Monthly Archives: May 2007

So what happened at the hearing?

Any highlights, lowlights or otherwise? Did we learn anything? As usual, I had to be off at a kids’ activity. Maybe I can catch a rerun.



Filed under budget, education, Schools

More than 1,000 hits here today

I’m stunned at how quickly this little blog is growing. We topped 1,000 hits for the first time today.


Filed under West Hartford

Education budget hearing tonight

If you care, show up!

Public Hearing on Budget Reductions, Tuesday, May 29, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall – Legislative Chamber, Room 314.


Filed under Board of Education, education, Schools

Don’t give in, Board of Ed

Let’s try this scenario on: What if the Board of Ed simply refused to make any more cuts in its budget (after removing any spending that’s not going to hurt in the classroom)? Couldn’t it just tell the council that it’s sliced away all that it can in good conscience and plead for more money? I assume that the budget is going to set what the schools get, come hell or high water, so what difference does it make if they make the cuts now or later? In the meantime, let’s make a show of it. Let’s not back down and shrug our shoulders and do what’s asked.

At the very least, it would have the effect of making sure this whole town recognizes that the budget is already too damn small, which is not a bad thing to have everyone thinking shortly before a referendum foisted on us by those who don’t care what happens to our schools.


Filed under Board of Education, budget, education, referendum, Schools, town council, West Hartford Taxpayers Association

Quest also on chopping block

The superintendent is offering the Board of Education lots of ways to slice Quest from the budget. It could whack a teacher or two, or it could ax Middle School Quest, or it could lop off Elementary School Quest. I guess we should be grateful he didn’t urge tossing the Quest kids out on the street to save a few more bucks.

Really, this is perhaps the most important test of all for our town leaders. If we don’t provide the gifted and talented students with the opportunity to shine that Quest provides, then what are we? As a town, we have a special responsibility to our best and brightest. What kind of message do we send to our rising stars — and to househunting families — if we pare or eliminate the showcase program for our highest achieving students?


Filed under Board of Education, education, Quest, referendum, Schools, town council, West Hartford

6 elementary schools could get clobbered

Parents at  Aiken, Braeburn, Bugbee, Duffy, Morley, and Norfeldt schools better wake up fast.

On the list of potential cuts are two that would create havoc for countless families and drastically reduce the education at each of the schools.

One proposal is to eliminate full-day kindergarten at each of the six schools, to save $713,750. There would still be half-day kindergarten there, but that’s not nearly as effective educationally and is obviously a greater burden on many working families.

In addition, those same six schools face the possibility of seeing their average class sizes rise by four students in each grade, which means some upper grade teachers could have 29 kids in the room instead of a maximum of 25. In the lower grades, the increase is from 23 to 27.

Anybody who’s read anything about educational achievement knows that smaller class sizes are crucial. At 27, the classes are nearly twice as big as they should be. That would be a body blow to West Hartford’s students — and to our reputation.

Parents — and others, of course — should be screaming that such a thing is even on the agenda.


Filed under Aiken, Board of Education, Braeburn, budget, Bugbee, Duffy, education, Morley, Norfeldt, referendum, Schools, town council

Honor our veterans today. Parade at 10 a.m.

Our yearly parade on Memorial Day is always a stirring, wonderful event. Be there.

 Here are the details: 

The West Hartford Memorial Day Parade Committee announces the appointment of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal as the Honorary Parade Marshal of the 2007 West Hartford Memorial Day Parade.

The parade is scheduled for Monday, May 28, 2007. It will start at 10 a.m. from the corner of Woodrow Street and Farmington Avenue. It proceeds east on Farmington Ave. and turns onto South Main Street and onto the Town Hall.

First Lieutenant Jean-Paul Berard, US Army Reserves, a World War II veteran of the Pacific Theater and a retired West Hartford teacher, will lead the parade as the Parade Marshal. The Reverend Rick Hansen of the United Methodist Church of West Hartford will serve as Parade Chaplain and Tim Hussey of the Conard High School Band as the Parade Bugler.
Immediately following the parade, a memorial service will be held at the Veterans’ Memorial located at the intersection of Farmington Avenue and North Main Street. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal will be the keynote speaker.

The Central Connecticut Region of the Antique Car Club of America invites veterans and their spouses to ride in the parade in one of their antique cars. Veterans wishing to accept this invitation should be at the entrance of the town hall at 9:15 a.m. Participants will be returned to the Town Hall at the end of the parade.

West Hartford takes great pride in hosting an annual Memorial Day Parade on the observed date of this special and solemn holiday, the last Monday of May at 10:00 AM. It follows a tradition established by returning West Hartford veterans from World War I.

The West Hartford Memorial Day Parade Committee is a joint endeavor and cooperative effort of Hannon-Hatch VFW Post 9929, and Hayes-Velhage Post 96, The American Legion of West Hartford, in partnership with the Town of West Hartford.

The present parade route begins on Farmington Avenue at Four Mile Road traveling east and turning south onto South Main Street to Burr Street and ending at town hall.


Filed under Memorial Day, News, parade, veterans, West Hartford