Donation, tests on Board of Ed agenda

The Wilton Board of Education kicked off its Sept. 26 meeting with a few pieces of news involving the search for a new superintendent and donations from the Wilton Education Foundation.

Board chairman Bruce Likly said the number of firms involved in searching for the new boss of Wilton Public Schools has been narrowed to two.

Outgoing superintendent Dr. Gary Richards spoke only in regard to some good news — that of over $100,000 in donations from the Wilton Education Foundation.

Smart Board technology, Middlebrook School’s I-STEM program, performing arts, and the iPad Institute that would allow for creating mobile labs were among the recipients of the total donation.

“The partnership means so much as their donations have moved forward on several fronts,” Dr. Richards said of the foundation.

He also said high school students would be coming together to make donations to Rockaway Scholars’ Academy in a program called Rockaway the Storm with Books. Dr. Richards added that the schools involved, which were badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy, were attended by ABC scholars who currently attend Wilton High School.

“The Class of 2016 wants to help them out,” he said. “We’ve got lists of what they need.”

Students and families are invited to donate a book on the list or donate money via check.

Wilton High School Principal Bob O’Donnell said he will look into putting the list of books that are needed on the high school website.

Dr. Charles Smith, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, spent the bulk of the evening in front of the board, where he first said he was chided by the “peanut gallery.”

“They cannot hear me when I speak at this table,” he said to a round of laughter. “I apologize if it sounds like I’m shouting at you.”

Dr. Smith discussed the specifics of the summer curriculum projects that stretch through all of the schools and topics. While some of the projects were only a few days, such as K-2 PE mapping in physical education at Miller-Driscoll School, other projects were longer. An example of this is the 26 days spent on the New Generation Science Standards, Wilton Vision of Teaching & Learning, and Middlebrook Science Curriculum at Middlebrook School.

“The majority of those projects involve mapping and aligning our curriculum, developing assessment tools, and defining our programs,” he said.

He then turned his attention to the topic of strategic improvement and assessment, the bulk of which was built around the curriculum, instruction and professional learning.

Additionally, social-emotional learning and community involvement were bullet points Dr. Smith touched on.

Among the action items in this area is an effort to “implement safe school climate plans that support compassion, respect and responsibility to self and others.”


The Common Core State Standards continued to be a key phrase used among the educators, and Dr. Smith’s discussion indicated it would be “articulated appropriately through curriculum mapping, and delivered with fidelity.”

In addition, the state-mandated SBAC — the new standardized test — would be reflected in the assessment system by the district.

The SBAC, better known as the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, will be adhered to in 26 states, including Connecticut. While a date has not been confirmed, the window for the SBAC opens in February and closes in May.

Dr. Smith said it appears likely Wilton will not be administering the CMT or CAPT tests, moving toward the SBAC.

Middlebrook principal Maria Coleman and new I-STEM teacher Terri Isidro stepped up to finish the evening. Their presentation centered around the introduction to science, technology, engineering, and math, which has replaced the traditional home economics concept of wood shop and metal shop.