Superintendent

Dear Staff, Families and Supporters,

Welcome to the new school year! I hope everyone enjoyed a safe summer filled with activities with family and friends. Whether you are a returning staff member or family member or if you are new to the district, we look forward to your involvement in the Danbury school community. By becoming involved, you bring valuable support that helps our students continue to succeed.

We had a very successful year last year and look forward to another year of accomplishments to celebrate. One school was named as a National Blue Ribbon School and another earned a National Green Ribbon Award. Our district’s schools are consistently recognized as demonstrating academic growth despite the many challenges that face a sizable district with equally sizable budget constraints. The Danbury schools have devoted faculty and staff who continually encourage students to overcome hurdles by setting the example themselves of going over and above what is expected. Support from families and community members is also important, whether it’s through volunteering, contributing input, attending Board of Education meetings, or just by spreading the news that good things are happening at all of our schools.

There are several highlights to share with you as we begin the new school year. Our district newsletter, the Danbury Digest, will be posted on our website in October, February, May and August at www.danbury.k12.ct.us and will include stories, photos and highlights about our progress.  You can also view Hatters TV, which highlights district events and activities.

This year we welcome Kevin Walston as the district’s assistant superintendent and three new principals: Anna Machial at Shelter Rock School, John Webber at ACE and Kristy Zaleta at Rogers Park Middle School, and two interim principals: Kristen Bradley at Morris Street School and Marnie Durkin at Ellsworth Avenue School.

As area districts are downsizing, the Danbury schools population has been increasing by 1.5 percent over the past few years, which is expected to continue. Therefore, in addition to a new middle school five years ago, we recently completed a 63,000-square-foot expansion of Danbury High School. It is necessary to keep up with the growth of our high school – the largest in the state with more than 3,000 students – so we can continue to offer opportunities that enable students to enter careers or continue their education after high school. One such opportunity, the Danbury Early College Opportunity (DECO), is now entering its fourth year. The program, wherein students earn an Associate Degree from Naugatuck Valley Community College while at DHS, received a $30,000 grant last spring from the Fairfield County Community Foundation (FCCF). We have also expanded at the middle-school level with eight new module classrooms at Westside Middle School, where we will add 50 sixth-grade students a year over the next three years.

We are putting the success of our students first by remaining committed to providing the best education possible to every student. Our success is a collaboration in which educators, students, parents, policymakers and the community are all engaged. We encourage you to see what’s going on in our schools. Our students excel in science fairs, take part in international robotics competitions and create inventions that get them noticed as recognized inventors at the state level, to name a few areas of our students’ success. Once you see for yourself, you just may become a public school partner – even a champion – ready to work with us on our goals and build on efforts that are already showing great results in student achievement.

The Danbury Board of Education encourages community members to be a part of local education every day. Take a look inside our work and accomplishments; become a student mentor through our DSABC program to make a meaningful and long-lasting impact on a student’s life; read to kindergartners as part of the KIDS program; PTO activity or athletic event; or attend a school math or literacy night. We need your participation to help us continue our success.

I eagerly anticipate working with staff, families and community members on behalf of Danbury children, to have another successful and rewarding school year.

 

See you at our schools,

Dr. Sal V. Pascarella

Superintendent of Schools