CT, Education, real estate, Schools, Stamford, Uncategorized

It’s All About Journey… Magnet Schools: Westover Elementary School

Westover  Magnet is tucked between the beautiful “country” neighborhood of Westover and the exciting Downtown neighborhood known as the West Side, in Stamford.  What makes this school unique as a magnet school?  The focus on Arts and Problem Solving (APS) plus the Mastery Learning program which encompasses flexible grouping based on ability level, combined with “looping”.

Westover’s Showcase, a theatrical production done by grades 4-5, where each grade works together combining  their studies in dance, art, music, gym and drama.

Key Elements of Mastery Learning are:

  • Flexible grouping for instruction in Reading & Math. Students with similar learning needs and skill levels are grouped together.

  • Adjustable class size. Class sizes can be adjusted through the addition of teacher-specialists in reading classes.

  • Good teacher/student ratio. Students who need more individualized instruction and support are in smaller classes for reading and/or math.

  • Looping. (Same teacher, same students for 2 years) in grades 1 & 2 and 3 & 4.

 

Arts & Problem Solving (APS)

At Westover, a basic curriculum is enhanced with rich experiences in cultural arts.  APS Team is comprised of a group of teacher-specialists – Art, Dance, Drama, Music, Physical Education, Problem Solving, and Technology.

Westover students experience 4 kinds of APS activities – Basics, Focus, Culminating Activity and Showcase.

  • Basics APS to learn basic skills. The students cycle through each of the disciplines with their homebase classmates.

  • Focus APS course to explore in an intensified focus course based on their interests.

  • Culminating Activity is the presententation – parents are invited to see what the students have been learning and creating at the conclusion of each focus course.

  • Showcase to perform a full-scale productions (4th & 5th grade). These performances integrate all of the APS classes from scenery designed and executed by the art students to music, dance, gymnastics, and acting. Past productions includes classic children’s stories, like “The Jungle Book” and   “Through the Looking Glass”.

 

Westover also incorporates programs such as “Talents Unlimited” – the thinking skills that people need in order to be successful in the world of work, and “Teaching/Learning Styles” – 4 innate learning and teaching styles based on how a person perceives and organizes the world.

 

 

 

 

There are 13 Elementary Schools in Stamford,  5 of which are Magnet Schools.  The Magnet Schools enroll students from all parts of Stamford by a lottery process.  Each school is centered around a unique, theme-based instruction.

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CT, Education, real estate, Schools, Stamford, Uncategorized

It’s All About The Journey … Your Neighborhood School Profile: Rippowam Middle School

 The school derived its name from the Native American tribe that inhabited Stamford and the surrounding area before European settlement.

Rippowam

Located on High Ridge Rd, at the center of the City of Stamford, Rippowam Middle School has an interesting history.  The school opened in the fall of 1961 as the second high school in the city.-Go Warriors!, (Baseball star Bobby Valentine was a standout football & baseball athlete and I went there too!). The high school remained open until 1983.

It’s building has served different educational age groups over the years. The building has been used for adult education, and was the home for the Magnet Middle School before the school moved to Scofieldtown Rd and was a temporary location for the Hart Elementary School.

The campus became the site of Rippowam Middle School in 2001.
The Academy of Information Technology and Engineering (AITE), a regional magnet high school shared the building with Rippowam Middle School until August 2007, when it moved to its own building behind Rippowam.

IB programRippowam is an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) school.  IB program is founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968, the IB offers high quality programs of international education to a worldwide community of schools. There are three key concepts of the IB program used to plan the curriculum:

  • Holistic Learning: Teachers work together to design interdisciplinary unit planning, leading students to see learning as interrelated.

  • Intercultural: Students learn about their own culture and society as they learn about others.

  • Community: Rules and Regulations for students are shared with parents and the community. Rippowam supports inquiry, reflection and expression in multiple forms, and promotes community and global awareness.

The Connecticut State Department of Education recentlyCTDE awarded the prestigious 21st Century Community Learning grant s to the Rippowam Middle School.  The grant is intended to help students through the use of science-based practices and extended learning time.  Rippowam is to receive $807,500 over the next five years, the money is intended to serve 110 students per year.

Rippowam has a large, well-equipped auditorium and is home to its own drama group. High School Musical 2 is announced as their 2017 production.   Rippowam also hosted for All School Musical several years, presenting the young talents from every school in the city.

High School Musical 2

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CT, Education, home, real estate, Schools, Stamford, Uncategorized

It’s All About The Journey … Your Neighborhood School Profile: Turn Of River Middle School

This is my junior high alma mater!

An increasing population in the late 1950’s and 1960’s necessitated the opening of Stamford’s fourth junior high school, Turn of River (TOR) which officially opened in September 1963.

The school is located on Vine Road, hidden in a quiet suburban neighborhood, yet close to the hustle bustle of the City.  The neighborhood features many different personalities and home styles and TOR students reflect this with a rich mixture of nationalities.  TOR students learn from one another’s backgrounds and cultures, and thrive in a dynamic, all-inclusive school setting. TOR offers a comprehensive educational program as well as a nurturing environment for students.

TOR aims to help children acquire academic skills as well as to become life-long learners. In partnership with home and community, TOR is dedicated to the goal of academic, artistic, athletic, and character education, as well as developing children into responsible and caring individuals. The school continues to set high standards of academic excellence, community responsibility and a sincere concern for its students. TOR is committed to teaming, interdisciplinary instruction, and a 21st Century Curriculum, all designed to meet the needs of the early adolescent.

Turn of River offers a diversified program of extracurricular activities: intramural sports, community service, specialized instruction in art and music, world languages, yearbook, and a wide variety of after school clubs – yoga, student council, Rachel’s Challenge, Soul Writers, and Math Counts—to name a few. The school also offers an after-school tutorial program in reading and math, as well as providing an environment for students to complete homework with assistance four times a week. One of the many features of the school are it’s outstanding athletic fields.

Across from TOR, is the Harry Bennett Branch of the Ferguson Library, which is a great place for students to do their homework, research for a project or just sit down to enjoy great books in their collection. The Ferguson Library offers classes and programs including after school homework help, book group and craft class plus Teen Cooking Class whose topics range from  baking your own pizza to learning about nutrition and healthy eating.

Talents ♦ Opportunities ♦ Responsibilities

Go Titans!

 

 

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CT, real estate

It’s All About The Journey … 30 Mind-Blowing Sceneries That Totally Define Connecticut

Connecticut scenery is arguably some of the best in the United States. From mountains, to rivers, to rolling plains, Connecticut has a little bit of everything. In fact, we are known for having back roads so lush with greenery that you forget you’re on your way to work! See the beauty come to life on screen in these gorgeous photos captured by photographers during their travels through the Constitution State.

 

 

1. Mystic River

peasap/Flickr

 

2. Wadsworth Falls, Middlefield

Patrick Franzis/Flickr

3. Litchfield

Christopher Wisker/Flickr

 

4. Short Beach, Branford

Michael Levine-Clark/Flickr

 

5. Fairfield Country Club

Alexander Rabb/Flickr

 

6. Hartford

ilirjan rrumbullaku/Flickr

 

7. Farmington River Valley

ilirjan rrumbullaku/Flickr

 

8. Southport Beach

Alexander Rabb/Flickr

 

9. Pine Creek

Alexander Rabb/Flickr

 

10. Indian Well State Park

Trenten Kelley/Flickr

 

11. Buttonwood Farm, Griswold

susteph/Flickr

 

12. Old Saybrook

a.has/Flickr

 

13. Collinsville

Patrick Franzis/Flickr

 

14. Kent

Jaine/Flickr

 

15. Lighthouse Point

Alexander Rabb/Flickr

16. East Granby

Doug Kerr/Flickr

 

17. Pine Orchard Pier, Branford

slack12/Flickr

 

 

18. Rocky Neck State Park

Jay McAnally/Flickr

 

19. New Haven

Chris Lewis/Flickr

 

20. Tod’s Point, Greenwich

Vin Crosbie/Flickr

 

21. Talcott Village

Jill /Blue Moonbeam Studio

 

22. Pequonnock River Rail Trail

kenneth casper/Flickr

 

23. The view from Cobble Mountain

criana/Flickr

 

24. Sleeping Giant State Park

Michael Shaheen/Flickr

 

25. East Rock Park

Jack Says Relax/Flickr

 

26. Quinnipiac River

Chris Lewis/Flickr

 

27. Avon

Patrick/Flickr

 

28. Compo Beach, Westport

Matt Hintsa/Flickr

 

29. West Cornwall Bridge

Jay McAnally/Flickr

30. Hamden

Kyle Garrity/Flickr

Connecticut’s beauty is definitely worth talking about. Is it as pretty as you remember?

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real estate, Stamford, Uncategorized

It’s All About The Journey … Spring Market 4-1-1

Are you thinking of becoming a

Spring Success Story?

 

lack of inventory

The 2016 spring market’s biggest challenge for the real estate industry seems to be the lack of available housing inventory for sale. Here are a few experts and their thoughts on the subject:

David Crowe, Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders:

“Many sellers may not have an absolute decision as to whether to buy an existing home or a new home. So the low inventory of existing homes is locking them in place.”

Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist with Trulia:

“We are in a time of short supply, which is great news for sellers because they will likely be faced with multiple offers due to the little inventory out there…Buyers will be up against a lot of other people and against a short supply of existing homes.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist with NAR:

“First-time buyers in high demand areas continue to encounter instances where their offer is trumped by cash buyers and investors. Without a much-needed boost in new and existing-homes for sale in their price range, their path to homeownership will remain an uphill climb.”

Fitch Ratings:

“One important issue that has restrained sales and starts is inventory. On an absolute basis, inventory has not expanded as much as in past recoveries, leading to less selection for buyers. This is especially true for existing home sales but is evident for new home construction as well. When it comes to U.S. housing inventory, more is better.” 

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist for Realtor.com:

“The increase in sales is resulting in continued tighter-than-tight supply—measured by NAR to be four months in January.  For you non-economists out there, that metric measures the number of months it would take to sell the current inventory of available homes, at the current pace. Got it? Six to seven months’ worth of homes on the market is considered normal; four months is cray-cray.”

It could be the perfect time for you to get in on the action-Spring market is in full swing now-don’t wait too long!

Courtesy of KCM
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CT, Downtown Stamford, real estate, Stamford, Uncategorized

It’s All About The Journey … Downtown!

stamford downtown-this is the place

The Stamford Downtown has it’s own special district knows as the Downtown Special Services District (DSSD) which is a Business Improvement District established in 1993 with the mission to “manage, enhance and promote the Downtown experience.”   And what a job they’ve done – there is so much going on in this Downtown that it has its own website!

bedford st restaurants 2 restaurants1 bedford st restaurant restaurants 2

 With such a wide array of dining options, I’ll begin with a section for the foodies out there.  You will be sure to find something to please your palate with over 80 restaurants offering everything from burgers and shakes to cuisines from around the globe including Morocco, India, Spain and of course, Italy. It’s common to see people meandering along Bedford Street or Columbus Place,  meeting for cocktails at one restaurant and strolling to another for dinner then dessert.  During the summer, restaurateurs open their outdoor patios and the street feels like a bustling, small European city with cafe tables dotting the sidewalks from one end to the other.

avon theatre

Feel like dinner and a movie?  You can catch a first run film on one of the 15 screens at either the Bow Ties Cinema Landmark or Bow Ties Cinema Majestic. For those with a more independent streak, head over to the Avon Theatre. The Avon Theatre Film Center is non-profit and member-supported. Its’ members are dedicated to presenting compelling independent, foreign, documentary and classic films.  The Avon, itself a 1939 historic landmark, also holds special events that include forums for in-person, community dialogue with directors, actors and others in a  “Main Street America” setting.

strand

rich forum  palace theatre

 If you enjoy live entertainment, The Stamford Center for the Arts offers two venues.  The Palace Theatre, and the Rich Forum.  The Palace is a local landmark with a long history starting with  Mary Vuono, who operated the Strand Theatre next door and was its’ visionary.  After successfully remodeling and expanding the Strand Theatre, Mary decided to purchase the building next door in 1920.  The Palace theatre was born 7 years later in 1927.  Dubbed “Connecticut’s most magnificent” when it first opened, the Palace continues to offer the best of entertainment from well-known music and comedy acts to international dance companies and theatrical productions. The Stamford Symphony also calls the Palace its home and holds many concerts throughout the year with highly acclaimed guest musicians and evenings dedicated to compositions from classical masters including Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky.  The Rich Forum includes the smaller Truglia theatre and Leonhart Studio where you can be an audience member for tapings of televised shows including Crazy Talk, Maury Povich or Jerry Springer.

alive at five jazz up july

farmers market

Stamford Downtown holds many events scattered throughout the year.  Some are yearly events, such as Repelling Santa and the Holiday Tree Lighting.  Santa and guest repellers descend 22 stories from Stamford’s tallest building, Landmark Square, and then gather around Bedford Street for more holiday music and fun while waiting for the countdown to Stamford’s Holiday Tree lighting.  A summer farmer’s market showcases the best of local produce, flowers, and baked goods and in the fall over 100 craftsmen and artisans pitch their tents to showcase items for sale at Arts and Crafts on Bedford.   Of course how could I talk about Stamford Downtown events without mentioning the very successful summer concert series of Live at Five held every Thursdays for 8 weeks, and Jazz up July held every Wednesday evening in July where you can still bring a picnic dinner.  Many well-known acts perform their stage shows to the enthusiastic crowds.  These series have become so popular that many people travel statewide and from nearby New York to enjoy a balmy summer evening under the stars with food, drink and live music.

ubs parade

arts & craftsrepelling santa

 

Downtown Stamford also has the vibe of a college town with satellite campuses of the University of Connecticut and Sacred Heart University offering undergraduate and post graduate degrees in their respective Stamford locations.  The UCONN Stamford campus was originally located on Scofield Town Road, the site of the current Scofield Magnet Middle School.  In 1990 planning began for a UCONN campus located in the heart of downtown.  The downtown campus opened in 1998 in a contemporary glass enclosed building at the former site of “Bloomingdales”-a landmark of it’s own. The location allows students to gain valuable work experience with business leaders at many Fortune 500 corporations headquartered in the heart of downtown.  Sacred Heart University came to downtown in May of 2013 where it launched graduate programs in Business, Arts & Science and Education.   Classes are offered in the Landmark Square building.

uconn sacred heart

If all of this sounds great, you might wonder what the housing options are.  A multitude of modern apartment complexes have been developed in recent years to accommodate the growing demand for housing.   There are currently more than 30 apartment buildings from high rises to low rises providing a large variety of choices.  Older, more established buildings will have fewer amenities but keep you in the thick of the action, while newer or luxury complexes can offer everything from media and billiard rooms to indoor/outdoor pools and rooftop terraces.  Three of the many condominium complexes located downtown are The Biltmore, The Classic Condominiums and Trump Parc. These are all high rise buildings with varying price points and amenities that appeal to different buyers. There are also other high rise buildings and townhomes located within a few block radius.

So if you enjoy an urban lifestyle in a vibrant and bustling environment, come take a look at Stamford’s Downtown.  It just might be the right fit for you!

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