Superintendent's Blog

Patricia L. Buell

buell picture
Superintendent of Schools

December 15, 2017

Dear Brooklyn Community,

I would like to thank you for your support of the Brooklyn Public Schools.  Over the last couple of weeks we have had the responsibility of reducing our expenditures in order to address a budget shortfall based on the budget and the reduction to the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant that the Town of Brooklyn receives to support the education of our students.  I am very proud of the school community and Board of Education who made very difficult decisions to try to minimize the impact to students.

​Please note: There will be a Town Meeting on Wednesday, December 20th at 7:00PM.  The meeting is at the Brooklyn Middle School Auditorium.  At this meeting, Brooklyn residents will be asked to vote on 4 items: 1) To use funds planned for TRB to offset the reduction of ECS funding to educate our students .  2) To use uncommitted reserves to offset the reduction of ECS funding to educate our students  3) To use funds from the Town to pay the deficit in the education budget for the 2016-17 school year  and 4) to approve an ethics policy.  It is very important that residents attend this meeting to learn what is being asked, why and to express you opinion by voting.  

Brooklyn Superintendent Award Winners 
Brooklyn Superintendent Award Winners!  Our students were the first four announced and sat respectfully in the front row during the announcement of all the other students!  

8th Grade Award Winners
We are very proud 8th graders Lily Gutierrez and Conor Stewart!

Gutierrez Family Celebrates Lily's award
The Gutierrez family celebrates Lily's accomplishment!  

Fourth Grade Award Winners
Very proud of fourth grade award winners Shelby Geragotelis and Ian Sherman!

Shelby's mother and teacher are very proud
Shelby's mom and teacher could not be more proud!  

Ian and his parents
Ian's parents are very proud of him!

The Hour of Code was designed to demystify computer coding and to show that anybody can learn the basics and encourage more people to become engaged in the field of computer science.  Two Brooklyn second grade classes celebrated the hour of code.  The teachers had volunteers who helped students learn about coding.  The level of excitement and engagement was terrific.  

Students program the robot to move 
Students make the robot move!

Programming the bee

Students are programming the bee to move through a course.  Volunteers were wonderful!

Programming
Programming with the Osmo!

Programming Elsa to ice skate
Many different programming games!  One was giving Elsa directions on ice skating.

Students working with Board of Education member Keith Atchinson
Mr. Atchinson, Board of Education member, teaching students during the Hour of Code.

Volunteer from The Pomfret School supports students in Ms. Deary's class
Student and teacher volunteers from Pomfret School teaching students in Ms. Deary's class.  Look at the concentration and engagement!  

Students need additional opportunities to engage in integrated science, technology, engineering and mathematics instruction to prepare for careers!  They love this type of learning and learn in collaborative ways! 

Thank you to the many volunteers who support our students and to the staff who work so hard to create meaningful learning opportunities!

Have a wonderful weekend!  Thank you for the commitment to our students' education!  Thank you for the opportunity to serve the great community of Brooklyn and the students!  I am very proud of what our students and staff do every day!

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

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December 4, 2017

Dear Brooklyn Community,

This evening I wanted to post a few comments about the Special Meeting of the Board of Education.  I would first like to thank the dedicated group of Brooklyn residents who serve on the Board of Education!  They are an amazing group.  This is a busy time of year and scheduling a meeting like this was not easy!  Thank you for making the time to review the current fiscal situation of the Brooklyn Public Schools!

Thank you to our First Selectman, Mr. Ives; and Chair of the Board of Finance Mr. Otto for being in attendance today.  Thank you to all of the Selectmen of Brooklyn who are supporting education in Brooklyn!  

Thank you to the parents, teachers and community members who were at the meeting today.  I know that there were many others who would have been there if the time was different or if they had more notice.  Thank you to all who made phone calls and sent emails on behalf of the educational system in Brooklyn!  I am proud to serve each of you and the students of Brooklyn.  

Due to staff participating in the early retirement incentive and the teamwork of the administrators who gave up raises and multiple other benefits the reductions were minimized.  Thank you to the Brooklyn Educator's Association and the non-certified union 1303 for your continued work to minimize the impact of the reductions.  

The reductions made by the Brooklyn Board of Education:
1.  One reduction to a custodian
2.  BES and BMS will be put on the same schedule allowing us to reduce one bus . (Times to be determined but likely 8:20-3:05)
3.  Furlow days:  if all union groups will agree, we will write a MOU to furlow two days . (suggested days:  Wednesday, February 21st and Thursday, February 22nd) . **Each union will be asked to take a vote on these days.  If all groups do not agree to the furlow, we will need to reduce the expenditures in another area.
4.  Pre-kindergarten Schedule:  the pk schedule will be adjusted, reduced by 15-20 minutes to allow buses who bring AM students home to bring the PM students in on the same bus.  This will allow for teachers to have lunch and planning between sessions.  This will reduce the need for PK students to leave the room for specials as teachers will have daily planning between sessions.  The cost savings will be to reduce buses in the mid-day.
5.  BMS Para reduction of one person.
6.  Health instruction by a designated teacher at BES.  Classroom teachers will teach content within their classrooms.
7.  Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant reduction of hours.
8.  Assistant financial secretary: reduction from 5 days/week to 4 days/week.  
9.  Principal at BES:  has given up her raise, travel and PD expenses
10.  Special Education Director:  has given up her raise
11.  Administrative travel/PD reductions
12.  Behaviorist:  Reduce work days from 5 to 4
13.  BMS Principal:  reduce from 5 days/week to 3 days/week
14.  Reduce one Library media specialist:  the remaining teacher will split her time between two buildings.
15.  Reduction of tech ed at BMS due to retirement.
16.  Retirement of one special education teacher/BMS, will be replaced.

As we begin to figure out schedules, buses and who will move from one position to another, I would like to recognize the entire staff who came together and supported each other.  We may only have 3 layoffs this round, but multiple teachers' lives and professions will change as a result of these reductions and we will continue to work collaboratively and support each other during this time.    

I am thankful that we will not decimate our district and am hopeful that if additional cuts are made we will continue to work together.  

I would also like to recognize that the Town of Brooklyn stepped up in a large way!  The elected officials are going to the taxpayers to ask them to financially assist the Board of Education on top of assisting with our shortfall last year.  They are also making reductions to their own expenditures.  Please be sure to reach out to our local elected officials and thank them for their support.  

Finally,  a Town Meeting (date to be announced) will be scheduled and these reductions will be reviewed.  I will post it once I have more information as to the date and time.

I remain proud to serve as the superintendent and appreciate the residents and staff of the Brooklyn Public Schools!  

Board of Education Reduction to Expenditures - Click here for pdf

Sincerely,

Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent


December 3, 2017

Dear Brooklyn Community,

December is upon us and the Brooklyn School Community is getting ready for the season.  The PTO sponsored their annual Holiday Event!  It was a wonderful success!  Thank you to all who attended and supported the PTO. The PTO supports many wonderful events for the school and supports students.  

holiday raffle table
 

Thank you to all the classes and groups who created the raffle baskets!  This was very impressive!

Mr. March and the BES Chorus
Mr. March and the BES Chorus, looking a little like the cutest reindeer I have seen! Thank you for the musical performance during the pancake breakfast!

The Brooklyn Middle School Chorus was at the tree lighting ceremony at the Creamery Brook Retirement Village!  Thank you to our chorus teacher and students for sharing your gifts with the residents of Brooklyn!  I am sure they loved watching you perform.

The BES and BMS Book fairs will be finishing up this week!  This is a great time to purchase books at a very reasonable price and proceeds from the fair are used to purchase books for the library or pay for authors who visit and speak with our students!  Thank you for supporting this fair too!

The Brooklyn Schools roofs are almost done.  The last part of the Brooklyn Elementary School roof was completed.  Below is a picture of the chimney that is now wrapped and matches the roof.  There are a few items on the punch list but for the average person, like me, it is done!  We were very pleased with the work that was done and the workers who were very conscientious of the students and teachers once school was in session.  

BES Roof is complete, chimney is blue
BES blue roof is complete, including the chimney wrapped in blue to match the roof.

I wanted to share a reminder that we have a free library at Brooklyn Elementary School.  This library is located right outside of the front door.  If you find yourself looking for something to do, consider swinging by the school. Leaving a book and taking a book to share with your child!  We welcome you to come and enjoy our playground when school is not in session and while you are there, you could borrow a book.  Give your child the gift of loving stories and loving to read!  It will be the a gift that is enhanced by sharing your love and time with them and will blossom as your child grows!  At this time of year, the best gifts can not be purchased at a store or on-line.  The best gifts come from the heart and they are the ones that are remembered and cherished!  

BES Free Library: Take a book, leave a book!  
Take a book, leave a book!  Enjoy and adventure and make a memory!  

Brooklyn Public School's budget and the impact of the State Budget Reductions:  tomorrow the Brooklyn Board of Education and I will review the potential reductions to expenditures for the remainder of the school year.  The Board of Education is facing significant reductions due to multiple factors. There were multiple areas of the budget that were not high enough to cover the expenses for the 2017-18 year.  These include anticipated shortages in transportation, special education costs, high school tuition and a couple of unbudgeted expenses.  These costs exceed $860,000.  There were also shortages in the area of entitlement grants such as IDEA, Title I and II in the amount of $92,000.  In addition, the Town of Brooklyn is receiving a reduction in state funding of $1,089,000.  

The Board of Education has made multiple efforts to reduce expenditures and is estimating a savings of $694,000 in the current budget.  In addition the the money the Town budgeted for Teacher's Retirement and possible offsets, the Brooklyn Public Schools is trying to reduce approximately $360,989 to the current expenditures.  This will not be easy.  The Board will be meeting to determine how we can continue to offer high quality education while reducing expenditures immediately.  This will impact everyone and we will work together to plan for these reductions and support students and staff who may experience changes as a result of these reductions.  No one wants to reduce expenditures and alter programming, but there are no other options.   

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or suggestions for the schools to consider in order to reduce expenditures and reduce the impact of these significant budget reductions.  

Thank you for your support and for allowing me to serve this community,

Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent    

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November 26, 2017

Dear Brooklyn Community,

It is Sunday night and I am pleased to take some time to share with you some of the celebrations of the Brooklyn Schools over the last two weeks.  This is a great way to wrap up a long Thanksgiving weekend!  I hope that you have had time to relax and cherish your family and friends and share your gifts with others.  This can be a very special time of year for many, but can also be a difficult time for those who are missing loved ones who are not close to home or who have passed or just can't communicate with right now.  I consider myself blessed to be able to share my thoughts with you and celebrate the wonderful staff and students in the Brooklyn Public Schools!  

I had the honor of attending a recognition ceremony for Mr. David Partyka.  He is a social worker who supports students and staff at Brooklyn Elementary and Brooklyn Middle Schools.  He was nominated for the Judith Nilan Award and was one of two people to receive this award this year.  NECASA, the Northeast Communities Against Substance Abuse honors Judith Nilan, a former social worker from Woodstock Middle School who was an outstanding social worker who supported students of Woodstock.  Mr. Partyka was honored with this award for his dedication to students through his work as a social worker and cross country coach.  His nomination listed many of his wonderful attributes and identified him as calm, fair and encouraging toward all students!  He exemplifies the qualities of Judith Nilan. 
Dave Partyka well deserving of the Judith Nilan Award for his service to youth!  November 2017
Thank you Dave Partyka for your dedication and service to our students!
Dave Partyka Nilan Award Winner 2017
Mr. Partyka and his award, outside of the UCONN Alumni building!
Louise Berry Brick outside of the UCONN Alumni Building
It was a special moment to look down and see this brick honoring Dr. Louise Berry outside of the UCONN Alumni Building!  Mr. Partyka is standing right behind the Berry brick!  We hope that Louise would be happy to know that she was thought of fondly this day!
Joan Trivella as moderator at the CABE Conference 2017
Mrs. Joan Trivella, one of Brooklyn's Board of Education members moderates one of the many sessions during the CABE Convention.  She dedicates many hours and serves on boards for Brooklyn, EASTCONN, Woodstock Academy and CABE.  These are just a few of the many ways that she serves her community! Thank you Joan Trivella!

Kelly Codding, Joan Trivella and Aimee Genna at the CABE Conference 2017
Three Board of Education members attended the 2017 CABE Convention!  This is a huge time commitment!  Thank you Kelly Codding, Joan Trivella and Aimee Genna for spending two days at this conference!  I appreciate your hard work, dedication to the Brooklyn School community and for always striving to be the best Board!  Your hard work, sacrifice and dedication are greatly appreciated by me and many!  Thank you!

2017-18 Brooklyn Board of Education Budget: There are multiple concerns as it relates to the current budget.  On Monday, November 20th I met with staff from both BMS and BES.  We discussed the current shortfall in the budget. There are many areas of the budget of concern and this is compounded by the reduction of funding that the State of Connecticut will be providing to Brooklyn.  I explained that there will need to be significant reduction to expenditures made this year in order to end the fiscal year without a deficit.  This conversation was stressful for many people as they are unsure of their future and how these reductions will impact them and their co-workers.  I am so thankful to work with such kind and compassionate employees who are standing together to support one another as we determine what the impact of these reductions will be.  The Board of Education will consider a wide range of reductions this week during their board meeting, Wednesday, November 29th. They will likely need to spend more time on this during a budget workshop meeting.  We value EACH of our employees and are proud of the programs and services offered to our students.  The Brooklyn Public Schools, and many other communities, are being impacted by the State budget and will need to find a different way of setting high expectations for students and ourselves while creating meaningful learning opportunities for all students.   

Thank you for your continued support and for allowing me to serve this wonderful school district.  

Sincerely, 

Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

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 November 12, 2017

Dear Brooklyn Community,

Students had a four day week, but Brooklyn Public Schools was still a busy place this week!

On Monday I was present to hear the announcement that 8th grader Linsey Arends finished first in the Middle School Cross Country meet last Saturday! We are very proud of her and all of the students who ran cross country!  A special congratulations to 7th grader Izzy Prindle who finished 35th in the state!  They both brought home medals!  Way to go!

Grade 8 student, Linsay Arcand, CT Middle School Cross Country State Champion!
Linsay Arend cresting the last hill before her win!
2017 Cross Country Championship Race 
Such a great group of student athletes!  I am very proud of these students!

Tuesday was election day and professional development day for our staff!  These days are extremely important as they provide time for our staff to learn and work collaboratively to provide high quality instruction and assessment to students to ensure that we are preparing them for success.  

Thursday was a day of celebration and recognition for our veterans.  We started the day with a UH-60 Blackhawk that landed in our field!  All of the students were able to watch it land, see a quick ceremony for our veterans and hear the crew speak.  The veterans and students all had the opportunity to climb aboard and explore the Blackhawk!  This was such an amazing sight!  There were many veterans who were present and really appreciated the opportunity to speak about their military service as well as be recognized for their service.  A special thank you to Trish Dehls, music teacher and National Junior Honor Society Advisor who coordinated the day's events.  Thank you to the middle school staff who put on an amazing spread for lunch.  The Veterans and crew ate before the student led assembly!  All around, this was another day of showing our community what an amazing school we have!  Staff, students and community came together for a very special and memorable day!  Special thank you to the Resident Trooper Corradi, Chief Breen of the Mortlake Fire and Rescue Department, East Brooklyn Fire Department, Troop D State Police, Fire Marshall Doug Kramer as well as Mr. Tusia and his staff for ensuring that the day went off without a hitch!   

There were so many wonderful photos and videos, we could not put them all here.  Please see the "Sights at the Brooklyn Public Schools" for more photos!
Blackhawk Landing 
UH-60 Blackhawk approaches for the landing!

Students and Veterans watch as the helicopter lands
Students, veterans and community members were very excited to see the landing!
The crew was amazing as students and veterans climbed through the aircraft! 
What an amazing crew!  They were very patient, kind and knowledgeable!

Veteran mom and dad having lunch with their daughter
Students ate with the veterans, some who went to classes to speak with students!
Students learn from our Veterans
Students learning from our Veterans!
Student led assembly
National Junior Honor Society members lead the assembly!  
Students shared about many of the heros of various wars
Students shared about the many heroes and tragedies of our wars.
A beautiful tribute to our veterans!
A tribute to our veterans!  The 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month.  Thank you to all who served!  Thank you to all those who were home, supporting their loved ones who served and thank you to those who have taken the time to recognize and appreciate our veterans!

Thursday evening there was a special tribute to area Teachers of The Year!  This year, Brooklyn Public School's Teacher of the Year was Enrica Desabota!  She is one of our sixth grade teachers and a very deserving recipient of this award!  Brooklyn had many staff who attended a dinner to honor her!  Enrica is a hard working, caring and dedicated teacher.  She goes above and beyond for her students as a matter of course.  It was my honor to recognize her at this event!  There will be a state level reception for all recipients.  
Enrica Desaboda Brooklyn's Teacher of the Year   
Brooklyn has many really wonderful staff, students and families who are hard working and are striving for excellence!  Thank you to each of you!  I am very proud to work beside you in this district!

Sincerely,
​Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent


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November 5, 2017

Dear Brooklyn School Community,

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about Brooklyn Public Schools through this blog.  It is my intention to share highlights about Brooklyn's Best on this site!  I am truly enjoying my job in Brooklyn and getting to know the staff, students and families!  Time has flown by this year, one quarter of the year is over!  I have so many more students and families to meet and celebrate!  

Last week I never posted, my goal is to post 3-4 times a month, so this post will cover a few celebrations from the last two weeks!

This week, after two days off of school due to downed power lines, I was glad to be back in school on Wednesday!  Our new Food Services Manager began on Tuesday, October 31st.  Mrs. Carolyn Hetrick began and has caught on quickly.  She has a BS from Johnson and Wales and has experience in food services!  She is very pleased to join the Brooklyn Team!  We are lucky to have her join us!  

On Thursday, November 2nd, our new Director of Finance began working.  This is a position that is split between the Town of Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Public Schools.  We are very pleased to have Mrs. Kathy Erickson join us!  Please feel free to stop by Central Office or the cafeteria to meet either of our new staff!  

Killingly High School Band Welcomes Brooklyn Students during their 8th grade visit 
Grade 8 students have begun their visits to high schools!  Students from Brooklyn Middle and St. James School visited Killingly High School on the same day!  They were given the royal treatment with performances by multiple bands and choruses.  These performers were absolutely outstanding!  The music program is only a small part of what KHS is proud of!  Students learned about the different programs and toured the building before having lunch! Thank you Killingly High School, you have so much to be proud of!


Students in Tech Ed build cars then measure the distance they travel
Students in Mr. Quevillion's class built cars then measured how far they traveled. They estimated the distance and problem solved about why some travel farther than others.  

You will see many signs of Kindness at BES!  They kicked off their Kindness Assembly with songs, skits and dancing and fun!  
Kindness message as you enter Brooklyn Elementary School
This Kindness Message is a warm welcome as you enter Brooklyn Elementary School!

Students sang as their classmates entered the assembly
Students led the singing to kick off the assembly!

BES students shared a skit and artwork about kindness
Students shared a skit and artwork to teach about kindness!  They did an excellent job!

CARE at BES
Fourth grade students thought their classmates the BES Cooperation Achievement Responsibility Empathy characteristics!  These qualities are what BES strives to demonstrate to everyone, every day!  These students demonstrated excellent leadership!
Kindness Reminders
Kindness reminders are spread throughout BES!  Great students and staff model these characteristics and behaviors!  

Kindness Matters at BES
Kindness matters and this is what you will find at Brooklyn Elementary School!

Rockin to Kindness is a Muscle
Students ended the assembly by singing and dancing to the Kindness is a Muscle Video . Watch out, the tune is very catchy, you may be singing this song all day!  

I am so proud of the students and staff at BES for spreading the message of kindness!  Your assembly was fun and a great way to share the message of what BES is all about!  

Have a great week!  This week if you hear a Blackhawk in the air in Brooklyn, it is very possible that it will be landing at Brooklyn Middle School to help us celebrate Veterans Day!  Pictures next week!

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

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October 22, 2017

 

Dear Brooklyn School Community,

It is already Sunday night and as we all get ready for a new week to begin a new week, I wanted to take a few minutes to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the Brooklyn students and staff!

Friday in the Norwich Bulletin there was an article about an after school program run by Mr. Malloney!  This Read, Run, Recycle Club is an outstanding opportunity for our students, and he is volunteering his time.  30 or more students are running in preparation to meet the fitness expectations for fourth graders, reading for fun and to always grow as a reader and clean up session that has students cleaning up around the school grounds!  This is awesome!!  Thank you Mr. Malloney!  You can follow the link below to read more! http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/20171019/read-run-and-recycle-helps-students-achieve-goals    I am unable to use the Norwich Bulletin photos, but you may see a few of my own by the end of the week!

I am very pleased to announce that on November 1st we will be welcoming our new Director of Finance!  Kathy Erickson will begin working in a split position between the Town of Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Public Schools.  This is not a very common role, but I am pleased to be working collaboratively with Mr. Ives and Mr. Otto to ensure that we are fiscally responsible in meeting the needs of our school and town.  We are excited for her to begin. 

Thank you BMS for offering a Family Math Night!  This was well attended and the team did an excellent job sharing resources with families!  I know that the teachers and administration are already working on how to improve this for the next time!  Thank you to the parents and students who attended, together we and forever impact the why our students view themselves as mathematicians. By taking agent and demonstrating grit, students can be successful math students, this is the message they heard during the math night!  The teachers at BMS are doing everything they can to support and encourage all students!  

Parents attend math night at BMS

On Saturday teachers and administrators from Brooklyn Public Schools attended the 93rd Saturday Reunion of The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University in New York!  Most teachers traveled to Hebron, CT to load a charter bus to NYC.  A few traveled on their own to NYC! The bus left at 5:45AM and teachers paid their own way to spend a day attending workshops, and return to Hebron at about 5:45PM!  Most staff spent at least 14 hours on Saturday, away from their families to improve their practice!  This is a dedicated group of educators! Thank you to everyone who attended and will return to work on Monday with ideas that can be implemented in their class to support students and for offering support to each other to improve the art of teaching.  Teachers are a special group, Brooklyn students are extremely fortunate to have such dedicated teachers!

93rd TC Reunion Group Photo October 2017
This is the group, we arrived in NYC early, before the MANY thousand educators descended on Columbia University!

BPS Teachers waiting for the Keynote Speaker
At Riverside Church, waiting for the keynote speaker:  Author Jack Gantos!

Mr. Yanku with Lucy Calkins
Mr. Yanku with Lucy Calkins, the creator of Readers and Writers Workshop model of instruction!  

BPS staff and Jack Gantos
Imagine, Jack Gantos just happens to be in the background!  Great photo Mrs. Tamsin!  

Jack Gantos, Keynote
Jack Gantos, keynote speaker, amazing author and very inspirational!  Recent book Writing Radar is about how to encourage writers to become outstanding and how to create the next authors!  He suggests that every student go to the library and find the spot on the shelves where their book will be shelved after it becomes published!  Put your hand in the spot where it will be placed!
Just before loading the bus, NYC
The end of an amazing day!  Teachers are ready to return with ideas on how to promote reading and writing!  Thank you to everyone for attending and thank you to Hebron Public Schools for allowing us to join you on the ride to NYC! Can't wait for the next trip!

Have a great week ahead and be sure to read, write, and stretch as a learner every day!  Appreciate each other and support each other!  This is a great life, celebrate!  

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent
  

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October 15, 2017


Dear Brooklyn School Community,

I hope that you have enjoyed a nice weekend at home with your family!  Last week we had a very short week!  There was a holiday and a professional development day!  Professional development is important to staff to ensure that we review our curriculum and offer instruction that is aligned to the Connecticut standards.  

This week I have a few soccer pictures to share.  I was able to attend the boys soccer game at home!  Once again I saw many parents, grandparents, siblings and staff members watching the game!  It is wonderful to have such great support for our students!

Enjoy these photos, as well as a few that I have uploaded to the "Sights at the Brooklyn Public Schools" section of this webpage!

Boys soccer 10/2017
Boys used their heads often during this game!


Action shot during boys soccer
The boys showed a lot of hustle during this game!


Boys soccer near the goal
Great offense!  

During the coming week, the PTO will be getting ready for the PTO Halloween Bash!  This will be happening on Friday at BES from 6:00PM-8:00PM!  

The Brooklyn Parks and Recreation "Spooky Nights" will be happening this Friday and Saturday, October 20th and 21st.  You should buy your tickets ahead of time!  This year there is a "not so spooky house" so that everyone can enjoy the fun!

Have a great week!  It is my pleasure to serve you and the community of Brooklyn!

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

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October 9, 2017

Dear Brooklyn School Community,

Last week was a great week at Brooklyn Elementary and Brooklyn Middle Schools!  You will see that the post this week has many pictures of students, but please visit the tab "Sights at the Brooklyn Schools" for more pictures!  (It is to the left of this page and you can see additional photos that I would have loved to post, but did not have enough room to post!)

I am going to post the pictures in reverse order this week to share with you a wonderful message.  I attended the cross country meet at Prince Hill Park.  I left the meet feeling SO PROUD of the students in Brooklyn!  There were many runners from Brooklyn, Plainfield, Thompson and Woodstock and it was amazing to see so many parents and friends there.  There were an incredible number of teachers and staff there too to cheer on the students and assist in running the meet!  Set up, organization and recording all of the runners' finishes takes a lot of work!  It is wonderful to see all of the community working together!  I would like to compliment EVERY student who went out for the team, ran and finished the race.  Running is not easy for everyone!  Some make it look easy and maybe it is!  For others, like myself, it is hard work!  The students who stuck with it even when they saw runners finishing and they had a long loop to finish, I am so proud of you!  The first picture of this post is of two or our runners who had finished their race and went back to cheer on the last of the racers!  I understand that this happens often and I am so appreciative to have been there to witness this!  

Two Brooklyn students went to the end of the race to cheer on the last runners.  They cheered on a Plainfield runner, a Thompson runner and then they cheered on their teammates and ran the end of the race with the last runner.  This was my proudest moment!  If we could all take the time out of our day to go out of our way and care for those around us, even in a small way, we would make this world a beautiful place.  Thank you to each and every one of you who have done this in some way, cheering others on, supporting each other or helping to bring home the last runner and making sure they feel a part of the team!  You make a difference and I am proud to serve as your Superintendent!

Students supporting each other to finish strong!  Very proud of you!
Cheering on students as they go to the back of the pack to support each other.

I am so proud of our students!
Teamwork is valued and appreciated!  I am very proud of all of our students!

Girls getting ready to start their race!
Coach Partyka has his runners ready, Mr. Bejma reviews the routes and starts the race! 

The race has started, students are off!
The girls are running, off to a great start!

Two of our runners!
Two of our hard working cross country runners!  Great job to every runner who finished the race!  Running your personal best at every race makes you a winner!

Brooklyn's Teacher of the Year, Enrica Desabota hands out the place numbers
Brooklyn's teachers volunteer to make the meet a success!  Enrica Desabota, Brooklyn's Teacher of the Year, hands out the place card at the finish line!
 

 

JJ Krosoczka and Ms. Therrien
Author JJ Krosoczka and Librarian Therrien share the message of a published author!  Mr. Krosoczka shared that he tried and failed many times before publishing his first book.  He now has 36 published books!  He shared the message that when he was in third grade he spent time writing and sketching in his free time!  Any of our students can become a published writing, it takes hard work and persistence!  It also takes support and encouragement, be sure you encourage and support our future authors!

JJ sketches

Author JJ Krosoczka explained how he sketches for his books!  The students were great listeners and asked very good questions!  Thank you Ms. Therrien for arranging to bring the author to Brooklyn Elementary School.

Brooklyn Girls Soccer
Brooklyn girls soccer game!  Beautiful day for a game with lots of family and friends to cheer them on!

Teamwork
Girls played hard, there were parents, grandparents and siblings there to watch them play!

Brooklyn dribbles the ball
Brooklyn dribbles the ball up the field!

Great defense
Great defense!  Great hustle by the Brooklyn girls! Woo hoo!

One last share, the "Across the Smiles" van comes to Brooklyn Public Schools. This dental van is set up like a dental office and can provide a wide range of services.  
Across the Smiles Mobile Dental Van 
The mobile dental van visits Brooklyn!  If you would like your child seen, please speak to the office for forms.  

student in the dental chair
Student is ready for his dental appointment.

Mobile Dental Van
This student looks very happy in this dental chair!

Today was a holiday, Columbus Day and tomorrow is no school, professional development day!  I hope that you have all had a great weekend and enjoyed some extra time with family!  Thursday, October 12th is the PTO Meeting, all are welcome!

Thank you for your support of the students in the Brooklyn Public Schools!  I am honored and proud to serve as the Superintendent of Brooklyn Public Schools.  

Sincerely,

Patricia L. Buell
​Superintendent of Schools


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September 29, 2017

Dear Brooklyn School Community,

Today was the last day of school for September 2017!  The students, teachers and administrators are working hard!  We have set goals for the 2017-18 school year and have shared them with the Board of Education.  These will be posted to the website within the week!  Please do not hesitate to contact the principal or my office if you have any questions.  The School Advancement Plans have incorporated information from the School Climate surveys completed last spring.  Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences.  We hope that students and families feel welcome and comfortable in our schools, and if you don't, we want to know so we can improve our school climate.  

This week I have new pictures to share with you.  These pictures are from Brooklyn Elementary School, next week I will post pictures from the Middle School.

Grade 3 Student Work
Grade 3 self-portraits

Awesome Authors
Sample of student work proudly on display near the cafeteria!

Grade 3 Acorn Math 
Students in grade 3 demonstrate math skills!

(Photo no longer available)

Students in grade 2 partner reading!  Students seem to enjoy their classroom with alternative seating arrangements!

Grade 2 student writes in her journal
Grade 2 student writes in her journal

Grade 1 students getting to know each other!
Grade 1 students getting to know each other!  

Teacher led rhyming lesson, grade 1
Students working on a teacher led rhyming lesson.

Students in grade 2 partner reading and independent reading
Grade 2 partner reading and independent reading!

Our students are reaching new heights!  Monday will be the second month of school!  Stay tuned for more learning and more hard work!  Thank you students and staff, you make Brooklyn Public Schools a great place to be!  You are also preparing students to make their dreams come true!  

Have a great week ahead!  

Sincerely,

Patricia L. Buell

Superintendent

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September 23, 2017

Dear Brooklyn School Community,

As our students and staff are working hard, the roofers continue to work on the roofs of both schools.  BMS roof is almost complete and the BES roof should be completed in October.  It is great to see the progress on the roofs and to see our students learning!

This week as the weather warms up, the students will enjoy their recess time and outdoor activities!  It is always such a pleasure to see students learning and playing!  The sounds of outdoor recess are wonderful, I will be looking forward to hearing them.

I want to give you a bus update.  Many of you are aware that our bus company M&J began transporting our students last year.  This year we have had more challenges than expected in getting the bus routes so they run smoothly.  I have communicated with many parents already and we have ongoing meetings and calls with the bus company.  Please know that we are working diligently to ensure that our students are arriving to school on time, get home within a reasonable time and are riding in buses that are not too crowded.  I would ask that you continue to communicate with me if your children are not picked up, if your child is picked up more than 15 minutes late or arrives home later than 15 minutes from the posted times on the bus routes.  Please email me at buell@brooklynschools.org

This week we have a Board of Education Meeting on Wednesday, September 26, 2017 at 7:00PM.  Our administrators will be presenting the School Advancement Plan, this is the plan on how to improve student achievement this year.  The Advancement Plan will be posted on our website and we welcome any questions you may have.  The Advancement Plans will be posted at the end of the week.  

Have a great weekend and week ahead!  Happy autumn!  It is my pleasure to serve you and your children!

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent


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 September 15, 2017

Dear Brooklyn School Community,

I hope that you have had a great full week of school!  I saw many sharp looking students getting their picture taken in our schools!  I also observed students working in classes at BES and BMS.  Students have begun taking the STAR assessment which will give us baseline academic information and measure the growth as a result of our instruction.

The buses have improved this week, but there are still some routes that need to be edited.  There are a few different M&J employees working on reviewing the routes again to see if there are additional efficiencies that can be made.  I am hopeful that we will continue to improve routes for everyone and we will communicate that out as soon as possible.  

I wanted to share a few pictures from the schools:

Town of Brooklyn makes BMS look great!
The Town of Brooklyn has worked hard this week to cut the weeds around the buildings and trim limbs on the trees!  It looks great!  Thank you!

BES Blue Roof
Brooklyn Elementary School blue roof looks great!  The roofers are not done yet, but it looks very nice!

Brooklyn Middle School Roof Drains are Working!
Brooklyn Middle School roof is almost done!  This weekend the roofers will be applying asphalt and stone.  Part of the project included installing 30+ drains in the roof.  As you can see, this one is working!

Have a wonderful weekend and and week!  It is such a pleasure to serve the community of Brooklyn!

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

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September 8, 2017

Dear Brooklyn School Community,

I hope you have all had a wonderful week!  This four day week was an exciting week with Open House at BES and BMS!  We also enjoyed the High School Fair and the PTO BBQ!  The staff at both schools proudly welcomed many students and their families into their classrooms to talk about the great work that be happening this school year!  It was also really wonderful to meet so many representatives from area high schools!  Many of them brought our very own Brooklyn High School Students!  Brooklyn has so much to be proud of, every high school that I speak to about the Brooklyn students says that they are great students, great kids and a pleasure to have in their high school! Great day, great turnout!


PTO BBQ at Brooklyn Elementary School
 2017 Brooklyn Elementary Open House and PTO BBQ


PTO sponsors the BBQ
Thank you to the PTO members, you sure know how to throw a great BBQ! 

  Mortlake Fire Department Chef
Thank you to the Mortlake Fire Department for cooking!



Finally, bus routes were still not what we hoped they would be by the second week.  I want to assure you that we continue to improve the dependability and routes.  We have posted the bus routes on the District/Transportation page.  As they are updated I will update the bus routes on our website!  Thank you for continuing to share your experience with the offices.  We continue to address every email or phone call.  Thank you for your patience, the routes have improved, I know it will get better!

Sincerely,  

Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

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September 4, 2017

Dear Brooklyn School Community,

Happy Labor Day!  I hope you are enjoying time with friends and family!  Our first week of school was filled with many happy smiles and warm wishes as students and staff reunited with friends they have not seen since June!  

School buses ran slower than we had hoped, but we continue to work collaboratively with the bus company to iron out long routes and late buses. Thank you for your patience and understanding as this has taken longer to work out than expected.  I hope for a much better second week!  Please continue to reach out to the elementary and middle school offices for students in grades K-8.  For students attending high school, please contact Melissa Costa in Central Office at (860) 774-9153, to report any concerns or to address any questions.  

The school roof work continues with very little disruption to instruction.  If you have not had an opportunity to see the new blue roof on Brooklyn Elementary School I hope you will like it!  This week is the Brooklyn Middle School Open House on Wednesday, September 6th 7:30PM-8:30PM; and Brooklyn Elementary School Open House is Thursday, September 7th 5:00-7:00PM beginning with a BBQ.  Hope to see you there, you will have an opportunity to see the roof work then and meet staff and other families!  

This is a good time to remind you to plan ahead!  We have School Messenger to alert parents to schedule changes or other events!  We ask you to log into your account to verify your contact information is correct so that you will receive notifications by phone, email or text to as many devices as you set up in your preferences.  

Have a great week! It is my pleasure to serve the students, families and community of Brooklyn!

Sincerely,

Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

Brooklyn Elementary School Recess

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Dear Brooklyn School Community,

Happy New Year!  This is a very exciting time of the year as we begin another school year!  The teachers and entire staff anxiously await the arrival of students for the first day of school on August 30, 2017!

This summer was very busy at Brooklyn Elementary and Brooklyn Middle Schools with roof projects and cleaning.  The schools are looking wonderful for the first day of school.  Teachers had very limited time to enter the building this summer and set up their classrooms but they did a fantastic job! I would like to extend my appreciation to the staff who worked in the schools this summer to ensure that the buildings were ready,and ensure that teachers and students have what they need to begin the year with instructional materials and supplies.  Principals and secretaries registered new students, ordered materials and developed schedules while the roofers were busy outside of the building and custodians were busy cleaning.  Thank you to the many teachers who spent the last few days of summer setting up and preparing for students on the first day!

As your children enter their classrooms and begin a new school year, please know that they are cared for and will be challenged to achieve to their fullest potential!  We are looking forward to the new school year and want to greet each student and welcome them to our schools.  We appreciate the support that the Brooklyn community shows the schools throughout the year.  

This year the elementary school will be working on learning how to implement writers workshop at all grade levels.  This is a specific writing approach which supports students as writers and offers opportunities to write across genres.  As your child learns about this writing approach, we hope that you will see their excitement as they grow as writers.  The elementary school staff will be implementing a standards based report card for the first time.  A great deal of work has been devoted to the development of these report cards and scoring rubrics.  More information about this will be shared as the first trimester begins. I would also like to congratulate the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten staff who went through the process of re-accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and achieve accreditation status for another five years!  This is a mark of a high quality program, one that is a source of pride for the town of Brooklyn. 

The middle school students will once again begin the busy schedule of a middle school student! There are many clubs, sports and activities for your child to engage in.  Academically staff continue to work on the articulation and implementation of the curriculum in all content areas and ensure the alignment to the Connecticut State Standards in order to prepare them for high school. The staff members will also be focusing on mathematics to identify and implement high yield teaching strategies and monitor student outcomes.  It promises to be another exiting year at BMS!

The roof project has receive a lot of attention.  At this point, although they are not completed yet, we do not anticipate any impact to the start of the school year for students or parents dropping children off or picking them up.  The middle school roof should be completed by mid September and the elementary school work will continue into October.  Although there will be some drilling to secure the new roof, it is not too loud and might only result in a minor disruption for up to a day over each classroom.  We will not be able to see the BMS roof, as it is flat but it looks great!  The portion of the roof being replaced at BES will be visible from the school grounds and already looks beautiful!    

Finally, the transportation provided by M & J Busing continues to be adjusted as I write, less then 18 hours before the start of school.  There are many reasons for the adjustments, one is because this company is working to ensure safe, efficient and fiscally responsible routes for our students and community. The footprint of Brooklyn is large and once again this year, routes have been adjusted to meet the changing students in our community.  Brooklyn Public Schools transports students to several high schools and has multiple schedules it needs to follow.  The complexity of the routes are impacted each time we make a change.  As new students enroll, this week we have had many new enrollments, we are adjusting routes to accommodate as many families as possible.  Please understand that the first few days may result in new glitches that may require adjustments.  We welcome your calls to address any questions you have and are addressing them as efficiently as we are able.  Please feel free to contact our offices at Brooklyn Elementary, Brooklyn Middle and Central Office for high school students.  We want to know if there are any concerns with the buses.

I look forward to meeting you this school year and watching your children grow and learn!  Happy New Year!  

Sincerely,

Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent