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New Fairfield Superintendent, Dr. Pat Cosentino, presented her draft goals to the Board of Education at their first meeting of the academic school year on Thursday, August 1. The goals she set out are similar to last year’s goals, with some adjustments.

The goals encompass nine areas that Dr. Cosentino wants to focus on, including: improving student achievement for all students, with a spotlight on closing the achievement gap between regular and special education students; providing all students with high quality instruction; offering meaningful professional learning to faculty and staff; and continuing support for the development of students’ social emotional learning.

Other goals include creating a positive school district; developing a communications and marketing plan; and focusing on building relationships and promoting positive school culture.

Finally, her priorities will be focused on providing and maintaining a safe environment; presenting a responsible budget for the following school year; and pledging cooperation between the superintendent and the school board.

Dr. Cosentino asked the board to review the goals and send her any suggestions for change. She plans to present them to the staff at the academic year-opening convocation event on Friday, August 23. Her final goals will be complete and ready for board member approval on September 5.

Beyond the goals, the BOE meeting included mostly a nuts and bolts discussion of starting a new school year, including last minute personnel updates and the announcement of new lawyers within Shipman & Goodwin who will begin representing the district. Dr. Cosentino encouraged board members to attend the annual Connecticut Association of Boards of Education convention that’s happening in the fall.

In board member comments, Chair Peggy Katkocin expressed a wish for the building projects to not become embroiled in politics, saying “We are knee deep in the political season in New Fairfield. I would hate to have the building projects become a political issue.” She pointed out that “All three of the main boards voted to go forward with the projects.”

The next regular Board of Education meeting is scheduled for tonight, Thursday, August 15 at 7pm.

By Sarah Opdahl