September 11, 2020
Westy's Week in Review
Thank you to our staff and teachers for a great first week of hybrid learning! It was inspiring and exciting to see months of preparation and feedback come together for our children this week. Our teachers impressively implemented their first instructional lessons of the year while connecting with students both in the classroom and online. This is a learning year for us all and we are so thankful for the entire community’s creative and dedicated response to these unusual circumstances.

Virtual Welcome Back PTC Meeting
We hope you can join us for the first PTC meeting of the year on Tuesday, September 29th at 9:30AM.  The virtual meeting will feature updates from Superintendent Dr. Bryan Luizzi, Principal Jan Murphy and Vice Principal Ashley Furnari. There will be an opportunity for questions from families. Stay tuned for the Zoom details. We hope you can make it!

Joining the PTC - Update
Please stay tuned for PTC membership details! New this year, the West School directory is moving online for PTC members and we are still working hard to finalize the process. We appreciate your patience and hope you will support the PTC's operating budget by becoming a member and gaining access to the directory this year. Note: only PTC members will get access to the online directory. We will communicate more information on joining the PTC as soon as it becomes available!

Memory Book Photos Needed!
Calling all Parents - we need your help with this year’s Memory Book! With parents not allowed in the building and the teachers busy with instruction, we invite everyone to submit photos of your children that we can use in our Memory Book. We are looking for everything: back-to-school photos, getting on the school bus, and remote learning plus upcoming events including Fall Family Fun Night, Halloween, etc. Please send pictures without masks (where safe and appropriate) so we can see your kids’ smiling faces! Please email all images and include your child’s name, grade and teacher to the Memory Book team at

Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help us enhance and adapt our community events and activities for this very different school year!
ROSH HASHANAH, Friday, September 18th
No School.

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE, Tuesday, September 22nd, time TBD
Grades K, 1 and 2

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE, Wednesday, September 23rd, time TBD
Grades 3 and 4

FALL FAMILY FUN NIGHT, Friday, September 25th, 5PM

YOM KIPPUR, Monday, September 28th
No School.

VIRTUAL PTC COFFEE, Tuesday, September 29th, 9:30-10:30AM
The Fall 2020 online Spirit Wear store is open! Exciting new items for everyone including Westy Whale masks, cozy lounge pants, custom printed lax shorts, adult sizes and updates to all of the classic favorites. Don't forget to stock up now as orders must be placed by September 14th! You will be contacted when items are available for pick up.
Sign ups for the Nutmeg Reading Groups will open Monday, September 21st at 8:00AM! The popular book clubs were established by the West School PTC to give kids a chance to read some top-notch, age-appropriate literature and discuss it with their friends. The groups choose their own books from the annual Nutmeg Book Award nominees. Each group is led by a parent volunteer, and will meet six times throughout the year in grade and gender specific groups. All meetings will be virtual this year with days and times agreed upon by the group. Space is limited, so mark your calendars! Click here for more information.
As in past years, we are thrilled to have confirmed volunteers to be coordinators for each of our 22 classrooms, which you can see here. As with many efforts this unusual year, the role of classroom coordinators will look a bit different than in the past. We are delaying the typical classroom coordination outreach and activities for a few weeks so that teachers can focus on implementation of the hybrid model. But stay tuned and look out for an email from your coordinators soon!
Please join us for our annual Fall Family Fun Night on Friday, September 25th at 5PM, with a slightly modified format this year which includes a scavenger hunt and prizes! There will be funny costumes, music, balloons, and goodie bags! A few lucky prize winners will receive a “golden” ticket in their bag. This will be a community event that you will not want to miss! Tickets are $20 per participating child which includes admission, Westy hat and goodie bag. To purchase tickets, click here. To volunteer for this event, click here (We’re sorry, due to social distancing guidelines children will not be permitted to accompany you while volunteering at this event).
Congratulations to our math stars from the 2019-20 school year and the summer of 2020! We are pausing the Mighty Math program for 2020-21. A big thank you to Trish Gracia, our West School Math Specialist, and parents Jenn Ciolli and Lauren Hansen for their awesome work on the program this past year.
Last call for school supplies! Extra kits are available for each grade K-4. Please contact Kate Noell at to arrange an order.
Please consider supporting the West Safety Fund if you have not already contributed. The PTC has committed $3500 and counting to modify the school environment and keep students safe during Covid-19. Click here to learn more about the PTC's involvement in this effort, and to donate!
Though visitors are not permitted in the building this year, there are still many ways to support our school and volunteer! You can design layouts for the memory book, support the library's share-a-book program, create our first virtual science fair, and more! We hope all parents will find an opportunity to get involved. Click here for our volunteer interest form.
All five NCPS principals addressed the Board of Education on Tuesday, September 8th with their opening day reports from the schools. Principal Murphy reported that West School welcomed 421 students in 22 classes this year, with 20 remote learners. She highlighted the new and modified back-to-school activities West School hosted the past two weeks, including the virtual New To West orientation, the new Kindergarten parade and the virtual Meet and Greet with teachers.

Following the principals, Director of Finance Jo-Ann Keating presented the year-end financial report for FY 2020, including reporting to the board the operating budget surplus of over $2M due to covid-19 facilities closures. Finally, the BOE approved the revised district Goals and Objectives for 2020-21, including a new focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

The next BOE virtual meeting is Monday, September 21st at 7:00PM. The meeting agenda and prior meeting minutes are here. Questions? Please contact the West BOE representative Erica Schwedel at
Calling all budding architects, engineers and building fanatics! Come join the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society and create a structure in your favorite New Canaan architectural style out of interlocking blocks (such as Lego or MegaBloks bricks). Kids’ creations will be displayed in local store windows throughout the month of October to celebrate October4Design - the month-long celebration of New Canaan’s architecture, art, community and design. (Don’t worry you can retrieve your child’s building at the end of the exhibit.) We have 50 baseplates to get you started on a first-come, first-served basis - one per family please! The Builder’s Challenge sign up (and free baseplates) will be available at the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society beginning September 9th. For more information, please visit: or call the NCM&HS at 203-966-1776 ext 2.
The Children's room is OPEN for appointments! Click here to book your appointment! We also have limited capacity for walk-ins. Learn more about the Library's re-opening and express service here! Please take a look at our September Virtual Family Programs including SEAM Rippers, a monthly non-fiction book club, with a paired do-at-home activity for 1st – 3rd graders. There are four paths to choose from, each a letter from SEAM: Science, Engineering, Art or Math. Register by September 11th. To learn more please click here.
The Cub Scout Packs in New Canaan are joining forces for a fun Fall Kick-off Recruiting event where you can learn how to tie knots and check out some fun science experiments! Any boys or girls who are interested in Cub Scouts should come out Monday, September 14th at the patio of Waveny mansion from 6:30-7:30PM. Please use the sign-up Genius link to pre-register so we can keep our numbers to 100.
New Canaan Cares presents Managing Emotions in Masked Times. Open to Parents/Caregivers of children ages 6-12. Emotions have been escalating during the pandemic and wearing masks can make it even harder to show and share our feelings. Join us for an interactive discussion on how to manage emotions during these challenging times. Wednesday, September 16th at 9:30AM at the NC Historical Society (max 20 people) and Zoom. Please register here.