Around the State

Public Hearing on Forced Regionalization


Multiple bills that would force towns and cities to regionalize school districts will be discussed at a public hearing in Hartford on Friday, March 1, 2019.

The proposals include a bill that would force any school district with fewer than 2,000 students to regionalize. Another bill would force any town with a population of fewer than 40,000 to consolidate with other towns to form new school districts matching the state probate court districts

While encouraging towns to share services can be beneficial, forcing towns and cities to regionalize their school districts without considering their unique needs raises concerns.

This public hearing is an opportunity to make your voice heard and share your opinion on these proposals. Here’s how to speak out:

Send a brief email to edtestimony@cga.ct.gov
Put “Bill 457 and Bill 738” in the subject line.
Include your name and town.

If you can, attend the public hearing on Friday, March 1, 2019 at 1:00 pm in Room 2E of the Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford. If you cannot attend you can still submit testimony as explained above.

You can read more and track the bills at the following links:
Senate Bill No. 457

Senate Bill No. 738

Traffic Alert

The CT Department Of Transportation began replacing the guard rail system and cutting trees on Rt. 59 on April 16th. This work will continue for about a month and a half between the hours of 9am to 3pm. Monday thru Friday. Please expect delays during these times along different parts of Rt. 59. We have included a map of the different areas of Rt. 59 that will be affected. Work will most likely begin in the area of Rt. 59 and Church Rd. It is recommended that you find an alternate route around these areas during the next 6 weeks.

RES OMers Compete

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
― Maya Angelou
On Saturday, March 17, several teams of RES students will join kids from around the state to compete in Odyssey of the Mind State Finals at Southern Connecticut State University.Odyssey of the Mind (OM) is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics.

There is a rich history of Redding students from RES, JRMS and JBHS participating in O M. Several teams have gone on to the world finals. RES teacher Matt Farina took over the helm of local participation after Francine LaMonica retired.

Each team is required to do almost every aspect on their own without “Outside Help” from parents and coaches. This includes building props, sewing costumes, painting sets, writing the scripts and solving the problem presented by the Odyssey of the Mind organization.

An exception for adult involvement is, of course, driving the students to procure their materials and to the competition. Judges are always watching when the team arrives at the school to make sure only the students unload the materials. Officials have been known to circulate in the bathrooms and waiting areas to ensure that the students are doing all preparation such as hair and makeup on their own.

Their budget must be strictly followed and documented. Even items like the clothes worn from home while in the presentations are given a value.

Christine Schwartz and Trang Stuart are coaching a team of first time competitors ranging from first to fourth grades. The team consists of Miley, Lilia, Keaton and Chloe – all in third grade, Olivia who is a fourth grader, and Jacob in second grade. They call themselves the “Redding Color Squad.”

The Color Squad chose Triathlon Travels as their challenge. In this problem, the teams will ride on and drive an original vehicle in an Odyssey-style triathlon. They will try to score in “curling,” hit the right targets when “jousting,” and “run track” by navigating a course in two directions. Between these events, the team will entertain the audience and the vehicle will change appearance. All of the action will take place in a team-created performance that features the vehicles’ triathlon travels, a commentator, and a coach.

The other problems presented this year are called: Emoji, Speak for Yourself; Classics… Mockumentary! Seriously?; Animal House; A Stellar Hangout with a Primary (K-2) problem called We’re Cooking Now

Christine and Trang are very proud of their team. Christine said, “Students learned about the brainstorming process, took democratic votes on each decision, and worked together to make it all happen. The kids learned how to use a power drill, how to cut PVC pipes and wood with a saw, discovered the wonders of zip-ties, made costumes and most of all learned how to become a unified and supportive team.”

“Spontaneous” is a part of the competition where team members get to think on their feet and outside of the box. The teams drill constantly to learn the critical skills needed for Spontaneous; but they won’t hear the problem until they enter the room.

The nature of these problems vary and could be Verbal, Hands-on or combined. Teams who have already completed the question are sworn to secrecy until the day is over so as not to provide an unfair advantage to the teams that come after them.

In between competing, the students have the opportunity to visit the science labs at SCSU. The day culminates in an awards ceremony. Two teams from each Division (grade level) and Problem go on to World Finals in Iowa in the spring.

Good luck to all the Redding teams!

The Redding Color Squad getting ready for Triathlon Travels
Olivia, Keaton, Jacob, Lilia, Miley, and Chloe.