WILTON, Conn. – Whether or not they’re ready, students all across Wilton will say goodbye to summer vacation Monday morning as they kick off the 2013-14 school year.
Students returning to Cider Mill School will be greeted by new principal Jennifer Mitchell. Mitchell started in the district on Aug. 12 and replaces longtime Principal Virginia “Ginny” Rico, who died June 26 after a long illness.
At Wilton High School, returning students will notice a few changes, including several new bathrooms in the school’s historic wing. Students will also notice that social studies teacher Donald Schels — last year’s graduation speaker — has joined the administrative team as an assistant principal. In his new position, Schels will work with members of the junior class. He and Assistant Principal Linda Lyall will also work with members the freshmen class.
Also new to the Wilton High School administration team, and the district, is Athletic Director Chris McDougal. McDougal, who started in his position July 1, replaces former Athletic Director Christy Hayes, who retired at the end of last year.
Beyond faculty and building changes, a new participation fee policy goes into effect at the high school this year. In order to participate in clubs and activities, students must pay a one-time annual fee of $50. After paying that fee, a student can participate in as many clubs and activities as he or she wants.
There will also be a fee to participate in sports. The athletic participation fee is $100 per sport/season and does not include the required $50 insurance fee. The participation fee policy was instituted by the Board of Education as part of this year’s operating budget.
Participation fees can be paid online or by mail. For more information, parents can call 203-762-0381.
The start of the school year also ushers in the beginning of five full-day kindergarten at Miller-Driscoll School, which was approved by the Board of Education in March.
For the rest of Wilton, Monday means the return of school buses and more traffic on the roads. As such, residents will need to be more vigilant when they’re out driving, Wilton Police Chief Michael Lombardo says.
“It is important that all of us remain conscious of our surroundings and avoid being distracted while driving,” Lombardo says. “Buses will be stopping and letting students on and off throughout town. When a bus stops and is displaying flashing red lights and an extended stop bar, we must come to a complete stop no matter which direction we are traveling.”
Lombardo said drivers on multiple lane roads, like Route 7, must also stop for a school bus. Any driver who fails to stop for a school bus may be fined $465, Lombardo says.