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PTA Growing and Moving Forward

The Easton PTA has had its hands full this year with a number of firsts taking place in the community: The first-ever square dance, the first homecoming dance in four years at Joel Barlow High School and PTA membership spiking.

Samuel L. Staples PTA co-president Sharon Stemme said the membership increase can be attributed to better parental awareness, but also to the large enrollment in the Ski Club. Helen Keller Middle School co-president Heidi Adair said each parent was asked to join the PTA if her child signed up for the Ski Club. She said 149 students have registered for the Ski Club, and more are expected.

The PTA met on Nov. 12, and after discussing concerns regarding the sudden resignation of Superintendent Michael Cicchetti , the board moved on to its agenda.

Cheryl Mammen, Staples assistant principal, told the PTA the Veterans Day celebrations were a success. She said students responded to the day's activities and that she was "impressed with the level of interest expressed by the students."

Mammen also talked about the role of co-teachers in the classroom and professional development. Co-teaching, she explained, is when two teachers hold joint accountability for classroom management but operate independently. This allows for smaller student-teacher ratios, which enhances the learning experience. Curriculum and space are shared, Mammen said, so that students learn in a more personal and hands-on environment.

The board also discussed improving communication with the public and the town government regarding the professional development of teachers.

Laura Jones, Helen Keller co-president, said the recent PTA book fair raised $200 and the money helped buy books for the Wilbur Cross School in Bridgeport. "It's more than making money," Jones said. "It's a great volunteer opportunity for parents to do things with their children."

The board also discussed the public safety seminar sponsored by the PTSA. Police officers for Easton and Redding addressed issues such as drugs in the schools and Internet safety and responsibility.

The next PTA meeting is scheduled for Dec. 10 at 9:15 a.m. at the Easton Public Library Community Room.

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