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Easton's High School Prepares for First Day

EASTON, Conn. — Staff and students will see a few changes when they walk through Joel Barlow High School's doors Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Physical Changes: Overhangs and exterior doors have been painted and three awnings will be installed to reduce overheating in the cafeteria. Trimming and railings have been painted burgundy, classrooms have been repainted and walls and carpets have been touched up. Night crews have been stripping and waxing floors. Walter Czudak, the school's building and grounds director, detailed the work at a Region 9 Board of Education meeting Tuesday.

A boiler section has been replaced, and the heating system was upgraded. The efficiency of the air-conditioning units has been increased to allow cooling in the cafeteria, kitchen and main lobby.

Lighting has been replaced in some areas to be 78 percent more efficient with a lifespan of more than 20 years. More efficient cleaning filters will allow for better indoor air quality.

The grounds crew has been working on cutting, pruning, weeding, cleaning site lines, painting speed bumps, rebuilding basins in the driveway and paving by the stadium.

Personnel Changes: Eight faculty-staff members have joined Joel Barlow's family since school closed in June. These include, Paige Classey, English teacher; Mavi Gilmore, Spanish teacher; Joseph Gong, science teacher; Patrick D. Higgins, dean of students and director of student activities; Scott Lee, physics and mathematics teacher; Barbie Powell, social studies teacher; Thomas TJ Roberts, special education teacher; and Gail Persico, data-processing manager. Bernard Josefsberg, Easton's superintendent, officially started in July.

New Students: A total of 1,016 students are enrolled for 2011-12 at Joel Barlow High School, with 470 from Easton, 540 from Redding and six from out of town. The freshmen Class of 2015 will consist of 120 Easton students and 148 Redding students. A total of 22 freshmen from Easton and six from Redding will attend private schools. A German exchange student will attend Barlow for the 2011-12 school year.

New Bus Company: Over the summer, Region 9 signed a five-year lease with DATTCO for 44 buses. Routes have been posted on the Region 9 website . Two-thirds of the drivers from First Student will return this year.

Internet Upgrade: Joel Barlow has upgraded its Internet system to allow public access. Students and staff will be able to bring their own devices to the school and access the Internet. Thomas McMorran, head of school, said there will be a filter as to what can be accessed through the school's Internet system.

What are you looking forward to this year at Joel Barlow High School? Leave your comments in the box below.

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