Darien Public Schools

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Board of Education offices facing the lower parking lot, Town Hall
Entrance, Ox Ridge School

Darien Public Schools is a school district headquartered in Darien, Connecticut, United States. The district has seven schools.

The nine-member Board of Education in Darien is part of the Darien town government, and the total school budget must be approved by the town Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting, although the Board of Education has ultimate control over how its town-appropriated budget is spent.[1] The 2005-2006 town education budget was $56.7 million, representing an estimated $11,928 in spending per pupil.[needs update]

Total enrollment in public schools in Darien is 4,475 students (22.7 percent of the town population).[when?] 85 percent of the total student population attend public schools.[2]

The town has five elementary schools: Hindley School, Holmes School, Ox Ridge School, Royle School, and Tokeneke School. A $27 million addition was completed in 2000 to the town's middle school, Middlesex Middle School, and a new $73 million campus for Darien High School was completed in the fall of 2005.[3]


Measurement[2] Year Darien DRG State
Eligibile for free/reduced price meals 2005-06 1.2% 1.1% 26.9%
Eligible for free/reduced price meals 2002-03 1.1% n/a 25.4%
Non-English language at home 2005-06 3.0% 2.5% 12.6%
Non-English language at home 2000-01 3.9% n/a/ 12.5%

"DRG" (District Reference Group) — "A DRG is a classification of districts whose students' families are similar in education, income, occupation, and need, and have roughly similar enrollment."[2]

High school academic statistics[edit]

For the Class of 2004, 86.6 percent went on to four-year colleges and another 6.7 percent went to two-year colleges.[citation needed]

Royle School[edit]

Royle School serves about 430 students from kindergarten through fifth grade. The school's colors are blue and white. Its mascot, Sir Learn-a-Lot, is a suit of armor that stands at the main entrance of the school. Professional hockey player Hugh Jessiman (b. 1984), attended the school, as well as Ox Ridge School.[4]

When the Royle School was in a building on the Post Road, movies were shown there until the town movie theater was built in the 1920s.[5]

As of 2003, the school has held an annual "Royle Wrap Up" fundraiser for 17 years. Students sell wrapping paper, candles and gifts in their neighborhoods for the fundraising drive, which accounts for 70 percent of the school Parent Teacher Organization's annual budget. The school enrichment program, funded by the PTO, brings in authors and drama companies to the school and includes an annual class field trip.[6]

The school has held an annual "Back to School Family Picnic" in September. There are competitions among classes, with prizes for boys and girls, making all participants winners. Events include a sack race, "balloon pop race", a water-balloon tossing contest, a tug of war, and the launching of 20 silver balloons (one for each classroom) with postcards attached.[7]

Ox Ridge School[edit]

View from Ox Ridge School parking lot

The farthest north of Darien's elementary schools, Ox Ridge School sits behind a small, private equestrian estate. The school's Kids Care Club puts together "Holiday Hope Chests" — decorated shoe boxes with small gifts — for children served by Norwalk's Family and Children's Agency. The students give out the gifts at the agency's annual Christmas party.[8]


  1. ^ "Know Your Town Government: Darien, Connecticut" booklet published by the League of Women Voters of Darien, 20 pages, 2006 edition
  2. ^ a b c [1] state Department of Education's Strategic School Profile 2005-05, for Darien School District, accessed March 13, 2007
  3. ^ Prevost, Lisa, "A Haven for Both Sailors and Commuters,", The New York Times, December 14, 2003. Accessed July 14, 2003.
  4. ^ Buono, Steve, "Huge Specimen" is Rangers' giant asset", article, The Darien Times, June 26, 2003, accessed via NewsBank Web site (www.newsbank.com), accessed November 15, 2007
  5. ^ Durland, Ann, "A look back at the Darien that was Along the Way", The Darien Times, March 15, 2007. Accessed via NewsBank November 15, 2007.
  6. ^ News brief, "'Royle Wrap Up' underway", The Darien Times, September 25, 2003. Accessed via NewsBank November 15, 2007.
  7. ^ "Royle School students have a blast during the annual 'Family Picnic'", no byline, article in The Darien Times, October 2, 2003. Accessed via NewsBank November 15, 2007.
  8. ^ "Kids Care Club: Makes holidays special for others", Darien Times, December 6, 2007, p. 1C.

External links[edit]