New Canaan Schools Earn State Distinction

Gov. Malloy recognized Saxe Middle School and West School—along with dozens of other schools across the state—for making progress on student achievement at a gathering and "sharing of best practices" workshop on Tuesday.


Two New Canaan schools were among 97 recognized by the state department of education Tuesday for making significant progress on student achievement tests.

Schools of distinction are identified annually and are placed into one of three different categories: Highest performing subgroup—such as students with disabilities, minority students or or students on free/reduced lunch—highest progress and highest overall performance. This year the analysis was based on state standardized test data from 2011 and 2012.

Both Saxe Middle School and West Elementary School were included in the "highest overall performance" list for performing within the top 10 percent of schools across the state—an achievement representative of the rest of the district, Schools Superintendent Mary Kolek said in an email to Patch. 

"We are extremely proud that each and all of our schools attain excellence on a consistent basis across an array of indicators. These include not only standardized test results but also the arts, athletics, community service and leadership," she said. 

New Canaan was represented at the ceremony and educational workshop by Alison Bedula, school board chair, West principal Dr. Jill Correnty, Saxe Assistant Principal Linda Spendard and NCEA President and Saxe Math Instructional Leader, Vivian Birdsall, according to Kolek.

She they were inspired to hear how schools from across the state are striving for and achieving high standards and sustained success.

"Excellence is a result of the partnership between our staff, student and family, who all value learning and are learners at heart. I applaud the community's wisdom in continually investing in education and want to publicly recognize our teachers' individual and collective commitment to ensuring instruction is engaging and effective," Kolek said.

The new accountability system was put into place last year, when the state department applied for a waiver from some No Child Left Behind requirements, according to state officials, who say the new performance measurements improve the state's ability to provide better interventions, support and recognition to local schools.

“Connecticut has redoubled efforts to provide the best education to all of our students no matter where they live, which school they attend, or socioeconomic status,” Governor Malloy said at the gathering. “Last year we invested $100 million in our schools, and this year I‟m proposing more than $150 million in additional Educational Cost Sharing funding over the biennium—resources that will be largely targeted to our underperforming schools. I applaud the schools that are here today—their commitment to education is tremendous and they are part of the larger conversation about replicating what works in education.”

For a full list of 97 schools recognized, click here.

anon February 27, 2013 at 06:01 PM
I was under the impression that all the elementary schools in New Canaan were on the same par. Am I wrong? Why is west school always singled out as the best of the 3 elementary schools. There should be equality amongst the elementary schools in town.
JL February 27, 2013 at 07:12 PM
For East, it's because they are now overcrowded since the boundary lines were re-drawn and students from South were shifted to East instead of West.
Lisa Buchman February 27, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Superintendent Kolek emphsaized above that their "achievement was representative of the district." If you look at the scores of the schools on the CT DOE website (here: https://state2.measinc.com/ct/micpi/#cmtschoollist?id=1145) they are close in range.
Four Jacks February 27, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Interestingly, the 3 year trends for East and South are up, while the trend for West is down. But they are all very good.
Glen K Dunbar February 28, 2013 at 01:37 PM
New Canaan schools are the best in the Country. This I must say


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