Frustration was on the agenda last week when New Fairfield parents addressed the Board of Education on October 20th. During public comment, parents went to the podium to express their displeasure, ranging in topics from their lack of confidence in Superintendent Dr. Roy, the continued lack of support for teachers, and the continuing appearance of an uncommunicative nature of the Board.
Tempers frayed when parent Brian Eglinton addressed boardmembers. “Superintendents have a shelf life just like commissioners and everyone else…I ask you again…do you think you are here for the kids? … I challenge you on that! The teachers here work their butts off and you guys are supposed to protect them, to help them! And none of you do that., “ he lamented.
Patrick Bower followed Mr. Eglinton up to the podium, remarking, “I keep waiting to see progress and I don’t see it. I keep seeing you drifting back into the old land of never responding to the teachers or parents. You never ever respond to the parents. 600 people signed a petition for Dr. Roy’s removal and nobody responds. You keep on working on the little tiny things but not the big things. You want to engage the community; you have to be transparent and engage us.”
The Town Tribune has extensively covered the ongoing disputes between parents and the Board of Education.
Despite this rocky start, the Board continued nonplussed, addressing the ongoing evolution of the District’s teacher Dashboard Technological Initiative. Teacher Dashboard technology will allow for the District’s teachers to better track student data through the course of a school year, as well as throughout the academic life of the student. According to Mr. Aaron Herold, Director of Technology, “We really have created a one-stop shop for the teachers. All of the data for their students, past and present, can be found in this new dashboard.”
“To create these dashboards is a lot of work,” Dr. Roy commented. “However we have truly made some progress…and I’m very proud of the work we have done.”
The Board honored the continued excellence of the Districts educational calendar and the budget proposal presentation put together by Dr. Roy. The superintendent also reported on the induction of over 40 students into the district’s various national honor societies.
Fiscally, the District has remained on track to stay within its budget. According to Board member Edward Sbordone, “Expenses are running as planned and attrition has been recovered. We’ve had more expenses than last year…but we are still okay for now.”
Student representative Jared Przyborowski also addressed the Board, reminding the community that Spirit Week is this week at New Fairfield High School. Spirit Week will include Tacky Tourist Day, Twin Day, Color Day and Super Hero Day, with Friday, October 28th scheduled for this year’s kickoff game. This Saturday is the homecoming dance, and there will be delayed openings next week.
The next meeting of the Board of Education is scheduled for November 2, 2016 at the Community Room at the New Fairfield Senior Center.
By Tim Koppe