Deans Mill named outstanding elementary school of the year
Stonington — Deans Mill School has been named the outstanding elementary school for 2016-17 by the Connecticut Association of Schools.
A group of 22 teachers, administrators, staff and others associated with the school took a bus Wednesday night to Southington to receive the award at the organization’s annual Recognition of Excellence celebration.
“All of us here at the school have spent so much time being dedicated to our kids and meeting their needs. This is a validation that what we are doing is working even though it can sometimes be a hard, slow process. It’s a nice recognition that our hard work is really making a difference,” Deans Mill Principal Jennifer McCurdy said Thursday.
She said that through curriculum changes and new programs, the school’s teachers and staff “have really embraced that change, which is not easy.”
She said those who work at the school are very open minded, welcome feedback and always are willing to help out.
McCurdy said that she and Assistant Principal Tom Bousquet worked on the 12-page application for nomination last summer and were notified the school was one of two finalists for the award in October.
She said a Connecticut Association of Schools committee visited the school last month and interviewed teachers, staff, administrators, parents and students. The committee made random classroom visits and examined the school programs and operation.
“Deans Mill School demonstrates a wonderful school climate and a sincere sense of family. Your focus on educating the 'whole child' as independent global citizens is to be commended. This is a reflection of excellent building leadership, staff dedication, the commitment to student learning, and is enhanced by a supportive parent, staff, and community collaboration,” wrote Loretta Rubin, the chairperson of the association's Elementary Honors and Awards Committee, informing the school of the award.
She added that “The committee was impressed with the inclusive and accepting environment that focuses on meeting the needs of every student, the multiple venues for communication with parents and community, and the multitude of learning opportunities for students."
"This is a testament to the high level of instruction and safety provided by your dedicated faculty. The show of support by the parents, administration, staff, and students as well as their numerous references to the collaboration and caring at Deans Mill School confirms the committee’s recommendation for the CAS Elementary School of the Year,” she wrote.
McCurdy said she was particularly honored to hear the committee’s praise about the inclusive nature of the school.
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