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Back to School: What’s New in Region 14 for 2017-18

WOODBURY – And they’re off… Region 14 students went back to school today. And in just 180 school days, it’ll be time for Summer Vacation 2018 (The tentative last day of school for the 2017-18 school year, pending snow days and other cancellations, is June 13, for those students who can’t wait for this year to be all over!).

So what’s new and exciting in Region 14? Here’s a quick rundown of what’s happening in the schools.

New Nonnewaug Principal

Julie Luby was named Principal of Nonnewaug High School in May, and started with Region 14 on July 1. She replaced Alice Jones, who had been principal at Nonnewaug for two years and was previously at Woodbury Middle School.

Luby is an experienced Principal and educator who has worked in several Connecticut school districts including Trumbull, Southbury/Middlebury (Region 15), Bethel, and Stratford, showcasing her leadership skills, extensive working knowledge, and organizational ability as well as building positive relationships with staff, students, and families.

Luby holds a Certificate of Advanced Study in Administration (6th year) and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Sacred Heart University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Lehigh University.

New Faculty and Staff

Mitchell Elementary School welcomed eight new teachers and instructors, and four new paraprofessionals. Once substitute teacher is returning to a long-term substitute teaching position,  and one teacher is switching grade level assignments.

At Woodbury Middle School, there are three new teachers, a new library media specialist, a new teaching assistant, and a new paraprofessional.

New Construction at Nonnewaug

The long-awaited renovation of Nonnewaug High School is underway. Due to construction, the Region 14 Central Office has been moved to Woodbury Middle School.

New Homes for Pre-K Classes

The Pre-K program is no longer at Woodbury Middle School. Pre-K classes have been moved to Mitchell and Bethlehem elementary schools, respectively.

New Curriculum Throughout The Schools

In a start-of-the-year letter, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anna Cutaia-Leonard highlighted the following new educational initiatives within the system. Those bulleted highlights include new curriculum and teacher training, such as:

• a record 42 participants in Teacher Leadership Academy co-sponsored with UCONN (63 certified staff members trained in all);

• new STEM elective at Woodbury Middle;

• Advanced Placement Capstone course (NHS is one of only eight high schools offering this in the state of Connecticut);

• curriculum work started in Social Studies, Science, Agri-Science and Music;

• literacy assessments; and

• first ever Farm to Table class at Nonnewaug.

New Classroom Celebration Policy

Outside foods will no longer be allowed to be brought in for classroom celebrations, per a new policy rolled out by Region 14.

In a letter emailed to parents and guardians of Region 14 earlier this month, Cutaia-Leonard said any food used in classroom celebrations must be purchased through the Region 14 Food Services Department.

“While some districts have moved to banning food-based celebrations, we in Region 14 have maintained this tradition while at the same time making them healthier in remaining within an agreed upon list of items,” Cutaia-Leonard said in the letter.

Here’s the link to the letter:

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  • Richard Michaels says:

    Now really, outside food can’t be brought in… more dirt cupcakes? No more rice crispy treats, or moms special chocolate chip cookies?
    Let’s just put kids in a glass bubble.

  • Elena Bowen says:

    They moved the Italian/French teacher to the middle school. They did not find another Italian teacher. So all the kids that took Italian I last year are SOL.

    Dr. Anna states that will offer Italian 3 & 4. Can anyone help me out & explain how that helps the kids that took Italian 1? So now my child needs to take Spanish for three years & her Italian pretty much counts as nothing.

    I don’t understand the thinking behind this decision.

    Also, do most people know the band is not allowed to play at home or away football games?

    I’ve attended many of the games & the other teams have had them. I think it shows team spirit.

    One more thing. Did anyone notice in the budget that a job was added at $140,000 a year? I have been told that it’s for someone to help Dr. Anna??? Really? How big is this region?

    To much money out to administrator’s instead of teacher’s.

    I’m not happy, if you can’t tell.

  • Elena Bowen says:

    I agree Richard. Many have complained. I guess it doesn’t matter.

    Community should be huge. Let them celebrate. Let them bring food in, as long as allergies are taken into consideration.

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