Here's a look at what made news this year in Greenwich Schools.
As we've reported, hazardous chemicals were found in several areas beneath the surface of Greenwich High School's athletic field. This year, the Greenwich Board of Education brought a panel of environmental experts to discuss the year and a half investigation. Experts believe it should take about 12 years for complete remediation but assure that since the chemicals are under ground, they pose no risk to staff and students.
"The barriers that have been put in place to prevent exposure and we'll continue to work with all of the agencies involved in the final remedial process," says Sharee Rusnak of the CT Department of Health.
In September, Greenwich Public Schools announced the launch of the first phase of its Digital Learning Environment. The Initiative aims to re-conceptualize education through digital learning to embrace the Common Core standards and to better prepare students for the new standardized assessments.
"Education has often historically been very top-down, and now we're in an age and era where students have so much access to information that they have their own synthesis and spin to put on it and things to create. So the Digital Learning Project here in Greenwich, while we do call it digital, I think is something bigger philosophically," says Phillip Dunn, Director of Digital Learning & Technology.
In October, students from Stamford High School walked nearly six miles from their school to Greenwich High School to spread awareness on bullying. One of the main organizers of the event was Greenwich High School Connections, which was started by a group of students the day after the tragic suicide of former student Bart Palosz. GHS staff and students say that since the tragedy the school community has shown great progress in coming together with programs and activities.
"I think you need to change the roots of the community and the basis of the community and basic understanding throughout our school that bullying will not be accepted, it won't be tolerated that there will always be people on your side there to support you," says Elias Frank, GHS Connections Founder.
"Most of the bullying here in Greenwich is alienation, people feeling left out. So if we try to get everybody included and make them feel like they're part of something, I think that will make a difference," says Blake Sherwyn, Greenwich High School Senior.
With a new Board of Education elected in town this year, we look forward to see what lies ahead in 2014.