Danbury Public Schools’ administration feels that ongoing communication is the key to developing partnerships within the community. After the April Board of Education meeting, many questions were raised about the later start of next year’s school calendar, on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Many families are concerned how this will impact their summer activities and child care, and what plans are in place to welcome new families to the district.
Three years ago, the city voted on money to expand the high school to make a building for the Freshman Academy, along with many other building improvements, such as a new front entrance and a black box theater. Danbury is a growing community; therefore, with more students, more space is needed. Danbury Schools, the City of Danbury and the construction firm have worked diligently to avoid interruption of ongoing school activities as well as to stay on a tight timeline when students are not attending school. Due to the snow days this past winter, the last day of classes will be June 20. A later ending date has made it impossible to complete the summer project without adding additional days to the break. Thus, the school calendar was voted on by the Board of Education after community input, and school will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. This date will enable the construction firm to work efficiently over the summer with little impact on student academics.
We realize the change in the calendar may affect family plans over the summer. To accommodate these changes, many summer programs have extended their schedule to provide them later into August. The DPS readiness program has extended the ending date for preschool students to Aug. 25. Other programs have extended their programs, including Sunsational Summer and the YMCA Summer Program. As we find out about other programs, we will share them with you. Some families are working together to share their vacation with others, with one family caring for another family’s children and the next week, switching care. Danbury has a wealth of activities open to families to enrich these weeks.
Many of the schools will be offering activities to welcome new families to their school and to welcome back students. Stay in contact with your school via their Facebook page, receiving Robo calls or receiving the kindergarten packet in the mail. Should your address or phone numbers change from when you registered your child, please notify central registration in the Family and Community Engagement Center (FACE) at 49 Osborne St. Updated information is imperative to be able to communicate with families on a regular basis.
Lastly, if your children receive free or reduced lunch, please remember that the application must be completed every year. New applications will be sent home with students on the first day of school, or visit the FACE center during August for a new application. Think spring and summer is coming.
Anne E. Mead, M. Ed., is the administrator for the Early Childhood Education and Extended Learning Programs of the Danbury Public Schools. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact her at 203-830-6508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.