom – Westport Astronomical Society: Dr. Katherine Freese – The Dark Side of the Universe

Westport Senior Center YouTube Channel
Westport Library Event Calendar
Westport Library YouTube Page
Earthplace YouTube Channel
Virtual Westport Museum for History & Culture
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar

Fall Sports Practices Causing Concern

State recommendations are to postpone sports — including practices and conditioning — until at least two weeks after the reopening of in-person instruction.

Kleine said practices have already been taking place in at least one fall sport in Westport — namely football — but there has been no discussion how this plays into to the reopening plans.

“I want to make sure we’re being consistent with what we’re doing in school and what we’re doing for our kids who play sports and then come to school,” said Kleine, who has pointed out at several BOE meetings that the CIAC’s COVID-related guidelines are much weaker than the state’s.

She’s noted that CIAC is an organization that receives money through the districts and clearly benefits from sports programs proceeding.

“It isn’t just football, it’s soccer and it’s cheerleading,” Kleine said, noting that neighboring states have pushed football back until mid-September.

Yet Chair Candice Savin put a kibosh on Kleine’s concerns, stating that since it wasn’t on the agenda, it couldn’t be discussed.

“It’s not fair to have a discussion on something we haven’t posted,” she said, though the BOE was broadly voting on the school reopening plans.

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice noted that there were “different interests” at play across both the academic and extracurricular spectra.

While he said the BOE could make a recommendation about fall sports now, he didn’t believe it needed to, as he thinks the health department will produce more detailed guidelines presently.

“I could be wrong, but that’s my prediction,” he said.

Staples High School principal Stafford Thomas said his athletic department “had essentially paused the workouts that they had planned for this week.”

“They did push back the start of games and the number of games,” he said.

“I feel like we’re operating in one bubble and they’re operating in another bubble and the bubbles are gonna meet in school and I just don’t think it’s right,” Kleine said.

State recommendations are to postpone sports — including practices and conditioning — until at least two weeks after the reopening of in-person instruction.

Kleine said practices have already been taking place in at least one fall sport in Westport — namely football — but there has been no discussion how this plays into to the reopening plans.

“I want to make sure we’re being consistent with what we’re doing in school and what we’re doing for our kids who play sports and then come to school,” said Kleine, who has pointed out at several BOE meetings that the CIAC’s COVID-related guidelines are much weaker than the state’s.

She’s noted that CIAC is an organization that receives money through the districts and clearly benefits from sports programs proceeding.

“It isn’t just football, it’s soccer and it’s cheerleading,” Kleine said, noting that neighboring states have pushed football back until mid-September.

Yet Chair Candice Savin put a kibosh on Kleine’s concerns, stating that since it wasn’t on the agenda, it couldn’t be discussed.

“It’s not fair to have a discussion on something we haven’t posted,” she said, though the BOE was broadly voting on the school reopening plans.

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice noted that there were “different interests” at play across both the academic and extracurricular spectra.

While he said the BOE could make a recommendation about fall sports now, he didn’t believe it needed to, as he thinks the health department will produce more detailed guidelines presently.

“I could be wrong, but that’s my prediction,” he said.

Staples High School principal Stafford Thomas said his athletic department “had essentially paused the workouts that they had planned for this week.”

“They did push back the start of games and the number of games,” he said.

“I feel like we’re operating in one bubble and they’re operating in another bubble and the bubbles are gonna meet in school and I just don’t think it’s right,” Kleine said.

CMS Reopening Pushed Back to Late November

It was originally planned that students would return to CMS — which is undergoing an intensive yearlong $32-million renovation project after it was closed two years ago for health concerns — on time for the first day of school this year.

In April, due to issues relating to the pandemic, O’Day told the BOE it would be at least Oct. 1 before students could return owing to material delays and personnel issues.

At that time Anthony Buono, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, said he felt it would have a very negative impact on teaching and learning if the delay went beyond the end of October, as Bedford Middle School (BMS) is currently housing all of Westport’s middle school students.

Likewise, at that time BMS principal Adam Rosen said it would cause significant scheduling changes throughout the entire building if the CMS students didn’t return early in the fall.

Most recently O’Day said there would be a Nov. 5 return for students.

“Required structural repairs on the roof were frankly more time consuming than expected,” he said tonight, calling it their best effort and noting that various aspects of the project were interrelated with delays and issues.

He defended the work of his committee, as well as the construction company.

“It really should be much, much worse,” he said, calling the date impressive. “This is yeoman’s work to get on to the 18th.”

BOE members were largely mute on the news, though Chair Candice Savin pointed out that past target dates have been categorized as when the students would be back inside the building, and not just when the building would be “handed over” to the BOE.

“We may create expectations that are confusing,” Savin said, noting this time O’Day was referencing a technical completion.

Toward that end O’Day said the BOE needed to work closely with his committee in the coming weeks to try and reduce the amount of time between the handoff and when students could return to CMS for class.

“We have to find some time to get regular scheduled meetings set up and attended to make sure all of the pre-work happens, and it minimizes the days that are spent between hand off and opening day,” he said.

It was originally planned that students would return to CMS — which is undergoing an intensive yearlong $32-million renovation project after it was closed two years ago for health concerns — on time for the first day of school this year.

In April, due to issues relating to the pandemic, O’Day told the BOE it would be at least Oct. 1 before students could return owing to material delays and personnel issues.

At that time Anthony Buono, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, said he felt it would have a very negative impact on teaching and learning if the delay went beyond the end of October, as Bedford Middle School (BMS) is currently housing all of Westport’s middle school students.

Likewise, at that time BMS principal Adam Rosen said it would cause significant scheduling changes throughout the entire building if the CMS students didn’t return early in the fall.

Most recently O’Day said there would be a Nov. 5 return for students.

“Required structural repairs on the roof were frankly more time consuming than expected,” he said tonight, calling it their best effort and noting that various aspects of the project were interrelated with delays and issues.

He defended the work of his committee, as well as the construction company.

“It really should be much, much worse,” he said, calling the date impressive. “This is yeoman’s work to get on to the 18th.”

BOE members were largely mute on the news, though Chair Candice Savin pointed out that past target dates have been categorized as when the students would be back inside the building, and not just when the building would be “handed over” to the BOE.

“We may create expectations that are confusing,” Savin said, noting this time O’Day was referencing a technical completion.

Toward that end O’Day said the BOE needed to work closely with his committee in the coming weeks to try and reduce the amount of time between the handoff and when students could return to CMS for class.

“We have to find some time to get regular scheduled meetings set up and attended to make sure all of the pre-work happens, and it minimizes the days that are spent between hand off and opening day,” he said.

Westport COVID-19 Cases Up 3, Deaths Unchanged

The state said today its Westport COVID-19 case count was up three at 339 (324 confirmed and 15 probable) while the number of deaths was unchanged at 23.

The state reported 370 new coronavirus cases since Friday — but the positive cases were identified out of more than 44,000 tests, so the state’s positivity rate remained low at about 0.8%.

The state has now seen 51,267 cases since the beginning of the pandemic in March. With the latest test numbers added to the tally, Connecticut is also nearing the milestone of 1 million tests administered.

Also today, the state reported three new coronavirus-related deaths since Friday. The state has now seen a total of 4,456 coronavirus-related deaths since March.

Brian L. Thomas, 74

Brian loved fishing and sailing so much that he built his own sail for his catamaran.  He was extremely handy around the house having built a dormer and extra bathroom on his Little Falls residence.

Brian also coached baseball and soccer for his children and belonged to a softball team run by the Jaycees in the 1970s. He also supported his youngest son in his love of hockey.

Private services were held at Brian’s request.

Contributions to either St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (http://www.stjude.org) or the Humane Society (http://www.humanesociety.org) would be appreciated. Visit http://www.bizubparker.com to sign the guest book.

Brian loved fishing and sailing so much that he built his own sail for his catamaran.  He was extremely handy around the house having built a dormer and extra bathroom on his Little Falls residence.

Brian also coached baseball and soccer for his children and belonged to a softball team run by the Jaycees in the 1970s. He also supported his youngest son in his love of hockey.

Private services were held at Brian’s request.

Contributions to either St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (http://www.stjude.org) or the Humane Society (http://www.humanesociety.org) would be appreciated. Visit http://www.bizubparker.com to sign the guest book.

Route 1 Milling and Resurfacing Set

Traffic control personnel and signing patterns will be utilized to guide motorists through the work zone. The regular work schedule for this project is 7:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. (Sunday night through Friday morning.)

Motorists should be aware that modifications or extensions to this schedule may become necessary due to weather delays or other unforeseen conditions.  Motorists are advised to maintain a safe speed when driving in this vicinity.

Traffic control personnel and signing patterns will be utilized to guide motorists through the work zone. The regular work schedule for this project is 7:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. (Sunday night through Friday morning.)

Motorists should be aware that modifications or extensions to this schedule may become necessary due to weather delays or other unforeseen conditions.  Motorists are advised to maintain a safe speed when driving in this vicinity.

Monday, Aug. 17, 2020


Westport Town Offices, Schools, & Senior Center are closed.
2 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Westport Library – Open for limited services
7 p.m. – Electronically – Board of Education: live streamed on http://www.westportps.org, Optimum ch. 78, Frontier ch. 6021

Westport Senior Center YouTube Channel
Westport Library Event Calendar
Westport Library YouTube Page
Earthplace YouTube Channel
Virtual Westport Museum for History & Culture
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar