School Officials Readying to Submit Grant Application

Superintendent Janet Robinson says a she will ask for additional years of coverage due to the uniqueness of Newtown's situation.


Superintendent Janet Robinson says the school district's plan to apply for a grant through Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence) has almost come to fruition, although it's been delayed along the way as school officials decide what belongs in the request and what doesn't.

"We expected to have it done before, but things keep coming up that we think should be included," she said. She added that "nothing has been removed," although the district didn't include items it wasn't able to make a good rationale for.

At a Feb. 5 Board of Education meeting, Robinson had said the grant would go out within the week.

Robinson is in California today for the American Associate of School Administrators conference. While there, she says she will have a meeting with psychologist Melissa Brymer with the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress at the University of California-San Diego. Rymer previously worked on similar grant applications afte the Oklahoma City bombing, Robinson said.

She says the district expects to finalize and submit the application by Friday. Specific numbers won't be available for a few days. But there are a number of definites in the request.

"Anything related to recovery: What is it we need to recover?" she said. "We're looking at guidance counselors. We're looking at additional security people, so people can feel comfortable. We're also looking at a coordinator of mental health services."

The grant would also provide for a coordinator at the central level to handle the logistics of all the district's new intakes.

"It allows you to replenish some of those costs we're going through right this minute," like a replacement assistant principal, said Robinson.

SERV grants typically last for fifteen months, with a three-month extension.

"Because this is such a serious situation, we are going to ask that this deadline be extended to four years," said Robinson. "We can ask, right?"

Robinson says she isn't aware of the timespan for the grant ever being extended, especially by so long.

"This is unprecedented," said Superintendent Janet Robinson. "So we need to talk about unprecedented recovery."

Project SERV is a program of the United States Department of Education. It is designed "to help [schools] recover from a violent or traumatic event in which the learning environment has been disrupted," according to its web site.

Why? February 21, 2013 at 02:28 AM
Really Sam??? Look at your buddy Yoda.
Sam Mihailoff February 21, 2013 at 05:37 AM
now, was there Janet bashing before you made the statement or when I responded to it? The answer to that question would be NO... Are you a prophet, psychic or maybe YOU are in fact Yoda
Why? February 21, 2013 at 05:44 AM
Well Sam, look at the time on the comment. I wrote that in response to Yoda. I don't know why these posts are not in order.
Michael Cragin February 21, 2013 at 10:50 AM
very very few people could have handled themselves as well as she did....and is. She is recieving national accolades and they are well deserved. She is a verry presentable ..intelligent leader....we are lucky
yoda February 21, 2013 at 11:30 AM
Why, Little heads up, JR is on her way out, no need to bad mouth her! I would like to see some consistence for these kids!! Look at your buddy Yoda. ???? WHAT???
Why? February 21, 2013 at 12:44 PM
@Yoda Just look at your own post, why are you "bad mouthing" her if there is no need for it???????????
recourses February 21, 2013 at 01:54 PM
Since this has become a string of comments about Dr. Robinson, having nothing to do with the discussion of the SERV grant that she's trying to extend for her students, let me ask this: why are the vocal people like the Sams and Yodas so anti-Janet and so happy to see her booted out? It seems that the schools have been doing well. She hired Dawn Hochsprung, SHES was a Vanguard school, town test scores have gone up in her tenure, high school programs have flourished, administrators and teachers adore her, she's receiving some uncommon awards for her leadership, she's done an amazing job getting this town through, along with Pat Llodra. Please explain to me why some of the people on here feel they'd be so much better off with a different superintendent... Richard - Real name withheld - if the people who bash her on here are not representative of the town of Sandy Hook or Newtown, why is the town pushing her out? Why are the people of Sandy Hook and Newtown allowing the school board to push her out?
Sam Mihailoff February 21, 2013 at 02:41 PM
I did not bash Janet on this thread
Rebecca February 21, 2013 at 04:10 PM
I can't understand why Newtown wouldn't rally aroudn their Superintendent after this horrible tragedy under her watch! It is so inappropirate of your BOE chair to have publicly criticized in the last few weeks. There should be nothing but positivity and praise for having to lead a school system in unprecedented circumstances, nothing that education or work experience can pepare you for. If you want to keep your community spirit flourishing in wake of a tragedy, censure your Board Chair!!!!!!
carlistojoe February 21, 2013 at 04:47 PM
The one who should be pushed out is Debbie Leidlein. She is an embarrassment. At this time of coming togethor and uniting, she continues to harrass Janet. The latest was the non issue regarding the choirs. Americans came togethor after 9/11 but Leidlein, Roche, Yoda and others continue to promote their selfish agenda during this tragic time. Shame on you all.
Boggs February 22, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Bravo Janet.... UConn to honor Newtown's Robinson NEWTOWN -- Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson will be honored March 9 by the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education Alumni Society as its Outstanding School Superintendent of the Year. Robinson, who was hired in Newtown in 2008 after serving as a superintendent in two other state school districts starting in 2003, was selected for the honor for her work that occurred prior to the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that killed 26 students and educators and cast a national spotlight on the community and school district. Robinson will be honored at the 15th annual alumni awards dinner at the University of Connecticut. Robinson will also be honored by the American Association of School Administrators next month in Los Angeles, Calif. Robinson said she is humbled by the honors because superintendents do not do this work for accolades but for the love of educating children. "This is a bonus,'' she said of the awards. Read more: http://www.newstimes.com/local/article/UConn-to-honor-Newtown-s-Robinson-4294384.php#ixzz2LaLaqQ5u
yoda February 22, 2013 at 02:43 AM
@ Why, I don't pay her to travel the United States; I pay her to help my children. I am still waiting for a response back from two weeks ago??
Yay Write February 22, 2013 at 03:29 AM
Have you people been asleep at the wheel? JR needs to go.. What exactly did she do post 12/14? I never saw her.. I know for a fact that the BOE did not want her speaking to the press nor did she want to! Pat Llodra lead us! Don't mistake that fact. JR was nowhere to be found! Her PR skills are sub par at best. Remember she hired a PR person on your dime! She is a lame duck superintendent period! They wont renew her contract. I don't want her making BIG decisions that she wont be around to direct or take responsibility for. What is a fact --> no superintendent goes without a rolling 3 yr contract. It's time to move on!
yoda February 22, 2013 at 11:21 AM
Only One AGENDA on my mind, NEWTOWN!!!!!!!!!! BRING IT!!!!!
SusanR February 22, 2013 at 09:13 PM
where was JR after 12/14? You cannot be serious? You never saw her? You cannot be a SHS parent then. Where was she? She was meeting with victims' families, finding the best therapists for the surviving children of Ms. Soto's class, she was meeting with parents, she was preparing an annual budget, she was deflecting threatening emails from crazy people, turning down hundreds of interviews, she was meeting with teachers and union leaders, trying to take their concerns into her decisions, she was working with her staff and town leaders to move this community forward, all the while having politicians and meddling board members in her office. She probably hasn't had a day off (other than her father's death) since 12/14. I am proud of her as our superintendent. I cannot imagine any other person, either in an education or business world, who could juggle everything she's had to do with the calm and compassion as she's done it. All the while, getting attacked by some small, vocal contingent of people here in Newtown that are just happy being miserable. I know the board hasn't renewed her contract, but I hope they realize how great we have it with her - I guess I'm still holding out hope that my kids and their teachers will continue to have her as their leader.
Richard Hooker February 22, 2013 at 11:03 PM
Thank you SusanR. These people are NOT SHES parents, or unfeeling humans. She stepped up to the plate when our town needed her the most. Just ignore these people who bash her. They are selfish human beings.
yoda February 22, 2013 at 11:31 PM
University of Connecticut Neag School of Education Alumni Society as its Outstanding School Superintendent of the Year. Read more: http://www.newstimes.com/local/article/UConn-to-honor-Newtown-s-Robinson-4294384.php#ixzz2LflpME9h That’s like giving Jeffrey Dahmer a productive citizen’s award! What did that woman do for our town but belittle special ed parents, terminate our wonderful bus company, hire a PR for personal gain, never showed her goals and achievements, doesn’t answering questions from our BOE? As for all the funerals of our family’s, that is her job! She has done nothing heroic for our community, she all about furthering her career. JR one question to you how did you fail Adam???
Dart February 23, 2013 at 02:42 PM
@Yoda and the question "how did JR fail Adam Lanza?", the answer is she did not fail him. Janet Robinson started in Newtown in 2008. His mother pulled him out of the High school in 2008. He was not in the school when JR started as Superintendent. It has been well documented by now that his mother moved him from school, to home school, to St. rose, to the middle school to home, to the High school. and finally pulled him out for the last time in 2008. If you want to blame a superintendent for this (instead of his mother) blame Evan Pitkoff and John Reed as they were the Superintendents during the time Lanza was actually in the school system.
Douglas Brennan February 23, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Good decision by the BOE regarding the lack of leadership and bloating of the overhead under JR. However I take exception to the Board's decision to avoid testing this year. What could we possibly be afraid of? The results? Information? Data? A dreadful decision that will plague the district for years.
Marilyn February 24, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Now that's a stretch...your're going to go there with name blames? How about full blame go to the mother. She obviously didn't do him justice by moving here to begin with and aiding his instability by changing schools every second he reacted. Enough already...time to move on!
Dart February 24, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Marilyn, I am not "going there with name blames". On many posts, "Yoda" has stated that Janet Robinson "failed Lanza". I am simply pointing out that is not possible. I completely agree with you about the mother.
JR JR February 25, 2013 at 01:28 AM
Hey Long Time Resident keep my father out of it! Completely inappropriate!
Thomas Crafts February 25, 2013 at 10:37 PM
JR is the new Stratford super. Its oficial!
yoda February 25, 2013 at 11:52 PM
The sytem has been ignoring these kids who have emoitional issues for years!
yoda February 25, 2013 at 11:54 PM
L t r, If a ship sinks it's the retired captians fault?
Why? February 26, 2013 at 12:25 AM
So even if she leaves, everything will still be her fault! I hope you all find what you're looking for.
Dart February 26, 2013 at 01:45 AM
Sometimes it's the ship builder's fault.... Sometimes, if the retired captains had been ignoring issues for years, it could be partly their fault.,,,, And sometimes it is never completely understood because it is horrifically incomprehensible.
Dart February 26, 2013 at 04:00 PM
I think you misunderstood the point I was trying to make. It is as inappropriate as Yoda continuing to claim that JRobinson somehow "failed" the shooter. I don't think any of the superintendents failed, singling out one who was not in the position until after the mother took him out of the school system does not make any sense. Some posters continue to use this tragedy as an opportunity to bash Robinson. Now that she is leaving, it is a moot point. I didn't mean to insult or offend. Just trying to keep things factual.
Freddy February 26, 2013 at 07:13 PM
@yoda - I don't think she's done a terrible job post tragedy. My feelings about her were cemented during the items that you listed. I have no problems with her contract not being renewed and her understanding that it is time to move along to another district without us having to fire her and pay her severance.
Newtown Resident and Teacher February 26, 2013 at 10:09 PM
yoda, You said, "JR one question to you how did you fail Adam???" LongTime Resident is simply pointing out that a. You can't blame JR for a student who had been removed from the school system when she was the super, and b. If you insist on blaming a super, then the previous supers would be more appropriate to target.


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