Wilton Public Schools has announced the district was recently recognized with three different awards.
Wilton Public Schools has been honored for a second time with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. Now in its 20th year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation., Wilton answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, and support for the music programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by the Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
This award recognizes Wilton is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides implementation in the states and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) which was often criticized for an overemphasis on testing while leaving behind subjects such as music. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.
Library awards
Superintendent Kevin Smith was recently awarded the CT Association of School Librarians’ Administrator of the Year award.
The award honors an administrator who provides necessary support for improving media services through encouragement and adequate funding for program maintenance and improvement. In the nomination, Smith was recognized for his outstanding support by staff, students and even a nationally renowned expert in the area of Library Learning Commons, professor David Loertscher.
Loertscher, who nominated Smith, wrote in a letter to the awards committee, “Having spoken to superintendents across our country and Canada, Smith stands front and center among his colleagues. The difference? He listens; considers; does his homework; and only then does he settle on an innovative initiative that will move his district forward.”
Wilton Public Schools was also named “Bunny” Yesner Library Media Program of the year. The Bernice “Bunny” Yesner School Library Media Program of the Year Award honors programs that meet the principles stated in the American Association of School Librarian’s National School Library Standards for learners, school librarians and school libraries.
“This (Wilton Public Schools) school district is worthy of state, national and international recognition as a place where cutting-edge practices keep emerging over time,” Loertscher said of the nomination for the award. “There is no sense that ‘design once, practice many times’ is the goal. Rather, there is a sense that the library as learning commons is in perpetual beta...I recommend to your Committee that this district become a showcase for the entire state of Connecticut for what they are doing to make sure that every child has an exciting and great experience as they interact with books, media, information, technology under the guidance of great professionals.”