Friday, March 24, 2017

Cheerleading Registration in Ansonia

DiCenso Reacts to Dziekan's Mayoral Announcement

Derby Aldermanic President Carmen DiCenso, a former Derby High School football coach, announces his mayoral bid amid supporters at the Italian Pavilion restaurant Tuesday. DiCenso a Democrat, will challenge Derby Mayor Anita Dugatto, who has announced she will seek a third term.
(Catherine Avalone photo)

DERBY- While Rich Dziekan says he has a plan to lower taxes in Derby if he gets elected, his plan sounds eerily similar to the plan of his former boss in Ansonia, Mayor Dave Cassetti, whose plan will likely cost Ansonia’s homeowners thousands of dollars a year in tax increases very soon.  Yes, thousands of dollars in new taxes every year.

As a part of Dave Cassetti’s staff, if Rich Dziekan looks to have Derby mirror Ansonia’s fiscal policy regarding taxes, it could become a disaster for Derby homeowners.  Derby’s taxpayers are already paying too much.  Our homeowners cannot sustain drastic yearly increases to the mill rate like Ansonia’s homeowners will soon face.

Like Dave Cassetti, if Rich Dziekan intends to borrow money from the city’s fund balance -- or rainy day fund as many communities refer to it -- to run Derby’s operating budget without a plan to replace those funds once they are depleted, our valued homeowners will soon be in serious financial distress.

Once the rainy day fund runs dry, Rich Dziekan’s plan will force Derby’s homeowners to pay thousands of dollars each year above and beyond what they currently pay.

Rather than rob Peter to pay Paul, my plan of not increasing the burden on Derby’s homeowners is sustainable, not smoke and mirrors simply to get votes.  My plan is to build Derby’s tax base through continuous and steady economic development by attracting new businesses to fill our existing empty storefronts while constructing new facilities for even more economic growth for Derby.

My plan is to bring new businesses into our city while working to keep our existing business right where they are.

We can do better.  We will do better.
(This is a press release from DiCenso)

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sen. Logan Discusses Cancer Prevention Efforts

Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino (left) speaks with Sen. George S. Logan (right) on the latest edition of Logan’s tv show “The Senate Reports.”  Commissioner Pino and Sen. Logan discuss DPH’s ongoing cancer prevention awareness efforts and DPH’s focus on reaching out to Connecticut’s African-American community.  March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in the State of Connecticut. The show airs on Access TV 22 ( and can be viewed at Logan’s website: . Logan, who serves as Vice-Chair of the legislature’s Public Health Committee, represents Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden, Naugatuck and Woodbridge. He can be reached at and 800-842-1421. 

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Are You Green with Envy?

DERBY -Griffin Hospital will host a free talk about getting active through lawn care on Wed., March 29 at 6 p.m. at the hospital, 130 Division Street, Derby.
Are you green with envy for your neighbor's lawn? Learn the secrets of the professionals and golf courses to keep your lawn green and healthy. Experienced horticulturalist Francine Vallillo will present “All about Lawns,” providing tips on improving your lawn by selecting the right seed mix, knowing when to fertilize and how to mow properly. The talk will identify types of insects, diseases and weeds and how to prevent and control them.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yard work is a moderate-intensity level activity, which the CDC recommends two and a half hours of each week to help prevent chronic health conditions.
This series is part of Griffin Hospital's Healthy U program, a series of free wellness talks featuring Griffin Hospital medical experts and community partners providing trusted health information and answers to questions on a wide range of topics. Light refreshments will be served.
To reserve your spot or for more information, call 203-732-1511 or visit the calendar at
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

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Walk, Run & Jog for a Good Cause

Spooner House Walk 5.20.17Calling all walkers, runners, and joggers!
Every year supporters of Spooner House gather together to walk the Derby Greenway in support of the hunger and homeless 
initiatives at Spooner House.
Join us this year on May 20th for our 20th year of this tradition!

You can choose to form your own team, join a team, or register as an individual.

Registration is $20.
Once registered, participants can set up their own fundraising pages.
The first 200 people to register will receive an event t-shirt and goodie bag.
All participants will be entered into a drawing to win prizes.

The registration page is now open!

Register now
and click "Set Up Your Fundraiser" to join a team or form your own.

Prizes will be awarded for:
-Team with most participants
-Team that raises the most money
-Individual that raises the most money

By joining the Walk for the Hungry and Homeless you are supporting your neighbors in need in the Lower Naugatuck Valley receive food, shelter and support services with the goal of establishing a self-sufficient living situation.

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Griffin Hospital Sharing Hearts Support Group Meeting March 23

DERBY - Griffin Hospital’s Sharing Hearts Support Group will meet Thurs., March 23 at 6:30 p.m. at The Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital, 350 Seymour Ave., Derby.
The Sharing Hearts Support Group aims to lower the anxiety and stress that comes with a heart condition diagnosis by offering monthly education on heart health and area resources, as well as the support of fellow individuals with heart conditions.
Future meetings will be held April 27, May 25 and June 22. Caregivers are also invited to join.
For more information and to reserve your spot, contact Maria Cantito at Griffin Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Department at 203-732-7106.
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Seymour Democrats Seeking Candidates

Town of Seymour, CT
SEYMOUR - The Seymour Democratic Town Committee is seeking candidates to run for various town offices in November’s municipal election and will being choosing a slate for the July convention.
The party is looking for residents interested in running for the following boards:  Board of Selectmen, Board of Education, Board of Finance, Board of Assessment Appeals, Board of Police Commissioners, Board of Library Directors and the Planning & Zoning Commission.
The town committee will be supporting candidates that are invested in their community:  looking to make it a better place to live, work, raise a family and stay after retirement.  Interested candidates should be able to work well with others for the improvement of Seymour. 
The committee will nominate and endorse a slate of candidates in July.  Any registered voter in Seymour may seek nomination.
Interested residents should contact Democratic Town Chairman Phil Wilhelmy at 203-888-4383 or Theresa Conroy at 203-888-1300. 
(This is a press release from Seymour DTC)

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Dugatto to Host Campaign Kick-off Fundraiser

DERBY- Derby Mayor Anita Dugatto announced that she will be hosting a campaign kick-off fundraiser on  Wednesday, March 22 at the Derby Elk’s Lodge, 73 Elizabeth St. from 5 to 7 p.m.

Dugatto sees the event as a way for her to share her ideas for Derby with supporters and residents while learning about what is important to them.

“We have worked hard to make Derby's city government more accessible and responsive to the community it serves," Dugatto said. "The improvements evolved from understanding the needs of our citizens through better communication.  Let’s continue that dialogue to keep moving Derby in the right direction.” 

The event will feature a pasta dinner and cash bar.  Tickets are $30 and can be purchased in advance by visiting Dugatto’s Facebook page at Dugatto for Mayor. Tickets will also be available at the door on the night of the event.

(This is a press release from Dugatto's campaign manager)

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Help Ansonia Families Displaced by Devastating Fire

By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
Register Correspondent

ANSONIA >> Efforts are underway to help five families displaced by a devastating fire last week that claimed everything they owned.

Mayor David Cassetti said the city has joined forces with TEAM, Inc. to help the families following last Friday’s fire at a multi-family home at 122 Liberty St. which spread to a nearby, two-family apartment at 55 Fourth St.

Neighboring fire departments in Derby and Seymour assisted Ansonia Fire Department in dousing the raging blaze.

A second collection effort is underway by resident Missy Lundeen, wife of acting Fire Marshal Darrick Lundeen and creator of “Going the Extra Mile” nonprofit grassroots organization that helps Valley families devastated by house fires.
Read more here:

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Cyber-Bullying Program for Parents

Image result for cyber bullying clipart

DERBY - St. Mary - St. Michael School in Derby is sponsoring a Cyber-bullying program for parents on Monday, April 3, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the school, 14 Seymour Ave. 
Scott Driscoll, a renowned law enforcement official is the presenter. Driscoll has conducted forensic computer examinations for law enforcement agencies including on-line bullying, identity theft and child pornography cases. 
The program is free and open to the public.

(This is a press release from Principal Linda Coppola)

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Beacon Falls Resident, Marrakech to Receive Caring Heart Award

DERBY- Griffin Hospital Volunteer Claudia Csuka, of Beacon Falls, and Marrakech, Inc., of Woodbridge, will be honored with the Caring Heart Award at The 12th Annual Women’s Heart Wellness and Caring Heart Award Brunch on Saturday, March 25 from 8:30 a.m.-noon at the Griffin Hospital Dining Room, 130 Division Street, Derby.
The award recognizes individuals and groups that foster initiatives to promote and improve the general health and well-being of all. This is the ninth year that the award will be bestowed.
Csuka has been a volunteer at Griffin for a little more than a year, but has already positively impacted many patients’ lives as part of the hospital’s vital patient stories and complimentary therapies programs. As a vital patient stories volunteer, Csuka meets with patients and talks with them to write a brief story about their lives. She focuses on memories or characteristics that are vital or sacred to the patient and the stories are shared with hospital staff so they can better know and understand their patients. Csuka is also trained in soft touch therapy, which provides stress relief and personal connection that can be critical to healing.
Csuka is also very involved in her community as a member of the Parish Council and Ladies Guild at St. Michael’s Church in Beacon Falls, and provides free rides to individuals needing transportation to their medical appointments.
Marrakech, Inc. is a private nonprofit organization that has provided person-centered, unique, and cost-effective human services for children and adults, with and without disabilities, in Connecticut for over 45 years. The services and individuals supported are diverse, but they have the common goal of assisting individuals with achieving greater self-sufficiency while they experience the best quality of life possible. Marrakech's Health and Wellness Committee was formed in July 2012 and has implemented an annual weight loss challenge and a well-attended community health fair. Throughout each year, wellness information is shared in a variety of ways, including through a series of workshops planned in partnership with local wellness practitioners. Exercise challenges and team walks for other causes are also regularly coordinated.
The brunch will start with registration at 8:30 a.m. and the program will begin at 9 a.m. The theme of this year’s event is “What’s Your Shelf Life,” focusing on how healthy eating habits can help prevent heart disease. The event will feature a survivor speaker, a cooking demonstration and tips on healthy eating.
Tickets for the brunch are $25 and the event is open to the public. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Heart Wellness Fund, which supports heart wellness programs for women in the Valley.
Valet parking will be available.
Reservations are due by March 20. To reserve a seat, become a sponsor, or for more information, call Eunice Lisk at 203-732-7107 or
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

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Ansonia Nature Center Announces Spring Programs

Ansonia Nature CenterKARATE CLUB Tuesdays, 5-week sessions beginning Mar. 28, May 2, June 7, 5–5:45 pm (Karate Kids); 5:45–6:15 pm (Little Dragons)
This dynamic and energetic after-school program at the Nature Center has classes for children 6-12 years old (Karate Kids), and 3-5 years old (Little Dragons). Students will engage in various martial arts techniques and activities while learning important skills such as discipline, focus, self-control, and confidence. They will have the opportunity to earn higher-ranking belts as their participation continues. TUITION per 5-week session: $45 for Karate Kids, $40 for Little Dragons (cash or check payable to AMAA), which includes a Karate Club T-shirt and white belt. For more information please call Chief Instructor Adam Rylski at 203-671-6903 or 203-931-1979, or the Ansonia Nature Center at 203-736-1053.
Our seasoned Hatha Yoga instructor and practitioner, Pam Mellitz, will lead us into a healthier lifestyle through stretching, breath control and gentle exercise. The full 1.5 hour classes require a mat or thick towel; dress for easy movement. Class is limited to 12 students. $7 per class. Please call Pam to register at 203-888-4124.
Have you ever thought about being a beekeeper? Ranger Dawn will teach you about beekeeping tools and equipment, how to begin a starter hive, and how to identify honeybees and what they are doing. Our observation hive at the Nature Center is a great place to see this incredible system. FREE.
MONDAY NIGHT TRAIL RUN Mondays, 5:30-6:30 pm
This is a call to all of the runners who want something that is out of the ordinary! Ranger Dan will lead you through our 156 acre network of trails, while you burn off the weekend's extra calories. We guarantee that this FREE program is the best way to start off your week.  Please register and wear appropriate footwear.
SPRING TERM JUNIOR RANGERS – Thursdays. Apr. 6–June 1, 3:30–5 pm
Calling all kids 11 to 14 years old who love nature! Has your child wanted to work with animals, garden, help maintain our trails, and help with special events? This is the opportunity to help the Nature Center in our 8-week after school program. Parental permission is required. Class size is limited; this class fills up fast! FREE.
SPRING CLEANUP – Sat., Apr. 8, 10 am – 12 pm
Bring your garden and trail tools! Scouts, youth groups, and students, this is a great community service opportunity. Help beautify our park and get ready for spring and summer. We’ll supply the gloves.
Have you always wanted to grow your vegetables but don’t have enough property or sun in your yard for a garden? No worries; the Nature Center has plenty of fertile spots in full sun just for you. Sign up for your own garden plot with ACOG President Pat Evans. We will meet at the visitor center and walk to the organic gardens.
SPRING NATURE DAYS Mon.–Wed. Apr. 10–12, 9:30 am–3 pm
For children from 5 to 11 years old who love the outdoors and wildlife, these popular classes will not only be educational but also a chance to explore our 156 acres. We will visit a variety of habitats such as the park’s wetlands, fields, and woodlands. Great time of the year for amphibian searches too! TUITION: $90 priority students (Ansonia residents and current family-level FANCI members), $105 all others. (While you’re here for Spring Break, why not register for Summer Nature Days? See the notice at the end of the Calendar!)
PET LOSS GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP – Tuesdays, Apr. 11, May 9, June 13, 2 pm and 6 pm
Losing a beloved animal can be tragic and a very emotional time for humans. Grief support and grief counseling will benefit the human left behind. FREE, but donations are accepted. Please contact Susan Wilson at 802-379-4449 for arrangements to meet at the Nature Center.
NATURE EXPLORERS – Wednesdays, Apr. 19, 26, May 3, 10, 10 am
Join Wendy for our preschool/toddler program. This 4-week session is for children ages 2–5 years old with an adult. These outdoor classes will be fun exploring and learning through play. We will learn about nature and science through activities such as hiking, exploring, singing, games, reading, and making crafts. Every class is outside!!!! TUITION: $40 per 4-week session (cash or check payable to Ansonia Nature Center).
FAMILY ORGANIC GARDEN PROGRAMTuesdays, April 18–June 27, 3:30–5 pm
ANC will lead fun, family-friendly activities in our organic garden. Learn about growing a variety of fruits and vegetables. Dress appropriately; keep in mind you will get water and/or soil on your clothing. FREE, with the potential to take home fresh local produce!
FULL PINK MOON HIKE – Sat. Apr. 22, 7 pm
This full moon heralded the appearance of the moss pink, or wild phlox—one of the first spring flowers. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon. Enjoy the sounds of spring with our Nature Center guides as we lead you around our wetlands to spot some spring amphibians by the light of the moon. For all ages (children must be accompanied by an adult).  FEE: $1.00.
SUNDAY GUIDED HIKE: Vernal Pools – Sun. Apr. 23, 1 pm
Learn about our local amphibians during our Sunday hike to the Nature Center’s vernal pools. These fascinating creatures secretly inhabit our woodland and wetlands. Help our ranger lift rocks and logs to find these slippery creatures beneath.  FREE.
EARTH DAY CELEBRATION – Sat. Apr. 29, 10 am – 4 pm
We invite everyone to join us to honor Mother Earth. At this annual event enjoy plantings, hikes, live animals, environmental exhibitors and a special guest. This year storyteller Leslie Elias will create masks for $5 with families and then perform the Iroquois creation myth. This story is of sky people and water animals and how the earth came to rest on Grandmother Turtle’s back. You can also hear an Audubon biologist present the 2016 Bird Habitat Assessment findings for the Nature Center property (see more information in the calendar entry below). Food and snacks available from local vendors and the Nature Center bake sale. No park admission fee. All ages welcome.
Audubon Connecticut’s Forest Bird Initiative focuses its conservation efforts on priority species, giving us an opportunity to keep these species common before they become threatened or endangered. Properties like the Nature Center can be critical parts of large forested landscapes that provide high-quality habitat for breeding birds. Come to hear recommendations for protecting and improving habitat at the Nature Center by Corrie O’Keefe, Audubon biologist. She will present the park’s 2016 Bird Habitat Assessment findings. This is a great program for volunteers and scouts who are looking for conservation projects.  


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Monday, March 13, 2017

Ansonia Parking Ban in Effect Due to Blizzard

 Ansonia Police
ANSONIA - The City of Ansonia will begin a parking ban at 6:00 P.M. tonight, 3/13/17, and it will be in effect until further notice for all streets in the city. There will no on street parking allowed; vehicles in violation will be towed.

Residents can use the following city owned parking lots for parking:

Main Street Municipal Lot
East Main Street Municipal Lot
West Main Street Municipal Lot
Ansonia High School 20 Pulaski HighwayAnsonia Middle School 115 Howard Avenue
Prendergast School 59 Finney Street
Mead School 75 Ford Street
Nolan Field Wakelee Avenue
Ansonia Armory North Cliff Street
Colony Park Colony Street
(This is a press release from Ansonia Police)

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Free St. Patrick's Day Concert in Seymour

Local, State Fire Officials Probe Four Fires in Ansonia in Less than 24 Hours

By Esteban Hernandez
Register Staff

ANSONIA >> Acting Fire Marshal Darrick Lundeen said Saturday there’s no indication that three significant fires reported in a less-than-24-hour span are connected, including one that displaced several residents and destroyed a residence.

A fourth, minor fire, involving a stove, was also reported Saturday afternoon, City Economic Development Director Sheila O’Malley said.

The first and most serious fire was reported Friday night and affected two homes, leaving one a total loss and the other with significant damage. That fire displaced several people, though Lundeen said he didn’t have exact numbers. Lundeen said the state fire marshal was assisting in the investigation.

The Valley Independent reported 11 people were displaced by the fire, which they reported occurred on the corner of Fourth and Liberty streets. The fire required mutual aid assistance.
Read more here:

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Griffin Hospital Offers Help with Managing Health Conditions

DERBY - Griffin Hospital will host a free six-week workshop starting March 22 to help individuals suffering from health conditions take back control of their lives.
The Live Well Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop provides health information and strategies to help those with health conditions like pain, anxiety, diabetes, depression, heart disease, and arthritis increase their energy and take control of their health.
Along with clinical care, participants will learn ways to cope with difficult emotions, depression, and stress/anxiety, reduce pain, improve mobility, increase energy, increase physical activity, eat healthier, use medications appropriately, and solve everyday problems and communicate effectively with family and health care providers.
The workshop will be held from 3:30-6 p.m. on Wednesdays starting March 22 at the hospital, 130 Division Street, Derby.
The Live Well Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop is sponsored by the Connecticut Dept. of Social Services Aging Services Division, Connecticut Dept. of Public Health and Griffin Hospital.
To register, call Esther Jones at Griffin Hospital’s Community Outreach and Valley Parish Nurse Program at 203-732-1523.
(This is a press release from Griffin Hospital)

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Seymour Wilcat Cheerleaders Land State Championship

Ansonia School Board President Reacts to Proposed Tax Board Cuts

ANSONIA - It never ceases to amaze me how the Board of Apportionment and Taxation can approve such drastic educational budget cuts to Ansonia's children. My fellow Board members and I have worked so hard on presenting a transparent budget that is beyond fair and reasonable in today’s Educational realm in order to meet the needs of all of our students.   

We have worked tirelessly with our Team which includes the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Business Manager, and all other educational stakeholders to draft a budget that is fair in all aspects. Our Team has also worked closely in joint sessions with the Board of Alderman as well as with the Mayor and his staff in an effort to be transparent. Mr. Bshara stated several times that he felt that the exchange of information from the Board of Education and the City has been commendable and has made the process transparent and easier in his opinion.    

As a result of these  meetings, a resolution was drafted where in summary, the Board of Education would  receive back from the City their entitled Excess Cost {as mandated by State Statute) to include in their budget and they would encumber some expenses from the city that have been used for school facilities  9i.e Liability Insurance, the new Portables Project,...).  In my opinion, the Board of Apportionment and Taxation showed no regard for this collaborative effort or resolution and took it upon themselves to once again cut the Education budget.  They went as far in no uncertain terms as to attempt to pit the Library closing against the Board of Education budget.  The two are distinct and separate entities and should be treated as such.

The Board of Education has never attempted to pit City entities against one another and it is inappropriate and unethical for any other City official to do so. Our Team has been working on what these cuts will do to us and I will mention them later in this article.  However, please allow me to clear up several misconceptions.  The first is the fact that only 40% of the Board of Education's budget comes from local funding as opposed to the other 60% which comes from state and federal grants.  Another common misconception is that the Board of Education is always the highest in terms of percent increase each year. This is simply not true!

As we have shared this year, our presented increase is only 2.6% which is directly in line with all other departments in the City (i.e. Police, Arms, Public Works...).  The truth and reality behind the Excess Cost reimbursement is that the City has kept that money and declared it as revenue for the past four years and in effect have only given $234,933 to the Board of Education.  Here is the entire four year breakdown:

BOE Expenditures in Relation to Special Education Costs and Excess Cost Reimbursement,Rev.Jan 13,2017
TOTAL Budget
2016-17 Est.
1. Total 4 year BOE budget increase is $4,260,484.  Total City 4 year Budgeted Excess Cost Revenue (Net) is
2. Net impact of BOE budget just on Excess Cost revenue on taxation over 4 years is $234,933.
** FY 2015-16 City returned$ 503,482 in Excess Cost revenue to the BOE, thereby also reducing Sp. Ed
So while the resolution will indeed help this year and moving forward, additional cuts are detrimental and frankly unwarranted. The last misconception is with regards to the Alliance Grant which we have written and have received for the last four years. The basic understanding with this grant is that the initiatives set forth under this grant funding be continued and the funding be granted from the local budget.  Therefore, cuts from our budget will not allow for this to happen.
Furthermore, in terms of cuts which my Team feels are detrimental to all of our students would include the following:
-All day Kindergarten would be cut back to half day Kindergarten.  This is a direct result of us losing the Alliance Grant next year and since we are not granted the 2.6% increase, this would happen in order to save costs. However, interesting to note here that there was an agreement between the BOE and the City which stated that the City would pay for all day K once the Alliance Grant went away. Mr. King, the President of the Board of Apportionment and Taxation, even acknowledged that this agreement was in place when the BOE presented their budget to them.  Yet he and his Board voted to cut education, thus inherently voting to cut all day K.
-The staffing for the new Portables project at Mead.  These portables would allow the district to incur a cost savings by having some of our outplaced students return into district.  However, without the 2.6% increase, this cannot happen and as a direct result the Board of Education will continue  to encumber  these high costs for out of district placements.
-All sports.  While no one on our Team wants to see sports eliminated, there is simply no other option. In order to keep classroom sizes manageable and not to lay off more teachers or administrators) as we have in the past, there is simply no other way. We are currently almost at maximum student to teacher ratio in each of our classes and we are one of the highest per pupil to Administrator in the state, 200 students per Administrator as compared to similar size school districts.  For example Derby is at 145 students per Administrator and Seymour is at 152 students per Administrator.
In closing, I would like to say that the Board and I are hopeful that the Governor’s budget does give more money to Ansonia for Education, however, until that happens we have to plan accordingly.  As you have read, we have done everything in our power to present a fair, transparent, and equitable  budget for the largest employing entity  of the City of Ansonia(360 employees) however the Board of Apportionment does not seem to see it that way. It is our hope that once presented to the Board of Alderman that this budget will change and that we will be allocated the necessary funds for all children in Ansonia.
Respectfully written by:
William Nimons, President
Ansonia Board of Education

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