Principal's Page

Welcome to Samuel Staples Elementary School! I am very much looking forward to working in partnership with you. The best results for our children happen when we work together, developing happy, imaginative and caring individuals. 

Kimberly Fox Santora, Principal
Kimberly Fox Santora, Principal     Email:  kfox@er9.org

I bring with me much experience at the elementary level. I was a classroom teacher in grades 3 and 4 for many years in Westport, Connecticut before I moved into school administration in nearby Weston. In each of these assignments, I remained dedicated to continuing my professional development by studying the research around curriculum, instruction and assessment practices. My drive to provide students with the finest education is strong and has always motivated me to stay current in the educational research.

I believe that our responsibility is to the whole child; to his or her academic, physical, emotional and psychological well-being. Our efforts to collaborate need to be at their strongest when our youngsters are in need. Achievement of excellence can be stifled when we define too narrowly topics and opportunities for communication.

Part of my early learning has included some research about Samuel Staples himself. I would like to invite you to explore our website and discover for yourself the many wonderful reasons we think our school is so special. Our colorful history, innovative approaches to integrating arts and technology within the curriculum, the caliber of our professional staff and our tradition of strong connections within the community create a rich and unique educational experience for our students.

History

Staples Free Academy - Early 20th Century

Mr. Samuel Staples, the benefactor for whom our school was named, was a hardworking farmer and canny investor. Owning 1128 acres, Mr. Staples rented and leased part of his land to tenants and sold some to new residents. Before his death in 1787, he left a large portion of his estate for the establishment of a school of higher learning where the poor, as well as the comfortably rich could send their children. Wanting very much a free school in the parish of North Fairfield (now Easton) near the meeting house, Staples Free School was founded in 1795 in the Greenfield Hill area. After one hundred years of service, the school had to close due to sorry conditions of financial affairs. It is now the social hall of the Easton Congregational Church.

In the 1930s, the Staples fund was reactivated. The Supreme Court was petitioned to change the purposes for which the Trust was created so that the income could be used for the granting of college scholarships to Easton boys and girls. Since 1938, annual college scholarships have been granted to Easton young people as the Fund permits; and more recent contributions have increased its usefulness. Thus the Staples Free School idea, created nearly two centuries ago by Samuel Staples is being perpetuated by Easton people of our day.

The new Samuel Staples Elementary School that we occupy today opened August 31, 2005. The school is situated in a large open meadow, reminiscent of the farming property Mr. Samuel Staples once owned. The architectural design is uniquely congruent with the image of a barn, which blends so well with many of the homes in Easton.

We have multiple sections of every grade level K-5. We also have dedicated space for our early intervention preschool and related services. Our facility includes 2 gyms, 3 art rooms, 3 music rooms, a media center, computer lab, and several ancillary rooms that offer smaller space for small group or individual instruction in the areas of reading, speech, special education, as well as OT and PT.

Staff

Throughout the years, Staples has cultivated a fine reputation for its high caliber staff. Our accomplished teachers reflect the best practices research supports today. Always seeking ongoing professional development, our teachers continually strive to learn the current thinking related to curriculum, assessment and instruction.

Serving under 600 students, our staff is committed to providing our students with the finest education. At any given grade level, class size can range anywhere from 16-21. Teachers offer much variety in their instructional grouping of children. Groups are flexible in their design and can reflect ability, interest and choice. Each year, we continue to become better skilled at differentiating for individual and group needs. In order to keep instruction dynamic, our staff collaborates regularly, as we view one another as educational resources.

Curriculum

As we help students make deeper, more meaningful connections to concepts we introduce, our work with integrating the curriculum is substantial. We pride ourselves on using the arts to celebrate and validate student voices as they develop meaning. Our arts program has gained strength since our relationship with the Connecticut Commission on the Arts through the Higher Order Thinking School Program (HOT) since 1993. Our effort to integrate the arts continues to evolve, but remains authentic as we help students develop strategies for learning. The addition of state-of-the-art technology and full internet and network access for each classroom has enabled our students to enhance their learning experiences through daily interactions with online materials and resources.

Community Connections

With the goal of keeping learning dynamic, we maintain strong connections with our community, searching for ways to make learning seamless. It is through these partnerships that we create authentic learning experiences for our students. We recruit parent volunteers regularly, developing the understanding of Parents as Teachers. We work together to support our students as they begin to make sense of how communities work and how they fit within the community.

We believe all students are deserving of a warm and inviting school, where individuality, creativity and hard work are recognized as pillars of strength. We provide our students with challenge and opportunity. Our pride for Samuel Staples Elementary School is genuine because we know it to be a special place.

Kimberly Fox Santora, Principal
Samuel Staples Elementary School

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