Cider Mill looks to incorporate new student enrichment tool

Cider Mill Principal Jennifer Mitchell said she is hoping to incorporate the Renzulli Learning tool into her school’s enrichment programming.

“Renzulli Learning is a philosophy about providing enrichment for all students based on their unique passions and talents,” said Dr. Mitchell.

“It’s a Web-based tool that would allow students to go in, take an interest survey — which is basically a student profile — and it’ll find out what interests them and how they like to learn.”

With that information, Dr. Mitchell said, Renzulli Learning then provides ideas for learning experiences that meet each student’s passions and interests.

“It’s a great resource for us to use to support the WIN [What I Need] block; it’s a great resource for parents to use for additional enrichment and it’s also a tool that we can use to support after-school enrichment if we so choose,” said Dr. Mitchell. “If the [proposed school] budget is approved, I believe it would be a nice tool.”

Last week, Dr. Mitchell said, all Cider Mill students were given a “Renzulli-like” survey to help educators discover their students’ interests.

“If we have additional funding from the budget process, it can help us figure out what else our students are interested in and where else we could expand our enrichment opportunities,” said Dr. Mitchell.

During the Board of Education’s Jan. 8 meeting, Superintendent Kevin Smith discussed possibly tapping the Continuing Education account’s $400,000 surplus in hope of restoring some enrichment opportunities that were cut in previous years.

Dr. Smith told the board he planned to speak with counsel to make sure the board has the authority to “reallocate those funds toward an appropriate program.”

Financial Officer Ken Post told The Bulletin that the education board has fiduciary responsibility for the account, which is “kept in a town-controlled account, as opposed to a school-controlled account.”

If the board is able to use money from the account, Dr. Smith said, he will propose reinvesting a portion of the funds in “new, appropriate after-school or before-school activities through the form of clubs to support the overall learning of kids.”

The Board of Education’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. in the Wilton High School Professional Library.

To learn more about Renzulli Learning, visit