Pencils are sharpened, classrooms are cleaned and buses are prepped for a new year at Trumbull Public Schools. The first day is Tuesday, Aug. 26.

Superintendent Gary Cialfi said students are heading back to schools that have enhanced security, more digital learning opportunities and elementary schools are not overcrowded, thanks to redistricting.

While enrollment numbers are far from final at this time of year, Cialfi said redistricting of students from Frenchtown to Middlebrook has had a positive outcome.

“We are ecstatic with the fact it turned out the way it did,” Cialfi said. “Our goal was to make sure portables are not being used at any elementary schools, make sure there is no overcrowding and impact as few students as necessary.”

Frenchtown currently has about 100 fewer than last year. Portable classrooms will not be used this year and there will be no art or music on a cart in elementary schools. Booth Hill is the last remaining school that does not have a dedicated space for music class, but that is temporary and will be fixed by next school year, the superintendent said.

At last Tuesday’s meeting of the Board of Education, Cialfi recommended the district hire three additional teachers at the elementary schools, two at Daniels Farm and one at Booth Hill, to keep class sizes down. A kindergarten teacher will be added at Daniels Farm and Booth Hill. A fourth grade teacher will also be hired at Daniels Farm.

Security

Security guards will be posted at all the schools, including each elementary school.

“We were able to hire seven new security officers,” Cialfi said. “Up until this year we had three guards at the elementary schools and they were at the schools with portable classrooms. The budget this year allowed us to hire more. We always have had them at the middle and high schools.”

Related to school safety and environment, the district’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) continues to expand to all schools and grades. PBIS is described as having an emphasis on school-wide systems of support that include proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments.

New learning

“For the first time we can call Trumbull a district that is a digital learning environment,” Cialfi said. “We already had wireless at the high school and have our Bring Your Own Device up and running, but for the first time, instead of just having pockets of wireless at some of our other schools, there is full wireless throughout the middle and elementary schools.”

Leading up the new year, staff have been in professional development to continue refining performance-based learning and assessments, Cialfi said, to drive student problem-solving and communication skills.

“I’m looking forward to and excited about more learning opportunities for student achievement and development,” Cialfi said.

Bus routes and more information on the new school year is posted at trumbullps.org.