RSD #17 District Restructuring Plan: December 2018 Update

Submitted by Joanne Nesti.


As November came to a close, progress continued in a number of areas related to the creation of the Haddam-Killingworth Intermediate School, the K-3 Primary Schools at Burr and KES and the future of Haddam Elementary School.

The Intermediate School Planning Committee’s most recent work recommends the following:

  • An academic model designed after the current 4th Grade. An increase in core instructional time for 5th Grade.
  • Class sizes not to exceed those that have existed in RSD 17 for the past ten years.
  • Enhanced music and art programs.
  • Classes in technology applications, coding, research and design/build.
  • Comprehensive health education, including social and emotional well-being.
  • Recess time of 25 minutes, with activities including soccer, kickball, hop-scotch, four-square. Students also have offered several additional suggestions.
  • Extra-Curricular activities to include after-school clubs for running, cooking, crafts, robotics, drama and science.
  • A focus on transitioning students to the Intermediate School. Merger and visit activities will be planned for students, parents and staff. Details are to be developed during December, with event dates projected for mid-February.

The Primary Schools Planning Committee is also focusing on transitions related to the merger of the two Haddam schools, including:

  • Community-building activities, including a pen pal program for students at Haddam Elementary and Burr, with letters exchanged once a month beginning in January.
  • Faculty and staff transition activities including meetings with Principal Brienne Whidden at Burr, aimed at building on the positive professional culture at both HES and BES.

Haddam Elementary School

A Request for Proposals regarding the future use of the HES building and grounds was released on November 1st, posted on the District 17 website and publicized by means of a Legal Notice in the Hartford Courant, the Middletown Press and the New Haven Register. A walk-through was held on November 12th, with participants led through all areas of the building, including the mechanical room and other infrastructure. The RFP specifies that proposals will be received by RSD 17 until 11:00am on February 6, 2019, at which time they will be opened publicly and the names of those submitting proposals read aloud. Both the Legal Notice and the details of the RFP can be viewed at Additional walk-throughs may be scheduled as interested parties request them.


The Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and the Committees continue to work along a timeline set out for the remainder of this school year and the summer of 2019. It includes a determination between now and the end of March 2019 of the location of the District pre-school, staffing positions needed in both the Intermediate and Primary Schools, and transportation requirements. Further community updates such as this one are planned.


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