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Westport Schools Propose Traditional Calendar for 2004-2005

The proposed Westport school calendar for 2004-2005 looks pretty much like the ones in the past.

In a submission for Board of Education action at its Monday night meeting, Schools Supt. Elliott Landon said the proposal is for a traditional calendar, preserving the three extended vacations in the customary places with eight weeks between each vacation period.Ӕ

Landon said Westport schools will continue to be in session on Veterans Day but added that all principals will pay particular attention to having a significant observance of the meaning of the day.Ӕ

There had been some criticism by Westport veterans after this years observance that school children should not have school on Nov. 11 so they could attend the townҒs annual Veterans Day ceremony at Town Hall.

The calendar proposal calls for school to start on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2004, and end on Thursday, June 23, 2005. Students will be off for Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6.

The Christmas break will be from Friday, Dec. 24, 2004, to Monday, Jan. 3, 2005.

There will be a vacation break from Monday, Feb. 21, 2005, to Friday. Feb. 25, with a staff development day on Monday, Feb. 28, meaning students won’t return to classes until Tuesday, March 1.

The final vacation will be Monday, April 18, to Friday, April 22.

Landon told the board in a memo that since the calendar is a traditional one, he hoped the board would approve it Monday night as we have already begun to get phone calls from parents trying to plan ahead for their childrenӒs summer activities and their family vacations.

The Holly, the Ivy and the Matzo Ball



 

By Fran

WestportNow Consumer Correspondent
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Chef’s Table, with two Westport locations, has a selection of 12 different hot soups at all times, all priced at $5 small, $9.50 large. WestportNow.com photo

Baby it’s cold outside and here we go again with the snow. Nothing hits the spot on snowy days and cold nights like a bowl of hot matzo ball soup.  Seems oddly appropriate to the season too, don’t you think? 
Here’s what you’ll find around town. 
            Bowl /        Quart
Calise’s           2.40         2.95
Golds           2.50         5.95
Sherwood Diner 2.75         5.95
Oscar’s               4.50             7.49
ChefҒs Table 5.00         9.50
Katzenbergs Kafҩ 4.50       13.00
As always, please let me know if Ive missed any.

Sunday, December 14, 2003



Sunday, December 14, 2003

Noon – 3 p.m. – Inn at Longshore – Police Athletic League children’s holiday party
2 p.m. – Wesport Public Library – New York Times art critic Grace Glueck introduces and comments on film “Frida”
2 p.m. – Town Hall Theatre – Westport Community Theatre presents “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940”
7 p.m. – Christ and Holy Trinity Church – Westport Arts Center presents Pro Arte Singers

School Start-Time Committee: More Time Needed for Study

The Westport school systems committee studying the controversial issue of adolescent sleep time and school starting times says it needs six to nine additional months for its work.

In a progress report prepared for MondayҒs Board of Education meeting, the School Start-Time Committee said it agrees that adolescents need more sleep, that the issue is complex and multi-faceted, and that scientific evidence is inconclusive.

The scientific literature does not provide a clear answer regarding school start time,Ӕ the committee said.

It also agreed that the community needs to understand the problem and be actively involved with determining a solution.Ӕ

To deal effectively with this issue will require more time,Ӕ the committee said. It said if the Board agrees, it would issue a final report between July and October 2004, depending on the pace of its remaining work.

The committee, co-chaired by Dan Sullivan, principal of Greens Farms Elementary School, and Angela Wormser, principal of Bedford Middle School, has met 10 times since Sept. 30.

Its charge is to examine, develop and make recommendations for school start time for all Westport schools.

It was formed after the Board of Education this year ordered classes at Coleytown Middle School and Coleytown Elementary School to start half an hour earlier to save money on transportation costs.

The cost-saving measure produced an outcry from parents and was hotly debated during the recent Board of Education election.

In its progress report, the committee suggested that the issue was even more complex than the educators initially believed.

ғAs we learn more about the topic, more areas of issues appear, the report said.

The committee said its remaining tasks included reviewing parent and staff surveys from Coleytown Elementary and Coleytown Middle School and conducting community forums.

It also said it wanted to calculate costs and implications of various start-time options as well as conduct a ԓscientifically randomized telephone survey to determine community support for various school start time options.

Hartford Courant Editorial: Westports Action on Cheating Should be a Model

The Hartford Courant, in an editorial, has praised the reaction of Westports Staples High School to reports of cheating among its students.

It wrote: ғCheating among high school and college students is at an all-time high. Technology makes it possible, even tempting. Term papers and fake diplomas are offered for sale with abandon on the Internet. Copyrighted music is available with a click of the mouse. Electronic gadgets are capable of providing information from anywhere and using it without permission or attribution.

Young people raised in this milieu seem not to understand or care that passing off someone else’s work as one’s own is plagiarism. File sharing, the practice that has the music industry in an uproar, is illegal but nonetheless rampant. It’s sharing, said students at a recent high school journalism workshop. How could that be wrong?

“In some ways, this cavalier attitude is encouraged by well-publicized breaches of ethics by adults in the corporate, political and financial arenas.

ԔJohn J. Brady, principal at Westport’s Staples High School, is doing something about this disturbing trend among young people by making cheating an issue. He was prompted by an essay in the school newspaper chronicling ‘epidemic’ cheating at the school, followed by examples of elaborate cheating schemes among students driven by academic competition.

A funny thing happened on the way to a culture change at Staples High: The students welcomed the honest talk about the difference between pursuit of knowledge and pursuit of grades. They are involved in forming strategies for making cheating socially unacceptable. Parents and teachers are part of the effort, too.

ԔWestport’s recognition of the seriousness of this issue and its intelligent attempt to address it should be a model for Connecticut and the nation. Parents and educators don’t do children any favors by failing to teach them that hard, honest achievement is the most satisfying route to success.