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Weston schools tout accomplishments

Weston Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer

Weston Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer

In conjunction with the budget season, Weston Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer compiled a list of 52 accomplishments achieved by the school district for 2011-12, which she believes illustrates Weston’s commitment to excellence in education.

School board members Phil Schaefer and Nina Daniel agreed and called the list “impressive.”

“It’s proof that Weston schools are accomplishing a lot at a very good value for the money,” Ms. Daniel said.

According to Dr. Palmer, some of the top honors for the Weston schools for 2011-12 were:

•Weston High School (WHS) was ranked #1 high school in Fairfield County and #2 in Connecticut by Newsweek magazine.

•Weston public schools were included on the College Board’s National AP District Honor Roll.

•54% of all applications submitted by the WHS Class of 2012 were accepted by “most competitive” and “highly competitive” colleges and universities.

•Combined SAT scores were 1794, with an average of 608 in writing, 597 in math, and 589 in critical reading.

•WHS has two finalists and 15 commended students for the National Merit Scholarship program.

•94% of the 474 AP exams taken in the spring of 2012 were scored at a three or better.

•WHS graduated three National AP Scholars, 30 AP Scholars with Distinction, and 11 AP Scholars with Honors.

•WHS ranked as one of the top schools on the CT Academic Performance Test (CAPT).

•Weston ranked as one of the top districts on the CT Mastery Test (CMT).

•A WHS student ranked first in the state and third nationally on the 2011 National Concours French written contest.

•Full-day kindergarten was approved for the 2012-13 school year.

•Eight Spanish students received gold medals on the National Spanish Exam.

•A WHS junior was identified last spring as a Governor’s Scholar.

•Hurlbutt Elementary School (HES) student won the Bronze Award from the “Let’s Move” campaign for the Healthier U.S. Schools Challenge.

•126 Weston Middle School (WMS) students were identified by their team teachers as “spotlight students” to exemplify their positive contributions and strong academic performance/commitment to their classroom studies.

•Two eighth-grade students were recognized as scholar leaders by Connecticut Association of Schools for strong academic performance, active participation in community service, and positive influence on school climate.

•Weston established a partnership with Columbia University Teachers College to implement AIM (Academic Innovation and Measurement), a K-12 approach to teaching 21st century skills.

•The HES Learning Garden was planted and used as an outdoor classroom.

•WMS Math Olympiad team earned 10th place in the statewide competition last spring.

•WMS Mock Trial team advanced to the semifinal round in the statewide Mock Trial competition.

•After being recognized at the regional and state level, three 6th grade students had their project on The Holocaust: The Impact on Eastern European Jews recognized at the national level of the National History Day competition.

•A WMS seventh-grade student participated in the statewide National Geography Bee.

•Student participants on the Math Counts team placed sixth in a regional math competition.

•A Weston Intermediate School (WIS) student won the Connecticut Higher Education Trust writing contest.

•Three seventh-grade students received 2nd place and two received 3rd place honors in the Cablevision Educational Access competition for their documentary videos.

•Seven fifth-graders received a silver pin in the Math Olympiad competition and the WIS Math Olympiad team received an achievement plaque for being in the top 10% of all teams internationally.

•The WMS Mock Trial team earned 2nd place at the state level competition.

•A WIS student finished 2nd in the Barnes and Noble Writing contest.

•WHS American Cancer Society Relay for Life was awarded the most successful new relay in all of New England for spring 2011, grossing $115,000.

•WHS student government co-president created westonhsgov.com.

•WHS was featured on CBS News Sunday for its Teen Peaceworks Dance-A-Thon, which raised funds for the Domestic Violence Crisis Center.

•Nine WHS band students and three choir students performed in the Western Region Festival.

•10 WHS students participated in the 2nd tier All-State Auditions; three students were selected to participate in the All-State Band; one student was selected to the All-State Choir Ensembles.

•WHS Interstellar Elevators band won a cash prize at the NAMM convention in Anaheim, CA in “School Jam.”

•Nine WIS students were chosen for the Connecticut Music Educators Association

Elementary Honors Choir.

•Many WHS band students hold principal chair positions in the Norwalk Youth Orchestra and the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra.

•Three WHS students are members of the initial performing ensemble, Acoustic Weston.

•WHS UNICEF club raised funds to donate money to a school in Kenya for much needed school supplies.

•The sophomore class raised funds for Casa Hogar, an orphanage in Ecuador, as their service project.

•WHS established a partnership with The Met, a Big Picture School, that resulted in an evening seminar for students interested in business and entrepreneurship.

•WHS established three new courses for next year: Economics and entrepreneurship; anatomy and physiology; and computer integrated manufacturing.

•WHS is a fully certified Project Lead the Way School and WMS added Project Lead the Way to its curriculum.

•The WHS spring musical Guys and Dolls was a huge hit and played to audiences over 500.

•75 WHS students participated in Builders Beyond Borders working Latin America.

•100 WIS students participated in the school-wide play, Broadway Through the Years.

•WMS began airing a daily, student-facilitated morning show to deliver morning announcements, positive character messages, and video enrichment opportunities for students and staff.

•50 middle school students participated in this year’s sold-out Short Wharf production of Annie, Jr.

•150 eighth-grade students voluntarily participated in the Career Mentorship experience.

•The WMS Jazz Bands, Chamber Orchestra, and Chamber Singers received a 1st place honor and best overall at the Music in the Parks Adjudication Festival in addition to receiving the Esprit de Corps Award.

•Three WIS students won the Westport County Playhouse Holiday Family Traditions writing contest.

•The second-grade Larrabee Book Sale raised money for Save the Children.

•The Mitten Project drive at HES garnered 475 new hats and mittens for Bridgeport Rescue Mission.

•WHS was awarded the Michaels Achievement Cup by the CIAC for best overall athletic department in the State of Connecticut for medium-sized schools.

•Girls swimming and diving and boys tennis won state championships.

•Boys skiing, girls outdoor track and field, boys tennis, and boys lacrosse won SWC championships.

•WHS has 39 All-State athletes and 719 athletes that earned academic awards while participating with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

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