Committee meets to address Coleytown student relocation
WESTPORT — The Board of Education has convened a Community Advisory Committee to advise on where Coleytown Middle School students should attend school next year.
“The purpose of the committee is to advise and recommend to the Board of Education what the community believes about where the kids should go to school next year,” Board of Education Chairman Mark Mathias said.
The 15-member advisory committee is comprised of representatives nominated by various stakeholder groups, such as teachers, Parent Teacher Association leaders, and school administrators, who are all impacted by the current closure of Coleytown Middle School due to mold issues. A 16th member representing the architectural, engineering or building professional community is expected to be added to the committee, Mathias said.
Saugatuck Elementary School math specialist Jeanne Bowles is serving as committee chair. The group is working in haste to recommend a solution for where to house Coleytown students next year, before school administrators need to submit a budget for the upcoming year at the start of January.
So far, the committee has eliminated several of the nine proposals for where to place Coleytown’s students next year, including a scenario in which all Westport students in grades six to eight would attend Bedford Middle School, but in two shifts — one that would go from 7 a.m. to noon, and the other that would run from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Community Advisory Committee members and the constituents they represent:
Elena Caggiano, PTA - High School
Lee Goldstein, PTA - Middle School
Amie Peck, PTA - Elementary
John Horrigan, Teachers
Jeanne Bowles, Teachers
Sue Calger, At Large Community Members - WPS Parents
Sue Rubin, At Large Community Members - WPS Parents
Rosie Curtis, SpEd Community (professional or parent)
Kerryn Griffin, Pre-School Community
Don O'Day, At Large Community Members - Persons without children in WPS
Liz Blasko, At Large Community Members - Persons without children in WPS
Joe Strickland, Public Site & Building Committee
Adam Rosen, School Administrator - Secondary
Kevin Cazzetta, School Administrator - Elementary
Vanessa Valadares, Townwide Maintenance Committee
Of the five plans still under consideration is a proposal to have one of Westport’s elementary schools house Coleytown middle schoolers. Students from the affected elementary school would then be relocated to one of the four other elementary schools.
The CAC will provide a recommendation on Nov. 29 to the board, which will likely vote on a solution on Dec. 10, Mathias said. Following the decision, the CAC will address whether Coleytown Middle School should be remediated, and complete a larger analysis of how many buildings are necessary to educate the town’s public school students.
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