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Letter: Notes From The Wilton Board Of Education Chairman

Bruce Likly
Bruce Likly Photo Credit: File

WILTON, Conn. – Wilton Daily Voice accepts signed letters to the editor. Please send letters

To the editor:

You might have noticed that the Board of Education has altered its meeting schedule, and now holds a monthly regular meeting, versus the bi-monthly meeting format we followed in recent years. Several people have asked about the change, so I’d like to explain the reasoning behind the decision.

In recent months, every member of our board expressed an interest in having the opportunity to gain a better understanding and delve deeper into the many subject areas that fall within the board’s scope of authority. It often seems that the fast pace with which important matters are reviewed does not leave enough time to truly evaluate an issue, ask questions or seek additional information. We have decided to address this concern through a series of subcommittees, each focused on a particular subject. Kevin Smith, who took over as superintendent in July, had direct experience with the idea of “board subcommittees,” during his tenure in Bethel. During our July “special” board meeting, we agreed to establish three distinct subcommittees: • Teaching and Learning: BOE members Laura Schwemm and Lory Rothstein, joined by Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Charles Smith and Superintendent Smith • Communications, Alignment and Policy: BOE members Bruce Likly and Chris Finkelstein, joined by Superintendent Kevin Smith • Business Operations: BOE members Glenn Hemmerle and Chris Stroup, joined by Director of Finance Ken Post and Superintendent Smith As we began to dig into our subcommittee work, it became clear that not only will this be time well spent, but we’ll be spending a lot of time on it! So, we decided to switch the meeting schedule to one regular meeting a month, as a way to provide added time for subcommittee work.

Each subcommittee will hold periodic meetings. Subcommittee meetings are open to the public, and any member of the community is welcome to observe. Meeting notices are posted on the district website, the district’s Facebook page and Tweeted as the meetings are scheduled. If you would like to keep posted on when subcommittee meetings will be held, please check one of these three outlets on a frequent basis. On an entirely different matter, I wanted to pass along our “official” enrollment numbers. For the past several years Ellen Essman, a local actuary and Wilton community leader, has provided us with enrollment estimates based on a systematic process that considers several variables including five-year enrollment trends, Wilton birthrates, housing starts and economic conditions. For the 2014-15 school year, Essman projected enrollment of 4,224 students. Our actual enrollment is 4,182 students, for a variance of less than one percent.

Finally, my deepest thanks to those community members who came out in support of the Miller-Driscoll renovation project.  

Thank you, Bruce Likly, chairman of the Wilton Board of Education

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