Superintendent's Blog



Patricia L. Buell

buell picture
Superintendent of Schools

June 6, 2018

Dear Brooklyn Community,

I wanted to inform you that tomorrow, June 7th at 7:00PM there is a Town Meeting at the BMS Auditorium.  Please review budget information on the website and feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Please remember to attend the Town Meeting, 6/7 at 7:00PM!

Eighth Graders on their class trip to Washington DC!  
Brooklyn in DC 
BMS Grade 8 at the Jefferson Memorial!

Gotta love these kids!
Gotta love these kids!  I have no idea what they were doing, but I am sure they are having fun!  

BMS and Congressman Courtney
Congressman Courtney speaks with Brooklyn Middle School students in DC!

More pictures to come!  They are having great weather, and I hope a great trip!

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent
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June 3, 2018

Dear Brooklyn Community,

What an amazing weekend!  I can't believe that it is June!  There is not much of the school year left and I have so many wonderful things to share!  There are so many great things happening in Brooklyn and not enough time to share them all.  

Last Monday, Memorial Day was a day to be proud of the Brooklyn Community. Brooklyn has been celebrating Memorial Day with a parade and ceremonies for many years! This year there were so many students from our schools who participated in reading poems, marching in the band and scouts, athletes and their families.  There were meaningful ceremonies and wreaths laid in the town.  Enjoy the photos!

BMS band members warming up
BMS Band members warming up!

BMS Band Members
BMS band members!

Percussionists
Percussionists!

Sounding great!
Sounding great!

First Selectman Rick Ives begins the ceremony
First Selectman Rick Ives begins the ceremonies!

Mr. Kelleher
Mr. Kelleher directs the band to play the National Anthem!  Great job!

Alex Levesque recites the poem
Great job reciting your poem Alex Levesque!

Lindsay Arends 
Lindsey Arends reading her poem!  Awesome job!  Representative Pat Boyd was also present and spoke.  Mr. Bob Kelleher also was present and spoke!

The parade begins!
The parade begins with the band playing!  Our students are great!

The Twirlers looking great!
The Twirlers are looking great!

Scouts!
Scouts are an important part of our parade and community!

Parade is wrapping up!
The parade is almost done!  The community enjoyed a free lunch served by the Lions Club.  The students and community enjoyed learning about different groups in our community such as Parks and Recreation!  The fire trucks were there and looked sparkling clean!  

Brooklyn is a wonderful community!  

Sincerely,
​Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent
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May 28, 2018

Dear Brooklyn Community,

After twelve years as principal of Brooklyn Middle School, Mr. Al Yanku will be retiring.  He has been an outstanding principal and is great with the students. He sees his role as an educator to ensure that students are given multiple chances to learn and grow.  He is athletic minded and understands the value of teamwork.  Mr. Yanku works with staff, parents and students and has really made a difference for many!  He will be greatly missed.  Mrs. Heather Tamsin was appointed in April to be the principal beginning July 1, 2018.  Last week at the Board of Education meeting Mr. Joshua Torchia was named as the assistant principal, effective July 1, 2018.  

Mr. Joshua Torchia and Mrs. Heather Tamsin
Mr. Joshua Torchia, BMS Assistant Principal and Mrs. Heather Tamsin, BMS Principal beginning July 1, 2018!

Thank you to Mr. Yanku for being such a great mentor this year to Mrs. Tamsin and to Mrs. Tamsin and the interview committee for your hard work on the search committee!  There were many very highly qualified and excellent candidates!  We welcome Mr. Torchia from Marlborough, MA where he is currently serving as an assistant principal.  Prior to that he served as a classroom teacher in Worcester, MA.  They will both begin their new assignments on July 1, 2018!

Brooklyn Elementary Book Character Parade was a huge success!
(Enjoy the photos!  I would love to share all 150+ photos I took, but will spare you and share only a handful!)
Parents lined the driveways waiting for the parade!
Parents lined the parade route!  It is so amazing to see the support in Brooklyn!
Ready for the parade to start!
Parents and family waiting for the parade to begin!

The BMS Band!
Thank you to the band who kept the beat!
Two big characters led the parade
BES leadership!  Great characters and even better sports!!  Thanks for leading the fun! 

The band, good practice for the Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade!
The band led the parade, good practice for the Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade!

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything
Mrs. Therrian?  Great costume!
So many great costumes!
So many great costumes!

Great characters!
Great students, great characters!
Awesome students!
Awesome students having a great time!
Love those Brooklyn kids!
Love those Brooklyn kids!
Is this a school of flies?
I will hang out with these bugs any day!
More great kids!
There were more great costumes and great kids!

I have many more photos, but this will do it for Friday's parade!  There will be more photos of the Memorial Day Parade!  I am so grateful to work with such great staff and students in such a supportive community!  

Famous author Suzy Kline visits Brooklyn Elementary School!
Famous author Suzy Kline visits Brooklyn
Suzy Kline shared a very important message with the students: she told them to always have a small notebook and pencil in your pocket to jot down ideas for writing, you never know when you will find a topic to write about!

Students were very engaged!
Thank you for sharing 30 years of Horrible Harry stories with the world!  We loved to hear about how you came up with the ideas for story topics!  When you were a teacher you got to develop ideas for so many of your characters! You are a great storyteller and we love your stories!

It is my pleasure to serve the community of Brooklyn.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments, complaints or compliments! I am here to serve the students and to ensure that they receive a great education!  

Sincerely,
​Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent
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May 27, 2018

Dear Brooklyn Community,

Memorial Day
Happy Memorial Day, a day to remember and honor the many who have given so much for our country.  Tomorrow, Monday, May 28th is the Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade!  It begins at 9:00AM at the Brooklyn Fairgrounds!  Our students will be marching in the parade and a couple students will speak. Following the parade there is a family fun day at the Fairgrounds!  I hope you all enjoy!

Lions Club Assembly Awards
Congratulations to our third quarter award winners!

Lions Awards
Thank you to the Lions for going going out of their way to honor our students and encourage them!  We are proud of our students and appreciate the Lions who recognize hard work!

Brooklyn's Best: Art Teachers Ms. Gatlin and Ms. Sullivan at the art show
Thank you to our wonderful art teachers: Ms. Gatlin and Ms. Sullivan for the great work you do and for giving of your time to judge the art show!  The student artwork is amazing. 

2018 Art Show
Thank you to the Brooklyn PTO for all of your hard work and support to promote the arts!  The many hours that you devote to the schools is appreciated and is a great way to encourage our students, Thank you!

Pride in her work!
I was observing some of the artwork when this student excitedly found her piece!  She and her mother had been looking for her painting 

A project for students to work together during the art show.
This collaborative art project was open to students during the art show!  There were many activities that students could participate in while at the show! Thank you to the many volunteers who volunteered their time to make this a special event!

Beautiful artwork!
More great artwork!  I am very impressed with the quality of the art our students produced!

Live performances at the show!
The art show also had performances.  This student did an outstanding job playing the guitar!  Mr. March played backup!  Thank you Mr. March for your help to promote the arts!  


Brooklyn Middle School Student Council Raises Money for Relay for Life!
Mrs. Socquet and Mrs. Green at Relay for Life
Thank you Mrs. Socquet and Mrs. Green for supporting the student council to gather at the Relay for Life this year at Brooklyn Fairgrounds.  

Brooklyn Middle School at Relay for Life
It was a VERY rainy weekend and students and teachers represented Brooklyn Middle School at the relay!  

Students in their tie dye shirts!  Great job BMS!
Students made tie dyed shirts and walked in the rain! Mrs. Green and Mrs. Socquet said "We are very proud of the 47 Brooklyn Middle School students who participated in the Relay for Life on Saturday.  The substantial amount of rainfall did not deter participants from having a fun filled day.  In total, $2,905 was raised for the American Cancer Society."  They thanked Mr. Lessig, Mrs. Desabota and Mrs. Schaetzle for their support and contributions.  "As always, we are moved by the members of our Brooklyn community who continuously reach out to support their neighbors.  We are very fortunate!"

These are more examples of the wonderful things happening in Brooklyn!  Our students, family and community are special!  There are great things happening and Brooklyn is fortunate to have such special people!

Thank you for reading the blog and supporting the great work of students and staff in this wonderful community!  

Sincerely,
​Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent
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May 24, 2108

Dear Brooklyn Community,

The Brooklyn Town Hall Meeting is scheduled for June 7th at 7:00PM at the Brooklyn Middle School Auditorium.  Please plan to attend this meeting to vote on the budget for 2018-19 school year.  The budget for the town, school and capital projects will be voted on.  

Tomorrow I will send home the School Climate Survey.  I would ask that you please complete the survey for each school where you have a child attending. You will receive a SchoolMessenger for BES and one for BMS.  The survey window will be open for two days.  If you do not have a chance to complete the survey, I will send it again next week.  If you have already completed the survey there is no reason to complete it again.  The survey will only take about 5-10 minutes to complete.  The information gathered through the survey is very valuable to the administrative team.  We carefully review the data to develop our school improvement plans.  I look forward to your responses!  Thank you in advance for your participation!

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

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May 23, 2018

Dear Brooklyn Community,

Brooklyn students in grades 4-12 were received many different awards from the Connecticut Elks Association, Drug Awareness Program!  Mrs. Wimmer is a member of the Elks Club and helped to give our students their awards!  Thank you to Ms. Desabota who also attended and the many classroom teachers who encouraged and supported the students to enter this contest.  The students wrote essays and drew pictures.  I am very proud of our students.  We had one student, Kayleigh Parmeter, who won first place in 6th grade and one of two that won Best in State of hundreds that were entered!  Kayleigh's entry will not be moved onto the national level. In addition to winning a plaque she won a $200 gift card.    
Mrs. Wimmer at the Elks Club
Mrs. Wimmer, a dedicated teacher and member of the Elks.  

Student award winners
Proud of our students!

More winners
We are very proud of our students!
Smiles
Lots of smiles!  Great work!
Congratulations
Nice job!
More awards
Congratulations to all of our students who participated in the Drug Awareness Contest.  We are proud of you!  Keep working hard and be proud of your hard work!  Keep on making safe choices!

We are very proud of all of you!  

Sincerely, 
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent
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May 14, 2018

Dear Brooklyn Community,  

The weeks are just flying by!  I recently sent out a message to families through the School Messenger about the Town Meeting to vote on the budget scheduled for Wednesday, June 6th, 7:00PM at Brooklyn Middle School Auditorium.  There are MANY wonderful events coming as the year wraps up. Please monitor the "Upcoming Events" section of our website or the
Brooklyn Public Schools App!Brooklyn Schools App

The winter was slow to move out and our spring sports have had a few cold days.  That does not keep the fans away!  Brooklyn has some pretty awesome fans!  They can be seen sitting in the cold and wind!  They have also been cheering on our students in the rain!  All of this is a small way that parents show their support for their students!  Thank you to each of our athletes and the many people who support them including parents, siblings, grandparents and staff!  I am so happy for our students!

Brooklyn Pitching is looking great!
Great pitching!

Brooklyn Baseball in the cold
Look at those dark clouds moving in!  There were blankets, winter hats, coats and gloves!  

Brooklyn Baseball
Another great game of baseball with some really great talent!  Great job boys! Looks like you are working hard and having fun!  Keep playing hard!

From the boys baseball game to the girls softball game!  Same cold and raw day but plenty of fans!  Brooklyn has great fans who were there to cheer on our athletes.  Thank you also to Mrs. Ferragatta for scheduling, rescheduling and rescheduling again many of the games this spring!  It has been a long spring and there have been many changes due to weather!

Lady Bobcats
Lady Bobcats!

Great hitting!
Great hitting!

Great base running too!
Great base running too!  

The boys and girls track meet was the next day!  It started out very sunny, hot, then it clouded up and rained!  After the rain we had a rainbow!
Boys getting coached about passing the baton during the relay
Coaching from another team's coach about handing off the baton during the relay race!

Discus throw
Discus throw!!

Running hard!
Students running hard!

Ready to race!
Ready for the race!

Girls getting in the zone!
In the zone ready to run!

And they are off!
Runners are off!
Sunshine, rain, rainbow!
Sunshine, rain and a rainbow!

What a great day with great athletes and coaches!

Enjoy the photos!  Another blog entry soon!  

Thank you for allowing me to serve this amazing community!  So many great students, teachers and parents!  Thanks for all you do!

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent
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April 30, 2018


Dear Brooklyn Community,

Can you believe that it is the end of April?  I hope that you have had time to enjoy some of the nice sunshine and warmer weather.  There are many flowers that are popping up around the schools that are looking beautiful and the birds are busy and singing!  What a great time to hear the birds.

Students are busy taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).  This assessment is one of the ways that we are able to measure student growth.  This assessment is normed against a large number of students who take the assessment and is based on the standards that we teach at each grade level, grades 3-8.  We know that not all students test well in this type of setting, but we are required to administer the assessment.  We try to keep students working hard and trying their best, without them feeling pressure about the outcomes.  The results of this assessment are returned to the district long after the year is over so it is not an assessment that is used to drive, or change instruction in the current year.  We need to use formative assessments for that.  Formative assessments are administered in an ongoing way to determine what students know about a content are before teaching and then following a lesson, unit, chapter or quarter to determine what students were able to learn, which helps us to determine if our instruction was effective or if we need to modify our instructional strategies.  Teaching is a wonderful and complex profession that is never the same from day to day or year to year!

Spring sports are underway!  After a few weeks of rain, snow and very cold weather, we are glad to see the students getting outside to enjoy the playground and athletic events.  On April 21st, following the April vacation, the area scouts, volunteered to help clean up our school grounds as a service project.  Brooklyn had a clean up day on the same day and there were many volunteers out and about to clean the beautiful community of Brooklyn.  A call for helpers went out and there was an amazing turn out!  John Genna, the coordinator and Pack Leader told me "We had an awesome turnout, 16 Cub Scouts, 10 Boy Scouts, 30 Girl Scouts and 35 parent/siblings.  Overall I would say it was a very productive morning and everyone seemed like they were happy to be there.  Maybe we can make this a yearly event!"  I was very proud to see the number of students and families who were there and worked hard to clean up rocks, sticks and leaves so that our school grounds were ready for the new spring growth!  I was able to take a few pictures!
Let the raking begin!
The raking began at 9:00AM and wrapped up at 12:00PM!

Pack leader John Genna and his wife Aimee
Mr. John Genna and his wife Aimee.  John was the leader who coordinated the event!  Many thanks to you and the MANY volunteers! 

Girl Scout pushing the wheelbarrow
I saw this wheelbarrow pass by many times!  There was a lot of hard work by everyone!

Rakers spread out all over the school grounds
Volunteers were spread out across the elementary and middle schools as well as at central office.  Thank you!  

Rakers at the flagpole
Rakers at the flagpole worked together!  Together they made fast work of this area!  There were groups spread out across the playground and the trailer would drive over to pick up piles of leaves and debris.

Mom and daughter rake together!
Mother and daughter worked hard to clean out this area near the middle school!  They seemed to have fun and enjoy their volunteer work!
 
Daisies on break! 
I happened to pass by this bench full of Daisies!  They were hard working and deserved a break!  They told me that they had raked a HUGE pile of leaves! What a great opportunity for students to give back to their own school and be outside working together! 

A beautiful day for raking
If you look closely, you will see scouts and parents spread out everywhere! What a beautiful day, and as the flag shows, there was a nice breeze!  

Water and snack station break
This is the water and snack station near the front of BES!  The scouts took good care of the schools, and they were well cared for too!
Thank you very much for donating your time and effort to make Brooklyn Public Schools look beautiful after a long winter!  I have not seen the school look better!  Thank you to the parents and students, this is an amazing community and I was so proud to be there to celebrate your hard work.  Everyone will benefit for months to come!

On Wednesday, April 25th the Board of Education recognized our 7th and 8th grade mentors!  We would like to thank Anne Marie Malone for her 25 years of service to the Brooklyn Public Schools!  She has coordinated the mentor program for 25 years!  The 7th graders mentor 4th grade students!  They have created a middle school handbook that helps students transition successfully to middle school.  Students build connections and as they start a new year, the fifth graders already know some of the eighth grade students!  What a great idea!  The 8th graders are mentors to first grade students.  They are paired up with students in different first grade classes.  They visit the students in grade one and play games, talk to and teach the students social skills.  On Wednesday, the Board of Education recognized the students and presented them with a certificate of appreciation!  There were five students who were able to attend the meeting, but there are about 13 mentors this year.  The students each spoke about their experience as a mentor.  They spoke about giving back and how special it was to walk into first grade and have the students so happy to see them.  Some of them spoke about remembering the mentors when they were little and are proud to be a mentor.  
Student Mentors recognized by the Board of Education
We are very proud of our student mentors!  Thank you for attending the meeting and for giving back to your school!  

8th grade mentor teaching first graders how to tie their shoes
This 8th grade mentor was helping a first grader tie his shoes!  He has plenty of students looking on!

You have impacted the lives of many students.  We appreciate you!  I know your parents are very proud of you, as the superintendent, I could not be more proud!


This week the middle school band performed!  I was unable to attend, I was at a different meeting, but heard it was an outstanding performance!  Thank you Mr. Kelleher, we know that you work your magic as a music teacher!  These students are learning how to read and play music will impact them forever!  I am sure you are kindling the fire for many more years of musical performances!  Thank you to the teachers who work around the band rehearsal schedule but mostly to the parents who support students at home and encourage them to practice and play!  I think there might have been some days, in the beginning, when you wondered what you were getting into!  To watch the students perform and master their instrument and work as a member of the band is very rewarding!

PTO celebrated their parent/child dances over the last month.  These memories are special for both parents and the students!  Thank you for all of your hard work to create special moments for our school, students and families!

As we enter the month of May, I will be sharing budget information with you. The Board of Education agreed to the proposed budget.  It was received by the Board of Finance and they are discussing it now.  There is a Board of Finance Meeting on Tuesday, May 1st.  The Board of Finance needs to consider all of the budgets from different departments across the town, consider the anticipated revenues and determine what the big picture means for the taxpayers.  It does appear there will need to be a tax increase if they approve the proposed budgets without making cuts.  The education budget was created carefully and represents the requests to bring the Brooklyn Public Schools forward and continue the great work that is in progress.  

Town Hall Budget Meeting May 22, 2018 at 7:00PM.
  This is a meeting held to inform the taxpayers what is in the budget that will be voted on.  This meeting is held at the Brooklyn Middle School Auditorium.

Town Hall Meeting Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at 7:00PM to vote on the 2018-19 Brooklyn Budget.  Your vote matters!  This is when you can vote on the town budget, which includes the education budget.  Updated budget information will be posted to the website.

There are many end of the year activities between now and June 21st, the last day of school for students K-8!  PK has their last day on June 20th.  Watch for messages and flyers coming home!  

Thank you very much for the opportunity to serve as the superintendent!  This is an amazing community filled with great students and staff!  

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

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April 9, 2018

Dear Brooklyn Community,

One of my favorite things to do is to watch teachers as they engage students in learning.  When students are engaged, they are learning and excited to learn more.  The class period is over before you know it and you see happy students!  I was able to see this in Señor Gutierrez's class!  The students sounded great as they were practicing their Spanish!
Spanish Class at BMS
You, You, You in Spanish!

Thank you to Mrs. Tamsin and Mrs. Brown for attending the UCONN NEAG School of Education recruitment fair!  Brooklyn was very well represented!
Brooklyn Attends the NEAG School of Education Recruitment Fair
Brooklyn Public Schools is a great place to work!  

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

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April 8, 2018

Dear Brooklyn Community,

April has certainly started off with a sense of humor, heavy snow on two days this past week!  We are still on schedule for June 21st being our last day of school.  On the last day, we will have an early dismissal.  Preschool students do not attend on the last day.  8th graders will arrive in the morning to rehearse for graduation and will be dismissed after they have completed rehearsal. Students in grades K-7 will be dismissed at 12:45.  Parks and Recreation will begin summer programming on Monday, June 25, 2018.  

Summer lunch program:  this summer Brooklyn will be serving lunches to four locations.  Any student can eat for free.  This summer lunch program is an important part of the summer for everyone!  We want to be sure that our students can eat well this summer and without school breakfast and school lunch program this is not a given for everyone!  Watch for more information about the lunch program and our new site, at Sacred Heart Church in Wauregan!  All students are welcome! 

Brooklyn 2018-19 School Budget: Please be aware that the Board of Education has approved the proposed estimate of expenditures for next year.  This information will be presented to the Board of Finance on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 7:00PM.  The Board of Finance has the task of reviewing the budgets from each department in the Town of Brooklyn.  They need to determine what the residents of Brooklyn are willing and able to support.  This is a public meeting, feel free to express your thoughts about the education budget to the Board of Finance.  I am pleased to be able to present a good budget that is fiscally responsible and provides the students of Brooklyn the type of educational services they need to challenge and enrich them while meeting the educational standards we expect for all students.  Thank you for your support this year and next year!  Brooklyn has a quality educational system and depends on the support of the community!  Our students are very fortunate to be supported by the community!

Wednesday, April 11th there will be a special Board of Education Meeting at 7:35PM.  The Board of Education will meet to discuss the forum that was held at Woodstock Academy on April 2nd about the possible move from CIAC to the NEPSAC league for athletics.  Although the Brooklyn Board of Education has no real say about what Woodstock Academy decides, there are two Brooklyn Board of Education Members to sit on the Woodstock Academy Board.  They will be two votes on the Woodstock Board when they make a decision about this possible move.  This will be a public meeting, but will consist only of a discussion of the Board of Education.  The last meeting had public comments and the Board has heard from multiple families about their preference.  

April Vacation: just a reminder that April vacation will be Monday, April 16- Friday, April 20th.  I hope that you all have a great week!  Our local boy and girl scout troops will be engaged in a spring clean up!  They are going to be at our schools to clean up the grounds!  We are very grateful to them for their service and interest in beautifying our school grounds!  Thank you to our scouts!

This week I was in the 5th grade hallway at BMS and found some interesting artwork!  It was beautiful and this is what Mrs. Dumaine-Savage told me: This is the ending project for the 5th grade student's recycling mini unit. There were many hours after school & recess time given for the creation of their garbage art. Students used caps of all kinds to create these bright pieces of art.  
Garbage Art
Beautiful in the sunshine!
Fun recycle art
Recycle art!

I have more to share!  Check back later in the week when I hope to post a few more photos from around Brooklyn Public Schools!

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

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

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March 31, 2018

Dear Brooklyn Community,

I hope that everyone is enjoying the weekend and for those who celebrate Easter, I hope that you are ready for family and fun.  Today, the Brooklyn PTO hosted the Bunny Breakfast and Egg Hunt!  I am sure there were lots of pancakes, hidden eggs and happy boys and girls!  Thank you to the Brooklyn PTO for offering family fun events!  

Since my last blog entry, there has been a lot of fun and learning happening at both schools.  I had Grade 2 share lots of pictures from their STEAM project: Leprechaun Traps!  Enjoy the photos!  There are many more photos on the teacher websites but I wanted to share some!  Thank you to Patrick Brady, a senior at St. Bernard's who assisted students to complete their traps if they needed help.  I am sure many parents have seen these traps, they helped make them at home!  The student faces show how invested they were and excited about their projects.

Grade 2 students did an outstanding job and had an opportunity to tour each classroom and look at the different traps that their classmates made!  This is a great learning opportunity for our students, and fun too!  

Leprechaun Trap
Students incorporated simple machines, science concepts such as seesaws (levers), ramps and slides!

Proud of his work!
Proud of his trap!

Traps
"Free Lucky Charms" sign, that should do it!

Another great trap
"Free gold!", that might do it too!

Perfect Leprechaun Ladder
Perfect sized ladder!

Pride!!
Proud of her work!  Great smile!

Ready to catch a leprechaun
Projects also included elevators (pulleys), doorknobs, the well, casters (wheel and axel) and wedges!  

Shamrock and Gold Store
Shamrock and Gold Store!  Good idea!

Welcome in....
Welcome in......

traps
Gold leading right to the trap!

Another trap...
"Free Gold!!"

Looks inviting to a leprechaun!
Well disguised trap!

Ready for the leprechaun
Gold and cookies!  That might do it!

Great smile!
"Gold this way!"

Another ladder leading to this trap
"Pot O' Gold!"

Rope ladder
"DO NOT ENTER!"  I wonder if this worked!

Students had a lot of fun with this project and then they Face Timed with a classmate who was home and could not be there!  This is such a great way to use technology to reach out to students!  

There are many more pictures on the teacher websites, so many fun photos! Go check them out!

Alice in Wonderland was a HUGE success!  The students were amazing during their performances!  A big thank you to Mrs. Dehls and Mrs. Reading for running this club and helping these students to put on such an outstanding performance!  

Students were able to visit the senior center on Friday, the day of the show and handed out a few free tickets to some of the senior citizens in Brooklyn so they could attend the show and have some fun!

Thank you to the many performers as well as the students working behind the scenes and in the light and sound booth!  It takes lots of students to pull off a show like this!  We look forward to more shows in the future!

Alice, Alice, Alice
Alice, Alice, Alice

The cast
The cast!  What an amazing job you all did!  I am so proud of all of you for your hard work!  Thank you to the wonderful audiences!  Your family, friends and classmates were great audiences!  

The backstage crew!
No show can happen without the backstage crew!  The show was great! Thank you for your part in making it go off without a hitch!  

(more pictures to come!)

Finally, before I close for this week, please note that the Board of Education has approved the proposed estimate of expenditures.  Next this will be presented to the Board of Finance on April 10th!  After the Town determines what they can support they will forward this to the voters!  I will let you know when that will be!  How can you support the budget?  You can let members of the Board of Finance what you like about the Board of Education budget or what you might want to see more or less of!  Feel free to attend the Board of Finance meeting April 10th at 7:00PM!  If you have any questions please feel free to contact me!  Budget documents are on the website or send an email to budgetquestions@brooklynschools.org

Have a great week!  

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent
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March 14, 2018

Here are few more pieces of good news that I left off the March 13th post!  Please enjoy reading about all the great things happening in Brooklyn!

Hometown Bank made a very generous donation of schools supplies collected at the Brooklyn and Killingly bank locations.  Their thoughtful and generous donation was accepted by Principal, Shelley Michaud and Assistant Principal Mark Weaver of Brooklyn Elementary School.  These donations were graciously accepted and will be distributed to students who need them.

Hometown Bank Donation
Pictured are Jen and Matt from Hometown Bank with Mrs. Michaud and Mr. Weaver from Brooklyn Elementary School during one of the many snow days this year!

Danielson Lions Club Award Winners
Congratulations!  We are so proud of the Brooklyn students!  Thank you to the Danielson Lions for recognizing our students on March 6, 2018!

BMS Blood Drive  
Thank you to the Brooklyn Middle School National Honor Society who sponsored a blood drive!  Mrs. Dumaine-Savage is seen here with three of our students!  This was Mrs. Dumaine-Savage's first time giving blood!  Thank you for giving the gift of life!  

Have a great day!  

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent
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March 13, 2018


Dear Brooklyn Community,

Today is the third nor'easter to drop snow on us in the past two weeks!  Ferris is busy blowing and piling up snow!  
BMS on March 13, 2018
Brooklyn Middle School March 13, 2018 over a foot by 2:30PM!  Photo courtesy of Tony Tusia.

Thank you to the Brooklyn Department of Public Works who keeps the roads of Brooklyn cleared so our students can get to school! They also plow our driveways and parking lots!  
Brooklyn DPW Truck
Thank you to the Brooklyn Parks and Recreation who maintain our walkways, and to our very own custodians who maintain the many entrances!  Thank you!  It has been a long winter!

When is our last day of school?  What a great question!!  To date we have missed the following days of school:
October 30, 31:  We will not make these days up due to the furlough that was agreed to.
January 4, 5, 17, 30:  all snow related
February 7:snow
March 7, 8, 13: snow
Of the 10 days of missed school we will NOT make up two days and we have ALREADY made up two days.  As of today, we have to make 6 days.  We can hope that this is the end of snow days!
That would make our last day of school on June 21st! 

Mrs. Napolitano shared photos from the students using hydraulic robots!  She said "It’s not about fun, it’s not even just Science, it’s about teamwork. My students are ready for a lesson in patience, timing, persistence, cooperation, and fun".  Teaching is about engaging students in learning and opportunities to learn from each other!  Enjoy these amazing students, engaging teacher and evidence of learning!  "These Tbots work using 4 hydraulic syringes and 4 members working harmoniously to complete a task", "the final competition is yet to be determined" reported Mrs. Napolitano.  Thank you for providing this learning opportunity!
Looks like they picked up the cup!
They picked up the cup!
Learning is fun!
Learning is fun!
Cooperation
Cooperation and smiles!
Concentration
Concentration, collaboration and attempts to pick up dice.
Try again!
Concentration and effort!
SO close!
SO close!
Did we get it?
Did we get it?
Keep trying!
Persistence and collaboration!
Learning through doing!
Learning through doing!  Great job fourth graders!

B5 Pride: All year, B5 has been building character by learning it is ok to FAIL and failing finds success.  Mrs. Brady, Mrs. Page, Mrs. Harrington, and Mrs. Abel have been teaching the important skills for grade 2 and for life!  Now they have just completed a 5 day Growth Mindset Challenge!  Check out the news article on our app! 
Mrs. Brady's students, learning about Growth Mindset
So proud of these students!  You CAN do this!  **Be sure to see the news article on our website or app!  *There is an awesome video!*

Just a reminder that there are budget documents on our website!  Please review at least the 2 page summary!  Remember that it is very important for the Board of Education and the Town of Brooklyn's Board of Finance know what you support!  Please submit any questions to the email address: budgetquestions@brooklynschools.org    You may also want to review the Q&A document on the website that helps to answer questions that have already been asked!

Thank you for your support!  Have a great day!  Be safe!  It is my pleasure to serve the students and community of Brooklyn!  It is a great place to live and learn!

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

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March 4, 2018

Dear Brooklyn Community,

Brooklyn Bus Drivers
A special thank you to our bus drivers who brought all of our students home during the driving rain and wind on Friday afternoon!  Thank you to all of them for taking extra time and care to make sure our students all got home.  There were up to eight roads that were closed, drivers had to take alternate routes and all of our students got home without any problems.  I want to give a special call out to two different buses.  Their last students on the bus could not make it to the last stop without walking further than usual.  The first bus driver met the daycare provider and assisted her to get the children to the daycare center!  After helping the students to their location, the same driver met another driver to assist walking the last few students to their homes.  They went above and beyond by supporting students and families to get these students home!  Thank you very much!  

I have a few more celebrations to share with you!  This past week every student created an entry into the Invention Convention!
Invention: Waterproof Socks
Invention: Waterproof Socks!

Invention: Handy Glove
Handy Glove 9000

Invention: You won't lose this remote!
You won't lose this remote!

Invention: The InVESTed Helper
The InVESTed Helper!

Invention: The Gate Slider
The gate slider, a unique solution to a unique problem.

Invention: The Ear Buddies
Well this is one way to always have a pencil handy!

Invention: The Frizz Whizz
The Frizz Whizz!!

Invention: The Cussion Free
Designed for a brother who hits his head often!  

These creative 6th graders had MANY wonderful ideas that they spent time putting together creative solutions for.  I was thrilled to see that many families came to see the work of the 6th graders!  I also saw the 5th grade students getting a close look at the inventions!  They are already thinking about what their invention will be!  

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of the inventions!  I have pictures of all of them and would like to share them all, you will have to trust me that they were amazing!  These types of events are great for bringing the school community together!  As I was getting a close look at these on Thursday morning a student came by and pointed me in the direction of a "really cool invention". When I asked if it was his he promptly told me "no, I am a seventh grader"!  

It is so nice to see students supporting each other's work and effort!  Brooklyn is a special place for students, staff and families!

Enjoy the blog!  See below for more from BES the past two weeks!  

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

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March 3, 2018

Dear Brooklyn Community,

I have many photos to share with you since my last post.  I like to share photos about the Brooklyn Public Schools to show you what our students and staff are experiencing!  The students of Brooklyn have wonderful teachers and learning experiences.  As we prepare the budget for approval by the town, I want you to realize that we are working hard to provide every student with a meaningful and rich learning experience!  Enjoy the posts and please know that it is my pleasure to serve the Brooklyn Public Schools and the community. I invite you to explore the rest of our website/app to learn more about what is happening in our schools and to understand what the proposed budget includes for next year.  

If you go to the home page, you will find a copy of the proposed budget, questions and answers as well as an email link to send any questions you may have.  

Preschool Winter Wonderland
On a tour of preschool, I found a winter wonderland!  

Preschool imaginations are awesome!
Preschool imaginations are a great thing!  This is a great vacuum cleaner.

Mrs. Leahy's class
Students are working on sequencing a story with Mrs. Leahy!  

On Wednesday, February 28th the CEA sponsored the Plainfield Book Bus visit at Brooklyn Elementary School.  Plainfield Public Schools owns the bus, and the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) helped to support the book bus visiting many different schools.  The Connecticut Education Foundation (CEF) bought a book for every fourth grade student to take after visiting the bus and listening to a story read by Mrs. Willow.  

Plainfield Book Bus visitis BES
Waiting for the students to arrive!  Thank you Plainfield for visiting us!

Inside the book bus
The bus was donated by Dattco and renovated by parents in Plainfield!  Beautiful!

A few familiar characters!
These "characters" made the day great fun for our fourth graders!
Mike Breen from CEA, Willow Therrien BES Librarian, Thing 1 (looks like Mrs. Michaud!), Thing 2 (looks like Mr. Weaver), Cat in the Hat (Michele O'Niell), Chip Karkos!  Thank you all for making the day special!


CEA Reps getting ready!
Steve Ozga and Elizabeth Antonopoulos from CEA helping to make the celebration fun!  Thank you for coming to Brooklyn!  

Book bus in Brooklyn!
It was a beautiful day in Brooklyn for a Book Bus visit!  Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Thank you for visiting the blog!  Please check back soon, I have more pictures to share and information about upcoming events!

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent


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February 11, 2018

Dear Brooklyn Community,

This was a busy week.  I have news and celebrations for you!

News:  Please see the letter on the home page about the changes in the calendar.  Please note that the Board of Education has voted to change the current school calendar.  February 20th, was a holiday but it is now a STUDENT SCHOOL DAY!  March 9th, was a professional day for teachers, is now a STUDENT SCHOOL DAY!  This change to the calendar was because we have had 5 snow days that need to be made up.  This will help us to finish the school year before it gets too close to the end of June.  At this time, our last day is June 19th.  Please note that if we have 4 more snow days, we will begin to have school during the April vacation week.  

Last Friday, February 2nd the Cub Scout Pack 44 celebrated their Blue and Gold Banquet.  The purpose of the blue and gold banquet is to celebrate the pack's anniversary, thank pack leaders and other adults who have helped the pack and inspire the leaders, Scouts, and parents.  Pack members invite family and friends to celebrate.  We are proud to have the Scouts of Brooklyn in our schools.  
Scouts at the Blue and Gold Banquet
Brooklyn Cub Scouts at their Blue and Gold Banquet!

Arrow of Light Cub Scouts as they crossed over to Boy Scouts
Proud of the Arrow of Light Cub Scouts as they crossed over to Boy Scouts! Congratulations!

Eastern CT State University
Eastern Connecticut State University clock tower looked beautiful against the blue sky on Monday when I went to speak with the Dean of Education about our collaboration with ECSU and our continued interest in taking student teachers in Brooklyn.  We have had a wonderful group of student teachers and mentor teachers who help prepare future teachers!  Thank you to ESCU and the Brooklyn mentor teachers!

This week was a full week of basketball celebrations!  On Monday the boys team played in the semi-finals and won!!  Tuesday the girls played in their semi-finals game and also won!!  These wins advanced them to the finals on Thursday evening!  

The Brooklyn boys AND girls middle school basketball teams were playing the Thompson boys AND girls basketball teams in the finals!  ​What a week for the Brooklyn Bobcat Basketball players!  
Boys Semi-Final Game
Boys tip off in the semi-finals against (friends) Killingly!

Mrs. Schaetzle leading the pep rally
Mrs. Schaetzle leads the crowd in cheering on the boys and girls basketball teams before their big games on Thursday!  The students were very excited to wish the players luck in their game!

Brooklyn Pep Rally
Boys and girls were each announced during the pep rally on Thursday!

Pep rally fun!
The pep rally was a lot of fun and included a game of knockout with students and staff!  

Bobcat Girls!
Bobcat girls during the finals against Thompson!

Bobcat Boys
Bobcat boys after a big win!

Happy Bobcat girls!
Happy Bobcats after a big win!

Brooklyn Boys Champions!
Brooklyn Boys Champions!  Congratulations!  You played hard and well! Thanks for a great game!

Brooklyn Girls Champions
Brooklyn Girls Champions!  Congratulations!  You are some tough  and great athletes! Thanks for a great game!

Girls at the WINY Radio station!
"On the air with Josh Sanchez during the WINY Sports Radio show!"  Brooklyn Girls bring home a championship beating Thompson Middle School 52-30! What a great game!  The 2017-18 Lady Bobcats were undefeated!  Great job ladies and Coaches!   

Bobcat boys on WINY Radio
ALSO...."On the air with Josh Sanchez from WINY Radio to celebrate the Brooklyn Boys Bobcat Basketball team!"  The Brooklyn boys team defeated Thompson Middle School 56-40 to win the QVJC Championship!  The 2017-18 Boys Bobcats went undefeated!  Great job to the boys and their coach!

Brooklyn is very proud of our student athletes!  We have outstanding students who work well together and play hard.  They demonstrated excellent sportsmanship and played their best.  They ended their basketball season undefeated!  Congratulations!  We look forward to watching you have a great end of the school year and will enjoy watching the 6th and 7th graders next year and will be watching for your hard work as it pays off when the 8th graders head off to high school next year!  

Thank you for reading the blog and helping me to celebrate the great things that are happening in Brooklyn!  I am very pleased to serve as your superintendent and I am here to support all students and families!  We have great schools in Brooklyn, filled with great students and families!

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

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January 29, 2018

Dear Brooklyn School Community,

I wanted to add to my recent post.  If you have not had a chance to read the January 28th post, please do!  There are many celebrations of our students, staff and Board of Education!

This post is specifically to share with you our recognition of our bus drivers! This has been a long first half of the school year as we tried to monitor and ensure bus safety, create efficient bus routes and manage bus costs!  The staff at the bus company have been working very closely with us to try to meet all of these objectives.  On January 19th, 2018 we completely changed bus routes and the bus schedule.  I would like to be sure that the entire community know that this happened because we have great staff who know this community, care about the students and families as well wanting to work collaboratively with the school district.  

On Friday morning we wanted to be sure that the bus drivers knew how happy we were with their efforts!  The administrative team and I met the drivers after their morning routes and greeted them with a hearty thank you and a message of appreciation to go with coffee and treats!  

Bus Driver Appreciation in Brooklyn
Thank you to our drivers!  We appreciate you!

Treats to show our appreciation!
These treats included a message for each driver!

Brooklyn's Drivers!
Lots of smiles, on a cold morning!  They had not planned on being photographed, but we appreciate them and want everyone to know it!

Thank you to our drivers!  We appreciate you!

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent
 
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January 28, 2018

This was a busy week!  I have many celebrations to share with the Brooklyn Community!  

On Monday, January 22, 2018 Brooklyn Public Schools hosted the CABE (Connecticut Association of Boards of Education) Area 4 Legislative Breakfast! Area 4 includes the ten towns of Brooklyn, Canterbury, Eastford, Griswold, Killingly, Plainfield, Pomfret, Putnam, Sprague, Sterling, Thompson, Union, and Woodstock.  Our own Board of Education Vice Chair, Joan Trivella, is the CABE Area 4 Area Director and moderated the event.  

Brooklyn Food Services
Jami, Dawn and Carolyn did a fabulous job preparing the food!

Brooklyn cafeteria looked amazing
The food preparation was done my our own cafeteria staff!  The food was amazing and it looked beautiful!

Joan Trivella, CABE Area 4 Legislative Breakfast moderator
Joan Trivella did an excellent job moderating the event.

National Junior Honor Society Volunteers
Brooklyn's National Junior Honor Society volunteers greeted our special guests and escorted them to the cafeteria.  Students lead the Pledge of Allegiance and we had two students who sang the National Anthem!  I was so proud to have these fine students be part of our day!  It is great to showcase our students! Thank you Mrs. Dehls, NJHS Advisor for coordinating our students!  Thank you students and parents for arranging to drop your children off early to serve the guests at our breakfast!  It says a lot about the students and families to see so many students at school at 7:00am, an hour and a half before they were scheduled to be at school!

Students help Representative Pat Boyd find his name tag.
Students help Representative Pat Boyd find his name tag for the breakfast.

Two students sang the National Anthem
Excellent job by our two students who sang the national anthem!  Thank you Amber Ahearn and MaryGrace Dufault!

Representative Pat Boyd speaking at the breakfast
Representative Pat Boyd speaking to a room of about 50 people from ten different school districts!  There were four different Representatives present as well as people from CABE and EASTCONN.

Representative Kevin Skulczyck
Representative Kevin Skulczyck is responding to questions at the Legislative Breakfast!

A member of the Griswold Board of Education asks questions
Board of Education members from twelve different districts were present to ask questions and explain the impact of decisions made by the Legislators on local boards of educations and the students they represent.  Above is a Griswold Board of Education member explaining the importance of being able to know who education will be funded so that local Boards can plan.  

Plainfield Superintendent Kenneth DiPietro
Plainfield Superintendent, Kenneth DiPietro, one of eleven superintendents, shares his ideas on areas for the legislators to focus on when they return to session in February.

CABE's Sheila McKay
CABE's Senior Staff Associate for Government Relations, Sheila McKay speaks about the work that CABE is doing to enhance communications and impact legislation such as professional development requirements on districts.

Legislative breakfast
Thank you to all who attended and made this event meaningful!

Representative Daniel Rovero
Representative Daniel Rovero from Dayville shared with the group about the work they are doing.  

2018 CABE Area 4 Legislative Breakfast had 4 Representatives
Thank you very much to the four Representatives:
Daniel Rovero of Dayville; Anne Dauphinais of Danielson; Pat Boyd of Pomfret; Kevin Skulczyck of Griswold were very receptive to questions and shared information with us!  We thank you!

Boys Brooklyn Bobcats Basketball Game
I had the pleasure of attending some of the boy's basketball JV and varsity games this week before an evening meeting.  I would like to thank the coach and boys for a great game.  As mentioned previously, the Brooklyn basketball teams are doing very well this year!  They have some really talented players and great kids!  I had the opportunity to observe student athletes who worked hard, played together as a team and learned what sportsmanship is about.  I heard the coach say (paraphrased): we don't get every call, we cheer for our team and not against the other team, we play fair and show good sportsmanship!  These are great lessons to learn in middle school and should never be forgotten! Whether we play on a team, or are at work, we always need to do our best, work together and show good sportsmanship!  Thank you Coach Schultz, we all need these lessons!   

Bobcats on Defense
Bobcat defense!

Bobcats on offense
Driving to the basket!  We saw some great passing during this game.

Bobcats
Bobcats on the free throw line!

On the line again!
On the free throw line again!  Great movement toward the basket on offense!

Varsity team is getting ready!
Varsity team is ready to play!  Coach Schultz prepares his players!

Playing defense
Defense was strong and effective!

Team work and hard playing leads to a win!
Teamwork and hard playing leads to another Bobcat win!  Great job to our Brooklyn Bobcats!

Check back for more Brooklyn celebrations!  Have a great week!

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

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January 20, 2018

Dear Brooklyn Community,

I hope this finds you well and finally getting back into a rhythm of school, I am hoping for four full weeks of school without a holiday or snow day!  It has been a little fragmented for students (and families) as well as the teachers and administrators!  I enjoy the snow, but I would like to have the students in school!  I hope that during the holidays and snow days you found time to play and have fun!  The children grow up SO fast that we need to appreciate these moments with them.  My blog serves as a way to communicate with you about important information, meetings and other business; but it also is a way for me to celebrate some of the wonderful things that happen every day at the Brooklyn Public Schools!  

Student assessments: we are currently conducting mid year STAR assessments.  This is one of the measures we have to monitor the effectiveness of our instruction and to measure student progress.  Teachers, teams and administrators are monitoring the outcomes and will share instructional strategies that are most effective or adjust instruction or provide interventions as needed.  

Winter sports are well underway!  Our Bobcats are exceptional this year!  At this point, the boys and girls basketball teams are undefeated!  Yesterday was the first game I was able to attend.  The Lady Bobcats were playing at home! I am very proud of the way they played.  They are a strong team and play well together.  They are supportive of each other, played hard and clean.  They gave their all the entire game!  They were polite and respectful!  This would be enough to be "winners" in my book, but they also won the junior varsity and varsity game!  They worked exceptionally hard, hustled and remained positive throughout the game!  The coaches were very positive and encouraging to the girls!  This is another one of those proud moments for me as superintendent, to be reminded that you have really great students, even during competition! This is a reflection of their parents, coaches, teachers and administrators! Great job lady Bobcats!  Congratulations on your win!

Lady Bobcats play great defense! 
Great defense is one of the keys to this great team!

Getting ready to huddle!
Headed in for a huddle with Coach Gutierrez!

Mrs. Wimmer gets a huddle picture!  
Mrs. Wimmer was there to get some group photos!  She is at every event! There were several teachers and administration there to route on the team!

Great shooting and rebounding! 
Shooting, rebounding and pushing the ball down the court!  Lady Bobcats play a fast paced game and work hard!

Bussing:  I would like to thank everyone who has worked to make the new bus routes and to check them.  Once again, the Brooklyn community came together to support the combined schedule for BES and BMS.  This also resulted in new bus routes and schedules!  Everyone from the bus company, school staff and parents worked together to be sure that we accounted for all the students.  The last two days of school were the first two days of the new schedule and routes!  Overall it seemed that things ran very smoothly! Administration worked diligently to ensure that students and staff knew when and where the buses would be and made sure that students boarded the right buses!  There were many changes, GREAT JOB!  Parents who drop off and pick up students had to deal with changes also!  Thank you for your patience!  The drop off and pick up went very well, even after we changed it on the second day!  Thank you to our Resident Trooper Corradi for being there to assist!  Thank you to our other Troop D Officer who weighed in on the traffic pattern!  Thank you for your patience and teamwork!  Together you have made this a success!
Parents adjusted to the changed drop off routines!
This was the sign, on the second day, reminding parents who drop off at BES to stay to the right while parents who are exiting stay to the left!

A few important dates:
1/22 Brooklyn Public Schools is hosting a legislative breakfast. Superintendents, Board of Education Members and other elected officials will have the opportunity to explain what they feel is important for area Legislators and Representatives to consider as they enter back into session soon!  The efforts of many people help to clarify the issues that impact education!  We are very proud to host this event, with our Board of Education Vice Chairperson Joan Trivella moderating the event.  She is also the CABE Area 4 liaison.  

1/22 Northeast Early Childhood Council (NECC) meeting is being held in Thompson at the Mary Fisher Elementary School.  Brooklyn has joined NECC and will soon be listed on the website with many other resources for families.  To learn more about the resources they have to offer you can visit them on the web at: Northeast Early Childhood Council.  

1/23  7:30-8:15 The Calendar Committee will meet to discuss options for the 2018-19 calendar for consideration by the Board of Education. All are welcome!

1/24  The first 2017-18 Budget workshop meeting will be at the Community Room, at Central Office from 6:00-7:00PM prior to the Board of Education meeting.  The public is welcome to come.  There will be presentations from BES and BMS about what will be requested in the budget for next year.  Feel free to come just for the budget workshop or join us for the regular Board of Education meeting beginning at 7:00PM.  FYI: The budget workshop meeting is the first of multiple meetings.  The next budget workshop meeting is on February 21st from 5:30-6:30PM in the same location.

I hope you all have a great weekend!  It is my pleasure to serve the community of Brooklyn.  I am proud of the students and staff who work hard every day and look forward to sharing more with you next week!  

Sincerely,
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent


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January 7, 2018

Dear Brooklyn Community,

It has been a long time since I have posted, and there were so many things to share since my last post.  I am hope that you have a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year!  I enjoy wishing people a happy new year twice every year, once is in January and once at the beginning of a new school year!  I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by!  

I will share a few highlights with photos of how December ended!  The first week of January 2018 was rather short for students, since there were two days of instruction and two snow days!  I am hoping that the second week of January warms up a little and we will have a full week!

On December 18th the first grade went to sing at Dime Savings Bank.  This is a long standing tradition one that many of the parents of our students remember when they were ar BES!  The staff at Dime Savings Bank were very welcoming as their lobby filled with parents and students!  There were even a few customers who enjoyed the singing!

Grade 1 Students hang handmade ornaments on the tree at Dime Savings Bank
Students hung their ornaments on the tree at Dime Savings Bank!  Proud parents and grandparents enjoyed seeing their children!  The tree was beautiful!
Mr. March introducing his musicians!
Mr. March introduces his musicians!  He is a terrific teacher and the students love him!  

Woodstock Academy Hill Singers
The Woodstock Academy Hill Singers performed for Brooklyn Middle School! They were fabulous and the BMS graduates in the group were happy to visit!
Woodstock Academy Jazz Band 
Another amazing performance, this time from the Woodstock Academy Jazz Band!  There were a few Brooklyn Alumni in this group too!

Killingly High School Chorus
Killingly High School Chorus sand Christmas Carols as the middle school students entered the auditorium.
Part of the huge Killingly High School band
This is a small part of the Killingly High School band who performed for BMS! They were amazing!  Students raising their hands are PROUD Brooklyn graduates!
Our students from Brooklyn are lucky to have choices of Woodstock Academy or Killingly High School as they both have tremendous music programs.

After being completely entertained by our designated high schools I was able to enjoy performances at BES and BMS!  Our students and staff are JUST AMAZING!  It is my hope to post some of the videos though a YouTube link to be able to share some of these performances!  (Check back to see if I was able to link these performances!)
Mr. Weaver assisted on the xylophone!
Students, and Mr. Weaver, played the xylophones while the chorus sang at the BES winter performance!
BES Chorus is getting ready!
The BES chorus is getting ready!  There were multiple solo performances and everyone did an amazing job!  Way to go!  Thank you Mr. March!
BMS Chorus
Mrs. Dehls and the BMS grade 7 & 8 chorus!  These students were outstanding!  It was a real treat to hear them sing!  Thank you for the special performance!
BMS Grade 7 & 8 Band
Mr. Kelleher and the 7 & 8th grade band!  It is amazing how outstanding these performances were!  
Brooklyn students are very musically inclined and must be practicing a lot!  All of the performances were outstanding and the students in the audience were fantastic!  Thank you to our music departments at BES and BMS!

Finally, as we get ready for our new schedule at BES and BMS:  
I will post the new bus routes in the next day or so!  We will begin our new school schedule and bus routes on Wednesday, January 17, 2018! School hours will be 8:45-3:15 for BOTH BES and BMS.  Parent drop off will be from 8:30-8:45 at each school!  More information to come on this!  

As we begin 2018, I wish each of you peace and happiness!  We will continue to provide your children with a high quality education and challenge them to dream big and believe in themselves!  We will support them to reach for their dreams and be all they can be!  


Thank you for the opportunity to serve the Brooklyn community and to share the many success stories!  

Sincerely,  
Patricia L. Buell
Superintendent

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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

 

Killingly Office

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