Newtown Public Schools

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Newtown Public Schools
Newton Public Schools Seal.jpg
4 Fairfield Circle South
Newtown (Fairfield County) Connecticut 06470

United States
District information
GradesPre-Kindergarten to 12[1]
SuperintendentDr. Lorrie Rodrigue[2]
Budget$92,130,000 (2012-2013 school year)[1]
NCES District IDNCES District ID 0902910
Students and staff
Teachers380.33 (on an FTE basis)[1]
Student-teacher ratio14.63[1]
Other information

Newtown Public Schools is a school district in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. As of 2013 it contained seven schools, with a total enrollment of 5298,[3] an increase of 1663 since 1994.[4] It comprises 2.64% of Fairfield county (0.53% of the state).[4] Teachers in the school district are paid more than average for the area, which has in the past led to complaints from neighbouring districts of staff being poached from them.[5]


The building that now houses Hawley School was built from donations to Newtown by Mary Elizabeth Hawley in 1921, and was in fact named after her parents. It was a modern building for the time, having as it did central heating, an auditorium, a chemistry laboratory, and fireproofing; however nowadays it lacks facilities with respect to other schools in the district, such as central air conditioning. By 1950, the school had become so overcrowded that an extension was built at the rear of the building and some of the old one-room schoolhouses were re-opened. The Newtown High School was located in this building from 1921 to 1953, when it was moved to a new building on Queen Street. The Hawley building was re-used as an elementary school, serving kindergarten to grade 8. The high school moved from Queen Street in 1970, and the Queen Street building became what is today Newtown Middle School, with the Hawley elementary school reduced to serving kindergarten to grade 4.[6][7][8]

The playground facilities used by Hawley School were once the Newtown Fairgrounds. They became Taylor Field, owned by Cornelius Byron Taylor, who donated the field to the town at the same time as Hawley donated the building.[7]

On May 10, 2013, a task force voted unanimously to demolish the existing Sandy Hook elementary school and construct a new school on the existing site.[9]

2012 school shooting[edit]

On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza shot his mother at home, then killed 26 people (20 children and 6 staff) and himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School.[10] It was the fourth-deadliest shooting in U.S. history, after the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting and the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, after the Virginia Tech shootings, and the deadliest of any U.S. elementary school.[11][12][13]

The Sandy Hook building did not reopen after the shooting; the school's student body resumed classes in the then-closed Chalk Hill Middle School building in nearby Monroe on January 3, 2013.[14] Donna Page, the school's former principal, became the interim principal, telling parents it was her "calling" to return after the tragedy. She was the principal for 14 years before retiring in 2010.[15]

Many residents of Newtown expressed support for turning the site of the shooting at the former Sandy Hook Elementary School building into a memorial.[16]

The township decided the most appropriate course of action would be to demolish the old school and build a replacement on the same site. Demolition took place in October and November 2013.[17] The demolition of the school was highly guarded and workers were required to sign confidentiality agreements to protect the victims and their families. The town accepted a state grant of $49.3 million to cover the costs of the demolition and construction.[18][19] The new school opened in August 2016.[citation needed]


Schools in the district
School Type Location Grades Enrollment
Teaching staff
Newtown High School High school Sandy Hook41°24′50″N 73°16′33″W / 41.414°N 73.2758°W / 41.414; -73.2758 9–12[3] 1,679 (2016)[20] 124 (2012)[3] Won Blue Ribbon school status[5]
Newtown Middle School Middle school Newtown 7–8[3] 897 (2012)[3] 70 (2012)[3] Previously the high school, see #History[6]
Reed Intermediate School Intermediate school Newtown 5–6[3] 895 (2012)[3] 55 (2012)[3] The school is named after John Reed, who was superintendent of schools in the district for 20 years.[21]
Hawley School Elementary school Newtown Kindergarten–4[3] 416 (2012)[3] 26 (2012)[3] Previously the high school, see #History[6]
Middle Gate School Elementary school Newtown 41°21′59″N 73°16′26″W / 41.3665°N 73.2740°W / 41.3665; -73.2740 Kindergarten–4[3] 480 (2012)[3] 33 (2012)[3]
Head O'Meadow School Elementary school Newtown Kindergarten–4[3] 369 (2012)[3] 24 (2012)[3]
Sandy Hook Elementary School Elementary school Newtown Kindergarten–4[3] 337 (2016)[22] 38 (2012)[23] Site of the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

- Old Sandy Hook school demolished after shooting

- New Sandy Hook school opened on August 29, 2016

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Cite error: The named reference nces_dist was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ "Newtown Public School District". Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s SM 2012b.
  4. ^ a b MD 1994, p. C—42.
  5. ^ a b Sperling & Sander 2006, p. 298.
  6. ^ a b c Patch 2012b.
  7. ^ a b Cruson 2012.
  8. ^ Cruson 2002, p. 30.
  9. ^ "Sandy Hook school to be demolished, new school built on same site (with reader reactions)". New Haven Register. Retrieved 11 May 2013.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Miguel Llanos (December 14, 2012). "Authorities ID gunman who killed 27 in elementary school massacre". NBC News. Associated Press. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  11. ^ "28 dead in school shooting". BBC News. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Live Video". CBS News. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  14. ^ "Sandy Hook to Go Back to School". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  15. ^ "Sandy Hook's 'New Old Principal' Donna Page Felt a Calling to Come Out of Retirement". ABC News. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Newtown to discuss future of Sandy Hook school building". Archived from the original on 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
  17. ^ "Newtown Sandy Hook school demolition: Every trace to be removed of crime scene". CBS News. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  18. ^ "Workers demolishing Sandy Hook Elementary School required to sign confidentiality agreements". Fox News. Associated Press. October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  19. ^ M. Alex Johnson (2013-05-11). "Task force recommends building new school at site of Sandy Hook massacre - U.S. News". Retrieved 2016-07-29.
  20. ^ "Search for Public Schools - School Detail for Newtown High School". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  21. ^ Patch 2012a.
  22. ^ "Search for Public Schools - School Detail for Sandy Hook Elementary School". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  23. ^ SM 2012a.

Reference bibliography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • "Newtown Schools". Newtown, Connecticut: past and present. League of Women Voters of Newtown. 1955. pp. 89 et seq.