Royle principal resigning, heads closer to home

After four years of leading Royle School and an entire career in Darien, Keith Margolus will be leaving this summer to take over as principal of Branchville Elementary School in Ridgefield.
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Rob Morrison puts past behind him, looks to brighter future

An optimistic former news anchor says he has experienced “tremendous personal growth” during the last year as he maneuvered his way through legal problems and the loss of his Manhattan job after his marital problems made international headlines. Continue reading

Trouble continues as forensic audit climbs $20,000 over budget

Darien Schools’ special education record-keeping has been strewn with errors and inaccuracies for years, leading to additional auditing costs to sort through the mess as the district continues to determine and implement best accounting practices.
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Results of stories

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Not all stories leads to something actually happening. But sometimes, with a bit of luck, lawmakers or enforcement authorities act on what you report, or people take action. That’s a good feeling, and here are two examples of that:

  1. 2016: Stories about PCBs in public schools for WNPR and for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting led to a Congressional investigation headed by Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey, and Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy called on the EPA to improve enforcement and oversight.
  2. 2013-17: Special education coverage led to numerous resignations, program restructuring, a forensic audit that found systemic accounting problems that hinted of fraud. Afterwards, Connecticut lawmakers created the MORE Commission, and one of its goals was to examine special education across the state. A MORE Commission audit performed by the state auditor found that what happened in Darien could be happening at schools across the state.

Feds use survey with high error ratio to determine aid eligibility

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Billions of dollars are flowing to public school districts across the country through a federal grant program designed to improve poor schools, yet the methods used to determine eligibility include data that have high margins of error, which appears to have enabled wealthy districts to receive some of this money. Continue reading

Reading expert discusses dylexia; says English is part of problem

“English is a great language, but it’s part of the problem.”

Words of wisdom from Margie Gillis, project director at the Haskins Literacy Initiative at Yale University, delivered earlier this month to a room of parents and educators at Royle School. Gillis’s visit was sponsored by the Special Education Parent Advisory Committee, and she spoke for roughly two hours about dyslexia being both a blessing and a curse.
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