Open Referral Period for Darien Gifted Students Program Ends Jan 9

Download PDF

You can refer your child for evaluation to be placed in Darien Public Schools’ gifted and talented program now through Saturday, Jan. 9. Here’s the announcement on the school district’s website:

If you have a child in grades 2-8 that you believe may be gifted, you may refer him/her for evaluation to be placed in Darien’s gifted and talented program. This referral period will identify children for placement beginning in September of the 2016-2017 school year. Before referring your child, please take a few minutes to review the following information on typical traits of gifted children:
E-mail your child’s assistant principal to begin the process and refer to the program’s website for further information:

Michael Harman

Board of Ed Chairman’s State of Town Speech: Schools Will Need More Space

Download PDF

The Darien High School building, constructed and opened just 10 years ago, is expected to become too small for the student population, new Board of Education Chairman Michael Harman told the Representative Town Meeting on Monday. “Darien High School (DHS) is again facing classroom space concerns as enrollment moves closer to the maximum building capacity of 1,400 students, a number which is forecasted to be exceeded in 2018,” Harman said in his speech, one of four “State of the Town” speeches given Monday night. The town’s elementary school population will also need more classroom space, Harman said: “At present, the district has very limited capacity to accommodate any future growth, without attempting to address either elementary class size policy or use of aging portables.” That means the school district will have to build more classroom space or use “temporary” portable classes, he said: “[A]ll indications are that any recommended course of action could entail some type of facilities project and/or significant capital expenditure. _________

STATE OF THE TOWN SPEECHES: Full texts and descriptions on

Expect to Get More Housing, Retail Options, Says Stevenson in ‘State of Town’ Address
Finance Board Chairman Expects a Higher Tax Rate Increase Than Last Year’s 2.5%
Planning & Zoning Chair: Decisions on New Housing, ‘Unprecedented’ Commercial Development Coming in 2016


In September 2014, the Board of Education hired consultants to study district space needs.

Darien Public Schools

Darien Math Coordinator Hired as Trumbull Principal

Download PDF

An announcement from Trumbull Public Schools:

Dr. Gary Cialfi, Superintendent of Schools, has announced that Jennifer Chirles has been appointed to the Trumbull High School “A House” principal vacancy for the Trumbull Public Schools. Ms. Chirles has been employed by the Darien Public Schools since 2010 and in her role as mathematics program coordinator, she has demonstrated exemplary leadership for the school district. She has facilitated professional development opportunities, developed and presented student performance data analysis reports, and is a member of Darien’s Tri-State Consortium Committee. Prior to her tenure in Darien she was a high school mathematics teacher in two other school districts since 2001. Ms. Chirles earned a bachelor of electrical engineering degree from Villanova University, a master’s degree in mathematics education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and is expected to receive a doctor of education degree from Northeastern University in May 2016.

Debbie Farber Special Education

Darien Special Ed Chief Praised as She Steps Down from Job

Download PDF

Deborah Farber, who stepped down as head of special education for Darien Public Schools, was praised by a school board member for her improvements to the program and communication with parents and others. Board of Education member Sarah Zuro at the board’s meeting on June 23 publicly thanked Farber for the quality of her work. When Farber spoke at school meetings, Zuro said, “I was so impressed at how she always patiently stayed at the podium until the last parent question was asked and answered.” Here is Zuro’s prepared statement:

Immediately after Dr. [Lynne] Pierson [interim superintendent of schools] arrived in the late Fall of 2013, she assembled a team and plan for addressing Darien’s special education challenges with an eye toward compliance and conflict resolution, and, where necessary, initiating the proactive development of numerous improved programs.

This plan was enormously complex but essential to the healing of our school district. Central to this work was the appointment of Ms. Debbie Farber.

Cicchetti Darien Public Schools

School Board Member Praises Departing Human Resources Director

Download PDF

Michael Cicchetti, the school district’s interim human resources director was praised at a recent school board meeting for his organization, broad and deep knowledge of his field and hard work. “Dr. Cicchetti, we cannot thank you enough for coming to our rescue at a time when we needed leadership and guidance,” Board of Education member Kathrine Stein said in a statement marking the conclusion of Cicchetti’s one-year term heading up the district’s personnel office. “You have put structures and procedures in place that will carry us forward for many years to come.” Cicchetti was one of several district administrators stepping down who were praised at the June 23 Board of Education meeting. Here is Stein’s prepared statement:

We knew we needed a director of human resources.