Dear Staff and Families,
It is officially the start of the winter break.? Each of you have more than earned this time to rest and relax.
School Breakfast and Lunch
I want to take a moment to thank Chartwells, our food service partners.? Since the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, we have served over 772,313 meals.? I would like to take a moment to remind everyone that due to the COVID-19 pandemic the USDA extended their program that allows all students to eat breakfast and lunch at school through the end of the academic year in June 2022.? We do still suggest that families complete a free and reduced meals application in order to qualify for additional benefits such as sports and camp scholarships, fee waivers for Advanced Placement (AP) tests, college application fees, etc.? Applications are available online here or paper copies can be picked up in the lobby of the government center.
If you or someone you know are in need of assistance in accessing food, especially during the winter break when schools are closed, please click on this link for multiple resources.? Also, just a quick reminder that SPS continues to partner with The Stamford Public Education Foundation (SPEF) to support families in need of resources or information.? Please click here for more details on Here to Help.
Safety, Compliance, and Employee Relations Manager
I want to reiterate that ensuring a safe environment for students remains our priority.? To that end, we are in the process of hiring a Safety, Compliance, and Employee Relations Manager, similar to a position cut due to budget reallocations in 2020.? This staff member will work in collaboration with the City of Stamford Public Safety department, as well as directly with the police and fire chiefs.? In addition, the Safety, Compliance, and Employee Relations Manager will support building principals in conducting investigations.
Last week SPS, in collaboration with the Board of Education, announced that we will provide a COVID-19 bonus to SPS staff.? We recognize that no amount of money could ever thank staff enough for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to our students and families.? However, we wanted to do something to say “You are Appreciated!”
SPS Shout Outs
I want to take a moment to highlight and remind everyone to continue to read the SPS Shout Outs released on Friday each week.? What is an?SPS?Shout Out?? An SPS?Shout Out?is a special recognition that acknowledges school communities, staff members or students who have inspired us with a unique project, an outstanding job or a special effort that had a positive impact on our students or community.? Each week we will celebrate a few by sharing with all SPS staff and posting on the district website.? Please share any or all of these with your friends and families.???
SPS Administrators can submit Shout Outs for consideration through the form shared with them in the Administrators’ Weekly.???
School Construction Grant
As many of you are aware, Stamford Public Schools has collaborated with the City of Stamford to create a Long-term Facilities committee comprised of members of the BOE Operations committee, Board of Finance, Board of Representatives, Planning Board, Stamford Delegation, Administrators, Teachers, Staff, and community members.? We have worked for the last year to develop a master facilities plan, submit grant applications to the State for reimbursement to rebuild Lockwood Avenue and Westhill High School.
We are excited to announce that last week the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services (DAS) released the project list and both of the Stamford Public Schools projects were funded for reimbursement at 20%.? Please know that SPS and the City of Stamford will continue to work with our State Delegation to identify additional funding sources for these projects and other school projects as they are identified in the Master Facilities Plan when released.
High School Call to Action 2.0
Recently the Teaching and Learning Department held their kickoff meeting for High School Call to Action 2.0, a reboot of a committee from several years ago that addresses specific issues in our High Schools.? The identified focus areas of this committee include: System Changes to Stay on Track to Graduate, Career Pathways, and Social Emotional Learning & Equity.? Please stay tuned for more information as the 50+ volunteer participants meet to develop comprehensive plans.
Elementary Report Card Pilot
Last week the Teaching and Learning team hosted a Parent Pop-Up Webinar to discuss the K-1 report card pilot. If you would like to view the recording and learn more detailed information, please click here.
Enjoy the Winter Break… Stay Safe and Healthy!
Dr. Tamu Lucero
Superintendent of Schools