October Update

Dear Parents and Guardians,

First, I wanted to let you know about the positive events that have taken place at Newtown High School over the last week. Our Spirit Week was a resounding success, and I need to commend students for their planning, collaborative efforts, and respectful behavior throughout the week. As you might have seen from our Facebook and twitter posts, both students and staff enthusiastically participated in our spirit days leading up to the decoration of our Spirit Halls on Friday. Each class was given a dedicated hallway to decorate based on the theme of “community.” The Pep Rally, which had not been held for the last several years, was a highly energetic and spirited event to recognize not only our talented athletes but members of all of our school clubs and organizations as well. Again, I have to tell you how truly impressed the staff was by the respectful and dignified behavior of all of our high school students during the rally.

On another note, I wanted to share a change in our attendance process. On Monday, you will note that all parent calls into school regarding a student’s absence, tardy, or early dismissal will be received by a central attendance line (rather than being split between the nurse and attendance). You will still be able to reach the school nurse to alert her to an extended absence for medical reasons, or if you have a question or concern. The system will direct you through a series of prompts to ensure you reach the appropriate line (203-426-7646).

Finally, we will be engaged in a lock-in drill on Tuesday, October 28th. This drill is intended to ensure protocols for securing our school building are consistently in place. All exterior doors, as they normally are, will remain locked. However, no one will be able to enter or depart the building during the drill. Instruction inside the building will continue as normal, but security and police will ensure that our building is fully secured during this time.

I will also be planning to hold parent breakfasts starting in November. This will allow parents to stop in and have a dialogue with me about topics of interest or concern. I will also use our NHS School Improvement Plan as the basis for our discussions about the future of our high school. I have attached a copy of the plan for your convenience. Details of these informal sessions will be posted soon, and information will be available through our PTSA. Until then, please continue to follow school news on our website, Facebook page, or my blog (all conveniently accessible through our website).

Parent Conferences- Fall 2014

Dear Parents:

On behalf of our faculty, I invite you to attend our Parent Teacher Conferences which will take place on November 18 and 19, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., and on November 20, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Early dismissal time for students will be at 11:32 a.m.

If you would like to have a conference, please have your son or daughter return the attached form to his orPTC.signupform her appropriate subject area teacher(s) no later than November 7. Please note that each teacher will try to schedule your conference as close to your requested time as possible.

Each conference will be ten (10) minutes in length. Please be sure that you coordinate your schedule so that one conference does not conflict with another. It is best not to schedule back-to-back conferences which leave you no time to walk from one classroom to another, making you late for a conference. If possible, leave at least ten minutes between each conference.

In addition to visiting teachers, you may wish to see other school personnel in a variety of areas:

  • Principal, Assistant Principals
  • Director of School Counseling Office
  • School Counseling Office: course selection, career and college planning, counseling School Psychologist/School Social Worker
  • Tutoring Center
  • Special Education
  • Career Center
  • Library Media Center

If you are unable to attend during the conference times, or wish to bring up a problem or concern that cannot be dealt during a ten minute conference, you may request a longer conference at a later date or a telephone conference. If at any time the need should arise, you are welcome and encouraged to schedule a conference either in person or by phone.

We look forward to your visit to the high school.



A Vision for Newtown High School

NHS Parents,

I would like to thank the parents who attended our first PTSA meeting on October 7th.  During the meeting, I presented our school’s improvement plan and outlined a vision for the future of Newtown High School.  If you would like to review the Powerpoint presentation, please follow the PTSA link below.

Dr. Lorrie Rodrigue


2014 National Student Poets

Newtown High School junior Ashley Gong has been appointed one of five 2014 National Student Poets, the nation’s highest honor for teen poets presenting original work. Click  here to see Ashley’s Portfolio. She began her year of poetry events, workshops and service projects with a reading hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama in the Blue Room of the White House. These five outstanding young poets were appointed by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers to showcase the essential role of writing and the arts in academic and personal success.


Congratulations, Ashley!


National Merit Scholarship 2015

Newtown High School is proud to introduce the students who have been selected by the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program as Commended Students.  Of the approximately 1.5 million students who took the PSAT/NMSQT, only 50,000 are selected for recognition.  Additionally, Aidan Petershack has been recognized as the 2015 Outstanding Participant Referred to Colleges. Congratulations, John Carlson, Caroline Chocholak, Kelly Coughlin, Andrew Cragin, Sean Kemsley, Micaela Nowacki, Brandon O’Sullivan, Alexa Reilly.


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Newtown High School Improvement Plan 2014-2015

Purpose Statement




The purpose of the Newtown High School Improvement Plan is to continue to review our strengths and areas for improvement in order to ensure all students receive a high quality education and are prepared for the demands of college and career. During the 2014-15 school year, staff and administration at Newtown High School will work collaboratively through a Professional Learning Community (PLC) model to make improvements that are aligned with Common Core Standards, State of Connecticut Common Core of Teaching (CCT), and the Newtown District Strategic Plan in order to foster a positive and productive environment and to improve the quality of teaching and learning.


The following goals and strategies represent our commitment to sustain a positive school culture, embed consistent learning expectations, and use data to inform decisions leading to increased student achievement.