April 2020
Dear NCHS Family,

First and foremost, I hope you are all doing well! Together we are facing challenging times and we are doing our best to keep you informed with school updates and changes.

As a district, I believe we are at the forefront of E-Learning. We made some adjustments to our distance learning program. We implemented a block schedule that creates longer class period “blocks” with free time for lunch and preparation in the midday. We will continue to monitor the E-Learning progress and will make adjustments that better meet the needs of our students, our staff members and our community. We’ve enjoyed seeing all of the wonderful things that continue to happen in our virtual classrooms. I hope you have had the opportunity to see all of the submissions (keep them coming) to our Weekly Updates.

These are certainly strange and unprecedented times as we collectively try to stay safely connected with family and friends while practicing the necessary guidelines of social distancing. Keeping a daily schedule for students is important for us all but finding creative ways to stay entertained during down time can be a challenge. The following is a list of free online resources for students and parents to enjoy:

Arts and Culture - Google is offering free virtual tours of more than 1,200 museums across the globe.
The Maritime Center - Check out their lineup of daily live Q&As, streaming IMAX movies and more!
Nasa.gov - Explore NASA's online activities, e-books, podcasts and other content. The universe is waiting.
Stories.audible.com - Audible is offering 100s of audible books for free for kids - no logins, credit cards, passwords etc. Just click & stream! To access the free titles, just visit from any web browser.
Ted Talks - 3300+ talks to stir your curiosity.

We are hopeful that we can begin the return to normalcy with our new target back-to-school date of April 20th.  We know that many of our students are feeling the weight of containment, as their school field trips, musicals, concerts, sports and special class events were canceled or postponed. Upon return, we will evaluate and do our very best to try and reschedule canceled events at NCHS. 

As I said earlier, we want to make sure that everyone is doing well. The uncertainty at this time can be difficult for all of us. Please know that we are here, our counseling staff and mental health team are available, and together, we will get through whatever lies ahead. If you or a loved one would like to talk with one of our school counselors, please reach out anytime. Their contact information is on our website. You can also contact me directly, and I would be happy to share their contact information or have them reach out to you directly.  

Be well, stay healthy and stay safely connected.

Bill Egan 
Supporting all in our Community Throughout this Difficult Time
If you are inspired by world events to reach out and help others in our community, here is an opportunity. There are many families in our district who rely on having lunch at school, during their school day, in order to have their kids' daily food needs met. If you would like to help with some financial stability to those who need it during this difficult time, you can purchase gift cards from Acme or Walter Stewarts in the amounts of $20. Please email Ann Whittaker and we will collect gift cards and pass them along to the district office. Thank you for considering!
Safe Driving Week
The PFA’s annual Safe Driving Week program is unfortunately canceled due to school closure and social distancing guidelines. Luckily all program participants, including keynote speakers Jacy and Steve Good, Teen Driving Jeopardy sponsors from CT Children’s Hospital in Hartford, the Save A Life Tour, and the New Canaan Police Department, New Canaan Fire Department and New Canaan EMS, have all re-confirmed to participate in Safe Driving Week 2021! Thank you to all of our wonderful speakers and program partners, we look forward to hosting you next year! Stay healthy and safe behind the wheel.
NCHS Scholarship Foundation
NC Color Run
Due to the recent unprecedented events, the fourth annual NC Color Run has been canceled. We realize this is incredibly disappointing to the students, volunteers, sponsors, and the NCHS Scholarship Foundation (NCSF) recipients.  
Without the NC Color Run, the primary fundraiser for the NCSF, donations are now critical. Our qualified graduates need the community’s support now more than ever. Please consider donating today.
Make a difference in a student's life -- please make a gift to the NCHS Scholarship Foundation.

There are several ways and levels to give, please visit  NCSF for more information.
Grade Level Parent Meetings & Information
Although we are not able to come together for our regularly scheduled Networking Programs please be sure to visit our Networking Program video library to watch our previous meetings.
12th Grade, Seniors
 NCHS 2020 Post Prom Party
Friday, May 15th
11:59pm, Waveny House

We are all hopeful that we will be able to celebrate our seniors on May 15th but clearly there are a lot of unknowns. Please know that the PFA and Prom committee are committed to making this night happen for the Class of 2020! 

Please note:
- The RamJam event that was scheduled for March 27th is on hold - we will try to re-schedule or worst case, cancel.
- PLEASE send your senior photos to nchs20seniorvideo@gmail.com for the senior video!! We want to represent EVERY senior - candid group shot 3+ seniors, any HS event from any grade, JPG format-please identify student.
- We are not taking any further donations at this time. 
- Click here to volunteer
Counseling News
Upcoming Testing Dates
Check the websites for the most up to date information about cancellations

June 6th - SAT*
June 8th - ACT
June 13th - ACT
July 17th - ACT
August 29th - SAT
September 12th - ACT*
October 3rd - SAT*
*Denotes NCHS as testing location

 SAT/Subject Tests may be registered for at www.collegeboard.org
ACT may be registered for at   www.act.org

The college admissions panel scheduled for April 2 has been canceled. We invite sophomores, juniors and their parents to click here to view this video from our last admissions event.
AP Testing
As most AP students have heard by now via communication from the College Board, all AP testing will be completed online this spring. The College Board will release detailed information for all teachers and students on April 3rd and there is no more specific information available until then.
We know all AP teachers and students have continued regular communication during this distance learning period and we are confident in the preparation of our NCHS students.
More information will be provided as it becomes available and all is listed on the College Board website.
State SAT Testing
There will be no State testing for our 11th graders this year. The CT School Day SAT, originally scheduled for March 25th, and the Next Generation Science Assessments have been waived for the year. The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) submitted a waiver to the United States Department of Education (USED) on March 20, 2020, in regard to federal assessment and accountability requirements. The CSDE has received approval from the USED that Connecticut can begin to implement the provisions in this waiver which includes no summative testing for the 2019-20 school year. Since many students in Grade 11 use the Connecticut SAT School Day for college acceptance/placement, the CSDE will work closely with the College Board to determine how best to afford all students the opportunity to take an SAT assessment either this spring or sometime in the future, but this would not be a required test mandated for all 11th graders. 
School News & Notices
New Canaan High School Theatre
New Age Film Festival 2020
Date TBD
As a district, we are excited about this truly unique opportunity for supporters of film throughout the community to celebrate the hard work of young filmmakers. Students are encouraged to visit the New Age Film Festival Website where submission guidelines, information, rules, dates and entry forms are posted.
Entry submissions due May 1st

UPDATE: Despite the current situation, we will still proceed with hosting a festival; however, it may be a virtual one. Please stay tuned for an announcement with how we will proceed with the awards night. Depending on the circumstances, we may create a virtual festival on our website instead of hosting an awards ceremony at the high school.
Contact: jennifer.sinski@ncps-k12.org
NCHS Athletic Department
A Letter from our Athletic Director Jay Egan
Dear NCHS Athletic Community,

On Monday, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan issued an emergency order closing all town and public school parks and fields. One of the major factors prompting the closing was the elevated number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in surrounding communities and the fact that every community surrounding New Canaan has closed all fields, parks and facilities as of the end of the day on Monday. We are living in an extraordinary time. It is our responsibility to follow the course of action prescribed by our local health officials. What we do today will impact what conditions we are dealing with in two weeks and beyond.

I ask that all athletes, parents and coaches work together and support the emergency order issued by our First Selectman and refrain from using our facilities.

I was on a zoom conference with the CIAC and state AD’s last Friday discussing issues related to the spring athletic season. The conversation centered on doing everything possible to preserve a spring sports experience for Connecticut athletes. Everyone around the state agrees that any spring sports experience, even if it is just the month of June, would be worthwhile. 


Jay Egan, Athletics Director
Board Of Education
March 9th, BOE Meeting:
Transportation Consultant Presentation - Robert Jacobus, School Bus Logistics
Mr. Jacobus was tasked with looking at the NCPS bus routes for later start times at the high school and middle school and striving to adjust the elementary school time closer to 8:00am. Student safety was taken into consideration as well as pick up times for the elementary schools. If the elementary schools began at 7:50am, East Elementary would have the earliest bus pickup time at 7:00am, West at 7:08am and South at 7:02am. If an extra bus were added to the East run, the pickup time could shift a few minutes later. A total of 43 minutes would be needed between the AM bus runs and 37 minutes between the PM runs.

Budget Update - Dr. Luizzi
Last week the Board of Finance accepted the Board’s budget with some changes. In the existing agreement, the Board covers 60% of the health care corridor and the Town the other 40%. The BOF suggested that the Town should cover 60% and the Board 40%. This shift would create a reduction of $518,000 in the budget. The Board of Finance requested the budget be reduced by 1.3 million dollars, $800,000 from the Internal Services Fund and $500,000 from the Operating Budget. The Board also discussed savings from teacher turnover. Next week the budget moves on to the Town Council. 

For BOE Meeting Agenda click here.

March 23, 2020 Board of Education Meeting

Finance and Operations - Dr. Keating
Food Services have been very busy making lunches for students in the free or reduced lunch program. Transportation has been very busy delivering food to students as well as bringing educational supplies to students who may need them. The Technology Department has been working hard and is a resource for the E-Learning environment. They have helped get technology into the hands of 103 teachers and 110 students that need them for distance learning as well as hot spots for those who do not have Wifi at home. In Facilities, the custodial and maintenance staff have been working tirelessly on deep/spring cleaning and getting needed projects done. The Business Office has been running payroll remotely as well as purchasing necessary items for technology and facilities. 

Curriculum and Instruction - Dr. Correnty 
Although there have been some challenges with E-Learning, everyone has been positive and has pulled lessons together. Some adjustments to schedules were made in Week Two so that students would have breaks and additional time to complete lessons. At the high school, students have four 60-minute periods with a screen break for lunch. There is also time for independent reading at the end of the day. Teachers have been working hard to connect with students live or through video. Most teachers are using Schoology and are collaborating with each other as well as having conversations with their departments. 

Special Education - Mr. Tesbir 
The E-Learning process is a challenge for his department. Schools must ensure that students are receiving services to the greatest extent possible. Teachers are finding creative ways to deliver lessons for students that keep them engaged while supporting IEPs. They are also joining other teachers’ classrooms to support their students where needed. They are monitoring student progress and adjusting as necessary. 

Announcements and Future Business
Dr. Luizzi is continuing to receive information from the state daily. As of now, all schools will be closed until April 20th. More information will be coming about graduation requirements and grading during E-Learning, and any pertinent information will be passed on to the district. The budget process is continuing with the Town and updates will be forthcoming.
For BOE Meeting Minutes click here.

Upcoming BOE meetings: April 6th and 20th @ 7:00pm, NCHS Wagner Room. Public comment is available during allotted times.

PFA Thank Yous!

Thank you so much to Courtenay Brown and Suzanne Harrison for coordinating a welcoming spread for the 8th grade orientation evening and thank you to all of you who donated to support that event!

A heartfelt thank you to Gretchen Russell for so much time and attention devoted to planning an impactful and educational Safe Driving Week. Sadly, due to world events, we will not be holding Safe Driving Week this academic year, but Gretchen's efforts have paved the way for what is sure to be a meaningful event for our students next year.
Co-Presidents Message

Hello fellow parents,

A brief message of parental solidarity from your PFA Co-Presidents...

We hope you are all maintaining a sense of physical, mental, and emotional well-being during this unprecedented time in our collective lifetimes. We acknowledge that in the grand scheme of world events, that the activities we all plan for our high school community might pale in importance to what we are reading in our media consumption or the worries and concerns you all carry as we weather this storm. It is surely a reminder of how wonderful it is to be able to focus on the quotidian aspects of life, the daily routines associated with our lives as parents of high school aged kids, the special sense of community we all benefit from while raising our kids together in this very special town...We would like you to know that as a PFA Executive Board, we are brainstorming, running various scenarios and attempting to be as nimble as possible with respect to the remainder of the school year and events that are scheduled to take place. We will stay in close touch with the school administration and all of you to adjust programming and events wherever we can so that we can celebrate our kids' high school experiences to the best of our ability given the constraints that this virus is imposing on all of us. 

We are all in this together in whatever way that looks in your house...Zoom calls, Netflix, wiping down surfaces and hand washing, seemingly endless cooking and laundry but also card games and puzzles, longer chats with our teenagers and of course, a lot more sleeping - trying to find those silver linings and benefits of more solitude while getting through this unprecedented time.  

Be well and healthy wishes to all NCHS families,
Ann and Jody
Community Event
All NC CARES programs have been suspended at this time but please reach out with any concerns, questions or help to caresinfo@newcanaancares.org 
Also, please check our website and email blasts for updated information, tips and helpful links to get you through this unpredictable moment in time. We are all in this together!
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