Apr 172015

file photo from a past Amity Graduation

file photo from a past Amity Graduation

The Region 5 Board of Education set the 2015 graduation date at its meeting Monday night.

Graduation for the Class of 2015 will be held on Friday, June 19 at 4 p.m.

More information about graduation logistics will be forthcoming here on Orange Live.


Mar 232015

IMG_6087On Monday night, Amity High School hosted its annual College Fair in the school gym from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The fair gave students access to representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities in one convenient location.

In just the first 15 minutes more than 50 students, some with their parents, some flying solo flocked to the fair and began picking up brochures and asked the reps all the important questions.

The event was free and open to the public.


Mar 172015

Award-Winning Amity Costume Designer Julie Chevan

Award-Winning Amity Costume Designer Julie Chevan

The job of a costume designer can be compared to playing goaltender in hockey, the constant attention to detail, split second decisions, and working well with the entire team, something Julie Chevan has been doing for the Amity Theater Department since 2007 when Rob and Andrea Kennedy took over the program.

Chevan has been planning for this musical production since last summer and after seeing Tarzan on Broadway, she decided to do something different with the ape costumes and the design works, giving the actors the ability to move and dance, jump and spin without sweating to death under the heat of the stage lights.

The heaviest costume is worn by last year’s award-winning actor Kahari Blue who plays Kerchak the silverback Gorilla. The lightest costume, a loincloth, worn by newcomer Ryan Kennedy — Young Tarzan.

Chevan, her assistant Brenda Bert, and a team of student seamstresses have been working on the costumes since last fall. The costume department is a repurposed locker room down a hallway across from the band room. This is where they created 45 costumes for Tarzan.

On Sunday, the effects company that makes Tarzan swing, butterflies float, Tarzan’a parents swim and Sabor the Leopard leap introduced the safety harnesses that these actors have to wear, which also meant making changes to the costumes to accommodate them.

Chevan, Bert and a couple of students from the costume department attend every rehearsal just in case someone needs something.

When you see Tarzan, pay attention to the costumes and remember that each one was custom designed for every actor. There are 10 Victorian outfits that are rentals (worn by 6 actors). But there is ONE dress made for Jane (Addie Robbins) just for the curtain call that you will see for about 15 seconds to a minute. Chevan says the dress is “very special and well worth it.”

Chevan has been nominated numerous times for best costume design in the CT High School Musical Theater Awards and has one CHSMTA win under her wing for Chicago in 2011.

Mar 022015

DSC08005Hey, Orange residents, here’s some great news, the consumer advocacy site NerdWallet has released the second annual edition of its study, “Best Cities for Young Families in Connecticut,” and Orange ranked #5 statewide.
Last Year Orange Was Ranked #9.
To create this ranking they analyzed U.S. Census data to assess four key factors:
  • Home affordability
  • Growth and prosperity score
  • Education quality
  • Family friendliness
You can see the full methodology and findings HERE. `

Feb 172015

Amity Supt. Charles Dumais

Amity Supt. Charles Dumais

A message from Amity Supt. Charles Dumais:

Starting at the beginning of the school year with the creation of the timeline for the development, presentation, and approval of the Amity Regional School District No.5 Budget, we have worked to extend and expand opportunities for groups and individuals in our member towns to participate in the process. We believe that the additional elements in the process have helped to create a financial and educational plan that preserves the value of our programs and services, manages the risk associated with difficult-to-predict budget elements, and results in a fiscally responsible product.

The current Superintendent’s Recommended Budget of $47,024,277 represents an increase in total expenditures of $976,415, or 2.12%.

Over the next month, the Amity Budget will be presented to each of the member towns (Woodbridge on February 19, 2015; Orange on February 23, 2015; Bethany on March 3, 2015), before deliberations at the March 9, 2015, Amity Finance Committee and Amity Board of Education meetings.

The Public District Budget Hearing is scheduled for Monday, April 6, 2015. The Budget Referendum is scheduled for Wednesday, May 6, 2015.

The entire budget document can be found on our district web page or by clicking here. You are encouraged to examine it and share any questions that you may have with me.


Charles S. Dumais, Ed.D.
Twitter: @charlesdumais

Feb 062015

The New SAT - Coming Spring of 2016 - Diane Kummer - HSLDA BlogAttention parents of Amity sophomores and freshmen: Did you know that the SAT is being redesigned?

The College Board is making significant changes to the SAT. These changes include a redesigned format and test questions aligned to the Common Core Standards.

The new SAT will be administered in March, 2016, which means this year’s sophomores will be the first group of students to take the new SAT.

To learn more about the redesigned SAT, please join Dr. Britton in the Library Media Center on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. He will provide parents information, resources, and materials about the redesigned SAT.

Please RSVP to Maureen.Mazzonna@reg5.k12.ct.us.

NOTE: The redesigned SAT will be administered for the first time in March, 2016, not 2015. This year’s juniors, who are taking the SAT in March, 2015 will take the existing version.

Feb 022015

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 10.22.28 PMThe Amity Region 5 and Orange Elementary Schools are on a 2 Hour Delay schedule on Tuesday, Feb. 3.

It will be bitterly cold out there, so make sure the kids bundle up (Gloves and Hats Please!)

Bus stop areas may be slippery with a layer of ice underneath the snow, so step carefully.

Obituary: LaVerne G. Klein Ahern, 70, Former Orange School Teacher

 Board of Education, Latest News, obituary, School News  Comments Off on Obituary: LaVerne G. Klein Ahern, 70, Former Orange School Teacher
Feb 022015

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 3.47.56 PMLaVerne G. Klein Ahern, 70, of West Haven, passed away on January 30, 2015.

LaVerne was the wife of William J. Ahern.

Born in New Haven on July 20, 1944, she was the daughter of the late Frederick & Erma H. Klein. She is also survived by her son Ryan C. Ahern & his wife Kat of West Haven and her brother Clifford Klein & his wife Helen of Wallingford. LaVerne was predeceased by her son William F. Ahern.

She was a retired schoolteacher for the West Haven Board of Education and former teacher for the Town of Orange.

Friends may visit with her family from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at Beecher & Bennett – Taylor Funeral Home, 410 Campbell Ave, West Haven and may attend her Funeral Service on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the First Congregational Church of West Haven, please utilize their 464 Campbell Ave. entrance.

Contributions in her memory may be made to the First Congregational Church, Book of Remembrance, 1 Church St, West Haven, CT 06516.

For further information or to send a condolence to her family see: www.beecherandbennett.com 

Amity Regional High School Is The Recipient Of A CT State Department of Education Grant

 Amity High School, Around Town, Board of Education, Home, Latest News, School News  Comments Off on Amity Regional High School Is The Recipient Of A CT State Department of Education Grant
Jan 312015

Amity HIgh SchoolThe State Department of Education today announced the winners of a new grant designed to help top-performing schools share best strategies for boosting student performance and replicate those practices throughout Connecticut.

The first Schools of Distinction Best Practice grants were awarded to four schools: Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge, Engineering and Science University Magnet School in New Haven, Clark Lane Middle School in Waterford, and Masuk High School in Monroe. They will serve as Spotlight Schools and help lead efforts to replicate their award-winning programs in schools throughout the state.

“With this grant, we want to shine a light on the best practices for improving student performance and make them available to other schools and districts in the state,” said Interim Commissioner of Education Dr. Dianna R. Wentzell. “These four schools have earned recognition as Schools of Distinction by excelling at high levels of performance. By taking their best ideas and putting them into practice, we will strengthen our efforts to turn around underperforming schools. The winning proposals will serve as models for others to follow, and we will be working with them to help disseminate their ideas and practices.”

The grant required applicants to describe a best practice that the school seeks to share, scale, and replicate. They were asked to summarize the results achieved by the best practice—the impact on students, staff and/or families—and explain how the school would share this strategy with other schools, for example, videos, webinars, toolkits, professional development, and site visits.

Amity Regional High School (Region 5) in Woodbridge was awarded $43,000 for developing a series of remedial supports in math and science aligned to the Connecticut Academic Performance Tests (CAPT) Science. “The faculty and administration at Amity Regional High School welcomes the opportunity to share our best practices related to alignment of curriculum, instruction and assessment, and intervention and remedial programming with our colleagues across the state,” said Amity Regional School District #5 Superintendent of Schools Charles Dumais. “We hope that insight into our programming will offer other professionals ideas that will help them better meet the needs of their students.”

New Haven’s Engineering and Science University Magnet School (Grades 6-12) received $40,000 for a school climate and culture program focused on attendance, behavior management, and engaging families in their children’s education. “In efforts to prepare young people for success in college, career and life, engagement has become one of our top priorities,” said New Haven Superintendent of Schools Garth Harries. “It is an honor to be recognized by the State Department of Education for the best practices that Engineering and Science University Magnet School has implemented to meet each individual student’s needs. We look forward to sharing our successes throughout Connecticut to improve student learning.”

Waterford’s Clark Lane Middle School won $20,000 to develop a literacy program focused on deep understanding of complex material. Waterford Superintendent of Schools Jerry Belair said: “This recognition is well-deserved! The Waterford community is very proud of its middle school and the commitment of its teachers and staff to provide the best learning experience for its young adolescents. We look forward to sharing our best practices with other middle schools across Connecticut.”

Finally, Monroe’s Masuk High School was awarded $16,000 to improve student literacy and to use technology for assessing and analyzing literacy data. “The Monroe school community is proud and honored of the achievement of Masuk High School,” said Monroe Superintendent of Schools James Agostine. “Masuk, and all of our schools, have made significant investments in technology integration through Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) initiatives, inquiry based instruction, and flipped classroom development consistent with the Monroe Board of Education’s Goals and Action Plan. We feel privileged to have the opportunity to share the insights we have gained over the past four years with other Connecticut schools.”

Connecticut recognizes Schools of Distinction as part of its school rating and accountability system. Announced last year during the second annual Schools of Distinction awards in May, 73 schools were invited to submit grant proposals based on their performance that led them to earn the School of Distinction honor.

Out of 10 eligible applications, the Department chose four that were best suited to the purpose of this new grant program. The Department of Education will schedule the four winners to lead a workshop for Alliance District or Commissioner’s Network schools. (Alliance Districts are Connecticut’s 30 lowest-performing districts; Commissioner’s Network schools are the state’s most chronically underperforming schools.)

A total of $122,765 in funding was available with individual awards up to $50,000.

Jan 142015

The Orange Board of Selectmen met at Town Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 14.

Jan. 19 Town Hall Offices will be closed for Martin Luther King Day, but the Transfer Station will be open.

Kim Browe

Kim Browe

 To consider and act on the request to approve the 6th Annual Race Brook School Rockin’Road Race and to hang a banner for the event 

Kim Browe spoke for the event

June 6 the Kids fun run 9 am. 5K at 10 a.m. certified route.

Participation is usually very good, revenue was high last year even though participation was down for whatever reason.

Unanimously approved for race and banner. 

 To consider and act on the request from the Lions Club to waive the customary rental fees for use of the gym at HPCC for the Annual Easter Egg Hunt.  

53rd anniversary Hunt will be March 28.

Unanimously approved.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 8.09.00 PM To re-consider and act on changing the boiler at the Orange Center Road Firehouse from gas to dual fuel (enclosure) – First Selectman Zeoli

Furnace at firehouse blew up last week. Insurance will cover part of the cost. $32,388 cost for dual Fuel. (gas would be $30,000 but who knows what the price of either fuel will be at any given time)

Unanimously approved.

 To consider and act to participating in a mattress recycling program (enclosure) – First Selectman Zeoli

 ADDED to agenda Benefit concert for Community Services Charitable programs. Gary Harger and Barbie Harger will be featured along with the new chorus.

Tickets will be $20 each.

The show will be followed by a reception with coffee “and” in the cafeteria.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 8.10.46 PMThis is a self sustaining fund, meaning it depends upon private donations

Unanimously approved.

 To consider and act on recommending to the Board of Finance appropriations for the new grass fields at Fred Wolf Park 

Money is coming in from different organizations to cover the costs of equipment and work. The town will contribute $20,000 to help.

Unanimously approved

 To consider and act on the 2015 Plan of Conservation and Development 

Sandy Pierson

Sandy Pierson

The Board of Selectmen would discuss it and then offer their thoughts on the plan before the March 17 public hearing.


 To consider and act on entering into a contract with Quality Data Services for on-line collection of tax payments 

Tax collector Sandra Pierson said there is a company that would offer this service by summer and give residents an opportunity to see their information online, including when they paid their bills, how much they paid, what they owe, etc.

Cost would be $2,4o0 annually with a $125 set up fee, and it wouldn’t go into effect until July.

Zeoli said you can check out the North Haven website, which already has it, and see how it would work.

Unanimously approved

 To consider and act on SuperGreen Solutions Window enclosures for the Academy Building 

A sample of the window enclosure.

A sample of the window enclosure.

LOCIP funded project. South side of building — six 40″ X 93″ windows (original to the building) opposite the Clark Building — would get UV protection windows, the other side would receive regular (without UV protection). It would be good for energy efficiency.

Judy Williams said the heat rises and in old buildings like this, the attic could be a huge problem, since they lose a lot of heat through it.

This item was tabled

 To consider and act on the request to approve the re-appointment of Denise Stein as the Municipal Agent for the Elderly

Unanimously approved

 To consider and act on the request to approve the tax refunds totaling $2594.57 (enclosure)

Unanimously approved