Director's Message
Dear Friends of DSABC,
Welcome to the 2015-16 school year, which is now well underway. All mentoring should be resumed by October 1. I am excited to continue the strong start to the year and hope that you share in that enthusiasm in providing support to students that truly makes a difference in helping them achieve personal and academic success. 

DSABC mentoring program continues to be the premier school based model, where over 220 mentors provide consistent one-on-one adult support to Danbury Public School students. In this edition of our newsletter, we've included a sampling of the feedback provided by mentors and school liaisons from our year end survey results, illustrating the ways students have benefited from their mentoring relationships. 

As we start this school year, we continue to maintain a large waiting list of students in need of mentors. We have many students in all grade levels who'd greatly benefit from a positive relationship with a caring adult. Research tells us that one of the most critical elements for students success relates to the degree they are connected to school through the positive connections to adults in the learning environment. 

Increasing the number of students connected to school is likely to influence critical accountability measures, such as
  • Academic performance.
  • Incidents of fighting, bullying, or vandalism.
  • Absenteeism.
  • School completion rates.
Strong scientific evidence demonstrates that increased student connection to school promotes
  • Motivation.
  • Classroom engagement.
  • Improved school attendance.
These three factors in turn increase academic achievement. These findings apply across racial, ethnic, and income groups.
Likewise, there is strong evidence that a student who feels connected to school is less likely to exhibit
  • Disruptive behavior.
  • School violence.
  • Substance and tobacco use.
  • Emotional distress.
  • Early age of first sex.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a DSABC mentor, please feel free to contact me at or 203-797-4845. I'd love to have the opportunity to answer any questions and/or to assist in recruitment activities or presentations to your business or community organization. 

I'm very excited to begin the new school year and look forward to working with each of you in the months ahead. Thank you!!

Mary Arconti Gregory
DSABC Director


  DPS Golf Outing Event Organizers; Brian Betesh (L) and Sean Colley (R) presenting donation to DSABC Director, Mary Gregory.
Danbury Public Schools Staff Golf Outing benefits DSABC:

On June 16, 2015, several Danbury Public School teachers, administrators, and staff participated in the annual DPS Golf Outing at Candlewood ValleyGolf Course. DSABC was selected to be the recipient of the money raised from this year's event, which resulted in a very generous donation of $3,500! 


Many thanks to the event coordinators, Brian Betesh; History teacher at Rogers Park Middle School and Sean Colley; 9-12 Social Studies Department Head /Civics teacher at Danbury High School as well as to all who participated.



Board of Director News
Congratulations to our recently-elected Board Members
     Steve Gagnon, Reynolds & Rowella, LLC 
 Ed Dayton, Branson
   Sarah Bollert,Cartus
 Nelson Merchan, CBIA
Also, many thanks to departing Member and Mentor Tom Vitale. 
Tom served on the board for five years and has been a mentor for seven.
Year-end Mentor Survey FYI

94% of mentors returned for this new school year!

99% of mentors felt their relationship with their mentee developed in a positive or neutral manner; h ere are a few of the changes seen last year.
  • More independent and more accountable for school work. Less inclined to participate in physical confrontations.
  • maturity, deeper trust and interest in the mentoring relationship, longer-term orientation in thinking & decision making
  • He seems more mature & happier. There is more sharing by him of what is going on in his life.
  • More/better self-control.
  • I have noticed she is more relaxed with me and is showing more confidence. She has improved her writing and spelling.
  • Complete turnaround in behavior. Vastly improved. Better grades and social skills.
  • I have noticed that my mentee has become more mature and as a result looks forward to our meetings.
  • Seems happier.
  • More mature - paying attention to his grades
  • He has opened up and is more talkative.
  • Better grades, overall seems happier, lots of friends
  • Focused, behavior better, socially improved
  • Seems happier, less disruptive or difficult.
  • Better attendance, completes homework assignments
  • She is more positive
  • better grades - staying out of trouble as best he can.
  • He is much more confident & I believe him when he tells me that his grades are good.
  • She got more confident and outgoing. I think she's happier and more secure.
  • better grades, more self confidence, more responsible
Welcome  Glad you've joined us

Welcome New School Liaison at South Street, Bryan Troiano.

Mentoring Policy reminders
Just a few reminders as we begin another school year.


School Based: DSABC mentoring program is school based. All mentoring takes place during the school day, on school grounds within the school year. School sponsored events are permissible to attend.


Gift Giving: DSABC prefers mentors DO NOT give gifts to mentees. Should a mentor feel the need to gift-give, please keep it to once per year and $15.00 or less.
Alternative ideas include working on a craft or hobby together (ie, jewelry making), or learning about your mentees interests then bringing a bag of activities, games, books, etc. to each session.


Electronic Communication: DSABC mentors of students grades K-8 are not to engage in any form of electronic communication (i.e. email, texting, social media, instant messaging, cell phone, etc.) directly with their mentees. DSABC mentors of students grades 9-12 may utilize electronic communication for the sole purpose of scheduling meeting times.  


Transmission of photographs/video: Participants may neither initiate nor receive electronic transmissions of photographs or videos from students/youth.


Social Media: DSABC participants should refrain from mentioning other DSABC participants or members of the school community (parent, teachers, administrators, etc.) on personal social networking sites. Professional boundaries with students and colleagues must be maintained (ie, do not "friend" a student on personal social media.)  All DSABC policies concerning confidentiality of student information apply. (This is a summary of our Social Media Policy; for a detailed copy, contact the DSABC Director, or go to the DSABC website.)


Food Policy:  Due to incidences of food allergies, no outside food is to be brought into the school buildings. As with all DPS policies, DSABC mentors are to abide.

School Contact Information


Here, again, is the current contact list for school liaisons and administration.


Calendar Items


Week of Sept. 28 - All mentoring to resume
September 25-  Danbury High School Freshman Mentor Orientation 7:20-8:05 am
                         Note:  All DHS mentors are welcome to attend
October 1: DSABC Board Meeting
October 2: Early Dismissal
October 6: Early Release
October 12: No School-Columbus Day
October 15: New Mentor Training: DPS Adminstrative Building 8:15-9:0 a.m.
October 20: Early Release
November 2,4,5,6:
Early Dismissal Elementary & Middle Schools
November 3: No School- Veterans Day
November: Mentor Webinar
November 19: New Mentor Training: DPS Administrative Building 8:15-9:30 a.m.
November 25-27:  No-School-Thanksgiving Break
For the most current information, consult the school calendar
Danbury Public Schools: 

Henry Abbott Tech:

Mentor Trainings

Back to School, Back to Mentoring: Tips for a Successful Year

For those you who missed it on September 11th, here's the link to watch the recorded session.Click here



All DSABC webinars are archived on the website,, for viewing anytime. 


Got news?  Share it!
Have a story about mentoring?  Maybe a challenge, a success, or even a question?  We want your input for future newsletters.  Email contributions to
Kathi Barese Heering, Editor




The  Mission of DSABC is to Help Danbury Public School Students Achieve Personal and Academic Success.


Our Tool: School Based Mentoring


DSABC is a 501 (c) 3 Charitable Organization. Please consider supporting our programs.