A parent sent me this email today. I thought it was worth passing on.

"Heart wrenching video clip from the movie. Finally went to see the film. Powerful. I think all kids from about Middle School age should see it with their parents."


'Tis the Season...

Happy December. Since it all goes by so fast we may as well celebrate the whole month!

One of the things I appreciate most about this time is the physical transformation of the environment—the trees, the decorations, the music, and the smells.

On the downside, one of the aspects of the season that always troubles me is the focus on materialism and the consequent emotional and financial burden that this places on so many individuals and families. The other aspect relates to the emphasis placed on “family” without much thought to just how complicated “family” can be for many of us. Family and community are surely a great blessing for the “haves,” but often a source of longing and sadness for many of the “have-nots”.

Today, I want to focus on children and gifts. I’d like to direct you to learn more about the Toys for Tots organization (toysfortots.org)—both as donors, and, yes, as recipients. If you can help out and provide toys, that’s great. But my focus in writing this is to encourage us to remember that it’s OK and, in fact, important to let ourselves be helped when our resources are limited. I think we owe this to our children if it helps us to provide for their Christmas while removing some of the stress. One can pay the planet back with simple thoughts and expressions of gratitude over the coming year.

So I invite you to check into Toys for Tots for yourselves if this is a tough year for you, or to pass the information along to friends and families that may be in need.

Also, keep in mind that all of us at LDFDS would appreciate not receiving gifts. Kind words when they are genuinely felt and good wishes are the best possible gifts.

Best wishes for a happy and meaningful holiday,


Community Service

For many years, community service was an important part of the ldfds curriculum. The emphasis on volunteer work was based on a profound belief in the power of altruism as a potent therapeutic agent: simply said, helping others improves self-esteem.

Meaningful service expands our world-view, provides a sense of perspective on our personal struggles and allows us to experience our ability to directly impact the lives of others. We volunteered in retirement communities, animal shelters, soup kitchens, and nursing homes.

We have decided that it’s time to resurrect this aspect of the program. Tara Spadola, our social worker, will be spearheading this effort and will be sending you more specific information.

We welcome your suggestions and ideas.


Sign up for WTNH Text Alerts

The school year has begun!

It has been a pleasure to see the familiar faces of students and parents and to welcome our new students and teachers. Although, many students were unable to attend the first two days and were missed, the unusual, prolonged transition back to school provided the opportunity to settle in and begin the process of becoming reacclimatized at a more leisurely pace.

Although we post school closings on the WTNH website (www.wtnh.com) we recommend that everyone sign up to receive WTNH text alerts. This service will be especially helpful to communicate early closings. It would also be appreciated if you could let us know via email that you have signed up. If you have questions about the service, please let us know.

Hope you are all "back on the grid" and have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend.


Hurricane Irene:

Due to the range and variety of conditions throughout the state, we have decided to open as planned. The school has power. We know that many students will not be able to attend due the conditions in their area. We expect many students to be absent and all students will be excused. We are most concerned about your personal safety.

Typically, if your district is closed, as a safety precaution, the district will not provide out-of-district transportation.

If you have Internet, check our website for updates ldfds.com

Transportation companies must contact the district for information. We do not make decisions regarding transportation.

Be safe and see you soon.

The LDFDS staff wishes you Happy Holidays:

"Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace." Albert Schweitzer

Have a healthy and joyous new year.


H1N1 Update:10/27/09

Barring unforeseen circumstances between now and tomorrow morning, Lorraine Foster Day School will remain open. Our ability to open and to remain open is dependent on having adequate staff to take care of the children. Many students were absent today and many became sick and went home early. Some of our teachers are reporting not feeling well or that their children are sick.

Please, do your part by ensuring that you do not send your child to school if they do not feel well. Remember that if they are coming down with an illness, they will expose everyone on their bus. If they become sick while at school, we will call you and expect you to pick your child up in a timely manner. Please, also, make sure that you have a plan in place should it be necessary to pick up your child, or in the event we need to close the school. Your support and vigilance will benefit everyone.


H1N1:Tuesday 10/27/09

Dear families,

We are receiving calls from parents regarding issues relating to H1N1! For example, Guilford Public Schools decided to close today and Branford is considering closing as well. We have students from 16 districts including Guilford and Branford. Most of our students have siblings who are in those schools and parents are asking our advice on whether to send them to LDFDS. I think, for now, until we can gather more information, my recommendation is that you consider keeping your child home. According to some media reports, this week is considered to be potentially critical in terms of the reemergence of the virus in CT and as you know the vaccine is still not available for all those who may want or need it. At the moment we are not formally closing the school but we will keep you abreast of our thoughts and decisions as we monitor the situation. Please check our website–ldfds.com under Message from the Director for updates.

Concussions: more consequential than we know

One of our students sustained a concussion while playing football. Thanks to his parents' vigilance, he received the care he needed to prevent serious long-term consequences. The staff was surprised to realize the depth of our ignorance regarding this topic. As a parent and as someone entrusted with the care of children, I wish I had had this information a long time ago.



Dear Families,

There’s so much information and misinformation floating in the news and in the blogosphere regarding H1N1 that it’s difficult to make sensible “informed” decisions. Here’s a short straightforward article from the New Yorker. I hope it helps a little.

Be well,


Rethinking Homework:

Dear Families,

We are already four weeks into the new school year. Amazing! And, as always, it is thrilling to have the School filled with your children’s wonderful chatter and energy–the quiet of summer becomes deafening.

As many of you know, I have been a vocal critic of the manner in which we think about homework. This article, by one of our most articulate and thoughtful educational thinkers, Alfie Kohn, makes the case for Rethinking Homework in this article. His argument is well researched, compelling and consonant with our philosophy.

I invite you to read it, digest it and let me know what you think.

Be well,

Dominique Fontaine