It's All About The Journey ... Your Neighborhood School Profile: Springdale Elementary School



Jaguars ROAR!

It is Springdale Schools new slogan “  Respect, Outstanding effort, Acting safely and Responsibility.

Springdale Elementary School is a true neighborhood school in a close-knit community.  The Springdale neighborhood is known for its own distinctive character & convenience:  walkable streets, a bustling commercial village with various stores, restaurants, a movie theater & a  Metro-North station.


This school is rich with history.  Did you know:

  • Springdale began as a one room school house in 1855.

  • In 1895 there was a girls entrance and a boys entrance.

  • A new school was built in 1904 (see below) and the original school was moved and became part of the second story of a house now standing on Weed Hill Avenue.springdale-oldschool

  • Children used to take the trolley up Hope Street to get to school.

  • In the 1800s children used to play a game called œKitty Over at recess. One team would throw the ball over the building and if someone from the other side caught it before it bounced, he ran around and tried to tag someone to bring him back to his side. The game continued until no one was left on one side.


Springdale has a diverse student population and offers a variety of experiences that reach out to the schools community: Literacy Volunteers Program, Family Fun and Learning Nights, Springdale Neighborhood Clean-Up, and the Spring Community Art Show, just to name a few.

Springdales academic support initiatives include Readers and Writers Workshops, the Everyday Mathematics Program, Authors in Residence Program, Musician in Residence Program, Junior Achievement Elementary School Program, Chess Program and Lego League Program, among others. Partnerships, such as those with the Pitney Bowes Corporation for a tutorial program or the Stamford Museum for an inquiry-based science programs, also assist the schools educational efforts.

springdale-logoSpringdale has been recognized by the State of Connecticut as a œSchool of Distinction, and is one of Connecticuts most improved schools based on Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) performance. The School has also been recognized by the Fairfield Lone Pine program for exemplary student achievement.


It's All About The Journey ... Your Neighborhood School Profile: Northeast Elementary School


Northeast Elementary School is located in North Stamford and has approximately 625 students. Northeast is a Responsive Classroom Leadership School that focuses on integrating social skills with academic skills and school wide discipline through use of district leaders, a school-wide discipline policy, all-school meetings, and all-school field trips. The Responsive Classroom Program also includes Morning Meetings, Academic Choice, Guided Discovery, Rules and Logical Consequences, and Home School Communication. Enrichment and remedial programs are also provided.

northeast northeast-giraff

The school is close to the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, the Stamford Historical Society, and the Bartlett Arboretum. These institutions offer unlimited opportunities to the students at Northeast School. Students are exposed to the arts through direct instruction in the performing and visual arts, vocal and instrumental music, and art appreciation through a cooperative relationship with the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.


School Mascot

Northeast has a large bilingual program for Spanish-speaking students and is the home of the district's elementary Hearing Impaired Program. The school encourages everyone to attend the Signing Celebration in the spring when the entire school demonstrates their ability to use American Sign Language. Northeast also puts on an annual school-wide musical and other cultural based events.

It's All About The Journey ... Your Neighborhood School Profile: Newfield Elementary School


In the quiet residential neighborhood of Pepper Ridge in Stamford,  you'll find Newfield Elementary School - with approximately 625 students.

newfield-elephant newfield

Newfield is a Responsive Classroom Leadership School that focuses on integrating social skills with academic skills and school wide discipline through use of district leaders, a school-wide discipline policy, all-school meetings, and all-school field trips. 


According to the principal, Lisa Saba-Price,  Newfield has a strong focus on engaging our community this year, and very excited about their new partnership with Neighbors Link.  Students are learning at their own pace and are given the time they need to succeed and develop deep knowledge of subject matter. Newfield School staff works diligently to provide new ways for students to grow stronger socially and academically. This school strives to ensure each and every moment enables our students to enjoy learning and become strong 21st century learners.



In April 2015, KidsGardening.org officially announced that the Newfield Garden Program had been selected as a WINNER of the Jamba Juice œIt's All About the Fruit and Veggies" Garden Grant. Thirty youth programs were selected from over 400 applications for this year's award!

Student have won numerous academic awards as well as art and writing contests. Community organizations present informational programs to various grades throughout the year. Student Council is a vibrant philanthropic organization that serves the community by collecting funds, food, and other items for those in need. The school also has a mentor literacy program whereby individuals from the community meet with students to support learning as well as offer individual attention.



It's All About The Journey ... Your Neighborhood School Profile: Roxbury Elementary School

Respect   Ownership  eXcellence

Roxbury ROX with Good Character!


In this Westover neighborhood, Roxbury Elementary School is on Westhill Rd, across from Westhill High School which is on Roxbury Rd.., funny, is it?

Roxbury School is striving to build a positive school culture and help students demonstrate our character strengths. With approximately 625 students. Roxbury values academic excellence, teamwork, character development, college readiness and family engagement.

Roxbury, in partnership with a supportive community, inspires and prepares all learners through a challenging educational experience to achieve their full potential as productive citizens. The staff provides a challenging, yet supportive, environment. Teachers differentiate instruction to help students understand new concepts and to enable students to demonstrate their understanding of content in a variety of ways.

roxbury-school roxbury-sign The School Improvement Plan is focused on increasing reading and math proficiency in all grades. Roxbury also participates in instructional data teams to analyze and monitor student performance. In order to build and maintain a positive school climate, Roxbury has adopted Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). PBIS is a system that is focused on improving student™s academic behavior and behavioral outcomes. It ensures that all students have access to the most effective instructional and behavioral practices and interventions.

roxbury-statue roxbury-media-center roxbury-mascot

It’s All About The Journey … Your Neighborhood School Profile: K.T. Murphy Elementary School


K.T. Murphy School has successfully served the Cove community for more than a century. The school was originally known as the “Cove Schoolâ€, a one-room schoolhouse located on Weed Avenue. (The original structure, now a private home, still stands today.) In 1893, Katherine T. Murphy was hired as a teacher at the Cove School and was appointed principal in 1913. She remained as principal until her retirement in 1948, for 35 years! The name “Cove School†was changed to its present name “The Katherine T. Murphy School†in February, 1946. The school went through expansion & renovation over the years and K.T. Murphy reopened in 1990 after the last renovation, an integral part of this historic neighborhood.


K.T. Murphy today has approximately 550 students, strives to create a learning environment that encourages and enables each individual to reach their academic, social and emotional potential. K.T. Murphy is a Responsive Classroom Leadership school, which focuses on integrating social skills with academic skills and school wide discipline through use of district leaders, a school-wide discipline policy, all-school meetings, and all-school field trips. K.T. Murphy has also enjoyed a partnership with GE Capital for more than 15 years. Over the years, this partnership has provided students with many special opportunities such as a pen pal (ePal) program, one-on-one tutoring, field trips, and many classroom and school wide activities.


K.T. Murphy Elementary School welcomed new Principal, Sherri Prendergast this year. Prendergast is a Stamford native who has worked in the Stamford Public Schools for 24 years. She began her career as a kindergarten teacher at K.T. Murphy. In her welcome letter, she expressed her commitment and excitement of coming "home" to the school. She mentions KT Murphy has always been a school where forward thinking is at the forefront.

K.T. Murphy continues to look to the future, striving toward our goal of providing the best possible education for each and every student, also remains proud of the unique heritage.

It's All About The Journey ... Your Neighborhood School Profile: Julia A. Stark Elementary School



Character ... Strength... Focus - these are the key elements for education at Julia A. Stark Elementary School, which is located in the heart of Glenbrook in Stamford. The school has approximately 600 students and in 2015 welcomed Edith Presley as Principal and Joseph Claps as Assistant Principal.

Stark follows the Responsive Classroom school model, which focuses on integrating social skills with academic skills, and school wide discipline through use of district leaders, a school-wide discipline policy, all-school meetings, and all-school field trips. The Responsive Classroom Program also includes Morning Meetings, Academic Choice, Guided Discovery, Rules & Logical Consequences, and Home School Communication.

Stark also employs Positive Behavioral Instructional Support programs to build a positive school culture. Stark provides many after-school programs including Audubon Club, Broadway Kids Club, Dance, Hands-on Science, Animal Embassy, Sports Clinic, Computer Club, and Young Mariners.

glenbrook-sign julia-a-stark

High expectations, a rigorous standards-based curriculum, and adherence to best practices create an environment to support student achievement. The staff collaborates to improve student achievement and foster a caring, safe environment. The school is also committed to family-school partnerships. The PTO sponsors many educational and fun events for families. The School Governance Council works to improve communication and enhance family engagement.


Stark participates in instructional data teams to analyze and monitor student performance. Through these analyses, teachers identify student strengths and weaknesses, discuss strategies and determine a plan of action to increase student achievement. Students in grade 1-5 are invited to attend a before-school program to receive small-group reading intervention. After-school extra help in mathematics is also provided.

A true neighborhood school in the Glenbrook community!

It's All About The Journey....How To Make Your Yard The Envy Of The Neighborhood

Having trouble growing grass or just can't seem to get inspired? Here are some ways to make your yard the envy of the neighborhood, as well as living up to your expectations.

Get some Mulch


Sometimes quick and easy is the way to go. If you are having trouble growing grass or your front yard just needs something fresh, try mulch. It's not expensive, does not take a lot of time and brings a different look to the yard. You can then add flowers and bushes to give it something a little extra.

Other "Hardscaping" Options

Hardscaping Hardscaping3 Hardscaping2

If you find plain mulch a little boring - spark it up! Do some contouring with other mediums such as white pebbles, river rocks - let your imagination run wild. You can also get creative with design, have some fun!

Make a Wish!


Having a water fountain either in the front or the backyard can bring a whole new look and can tie your landscaping together. You can get one of these at any of your local hardware or salvage stores like United House Wrecking in Stamford. They can be pricey depending on the size but you can also find deals at outlets or flea markets. Some other decorative ideas include surrounding the fountain with lights so it is really an eye catcher at night.

Light the Way


Lighting is can be both functional and decorative and today, there are so many options! You can find these lights almost anywhere from the internet to high end stores and they can range in price from surprisingly inexpensive to over-the-top. From solar models to hardwired-your choice can really showcase your home in a different light.

On our next journey we will touch on how to make a

backyard your oasis.

It's All About The Journey ... 30 Mind-Blowing Sceneries That Totally Define Connecticut

Connecticut scenery is arguably some of the best in the United States. From mountains, to rivers, to rolling plains, Connecticut has a little bit of everything. In fact, we are known for having back roads so lush with greenery that you forget you’re on your way to work! See the beauty come to life on screen in these gorgeous photos captured by photographers during their travels through the Constitution State.



1. Mystic River



2. Wadsworth Falls, Middlefield

Patrick Franzis/Flickr

3. Litchfield

Christopher Wisker/Flickr


4. Short Beach, Branford

Michael Levine-Clark/Flickr


5. Fairfield Country Club

Alexander Rabb/Flickr


6. Hartford

ilirjan rrumbullaku/Flickr


7. Farmington River Valley

ilirjan rrumbullaku/Flickr


8. Southport Beach

Alexander Rabb/Flickr


9. Pine Creek

Alexander Rabb/Flickr


10. Indian Well State Park

Trenten Kelley/Flickr


11. Buttonwood Farm, Griswold



12. Old Saybrook



13. Collinsville

Patrick Franzis/Flickr


14. Kent



15. Lighthouse Point

Alexander Rabb/Flickr

16. East Granby

Doug Kerr/Flickr


17. Pine Orchard Pier, Branford




18. Rocky Neck State Park

Jay McAnally/Flickr


19. New Haven

Chris Lewis/Flickr


20. Tod’s Point, Greenwich

Vin Crosbie/Flickr


21. Talcott Village

Jill /Blue Moonbeam Studio


22. Pequonnock River Rail Trail

kenneth casper/Flickr


23. The view from Cobble Mountain



24. Sleeping Giant State Park

Michael Shaheen/Flickr


25. East Rock Park

Jack Says Relax/Flickr


26. Quinnipiac River

Chris Lewis/Flickr


27. Avon



28. Compo Beach, Westport

Matt Hintsa/Flickr


29. West Cornwall Bridge

Jay McAnally/Flickr

30. Hamden

Kyle Garrity/Flickr

Connecticut’s beauty is definitely worth talking about. Is it as pretty as you remember?

It's All About the Journey ... A Bedroom or A Spare Room for Spare Time?

One of the first thing buyers’ mention when purchasing a home is the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they want. No matter what the preference, when considering auxilliary bedrooms, certain things remain constant. Buyers usually hope to find bedrooms that will fit a double bed, dresser, possibly a desk and as much storage space as possible!

If your bedrooms satisfy those requirements, that's great...but what if your current living situation doesn't require one of the bedrooms to be used on a daily basis? Without changing structural elements, you could use that square footage to pursue personal interests or activities. Here are some easy ideas to turn that spare bedroom into a space you can enjoy until you’re ready to sell.

Media Room

small media room

A big flat screen TV, a comfortable couch and a nice stereo system can be just the beginning of a place to get comfortable and read or watch a movie. It can become a private space that allows you to get the television out of the living room and turns that space into a conversation and entertaining room.

Quiet Room or Library

small reading room

If you've collected too many books over the years and have no place to put them, a library can be a good use for a spare bedroom. It can also be used as a designated "quiet room" to meditate and relax in.

Home Office

home office

One of the most popular uses for a spare bedroom is a home office. Adding lights, furniture and desks can convert the space into a practical home office with privacy. Make sure you have a reliable internet or WiFi connection.

Home Gym

small home gym

No excuses! It’s right next door. Your workout routine can be personalized with any equipment you prefer. Medicine balls, treadmills, weights, or video workout routines can all be accomplished in the square footage of a spare bedroom.

Yoga Studio

yoga room

Another variation on the home gym could be turning a spare room into a yoga studio and save money by not going to someone else's studio. Find a large mirror, bring in a fan, your favorite yoga mat and you're ready to go. If you want to take your home studio to the next level, add hardwood flooring, a small TV to follow along with yoga instruction videos, and a radio.

Craft Room

portable storage for craft room

Whether you're knitting, painting, working on a stamp collection or want more room to work on your favorite hobby, a spare bedroom can easily be converted into a craft room.

Guest Room/Den

small guest room

It’s always great to have a dual purpose room. A daybed or sleep sofa will easily accommodate the occasional overnight guest. When you don’t have guests, it becomes a room to get away from it all and curl up with a good book or watch a TV show your significant other wants no part of!

Lounge/Study Area

study area

Setting up a spare bedroom as a lounge or study area eliminates overcrowding when both these spaces are allocated to individual bedrooms. The rooms are also dedicated for specific purposes making clean-up and organization a lot easier.

Music Room

music space

If you’ve ever wanted space in your home that’s devoted to music, turning a spare bedroom into a music room is a good idea. It can serve as an individual’s private space to spend time practicing or enjoying their own personal musical interests.

A spare bedroom doesn’t need to become a warehouse of stuff you don’t know where else to put. The good news is you don’t need a mansion to incorporate any of these ideas.

Every room can be a place to relax, rewind, and enjoy!

It’s All About The Journey … Powder Rooms - Small Spaces Capable of Making a Big Statement!

Powder rooms are intimate and private spaces that reflect the style of your home. They are also the great equalizers. No matter how large or small your home is, powder rooms (generally), are approximately the same size. Adding the right embellishments and detail provides another opportunity to show buyers you care about your home.

Here are some considerations:

Create a focal point

powder room vanity

Bath Before and After

pedestal sink

Your goal is to draw attention toward the sink area. One option is to apply a new paint finish to the existing cabinetry. This is usually more cost effective than changing out the whole vanity, sink and fixtures. Adding updated hardware can transform a standard cabinet to look like a custom vanity.

If the budget allows, a new countertop and sink can update a vanity that is in good shape. A great way to cut costs is to purchase a leftover piece of quartz or stone from a local distributor for a new countertop. They often have popular remnants in neutral colors leftover from bigger projects. The entire installation process can be done for a fraction of the cost of an entirely new custom vanity.

Adding a new sink – whether it’s a state-of-the-art vessel sink or an under mount sink or molded sink/counter combination can complete the entire design element.

Pedestal sinks are another cost effective option. Be sure there is adequate storage for additional toiletries nearby.



ceramic floor tile

Ceramic or porcelain tiles as well as natural stone floors are always popular choices in a bathroom, but if you have existing wood flooring, it’s not necessary to change. A powder room receives less traffic, and a properly treated wood floor can be resistant to moisture penetration and less prone to scratches.

half bath


A decorative framed mirror can serve to further accent the vanity. You can either purchase a new one, or a frame can be built around a wall mounted mirror using trim molding placed around the edges.

framed mirror in powder room

Just like any other space, lighting is critical. Changing out the fixture can add both style and mood to this intimate space (especially if you still have the old “Hollywood Lights†screaming 1970’s & 1980’s!). Consider sconces on either side of the mirror, or a light fixture above the mirror. If the only light source is on the ceiling, consider a stylish little chandelier.

chandelier in powder room hollywood lights

A fresh coat of paint on the walls goes a long way. Light and brightly colored walls are more reflective, making any space feel open and airy. Additionally, light colors amplify the effect of natural light. (which everyone loves!) The opposite can work as well, deep colors can give a rich and intimate feel to a small space.

light paint powder room dark paint powder room


Little Amenities Make a Big Impact

Toilet tissue dispensers can be hung on the wall, but should be up to date. Other options are to place some rolls in a pretty container (like a basket) or a toilet tissue stand near the commode.

Most people prefer to use hand cleanser out of a dispenser. A decorative dispenser is more sanitary and eliminates the mess of a bar of soap.

Placing luxurious hand towels nearby, either on a shelf or in a basket on the sink will create a spa like environment.

powder room accessories

A pretty rug in front of the vanity, beautiful bath accessories and a special piece of artwork is all that is needed to complete the picture and provide a lasting impression.

Toilet bowl brushes or plungers are not decorative accessories! Keep this little room clean and free of clutter. Store any necessary tools behind closed doors in an accessible location.

A waste basket should be convenient but not the center of attention.


A powder room can be a fun project to update! For a small space, it can make a big impact on buyers. Create something that will make you smile!