Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Ground Breaking Ceremony at Our New East End School
School Named After the Late Educator Jettie S. Tisdale

Bridgeport Mayor John M. Fabrizi, Superintendent of Schools Dr. John J. Ramos, Sr., family and friends of the late Jettie S. Tisdale, students from McKinley and Waltersville schools, and civic and community leaders broke ground Monday, October 23 on the new Jettie S. Tisdale Elementary School.

The 750-student, state-of-the-art-school is located on Hollister Street at the intersection of Carrie Street. It will replace the neighboring McKinley School, as well as Newfield School, which closed in September. Both schools are close to 100 years old and have been in a state of disrepair for many years.

“This is truly an exciting day for all of us, especially the children that stand with us today,” said Mayor Fabrizi as he dug his shovel into the ground. “My administration, has been, and will continue to be committed to public education in Bridgeport.”

Mayor Fabrizi explained that over the next 2 to 3 years, the city will open four new elementary schools in different sections of the City. The Cesar A. Batalla School on State Street is set to open this coming January. In addition, the city will break ground on two other schools – the North End School and the new Barnum School – in the next two months.

Superintendent of Schools Ramos said, “the day we break ground on the Jettie Tisdale School, we will set in motion a significant and important opportunity for our students, families and community. We’re on the move!”

The total cost for construction of the 105,000 square-foot school, is $44.6 million, 80 percent of which is paid for by the state of Connecticut. The remaining 20 percent is paid for by the city of Bridgeport.

Stacey Tisdale and her father Charles, executive director of ABCD, paid tribute to Jettie, calling her an “inspiration” to everyone she met. Jettie Tisdale was the former principal of McKinley School and later Longfellow School, in a career that spanned more than 40 years.

“Everyone loved and respected Jettie,” said Mayor Fabrizi, himself a former teacher, principal and educator in the school district. “It is wonderful that this school is named after her. It is a lasting tribute to her for all the hard work that she did on behalf of the students in Bridgeport.”

Both Mayor Fabrizi and Dr. Ramos thanked those in attendance -- civic and community leaders from the East End, elected officials and members of the clergy -- for making Jettie’s dream become a reality.
Al Pacino and Robert Dinero Filming Movie Near McKinley
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When Al Pacino and Robert Dinero came to Bridgeport to film their new movie, students from McKinley Elementary School were very excited. The two were suppose to film a scene in the school's cafeteria, but the scene was cut because the filming outside near the school took longer than expected. Still, all were excited to see two famous actors in the neighborhood!

Extreme Makeover
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Across the street from McKinley School

Bridgeport, Connecticut Family Opens Door to Their 'Extreme' Home  October 14 ABC'S 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' Brown Family Episode to Air Sunday, 8 P.M.

Millions of people across America will see the "Brown Episode" on ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," scheduled for October 14th airing at 8 p.m. The one-hour show will feature the efforts of 4,000 local volunteers, led by builders Gulick Associates, LLC of New Canaan, Conn., who built the Brown family a new home in just seven days. The Brown family home is located at 285 Hollister Ave in the East End neighborhood of Bridgeport, Conn. Each episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" features a race against time involving a team of designers, contractors, and hundreds of volunteers who have just one week to totally demolish and rebuild an entire house - every single room, plus the exterior and landscaping. The Brown family had the design team of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" led by Ty Pennington and designers Michael Moloney, Paige Hemmis, Eduardo Xol, and John Littlefield.

The Family:   The Brown family home was struck by tragedy not once, but three times. First, a flood devastated their home, and then a fire further destroyed their two-story home. If it were not for the bravery of Gloria's 16-year old son, Fred, who knocked down the door that had his mother trapped, she would not be alive. The fire forced the family to find temporary housing. During that time, their house was repeatedly robbed and stripped of everything of value to them. Despite these tragedies, the family was determined to make their community a better place. Together with her children -- Bobbi, Fred, and Janae, -- the Browns never stopped giving back to the community and continued to run a variety of creative outreach programs in their neighborhood. "We feel very blessed to have been fortunate enough to be chosen from among so many worthy families," said Gloria Brown. "We know this is a special gift and we will always be grateful to ABC, the Gulicks, and our wonderful community, who changed our lives forever."

The Builders:   Builders and brothers Steve and Michael Gulick of Gulick Associates, LLC of New Canaan, Connecticut were chosen to be featured on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." Gulick Associates is one of close to 100 builders chosen by the Emmy-winning show to build an "Extreme" home in the United States, to date. The brothers were excited to build the 3,600 square foot house. They oversaw every aspect of the project --- from creating a Web site to getting building materials donated to finding all the quality trades people and dedicated volunteers -- in record time. "Every person who volunteered for this project put their job, their company, and their personal lives on hold to build Gloria and their kids a beautiful home," said Steve Gulick. "Once people heard about the project, the community response was overwhelming. Even though we personally did not know most of the volunteers, once they arrived on Hollister Avenue, it was like we were family," added Michael. "We thank each and every company and person who played a role in this once-in-a-lifetime experience." The Community Over 4,000 volunteers worked 24 hours a day from July 25 to August 1, 2007 to build the Brown family's new Victorian home.

For more information on the project, please visit the "Building the Extreme Dream" Web site at http://www.gulickassociates.com. The Brown Family Fund Gulick Associates also created the "Building A Family's Extreme Dream Fund" to support ongoing expenses associated with the Brown family's new home. Donations may be made online at http://www.gulickassociates.com. About "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," which has won back-to-back Emmy Awards as Best Reality Program (non-competitive), is entering its fifth season on ABC. The program is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. Denise Cramsey is the executive producer and David Goldberg is the president of Endemol, USA. Note to Editors: IMPORTANT: Media interested in house tours or interviews, please contact Alice Ferreira at 203-610-1521. Thank you.

100-Year-Old School Holds Many Memories-Conn. Post Article
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A black-and-white photo of an 11-year-old Barnie Cadzin, attached to a blue student record card, was stuck for nearly a century in an old filing cabinet, along with hundreds of other pieces of history in the basement storage room of the soon-to-be demolished McKinley School. It's dated 1919. Up a steep set of wooden stairs that lead to the third-floor rafters of the original 1908 wing of Bridgeport's McKinley, there are discarded record players, film strip projectors and old desks all designed with indentations to hold pencils. with memories encompassing three decades. "I'm going to miss this room," Bolbotowski said of her corner suite, big enough for a reading loft in one corner and a cast-iron tub stuffed with beanbags in the other. Bolbotowski hopes the tub, an heirloom inherited from a retired kindergarten teacher, can come with her to the new school. If it does, an exception will have to be made to the edict that no furniture from the old school go to the new school, which is being completely fitted with new equipment. What McKinley leaves behind will be offered to other schools. "It's a great thing," Bolbotowski said of the tub. Students like to sit in there and read, she said. Inflatables resembling crayons hang from the ceiling of Bolbotowski's classroom. A barely visible blackboard is plastered with charts, graphs and student work. The students look at a portable "smart board" when the teacher needs to write something for the class to see or display an image from a computer. The new school will have built-in smart boards. "I'm not going to miss the bathrooms. We need cleaner bathrooms," said Bolbotowski. Or the lack of a place for her students to play at recess. Or the cracked floor tiles or broken water fountains. Rice won't miss the inability to regulate the heat at McKinley. It's either really hot or really cold. But the old school's oversized bulletin boards lining the hallways are another story. They don't make bulletin boards like that anymore, he said. McKinley also has many architectural nooks and crannies, classic moldings and exposed brickwork. It was built during an age of tremendous growth in the city's public education system, at a time when city fathers decried that too many graduates were being prepared as "scholars" instead of for the industrial workforce where they were needed. The $55,000 school was built on a lot that stretched from Hollister Avenue to Logan Street. It was named after President William McKinley, who was assassinated in 1901. The same year McKinley opened, the city introduced free kindergarten. An addition was built in 1920, and the structure underwent renovations in 1979. Perhaps its most celebrated alum is actor Robert Mitchum, who is second from the left, three rows back in a 1931 graduating class photo. Some say Mitchum's school record card - a document on blue stock paper that listed everything from a parent's occupation and nationality to grades and clarity of vision - used to sit with Cadzin's card and hundreds of others in over-stuffed filing cabinets, until it disappeared. Others say Mitchum would venture back to the city every so often and sit outside the school on Logan Street, where he once lived. Marie Mercaldi, a media specialist at the school since 1982, doesn't know about that. She does know when Mitchum attended the school the library where she now works was a boy's lavatory. Students today still like to discover a trap door, concealed by carpeting on the floor, which covers up a water valve that was part of the lavatory plumbing. William Tinkler, now semi-retired and the acting principal of Curiale School, spent five years at McKinley in the early 1980s. "It was a tough neighborhood, but the outside community respected what was happening inside the school," Tinkler said. Part of Tinkler's job was to do outreach to the Young Lords and Black Panthers, activist groups in the community. What happened on nearby Stratford Avenue never spilled into the school, he said. After Tinkler, Jettie S. Tisdale became the McKinley principal. The late educator brought with her a number of young teachers from Newfield School, her previous assignment. Bolbotowski was one. Tania Kelly, now music director for the school system, was another. Kelly spent a decade at McKinley from 1984 to 1995 and loved it. "Oh my goodness. So many memories in that school," she said. Kelly remembers introducing the tradition of wrapping the Maypole on May 1 and organizing a McKinley adult choir. "We made use of every small space in that school. I remember reading being taught on the stage while something else was going on below. I remember them turning a dusty old storage room opposite the library into my classroom," said Kelly. "It will be a sad day for me when they tear it down," she added. "It was the foundation of me, of my teaching. I tell you, some of the wonderful memories I have as an educator are going to go down with the bricks." Linda Conner Lambeck, who covers regional education issues, can be reached at 330-6218 Principal William Rice isn't sure when the last time anyone ventured up to the locked attic. Much of Rice's focus during his one-and-a-half-year tenure at McKinley has been directed next door to the nearly complete Tisdale School, which is visible from the window of the dusty third-floor room. In mid-April, the 350 students at McKinley will march next door and become students at the new, $48 million Jettie Tisdale School. Three weeks later, the 100-year-old McKinley will be torn down to make way for a Tisdale playground. Unlike other century-old school buildings taking on new uses as they are replaced - the 102-year-old Newfield School is now a police training academy; Waltersville, built in 1902, will become a charter school - McKinley will be history in May. Monica Bolbotowski, a kindergarten teacher at McKinley from the time that Jettie Tisdale was its principal, wants to save a brick from the doomed structure to go
Students and Faculty Move into Tisdale!
After months of watching the new school being built, the day finally came when the students and faculty of McKinley School were able to walk over from McKinley into the new Jetti S. Tisdale School!
Opening of the New Tisdale Parent Library
Max Baudisch Standing in the New Tisdale Parent Library

Max Baudisch, a Boy Scout from Troop 370 in Newtown, CT, created the Tisdale Parent Library as part of the requirements to become an Eagle Scout. A grand holiday evening event was held on December 18th at the school. Mrs. Joanna Keene and Max cut the ribbon during the ceremony, opening the library to Tisdale students and parents. Max collected over 5,000 books in which to open the library, and has many more in storage to keep the supply coming in. Students and parents are welcome to take five books at a time from the library, to keep for free for their home libraries. The goal of the Eagle project is to promote literacy and family school relationships by increasing the number of books students have in their homes. Students can bring the books back to exchange for new books, but that is not a requirement.
Tisdale Students Attend CECA Tech Expo in Hartford

April 1, 2009 - Students from Jettie S. Tisdale - Addison Velazquez, Franchesca Crespo, BiBi Haripersaud with their teacher Sharon Bunyan and Connecticut State Representative Christopher Caruso at the CECA Tech Expo 2009. The students are holding their project entitled "The Bard and I".

The Bard and I Web Quest is an inquiry based activity that used pre-defined resources from the web and technology to create the final project. The student's task began with reading Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer's Night Dream, Twelfth Night and Julius Caesar. Their roles as writers was to teach their peers about Shakespeare and explain how it correlates with real life issues. The format was a photo essay using Microsoft Photo Story and Photosynth.
Family First Friday
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Come join the fun! On the first Friday of every month parents are invited to come into their child's classroom and read with them. After the read along, refreshments are served in the cafeteria. Please come join us for "Family First Friday"!
Holiday Concert
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Tisdale held its annual Holiday Concert on December 22, 2009. Parents and friends came to hear the vocal talents of Tisdale's students!
Grade 6 Annual International Day
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Grade six students have been researching various countries from around the world. On April 29, 2010 they opened their classroom doors for all to see and and hear what they have learned. The day provides the school and surrounding community with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of various cultures through the eyes of Tisdale students.
Middle School Math Meet
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6th Grade Math Olympiad
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8th Grade Graduation
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Jettie S. Tisdale held their 8th grade graduation ceremony today. The class speakers were Christian Baculima and Shyheim Snead. The guest speaker was Mr. John Ramos Jr.
Middle School Math Bingo Night
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Mrs. Baudisch, the Numeracy Coach, in conjuction with the 6th grade and middle school teachers held its first annual Middle School Math Bingo Night for students and their parents. Math bingo games were competitively played throughout the evening with many students taking home prizes.

Holiday Literacy Night
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Students in kindergarten through grade 3 enjoyed an evening of holiday stories, caroling, crafts and a visit by Santa Claus.

Santa Claus Visits Jettie S. Tisdale
Toys, Coats, Gloves and Food Donated from the Students at Osborn Hill School
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Bicycle Distribution
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A very generous donation of bicycles made the holiday season very merry for some of Tisdale's students!
KimLee Heng Wins Third Place in Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest

As part of Fairfield University's week long celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Visions Awards dinner was held to honor individuals who exemplify the virtues of Dr. King. As part of the celebration the announcement of the Connecticut Post-Fairfield University Essay Contest winners for middle school students in Bridgeport took place. KimLee Heng, an 8th grade student at Jettie Tisdale, won 3rd place in the essay contest.

Here is her essay:

Bring the Heroes Over time, things change. I remember Bridgeport being a clean city. Its name, the Park City, was known for its pristine parks and well-manicured neighborhoods. Unfortunately, I have noticed the destruction everywhere, even at private residences. Citizens have treated their city without any care or concern. People have ignored the laws and continue to damage their community. Someone needs to take a stand to make a difference -- a hero, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His actions were just and inspiring. So then I wonder. What if I could be that hero? I do not know about you, but I want to be able to be proud of my city. People should not stumble over trash. Many times, we act as if littering is a normal thing. This type of thinking is not acceptable. People must recognize that there are laws. One piece of garbage on the ground multiplies over time and soon there is litter everywhere. While walking home from school, I have seen waste everywhere. Stepping through it makes me realize that it is not a pretty picture. When Dr. King viewed his neighborhood, he saw separation by color and race. However, he had a dream that people would join hands, regardless of ethnicity. Dr. King motivated others to do something about segregation. I want to help motivate people and encourage others, as he did, to clean up and take better care of their environment more consistently. Just placing a multitude of fresh garbage cans on every corner, making it convenient to throw garbage away, is a step in the right direction. Signs along the streets can remind people not to litter. City meetings with "before" and "after" pictures of neighborhoods that have been cleaned up will motivate people to take pride in their property. I will organize youth groups to clean up the parks, downtown and neighborhoods after school and on weekends. Once people see that it can be managed when everyone pitches in to help, more and more people will join the effort. We can go door to door and ask people to sweep their own sidewalks and to repair broken fences, torn shutters and ripped screens hanging from their doors. We can paint over the graffiti and replace it with beautiful murals. We can work to change the laws so that property owners have to pay stricter attention to the upkeep of the properties from which they collect large amounts of rent.

By: KimLee Heng

Kindergarten Students Learn with Real Octopus
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Ms. Bolbotowski's kindergarten students are learning the letter "O" with help of an octopus. Ms. Bolbotowski stopped by the local fish market and bought a three pound octopus to help her students learn the letter "O".
100th Day of School Celebrations
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Tisdale students and staff celebrated the 100th day of school counting objects, making posters and talking about the number 100!

Poetry for Peace Contest

We were delighted that so many of our students submitted entries for the 2010 Fairfield University porgram. The winners were invited to read their poems at the Kelly Center on the Fairfileld University Campus on January 18, 2011. Poetry for Peace Winners: Grade K - Ms. Bolbotowski's Class Aaron Cruce-Aleman Lindsay Mohammed Grade 1 - Mrs. Perroni Jorge Collazo Grade 3 - Ms. Bernberg Elijah Crowell Eric Cobb Grade 5 - Mr. Callegari Rashea Wilson Kelsey Marie Coriano Grade 5 - Ms. Mason Dashe'nay Bennett


Middle School Math Meet
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Six middle school students participated in the city wide math meet at the University of Bridgeport. The Tisdale Math Team placed 8th in the district. Congratulations team!
Middle Grades Math Bingo Night
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Over 80 parents and students participated in Tisdale's annual Math Bingo Night. A dinner of pizza, soda and cannolis was served while both parents and students computed math problems while trying to get bingo! There was an array of prizes for winners to choose from, and a fun time was had by all.
International Day
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Grade six students at Tisdale School held their annual International Day festival. Student groups did in depth research specific countries, created visual displays about their country and added authentic artifacts and cuisine to their presentations. Many visitors came to hear the students' presentations and taste the international food smorgasbord. The students were pleased to welcome Mayor Finch and Superintendent Ramos as two of their visitors.

Literacy Luau
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Grade Six Perimeter Puzzle
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Ms. Balocca's sixth grade students extended their study of perimeter outside on the sidewalk. With chalk and yard sticks in hand the students drew, measured and calculated the perimeter of various shapes. When the activity was complete the sidewalk of Tisdale was a sea of geometric shapes and mathematical calculations!

Middle School Harvest Dance
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Santa Visits the Middle School
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6th Grade Math Meet
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A team of five 6th grade students participated in the district wide math meet at the University of Bridgeport.