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Family Update 2/20
Brooke Pelli



Spanish Translation: Family Update 2_20_24 Spanish.docx

Apples Families- 

We hope everyone enjoyed the Winter Break. We are excited to welcome everyone back tomorrow. 

Reminder: Donuts with Grown-Ups is returning Tuesday, February 27th and Wednesday February 28th from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  

On Tuesday the 27th, Representative Paris will be joining us to learn more about your experience as a parent with young children. 

Click here to RSVP: Donuts with Grown-Ups RSVP (

In March, we will be starting a new unit with a focus on Balls. We are seeking your support and input as we plan out this unit for your children. PLease complete this survey for us: 

Thank you in advance. 

Friendly Reminder to send your child to school as long as they are fever free and vomiting free for 24 hours. Please read the flier below to learn more about the benefits of attending school. 


We also have an EARLY RELEASE on Wednesday, February 28th. ALL students will be dismissed at 10:30 a.m. The staff will be participating in professional development.

Ongoing Reminders: 

Supply Needs-  APPLES is always in need of wipes. Please do nos send scented wipes. If you are at the store and can pick up a box for us, we would greatly appreciate it. Wipes are used for art, bathroom, eating, you name it we used wipes. We use gloves a lot as well during bathroom time. Thank you in advance. 


Reminder: Outdoor Recess- We are continuing to go outside for recess. It is very important for children to get fresh air and have gross motor activity. Please send your child to school every day with a winter coat, hat, and gloves. Please label these items with your child’s name. 

A few notes from staff and families: 

  • We know many families use our school lunch as a way to introduce children to new foods. This is a great strategy. With that being said, it is also important for students to eat when they are with us. If your child is a picky eater, which most are, please make sure to always send in food they do enjoy. We do not want students going hungry if they do not like the food from the cafeteria. 

  • Also, kindly send in diapers and changes of clothes for your child each week. We go through a lot during the week and always want to make sure they have what they need. Staff have been noticing an uptick in very wet diapers in the morning. Please do your best to change them in the morning before sending them to school. 


Stamford Food Guide

Below is a resource offered to all our Stamford Communities. If you have any questions about this resource, please feel free to reach out to our parent facilitator, Nury Jacome Malpica at

Stamford Food Guide_Mar23_Eng (

Stamford Food Guide_Mar23_Span (

February Calendar: 


Lunch Menu -APPLES Lunch Menu This menu is subject to change due to supply chain issues. If your child is a picky eater, please send an alternate snack/lunch so your child has options to eat for breakfast and lunch


Link to APPLES Family Resources and all other Family Updates: 

Apples Family Resources  This link has all the archives Family Updates and any other flier we have sent home. 


Please reach out with any questions! or 



Mrs. Kendra Brown and Mrs. Lisa Cody 

Brooke Pelli

APPLES offers a nurturing and enriching early childhood school experience through three programs:

• General Education (admission via lottery)- APPLY HERE 

• Special Education (admission via referral and special needs assessment)

• School Readiness (must meet family income criteria)- APPLY HERE


Interested? Attend Parent Orientation on Monday, February 26 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at APPLES.

First page of the PDF file: APPLES_2024-25_Flier_v2_English_Spanish_1

District News

Superintendent's Weekly Message - March 1, 2024
Jennifer Gonzalez

Dear Staff and Families,

The Board of Finance has released the FY25 budget presentation and meeting schedule.  The meetings pertinent to the BOE’s proposed 2024-25 operating budget are as follows:

  • Thursday, March 21, 2024 – BOE Budget Presentation to members of BOF
  • Wednesday April 3, 2024 – BOF/BOR Fiscal Committee Hearing via zoom

The committee hearing on April 3 is when the public may address the BOF and BOR regarding the BOE and City budgets.  We will share information about how to sign up to speak at the meeting as soon as it’s available.

Upcoming Kindergarten Information Sessions

Kindergarten registration for the 2024-25 school year is open.  If you have a child eligible for kindergarten this year, please mark your calendar for these upcoming events:

  • SPS and the Ferguson Library are hosting a Kindergarten Information Session on Wednesday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ferguson.  Attend this session to learn about Kindergarten readiness, registration, and age requirements.  Click here to view the flier. 
  • SPS and DOMUS are hosting a Kindergarten Registration Event on Saturday, March 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at DOMUS.  SPS staff will be available to help families complete online registration.  You will need to bring documents proving your identity, Stamford residency, and your child’s date of birth to this event.  Click here for more information. 

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Join us for an early St. Patrick’s Day celebration and to cheer on the SPS musicians marching in the annual parade this Saturday, March 2 at 2:00 p.m. in downtown Stamford.  Click here for more information, including the parade route. 

Graduation and Moving up Ceremony Dates

This is the time of year when we begin getting questions about graduation and moving up ceremonies.  According to the Connecticut State Department of Education, local or regional boards of education must wait until at least April 1 to set high school graduation dates.  We will announce the schedule for high school graduations and elementary and middle school moving up ceremonies in early April.

We have had two inclement weather days so far, so as of today, the last day of school for students is June 14.

iReady Parent Pop-up Webinar

The teaching and learning department recently hosted a webinar about iReady, the diagnostic program that is administered 3 times a year to assess proficiency in reading (grades 4-8) and mathematics (grades 1-8).  To learn more about the iReady student reports and how teachers use iReady data to inform instruction, click here to view a recording of the webinar.

APPLES’ Gathering 

Thank you to the APPLES PTA for hosting another Doughnuts with Grownups - an opportunity for parents to come together to talk and share ideas.  Representative Corey Paris joined the conversation and shared some of the work the Stamford delegation is currently doing on behalf of Stamford families and students.

SPS Quarterly

In case you missed it, the Winter 2024 edition of the SPS Quarterly was released recently.  The Quarterly was created to keep our community-based organizations and partners, City Board members and staff, faith-based organizations, business leaders and the community at large informed about what is happening in Stamford Public Schools.

Community Events

Last weekend John and I attended three amazing events.  Our first stop on Saturday morning was to hear one of our kindergarten teachers who wrote and published a book called Harriet’s Dinner Party.  We then headed to UCONN Stamford for Hope Day sponsored by Kids Helping Kids (KHK).  This student organized and led event had over 40 mental health organizations in attendance to provide support to students and families.   Finally, we had the distinct pleasure of meeting with the Cradle to Career (C2C) parent advisory committee to discuss the Stamford Public Schools.

Stay Safe and Healthy!

Dr. Tamu Lucero




Kim Kempton

Does your child turn 5 years old on or before September 1, 2024? Stamford Public Schools kindergarten registration is open
for the 2024-25 school year.

Join one of the upcoming community Kindergarten Information events to learn more and to get help with the registration process.

Wednesday, March 6 - 6:30 pm
Ferguson Library
96 Broad Street

Saturday, March 9 - 10 am to 2 pm
83 Lockwood Avenue






Superintendent's Weekly Message - February 23, 2024
Jennifer Gonzalez

Dear Staff and Families,

Last night the Board of Education voted on the Superintendent’s Proposed 2024-25 Operating Budget. The budget is now the BOE’s proposed operating budget that will be reviewed and voted on by the Board of Finance (BOF) and Board of Representatives (BOR). Remember, the BOF and BOR can either approve the budget as submitted or cut the budget. Any cuts made by the BOF or BOR will be reconciled during budget reallocation in May. 

We would appreciate your continued support for the 2024-25 budget and hope you will continue to make your voices heard at public meetings hosted by the Board of Finance and Board of Representatives.  We will share meeting dates as soon as they are available. 

iReady Parent Pop-up Webinar     

All elementary and middle schools are now using the iReady diagnostic to assess proficiency in reading (grades 4-8) and mathematics (grades 1-8).  iReady is administered three times a year to help pinpoint student strengths as well as areas where additional support is needed.

Students recently completed the middle of year iReady diagnostic, and information on how to access your child’s progress report will be communicated soon. Families that want to learn more about the iReady diagnostic and how teachers and administrators use iReady data to inform instruction are invited to join us for a Parent Pop-Up webinar on Monday, February 26 at 6:00 p.m. via zoom.

APPLES PreK Information Session

APPLES, a comprehensive PreK program operated by Stamford Public Schools, is accepting applications for the 2024-25 school year.  Students must turn 3 years old on or before September 1, 2024 to be eligible to attend APPLES in 2024-25.  Please visit the APPLES website to learn more about the program and how to apply.

Families planning to apply to APPLES should attend the parent orientation session on Monday, February 26 at 5:30 p.m.  APPLES is located on the Rippowam Middle School campus at 381 High Ridge Road.

Magnet Middle School Lottery

A quick reminder that the deadline to enter the 2024-25 Scofield Magnet Middle School Lottery is next Friday, March 1 at 4:00 p.m. The lottery is open to Stamford students entering grades 6, 7, or 8 in Fall 2024.  

Interested families should attend the information session at Scofield on Wednesday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m.

Hope Day

A quick reminder to join Kids Helping Kids (KHK) tomorrow, Saturday, February 24 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. at UCONN Stamford for their 2nd annual Hope Day, a free community event to learn about all the mental health resources available in Stamford. Be sure to join KHK to learn about the calming effects of yoga, building confidence, developing a positive self-image, and more.  For more information, click here.

Early Kindergarten Admission Assessments

Kindergarten age requirements have changed. Beginning in 2024-25, children need to be 5 years old on or before September 1 of the school year to be automatically eligible for kindergarten. If your child has a birthday later in the year, you may apply for early kindergarten admission. Please click here for more information and to schedule an appointment or email with questions.

Winter Closings, Delays, and Early Dismissals

Winter unfortunately is not officially over yet, which means there may be additional closings, delays, and early dismissals due to inclement weather. 

Families should make sure their contact information is correct in PowerSchool to ensure they receive messages about closings and delays. 

Reminder: Annual Physicals Required for Grades K, 7, and 10

Students entering kindergarten, Grade 7 and Grade 10 in Fall 2024 are required to have a recent annual physical on file with Stamford Public Schools.  We recommend that you schedule your child’s physical around their birthday.  It can be difficult to get an appointment right before school begins.  Your child’s healthcare provider will need to complete this form for the school nurse.

If your child does not have a healthcare provider they see regularly, click here for a list of providers in Stamford that offer school physicals.

Stay Safe and Healthy!

Dr. Tamu Lucero





Megaphone icon
Jennifer Gonzalez


Hart Magnet Author Visit

Hart Magnet Elementary School second grade students would like to thank Dajuan Wiggins for visiting them on Thursday, February 15. He shared his latest book, DJ the Sea Turtle, inspired by his own children, and captivated our young readers with its heartwarming tale. Mr. Wiggins has new releases on the horizon; Pey the Starfish, set to be published in August, and A Little Town in Tulsa, slated for release next year. Through his writing, Mr. Wiggins continues to inspire and uplift others with his creative storytelling and commitment to positive change. Mr. Wiggins is passionate about empowering young people and believes that they have the potential to achieve great things. 


Author Mr. Wiggins with his book DJ the Sea Turtle and two Hart studentsMr. Wiggins with Hart staff

Author and Illustrator visits Hart Students

On February 21, 2024, we were thrilled to welcome two Stamford Public School alumni to Hart Magnet Elementary School - Author Sean Cribbin and Illustrator Bryana Sarsoza! They were both former students of art teacher Mr. Mark Martini. Mr. Cribbins wrote the book titled Lovely You Are and Ms. Sarsoza illustrated it! They are both extremely talented individuals who shared their love of writing and illustrating hoping to encourage young students to write and illustrate books of their own. Our students were engaged throughout the presentations and asked insightful questions. We want to thank Mr. Cribbin for his generosity to Hart Students.


Author Sean Cribbin and Illustrator Bryana Author Sean Cribbin and Illustrator Bryana with Hart staff

Submitted by Maria Guzda

Valentine’s Day Celebration

These are just some of the wonderful pictures taken today during our Westhill/Rippowam Valentine’s Day celebration. This field trip to Westhill was organized by special education teacher Emma Cuttitta-Mazzella from Rippowam, with support from Westhill SPED teachers Nicole Kittleman, Elayne Cuttitta, Adrian Corbo, Cathrine Zdrowski, our paraprofessionals, speech pathologists, occupational therapist, and administrators.  Activities included a photo booth, instructional games, coloring & friendship bracelets, pretzel & cupcake decorating, as well as a heart-shaped pizza.  It was beautifully evident that our CORE and TEAM students from both schools had a fantastic time socializing and celebrating this special day.  THANK YOU to all the incredibly dedicated and caring educators who made this experience possible!  Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Celebration with Rippowam and Westhill students

Submitted by Claudia Obas

Rippowam School Assembly Honors Black History Month

A HUGE thank you to our Community Schools Grant Manager, Shawn Davis, for organizing a panel of speakers from African American sorority and fraternities, including his twin brother!  Audience members asked questions about everything from how to get into a fraternity or sorority to how panelists handle hearing racialized language.  The assembly also included student poetry, an intense advisory Kahoot competition about influential Black Americans, and a step performance.


Rippowam assembly celebrating Black History Month

ESL and New Arrivals Ice Skate at Mill River Park

On February 12, the Rippowam ESL and New Arrivals teams took 70 students on a field trip to Mill River Park.  Students engaged in a program about force and motion and then enjoyed ice skating.  For many of our young people, especially those in our New Arrivals program, this was their first time on the ice!  Students and staff alike had a wonderful trip. 


Students ice skating at Mill River ParkStudents enjoying their trip to Mill River Park

Submitted by Kristina Colmenares

Westover Shares Their Love for Storytelling

Westvover continues to find creative ways to connect with our students and foster a love for learning. Recently, Westover’s BOE Reading Teacher Allison Klein and Technology Integration and Support Specialist (TISS) Sean Hutchinson introduced a special project to bring the magic of storytelling directly into our students’ homes. They invited volunteers from our incredible staff to participate in recording themselves reading a picture book.  The goal was to create a collection of videos featuring our own teachers reading delightful stories to share with our students and families. 

This initiative is designed to provide students with the joy of hearing familiar voices and sharing beloved stories even when they’re not in the classroom.  Some staff chose childhood classics like The Giving Tree and Giraffes Can’t Dance, while others picked newer favorites like I Am Enough, The Day You Begin, and The Good Egg. 

Story Time at Westover is officially live on our school’s website.  Thank you to all of the staff who volunteered their time to read and to Ms. Klein and Mr. Hutchinson for coming up with such a wonderful idea.  We look forward to more staff helping us add titles throughout the year!


Sceenshot of school website with teacher's reading books for students

News12 Showcases Westover’s Drumming Teacher 

A huge shout out to Westover’s Drumming Teacher, Henry Jones, who was featured on News12 Connecticut on Monday, February 19. The fantastic segment showcases Mr. Jones’ work, which celebrates and connects Westover’s students to culture and diversity through drums.  Mr. Jones has been teaching African culture and drumming for over 30 years to people of all ages and hopes his music will inspire others.  Westover is so fortunate to have Mr. Jones and his program at Westover!  We hope others enjoy the segment.


News12 coverage of Henry Jones at Westover

Submitted by Larissa Weir 

RIS Celebrates Black History Month

Students and teachers throughout the RIS school community are celebrating Black History Month and commemorating the impact black citizens have had on science & technology, entertainment, sports, and political change.  Ms. Dena Booker, Rogers Upper School Counselor, spearheaded the month’s activities by organizing daily morning announcements that included quotes and/or facts about influential African Americans.  The African Americans highlighted during the announcements were driven by student inquiry and research.  Ms. Booker emphasized that it was important for students to highlight the figures from the African American community whose actions and accomplishments spoke to them. 

Seventh grade science teacher Ms. Jennifer Correa also explored a unique way to recognize Black History Month.  She had her students research impactful African American scientists and create Google slideshows to share with the RIS community on the televisions hung in the school hallways.  Various other staff members found examples of African Americans who embodied the characteristics of our Learner Profile which includes risk-taker, communicator, inquirer, and principled.  As a school community, Rogers seeks to recognize the extensive achievements of African Americans and inspire future generations of all that they can achieve! 

Black History Month at Rogers International

Submitted by Samantha Spielman

Hooks for Heroes and Davenport Ridge: SOARing Into The Community Together

Congratulations to the Davenport Ridge Community on SOARing to Success to raise funds and awareness for Hooks For Heroes!  Hooks for Heroes is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that gives back to American Veterans & First Responders by providing them with free of cost fishing trips to help cope with the physical and mental injuries during their service. As part of a penny war in 2023, the Davenport Ridge community came together to raise $2,5000.00 for this charity.  This week, members of the organization visited Davenport Ridge and met with staff, students, and our student council to show appreciation and share additional information.  This event helped to further personalize the cause and provide students with an opportunity to grow and ask questions about service men and women.  Thank you to all Davenport Ridge students, parents, and staff involved with this endeavor.  A big thank you to Ms. Nancy Mould, Ms. Emily Ferro, and Ms. Brittany Summa for their leadership with this collaboration and student council.  Davenport Ridge is proud to support and collaborate with veterans and first responders both here in Stamford and beyond.

Davenport community with check for Hooks For Heroes nonprofit

Submitted by Michael Pisseri

Math Team Shines at Competition

Nine students from Scofield participated in the Mathcounts Chapter Competition on February 3rd at Fairfield University.  We would like to congratulate: Vihaan Goyal, Siddhant Bisane, Theo Diamond, Krish Bande, Isha Jaishiva, Evelina Fleysher, Abhay Jain, Tejasreddy Appireddy, and Navya Patnekar for participating in the competition & representing Scofield as a team.  Also, we would like to thank Monika Mittal (Parent Coach) who co-ordinated and represented our team.  This was a good platform for kids to showcase their talent in Math and Problem Solving skills as a team. Great job representing Scofield and Stamford!

Submitted by Scott Clayton

Celebrating Friendship

Springdale fifth graders came out on Thursday night (2/22) to celebrate our first ever Fifth Grade “Friendship Dance.”  A presentation was created and given by a group of fifth graders to each class, and administration set the ball in motion for this entertaining evening.  A DJ supplied the dance tunes and when students weren’t tearing up the dance floor, they had a blast in the photo booth.  Special thanks to our amazing PTO for sponsoring this event, to our fifth grade team for supporting the idea and chaperoning the night, to our administration for encouraging our students to use and understand the power that their words have, and to all of the parent volunteers who donated drinks, snacks, and time to make this event so incredibly joyful.

Students at Springdale's first Friendship DanceFifth graders at the Friendship Dance

Submitted by Becky Chuhta

What is an SPS Shout Out?

An SPS Shout Out is a special recognition that acknowledges school communities, staff members or students who have inspired us with a unique project, an outstanding job or a special effort that had a positive impact on our students or community. Each week we will celebrate a few by sharing with all SPS staff and posting on the district website. Please share any or all of these with your friends and families.   

SPS Administrators can submit Shout Outs for consideration through the form shared with them in the Administrators’ Weekly.

Superintendent's Weekly Message - February 16, 2024
Jennifer Gonzalez

Dear Staff and Families,

Today marks the beginning of February break.  School will resume on Wednesday, February 21.  I hope you take time over the next five days to rest and relax with family and friends.

Today is National School Resource Officer Day.  If you have a moment, please thank the SROs assigned to our high schools and middle schools.  The work they do every school day to keep our schools safe should be commended and appreciated!

Café con la Super

Thank you to the parents and community members who joined us earlier this week for the February Café con la Super.  Please plan to attend next month when representatives from The School and State Finance Project will join us to review the new Multilingual Learner Bill of Rights legislation.

Budget Update

Just a quick reminder that the Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the 2024-25 budget on Thursday, February 22.  The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and you can watch via zoom.

Remember to mark your calendars for the following important dates:

●         Submit Budget to Mayor – March 1

●         Board of Finance budget meetings – March/ April TBA

●         Board of Representatives budget meetings – April/May TBA

●         BOE Reallocation – May/June

Annual Program of Studies

In case you missed it, the annual High School Program of Studies was released earlier this week!  This amazing publication details the academic opportunities available to our 4,000+ students at AITE, Stamford High, and Westhill.  Students can complete a traditional high school diploma program or pursue specialized academic programs such as the Stamford Regional Agriscience and Technology Program, the Academy of Finance, Early College Studies, the High School of Business, JROTC, or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

It should be noted that Stamford Public Schools continues to expand its career pathways.  Next year, students will be able to pursue their interest in areas like public safety and advanced manufacturing with new courses in the fundamentals of emergency medical services and blueprint reading, respectively.  These offerings are in addition to existing pathways in disciplines including construction management, culinary arts, information technology, and more.

The Program of Studies is available to view and download in the Teaching & Learning Department section of the SPS website.  Students and families with questions about the Program of Studies should speak with their child’s school counselor. 

Magnet Middle School Lottery

A quick reminder that the deadline to enter the 2024-25 Scofield Magnet Middle School Lottery is Friday, March 1 at 4:00 p.m.  The lottery is open to Stamford students entering grades 6, 7, or 8 in Fall 2024.  

Interested families should mark their calendars for Wednesday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m. to attend an information session at Scofield Middle School.

Hope Day

A quick reminder to join Kids Helping Kids (KHK) on Saturday, February 24 from 12:00-3:00 p.m. at UCONN Stamford for their 2nd annual Hope Day, a free community event to learn about all the mental health resources available in Stamford. 

The amazing KHK student event planning committee has recruited more than 30 organizations to share information about mental health programs and services during Hope Day.  Be sure to join KHK to learn about the calming effects of yoga, building confidence, developing a positive self-image, and more.  For more information, click here.

Stay Safe and Healthy!

Dr. Tamu Lucero





Upcoming Events

District News

The Weekly

from Dr. Tamu Lucero, Superintendent.

Contact Us

Click the link below if you are interested in learning more about the different APPLES programs.


PowerSchool Student / Parent Portal

Your all-in-one place to access assignments, grades and attendance records.

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Program Brochure

Get to know the unique programs at APPLES.

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District Strategic Plan

2022-2027 SPS District Strategic Planning Process

SPS Pride Points


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The APPLES Program is: Age-Appropriate Peers Playing, Learning, & Exploring in School.

School of Distinction

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 Apples won a School of Excellence Distinction award for having the first PTA in a preschool in CT.

Early Childhood Education

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APPLES Early Childhood Educational Center offers three different programs to support students 3-5 years old.