Skip To Main Content

Principal's Weekly

Principal weekly picture banner
David Tate
Greetings to all our Bulldog families:
 
Upcoming Events:
April 12                                 Q3 Report Card available in Parent Portal
April 15 – 19                         Spring Break – NO SCHOOL
April 25                                 Volleyball vs TOR at home 3:15pm
April 26                                 Spring Fling – 6-8pm
April 30                                 Volleyball vs Strawberry Hill at 3:45pm
May 1                                   Panera Fundraiser Night – 4 – 8pm High Ridge Road
May 14                                 Volleyball vs Rippowam at home 3:15pm
May 21                                 Volleyball vs Rogers at Rogers 3:45pm
June 4                                  7TH Grade End of Year Trip to Quassy Amusement Park
June 6                                  8th Grade End of Year Trip to Lake Compounce
June 7                                  6th Grade End Of Year Trip to Playland
June 14                                Moving Up Ceremony – 9:00am
 
More FUNdraisers: We have a fundraiser at Panera Bread on High Ridge Road coming up May 1. A portion of the proceeds will go to Cloonan to support our student activities.
Cloonan is now holding a plant sale running now until April 24. We will arrange plant pick-up day between 4/29-5/3. For more information, please see our Flyer.
 
This is an awesome opportunity to brighten up our gardens while supporting the student activity fund. Plants will be coming from a large commercial grower and are the same as those found at the big stores, but at a more reasonable cost! Hard copies of the flyers are going home with students or can be picked up in main office.
 
Yearbooks on Sale Now: The 2023-24 Cloonan Middle School Yearbook is on sale now! Order your copy today and get two FREE customizable pages that will be unique to your child's yearbook!  The yearbook is $20.86 + tax. Click here to order: https://web.treering.com/create-account/1016086413333588?PassCode=1016086413333588
 
The yearbook features individual portraits of students, photos from clubs, activities, and sports teams, and more! The special 8th Grade section will feature baby pictures and class superlatives! Don't miss this chance to have a lasting memento of the 2023-24 school year! 
 
8th Grade Year End Activities and Expectations: We are planning for a trip to Lake Compounce and other final experiences to celebrate our students’ time at Cloonan. We met with the students to day to review our expectations as we move through the final quarter. We want you to know these as well and reinforce them with your child. We also want to make certain we have the most accurate information so we can be in close contact with you as we develop our plans. Please complete the following brief form so we can update our contact information. In addition, please read our expectations and review them with your child. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1gQqIhTHZSy6old7PpbkS-YGK2RKYq_-Ez6C-DPSrjBk/edit?ts=660de0e1.
 
We still need your help with the following events:
·         8th Grade Dinner Dance (semi-formal)
·         12 Quarter Honor Roll Celebration
·         8th Grade Graduation Ceremony & Reception
Parents from any grade (6-8) can help!  If you are interested in helping to plan these events, please sign up.  We need your help to give our 8th graders a fabulous send-off as they move up to high school!  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0945A8A92AA2F58-48413176-8thgrade
 
Middle School Student Schedule Pop Up: Last week, Middle School Principals joined Associate Superintendent Dr. Lori Rhodes to give parents a preview of the new schedules to be implemented next year. It was a dive into the reasoning behind the change, and what these mean for all our students. If you missed it, I strongly urge you to watch a recording of the presentation and the Q & A that followed. You can find it in the Parent University online here. https://www.stamfordpublicschools.org/departments/office-of-family-community-engagement/sps-parent-university
 
Superintendent’s Message:  (Highlights)
I want to take a moment to thank the members of the Board of Education (BOE), Board of Finance (BOF), and Board of Representatives (BOR) who listened to our Budget presentations during the last few weeks.  Too often people forget that our City of Stamford Board Members are volunteers and spend countless hours, especially during budget season, learning about and contemplating the BOE and City Budget requests.  
 
The Board of Finance will vote on the FY25 Budget during a special meeting this Tuesday, April 16 at 7:00 p.m. via zoom.  The BOF can approve the BOE’s proposed budget as submitted or make cuts.  The Board of Representatives will vote on the FY25 Budget during a special meeting on Thursday, May 2 at 8:00 p.m.  The BOR can approve the budget as submitted by the BOF or make additional cuts.  These votes will determine how much money, if any, the BOE will need to eliminate from the budget during reconciliation in May.
 
As we nervously await the votes by the Boards of Finance and Representatives, I want to thank everyone who has advocated in support of the BOE’s FY25 proposed budget, especially the members of the Stamford Education Association who spoke at the joint public hearing on Wednesday, April 3.  We had a record number of Stamford residents voice their support for the BOE budget during public hearings this year.  On behalf of our students, teachers, and staff, thank you for your support! 
 
Café con la Super 
This month’s Café con la Super is Monday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Government Center.  We will be joined by Erika Haynes from The School + State Finance Project and Ariana Fernandez from United Parents and Students, who will discuss the Multilingual Learner Bill of Rights that goes into effect on July 1, 2024.  Please click here to register.  
 
To read the Superintendent’s full message please click here.
 
Wishing everyone a healthy, safe and refreshing spring break.
 
David M. Tate, Principal
 
Principal weekly picture banner
David Tate
Greetings to all our Bulldog families:
 
Upcoming Events:
April 5                                   Stamford Teen Fair at the Boys & Girls’ Club – 5 to 7pm
April 6                                   Trip to see MJ on Broadway – 9am to approximately 5:30pm
April 7                                   Last day to submit School Climate Survey (see below)
April 8                                   Solar Eclipse viewing activity
April 8                                   Volleyball vs. Scofield at home 3:15pm
April 10                                 Eid al-Fitr – NO SCHOOL
April 12                                 Q3 Report Card available in Parent Portal
April 15 – 19                       Spring Break – NO SCHOOL
April 25                                 Volleyball vs TOR at home 3:15pm
April 30                                 Volleyball vs Strawberry Hill at 3:45pm
May 14                                 Volleyball vs Rippowam at home 3:15pm
May 21                                 Volleyball vs Rogers at Rogers 3:45pm
June 4                                   7TH Grade End of Year Trip to Quassy Amusement Park
June 6                                   8th Grade End of Year Trip to Lake Compounce
June 7                                   6th Grade End Of Year Trip to Playland
June 14                                 Moving Up Ceremony – 9:00am
 
TONIGHT! FREE Stamford Teen Fair: This evening, April 5, is a teen fair featuring food, colleges and employment opportunities for youth. This is at the Boys and Girls Club, 347 Stillwater Avenue. Admission is free. Stamford Cradle to Career sponsors the event.
 
TOMORROW is our trip to see MJ on Broadway! Please be at the school at 9:00 am to load the buses and be on our way.  We ask that you be prepared to pick up your child at 5:30 pm. We will have students start calling to confirm pick up while we are on our way back from the show.
 
IMPORTANT – School Climate Survey: The deadline is extended to this Sunday April 7. Please complete a survey for each of your children’s schools as soon as possible. We really need parental feedback.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to share your feedback.  Links are in the flyers below.
 
 
Solar Eclipse: We will have a supervised eclipse-viewing activity after school on Monday. We are providing Solar sunglasses and many students have constructed viewing boxes for safe observation. In Stamford, the moon will cover about 90.7 percent of the sun at the peak of the eclipse, according to a NASA map that is searchable by ZIP code.
 
More FUNdraisers: Congratulations to our first 50/50 raffle winner with a prize of $184.50.  Special Thanks to Mr. Medernach for selling all those tickets and to everyone who bought a ticket.  Our next 50/50 raffle will be the last week of April.
 
Cloonan is now holding a plant sale running now until April 24. We will arrange plant pick-up day between 4/29-5/3. For more information, please see our Flyer.
 
This is an awesome opportunity to brighten up our gardens while supporting the student activity fund. Plants will be coming from a large commercial grower and are the same as those found at the big stores, but at a more reasonable cost! Hard copies of the flyers are going home with students or can be picked up in main office.
 
Staff and Student accomplishments: Congratulations to Savannah Molina-Boitano. She won first place in the still digital state Connecticut Council of Language Teachers (CT COLT) Art Contest for World Languages.  There were fifteen Cloonan Middle School entries.  Savannah will receive a certificate and a check for $50.00.  Savannah's winning artwork is on slide 45.  
 
Congratulations to Mr. Schiels and Ms. Murano. Both won Fund For Teachers Awards.  The FFT grants allow teachers to have learning experiences they can then turn in to classroom lessons. The Dalio Education Team sponsors FFT.
 
Yearbooks on Sale Now: The 2023-24 Cloonan Middle School Yearbook is on sale now! Order your copy today and get two FREE customizable pages that will be unique to your child's yearbook!  The yearbook is $20.86 + tax. Click here to order: https://web.treering.com/create-account/1016086413333588?PassCode=1016086413333588
 
The yearbook features individual portraits of students, photos from clubs, activities, and sports teams, and more! The special 8th Grade section will feature baby pictures and class superlatives! Don't miss this chance to have a lasting memento of the 2023-24 school year! 
 
8th Grade Year End Activities and Expectations: We are planning for a trip to Lake Compounce and other final experiences to celebrate our students’ time at Cloonan. We met with the students to day to review our expectations as we move through the final quarter. We want you to know these as well and reinforce them with your child. We also want to make certain we have the most accurate information so we can be in close contact with you as we develop our plans. Please complete the following brief form so we can update our contact information. In addition, please read our expectations and review them with your child. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1gQqIhTHZSy6old7PpbkS-YGK2RKYq_-Ez6C-DPSrjBk/edit?ts=660de0e1.
 
We still need your help with the following events:
·         8th Grade Dinner Dance (semi-formal)
·         12 Quarter Honor Roll Celebration
·         8th Grade Graduation Ceremony & Reception
Parents from any grade (6-8) can help!  If you are interested in helping to plan these events, please sign up.  We need your help to give our 8th graders a fabulous send-off as they move up to high school!  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0945A8A92AA2F58-48413176-8thgrade
 
Middle School Student Schedule Pop Up: Last Tuesday, Middle School Principals joined Associate Superintendent Dr. Lori Rhodes to give parents a preview of the new schedules to be implemented next year. It was a dive into the reasoning behind the change, and what these mean for all our students. If you missed it, I strongly urge you to watch a recording of the presentation and the Q & A that followed. You can find it in the Parent University online here. https://www.stamfordpublicschools.org/departments/office-of-family-community-engagement/sps-parent-university
 
Donors Choose: Congratulations to Mrs. Lato, who has a fully funded Donors Choose project.  
Donors Choose is a simple and easy way to support your child’s teachers and our school community. We have a long list of projects in need of funding. Click here to see the list.
 
Superintendent’s Message:  (Highlights)
On Monday, Connecticut will experience a partial solar eclipse during which 90.7 percent of the sun will be blocked by the moon.  In Stamford, the partial eclipse will begin at 2:11 p.m., reach its maximum at 3:26 p.m., and then gradually brighten back to normal daylight by 4:36 p.m.   
 
This partial eclipse will occur during dismissal at some of our schools.  Please explain to your children that it is not safe to view a partial solar eclipse without specialized glasses or filters.  Staff will reinforce this message with students during the school day.  For additional information and resources about the upcoming solar eclipse, please click here
 
Moving-up Ceremony Dates:
The 2024 Moving Up Ceremony dates are as follows:
  • 5th Grade: Wednesday, June 12
  • 8th Grade: Friday, June 14   
 
Upcoming School Holidays
Stamford Public Schools will be closed on Wednesday, April 10 in honor of Eid al-Fitr, which is a celebration marking the end of Ramadan in the Muslim faith.  In addition, schools will be closed for Spring Break from April 15 through April 19.  Please enjoy this time with family and friends.
 
To read the Superintendent’s full message please click here.
 
Next Wednesday many of our families and staff will celebrate Eid al-Fitr. We hope your Ramadan went well. Eid Mubarak! Happy Eid!
 
Wishing everyone a safe and happy weekend and maybe I will see some of you tomorrow for MJ on Broadway.
 
David M. Tate, Principal
 
Principal weekly picture banner
David Tate
Greetings to all our Bulldog families:
 
Upcoming Events:
Mach 27                               Celebration of the Girls’ Basketball Team City Championship – 11:05am
March 28                             End of Q3 Marking Period
March 29                             Good Friday – NO SCHOOL
April 1                                   Volleyball vs Dolan at Dolan 3:15pm
April 2                                   Parent Pop-Up – 6pm via Zoom (details below)
April 5                                   6th grade Field Trip to the Avon Theater
April 6                                   Broadway trip to see MJ
April 8                                   Volleyball vs. Scofield at home 3:15pm
April 10                                 Eid al-Fitr – NO SCHOOL
April 12                                 Q3 Report Card available in Parent Portal
April 15 – 19                       Spring Break – NO SCHOOL
April 23, 24                          Nature’s Classroom – Grade 7
April 25                                 Volleyball vs TOR at home 3:15pm
April 30                                 Volleyball vs Strawberry Hill at 3:45pm
May 14                                 Volleyball vs Rippowam at home 3:15pm
May 21                                 Volleyball vs Rogers at Rogers 3:45pm
June 4                                   7TH Grade End of Year Trip to Quassy Amusement Park
June 6                                   8th Grade End of Year Trip to Lake Compounce
June 7                                   6th Grade End Of Year Trip to Playland
June 14                                Moving Up Ceremony - 9:00am 
 
50/50 Raffle:  We have reached the end of our first fundraising raffle. The winning ticket is 736026. The winning jackpot is worth $184.50 Please bring your winning ticket to the main office at school between 7:30am and 2pm Weekdays. Remember that school is closed tomorrow, March 29.
 
Cloonan to Implement 7-period Student Schedule with HEART for Fall 2024
Stamford Public Schools is committed to ensuring that students in our elementary, middle, and high schools have access to comparable programs and services regardless of the individual schools they attend. 
 
We’re excited to announce that all SPS Middle Schools - including Cloonan - will move to a 7-period student schedule with HEART beginning in Fall 2024. Currently, only Rippowam and Scofield operate on a 7-period schedule. Moving all five middle schools to a 7-period schedule will create coherence and consistency in our middle school programming and provide all students with increased academic and social-emotional support. 
 
Beginning next year, all middle school students will participate in a semester of interdisciplinary writing and a semester of integrated technology each year in grades 6-8. Writing and technology will be offered simultaneously with English Language Arts (ELA), social studies, mathematics, and science. Students will continue to participate in specials including Art, Music, and Physical Education, and we are exploring opportunities for additional electives, such as World Language classes and other exciting options. 
 
In addition, the new schedule will include HEART – Helping Everyone Achieve Resiliency and Thankfulness – a daily, 30-minute period dedicated to increasing self-awareness and positive behaviors. HEART will include both indoor and outdoor activities that will reinforce core competencies of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. 
 
Families are encouraged to join me and the other middle school principals on Tuesday, April 2 at 6pm via Zoom to learn more about the new student schedule. This meeting is highly recommended for Cloonan families with students currently in grades 6 and 7.
 
Yearbooks on Sale Now: The 2023-24 Cloonan Middle School Yearbook is on sale now! Order your copy today and get two FREE customizable pages that will be unique to your child's yearbook!  The yearbook is $20.86 + tax. Click here to order: https://web.treering.com/create-account/1016086413333588?PassCode=1016086413333588
 
The yearbook features individual portraits of students, photos from clubs, activities, and sports teams, and more! The special 8th Grade section will feature baby pictures and class superlatives! Don't miss this chance to have a lasting memento of the 2023-24 school year! 
 
IMPORTANT – School Climate Survey: We want, and need, to hear how you feel about Cloonan and the Stamford Public Schools. Each year, Stamford Public Schools conducts a school climate survey to gather data about how students, teachers/staff, and families/caregivers feel about their school community. This is important, because research shows that a positive school climate correlates to outcomes like better attendance, improved test scores, and higher graduation rates.
 
The 2024 SPS School Climate Survey for families and caregivers opens next Monday – March 18. The survey is an opportunity to share information about your experiences and perceptions in five areas that contribute to school climate:
  • Barriers to Engagement (i.e. what is preventing you from getting more involved at your child’s school?)
  • Social and Learning Environment (i.e. what is your overall perception of the social and learning environment at your child’s school)?
  • Safety (i.e. how safe do you perceive your child to be – both physically and psychologically – at their school?)
  • School Fit (i.e. how well do you think the school meets your child’s specific developmental needs and learning style?)
  • Family Engagement (i.e. are teachers, administrators and staff doing a good job communicating with you?)
Families should complete one survey for each child they have in Stamford Public Schools, as your experience and perceptions may vary from school to school. To accommodate as many families as possible, the survey will be available in English, Spanish, Haitian-Creole, and Ukrainian.  The deadline for completing the survey is Wednesday, April 3.  Thank you in advance for taking the time to share your feedback.  Links are in the flyers below.
 
 
Dress Code Reminder: Although it is chilly today, we all know warm weather is coming quickly. Please remind your child to dress for school as though coming to a work place. We want students to take pride in their personal appearance. They should come to school well-groomed and wearing clothing that is neat, clean, and in good taste. Here are some guidelines based on Board Of Education Policies.
Refrain from wearing:
·         Attire or accessories which portray disruptive or obscene writing or pictures
·         Attire or accessories which depict logos or emblems that encourage the use of drugs, tobacco, or alcohol
·         Shirts or blouses that reveal the abdomen, chest, breasts or undergarments
·         See-through clothing
·         Shorts, miniskirts, or pants that reveal undergarments.
 
End of Year Events: The end of the school year is coming up, and we need your help with the following events:
·         8th Grade Dinner Dance (semi-formal)
·         8th Grade Graduation Ceremony & Reception
Parents from any grade (6-8) can help!  If you are interested in helping to plan these events, please sign up.  We need your help to give our 8th graders a fabulous send-off as they move up to high school!  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0945A8A92AA2F58-48413176-8thgrade
 
Health and Safety Procedure Updates: In case you missed this information in an earlier newsletter, I want to let parents know we now have a new tool in our kit for helping students stay safe and healthy. We have vape sensors installed in all the bathrooms. When the sensor detects smoke, administrators and security receive an alert. A hallway camera facing the doorway of that bathroom automatically makes a recording. We then look at that video to see who went into the bathroom and who came out around the time of the alert. Any student who is present at that time is brought by security to an administrator’s office to conduct a search.
 
If we find students in possession of a vape pen or other banned material, parents will be notified directly and students will be referred to a diversionary program. We do not contact parents if there is nothing found. This is now practice across our district. We realize middle school is a time for exploration and curiosity, and our children are hearing mixed messages about vaping and things of that nature. We remain committed to fostering healthy ways of living and discouraging unhealthy habits from forming.
 
As a reminder, we have other regular practices to maintain a safe campus, such as the evacuation drill we exercised this past week. Coming up shortly we will have another lockdown drill. As always, in the event of a real emergency you can expect a message through Remind, which will inform you of the situation and communicate next steps.
 
PTO Newsletter: Check out the latest Cloonan PTO Newsletter for information about upcoming events and activities, including opportunities to support our students as a volunteer!   
 
Donors Choose: Congratulations to Mrs. Lato, who has a fully funded Donors Choose project.  
Donors Choose is a simple and easy way to support your child’s teachers and our school community. We have a long list of projects in need of funding. Click here to see the list.
 
Superintendent’s Message:  (Highlights)
The 2024-25 budget process continues next week with two more meetings that will help determine how much money Stamford Public Schools receives from the Boards of Finance and Representatives: 
●         Wednesday, April 3: Joint Board of Finance/Board of Representatives Public Hearing at 7:00 p.m. via zoom.   There is still time to sign up to speak about the budget at this meeting.  To sign up, send an email to tdonoghue@stamfordct.gov OR bdreps@stamfordct.gov.  Please note that live translation will be available.
●         Thursday, April 4: Board of Representatives Department Budget Meeting at 6:30 p.m. via  zoom.  Ryan Fealey and I will present the BOE’s proposed 2024-25 operating budget to the Board of Representatives.
 
If you did not have the opportunity to watch our presentation to the Board of Finance last week, I urge you to take the time to view it here.  As a reminder, any reduction in the BOE’s proposed operating budget by the BOF or BOR will result in the BOE having to possibly reduce programs, services, or staff for the 2024-25 school year.  Thank you to all that continue to be very engaged in the FY25 budget process.
 
Graduation and Moving-up Ceremony Dates:
At Tuesday night’s Board of Education Meeting, we reviewed the 2024 SPS Graduation and Moving Up Ceremony dates, which are as follows:
●         Stamford High School Graduation: Friday, June 14 at 2:00 p.m.
●         Westhill High School Graduation: Friday, June 14 at 2:00 p.m.
●         AITE Graduation: Friday, June 14 at 3:00 p.m.
●         8th Grade Moving Up Ceremony: Friday, June 14 (morning)
●         5th Grade Moving Up Ceremonies – To be announced at a later date
 
Parent Pop-up: 2024-25 Middle School Schedule
All SPS Middle Schools will move to a 7-period student schedule in Fall 2024. This is an exciting opportunity to create consistency in our middle school programming and provide all students with increased academic and social-emotional support. Currently, only Rippowam and Scofield operate on a 7-period schedule.
 
To  learn more, please join us for a Parent Pop-up webinar about the middle school schedule on Tuesday, April 2 at 6:00 p.m. via zoom.  The meeting will be offered with simultaneous Spanish interpretation.
 
Café Con La Super
The next Café Con La Super meeting will be held on Monday, April 8 at 6:30 p.m. on the 4th Floor of the Government Center.  Our guest speaker will be Erika Hayes, Director of the School and State Funding Project.  This month’s topic is the Multilingual Learner Bill of Rights.  Here is the link to Bill of Rights in Haitian-Creole, Spanish and Ukrainian.
 
To read the Superintendent’s full message please click here.
 
This weekend marks the celebration of the Easter feast. To all who observe the day, we wish you a blessed Easter with family and friends. Please have a safe and enjoyable weekend.
 
David M. Tate, Principal
 
Principal weekly picture banner
David Tate
Greetings to all our Bulldog families:
 
Upcoming Events:
Mach 27                               Celebration of the Girls’ Basketball Team City Championship – 11:05am
March 28                             End of Q3 Marking Period
March 29                             Good Friday – NO SCHOOL
April 1                                   Volleyball vs Dolan at Dolan 3:15pm
April 5                                   6th grade Field Trip to the Avon Theater
April 6                                   Broadway trip to see MJ
April 8                                   Volleyball vs. Scofield at home 3:15pm
April 10                                 Eid al-Fitr – NO SCHOOL
April 12                                 Q3 Report Card available in Parent Portal
April 15 – 19                       Spring Break – NO SCHOOL
April 23, 24                          Nature’s Classroom – Grade 7
April 25                                 Volleyball vs TOR at home 3:15pm
April 30                                 Volleyball vs Strawberry Hill at 3:45pm
May 14                                 Volleyball vs Rippowam at home 3:15pm
May 21                                 Volleyball vs Rogers at Rogers 3:45pm
June 4                                   7TH Grade End of Year Trip to Quassy Amusement Park
June 6                                   8th Grade End of Year Trip to Lake Compounce
 
City Champions Celebration:  We will celebrate the Girls’ Basketball Team City Championship next Wednesday. We will have a full school assembly at 11:05 in the auditorium. The girls will receive their Championship Jackets and the trophy, and there will be a few speeches. Parents are welcome.
 
IMPORTANT – School Climate Survey: We want, and need, to hear how you feel about Cloonan and the Stamford Public Schools. Each year, Stamford Public Schools conducts a school climate survey to gather data about how students, teachers/staff, and families/caregivers feel about their school community. This is important, because research shows that a positive school climate correlates to outcomes like better attendance, improved test scores, and higher graduation rates.
 
The 2024 SPS School Climate Survey for families and caregivers opens next Monday – March 18. The survey is an opportunity to share information about your experiences and perceptions in five areas that contribute to school climate:
  • Barriers to Engagement (i.e. what is preventing you from getting more involved at your child’s school?)
  • Social and Learning Environment (i.e. what is your overall perception of the social and learning environment at your child’s school)?
  • Safety (i.e. how safe do you perceive your child to be – both physically and psychologically – at their school?)
  • School Fit (i.e. how well do you think the school meets your child’s specific developmental needs and learning style?)
  • Family Engagement (i.e. are teachers, administrators and staff doing a good job communicating with you?)
 
Families should complete one survey for each child they have in Stamford Public Schools, as your experience and perceptions may vary from school to school. To accommodate as many families as possible, the survey will be available in English, Spanish, Haitian-Creole, and Ukrainian.  The deadline for completing the survey is Wednesday, April 3.  Thank you in advance for taking the time to share your feedback.  Links are in the flyers below.
 
 
Dress Code Reminder: Although it is chilly today, we all know warm weather is coming quickly. Please remind your child to dress for school as though coming to a work place. We want students to take pride in their personal appearance. They should come to school well-groomed and wearing clothing that is neat, clean, and in good taste. Here are some guidelines based on Board Of Education Policies.
Refrain from wearing:
·         Attire or accessories which portray disruptive or obscene writing or pictures
·         Attire or accessories which depict logos or emblems that encourage the use of drugs, tobacco, or alcohol
·         Shirts or blouses that reveal the abdomen, chest, breasts or undergarments
·         See-through clothing
·         Shorts, miniskirts, or pants that reveal undergarments.
 
End of Year Events: The end of the school year is coming up, and we need your help with the following events:
·         8th Grade Dinner Dance (semi-formal)
·         8th Grade Graduation Ceremony & Reception
Parents from any grade (6-8) can help!  If you are interested in helping to plan these events, please sign up.  We need your help to give our 8th graders a fabulous send-off as they move up to high school!  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0945A8A92AA2F58-48413176-8thgrade
 
Health and Safety Procedure Updates: In case you missed this information in an earlier newsletter, I want to let parents know we now have a new tool in our kit for helping students stay safe and healthy. We have vape sensors installed in all the bathrooms. When the sensor detects smoke, administrators and security receive an alert. A hallway camera facing the doorway of that bathroom automatically makes a recording. We then look at that video to see who went into the bathroom and who came out around the time of the alert. Any student who is present at that time is brought by security to an administrator’s office to conduct a search.
 
If we find students in possession of a vape pen or other banned material, parents will be notified directly and students will be referred to a diversionary program. We do not contact parents if there is nothing found. This is now practice across our district. We realize middle school is a time for exploration and curiosity, and our children are hearing mixed messages about vaping and things of that nature. We remain committed to fostering healthy ways of living and discouraging unhealthy habits from forming.
 
As a reminder, we have other regular practices to maintain a safe campus, such as the evacuation drill we exercised this past week. Coming up shortly we will have another lockdown drill. As always, in the event of a real emergency you can expect a message through Remind, which will inform you of the situation and communicate next steps.
 
PTO Newsletter: Check out the latest Cloonan PTO Newsletter for information about upcoming events and activities, including opportunities to support our students as a volunteer!   
 
Donors Choose: Congratulations to Mrs. Lato, who has a fully funded Donors Choose project.  
Donors Choose is a simple and easy way to support your child’s teachers and our school community. We have a long list of projects in need of funding. Click here to see the list.
 
Superintendent’s Message:  (Highlights)
Celebrate our Teacher of the Year!
I want to thank State Representative Anabel Figueroa and the entire Stamford Delegation for joining us last week at Turn of River Middle School to celebrate our 2023 Teacher of the Year Elba Sims.
 
Mayor Simmons and Representative Figueroa presented Ms. Sims with congratulatory citations noting her hard work and dedication to her New Arrival students, and the Mayor declared January 23, 2024 as Elba Sims Day in Stamford!
 
In addition to Mayor Simmons and Representative Figueroa, Ms. Sims was joined at the celebration by her New Arrivals students, State Senator Patricia Billie Miller, Associate Superintendent Lori Rhodes, TOR principal Sherri Prendergast, Stamford Education Association president John Corcoran, and our Director of Recruitment and Retention Charmaine Tourse Davis.
 
Budget Update 
Thank you to everyone who participated in the budget listening sessions and BOE public budget hearing.  We appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts, concerns, and ideas.
 
The following are next steps in the budget process:
●         BOE Budget Workshop – Tuesday, February 6
●         BOE Budget Vote – Thursday, February 22
●         Submit Budget to Mayor – March 1
●         Board of Finance budget meetings – March/ April TBA
●         Board of Representatives budget meetings – April/May TBA
●         BOE Reallocation – May/June
 
To read the Superintendent’s full message please click here.
 
Please have a safe and enjoyable weekend.
 
David M. Tate, Principal
 
Principal weekly picture banner
David Tate
Greetings to all our Bulldog families:
 
Upcoming Events:
March 18                             Family Climate Survey opens online
March 20 – 22                     Early Release 11:45am – Parent Conferences
March 21                             Westhill High School 9th Grade Orientation – 6:30pm
March 22                             March Madness Game Night
March 28                             End of Q3 Marking Period
March 29                             Good Friday – NO SCHOOL
April 1                                  Volleyball vs Dolan at Dolan 3:15pm
April 5                                  6th grade Field Trip to the Avon Theater
April 6                                  Broadway trip to see MJ
April 8                                  Volleyball vs. Scofield at home 3:15pm
April 10                                Eid al-Fitr – NO SCHOOL
April 12                                Q3 Report Card available in Parent Portal
April 15 – 19                        Spring Break – NO SCHOOL
April 23, 24                          Nature’s Classroom – Grade 7
April 25                                Volleyball vs TOR at home 3:15pm
April 30                                Volleyball vs Strawberry Hill at 3:45pm
May 14                                Volleyball vs Rippowam at home 3:15pm
May 21                                Volleyball vs Rogers at Rogers 3:45pm
 
IMPORTANT – School Climate Survey: We want, and need, to hear how you feel about Cloonan and the Stamford Public Schools. Each year, Stamford Public Schools conducts a school climate survey to gather data about how students, teachers/staff, and families/caregivers feel about their school community. This is important, because research shows that a positive school climate correlates to outcomes like better attendance, improved test scores, and higher graduation rates.
 
The 2024 SPS School Climate Survey for families and caregivers opens next Monday – March 18. The survey is an opportunity to share information about your experiences and perceptions in five areas that contribute to school climate:
  • Barriers to Engagement (i.e. what is preventing you from getting more involved at your child’s school?)
  • Social and Learning Environment (i.e. what is your overall perception of the social and learning environment at your child’s school)?
  • Safety (i.e. how safe do you perceive your child to be – both physically and psychologically – at their school?)
  • School Fit (i.e. how well do you think the school meets your child’s specific developmental needs and learning style?)
  • Family Engagement (i.e. are teachers, administrators and staff doing a good job communicating with you?)
 
Families should complete one survey for each child they have in Stamford Public Schools, as your experience and perceptions may vary from school to school. To accommodate as many families as possible, the survey will be available in English, Spanish, Haitian-Creole, and Ukrainian.  The deadline for completing the survey is Wednesday, April 3.  Thank you in advance for taking the time to share your feedback.  Links are in the flyers below.
 
 
Health and Safety Procedure Updates: I want to let parents know we now have a new tool in our kit for helping students stay safe and healthy. We have vape sensors installed in all the bathrooms. When the sensor detects smoke, administrators and security receive an alert. A hallway camera facing the doorway of that bathroom automatically makes a recording. We then look at that video to see who went into the bathroom and who came out around the time of the alert. Any student who is present at that time is brought by security to an administrator’s office to conduct a search.
 
If we find students in possession of a vape pen or other banned material, parents will be notified directly and students will be referred to a diversionary program. We do not contact parents if there is nothing found. This is now practice across our district. We realize middle school is a time for exploration and curiosity, and our children are hearing mixed messages about vaping and things of that nature. We remain committed to fostering healthy ways of living and discouraging unhealthy habits from forming.
 
As a reminder, we have other regular practices to maintain a safe campus, such as the evacuation drill we exercised this past week. Coming up shortly we will have another lockdown drill. As always, in the event of a real emergency you can expect a message through Remind, which will inform you of the situation and communicate next steps.
 
Parent-Teacher Conferences: We are still accepting appointments for Parent-Teacher Conferences. Meetings can be either in-person or virtual. You can book your appointment online by following this link, https://cloonan.schoolappointments.com/.   If you do not see a slot that meets your schedule, please email the teacher directly to find a mutually agreeable time to meet. Online booking is available until 8pm on Tuesday March 19.
 
PTO Newsletter: Check out the latest Cloonan PTO Newsletter for information about upcoming events and activities, including opportunities to support our students as a volunteer!   
 
Free Spring Break Supplies: As a reminder, Mrs. Ballantoni is creating backpacks for families who may need some items over spring break. They contain the following items: drawstring backpack, socks, deodorant wipes, snacks, plastic water bottle, pencils, fidget toys and notebooks.
 
If you would like a backpack, please contact either Mrs. Ballantoni, nballantoni@stamfordct.gov or Mr. Guillaume, rguillaume@stamfordct.gov.
 
High School Course Selection: Here is the link to the High School Course Selection Parent Webinar Video: https://app.screencastify.com/v3/watch/cFSOb2TMk0XBy6ZSGcMu
 
Update: Since filming this video, the placement criteria for Honors Integrated Science has changed to the following: Students meet 3 of the 4 criteria: (1) I-Ready Diagnostic (MOY or EOY) Math score of 541+ and Reading score of 642+; (2) Teacher recommendation; (3) Science class grade B or higher; (4) NGSS Grade 8 score of 3 or higher.
 
End of Year Events: The end of the school year is coming up, and help is needed with the following events:
·         8th Grade Dinner Dance (semi-formal)
·         8th Grade Graduation Ceremony & Reception
If you are interested in helping to plan these events, please sign up. 
 
Parents from any grade (6-8) can help! If we do not have volunteers to plan and staff these events, they will not happen. 
 
Important Fundraising Drive:  We are planning for field trips and end-of-year celebrations for our students. However, it is a big challenge to make these trips affordable so that all of our students can participate. Each trip can cost as much as $10,000 per grade level.
 
For this reason, we have started a permanent fundraising drive online. Whenever you can donate, and /or if you share the link with your family, friends, neighbors, and community contacts, we are certain we can reduce the cost of these activities for our students.
 
Please consider donating to the fundraiser in the link below.  Money raised will enable our deserving students to attend field trips and other activities. The more places people see it and can click on it, the more donations we should get. Cloonan Middle School Activity Fund
 
Donors Choose: Congratulations to Mrs. Lato, who has a fully funded Donors Choose project.  
Donors Choose is a simple and easy way to support your child’s teachers and our school community. We have a long list of projects in need of funding. Click here to see the list.
 
Superintendent’s Message:  (Highlights)
Budget Update 
The next step in the FY25 budget approval process takes place on Thursday, March 21 at 7:00 pm when the 2024-25 BOE Proposed Operating Budget is presented to the Board of Finance (BOF). The public is invited to join and watch this meeting via zoom.  
 
Following the presentation of the BOE budget to the Board of Finance, the BOF and Board of Representatives will host a joint Fiscal Committee Hearing on Wednesday, April 3 via zoom.   This is the meeting where members of the public may sign up to address the BOF and BOR regarding the BOE and City budgets.  Sign up details to follow in next week’s message.
 
SPEF Excellence in Education Awards
The Stamford Public Education Foundation is hosting its annual “Excellence in Education Awards” on Thursday, March 21 at the Stamford Marriott.  This event, which is a fundraiser for SPEF, recognizes outstanding SPS educators nominated by each school’s Parent-Teacher Organization.  Click here for more information or to purchase tickets. Please join me in congratulating the 2024 SPEF Educator of the Year nominees, listed here.
 
Building a Better Future for Stamford Public Schools
Matthew Quinones, Director of Operations and Katherine LoBalbo, Director of BOE School Operations joined the February Board of Representatives Education committee meeting and gave a school construction update.  The city provided the education committee with a projected school construction schedule update, as well as previewed a new city websiteBuilding a Better Future for Stamford Public Schools
 
To read the Superintendent’s full message please click here.
 
This Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day. While we celebrate with parades and wearing green or collecting shamrocks and dressing like leprechauns, there is a bit more to the history than you may know. Click here for some fascinating tidbits. Please have a safe and enjoyable weekend.
 
David M. Tate, Principal