Home-schooling group nears approval for Shelton location

From Seeds to Sprouts, a private education association, is one step closer to moving into new space at 60 Todd Road in Shelton.

From Seeds to Sprouts, a private education association, is one step closer to moving into new space at 60 Todd Road in Shelton.

Brian Gioiele/Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — Dozens of area children that are presently being home schooled may soon have a permanent facility to call home, at least during school hours. 

The Planning and Zoning Commission, at its meeting Wednesday, asked for drafting of a favorable resolution for creation of a Planned Development District at 60 Todd Road. The commission plans to vote on the resolution next week. 

The move, if approved, would allow From Seeds to Sprouts, a private education association that according to its website provides a "curriculum ... based on a general Christian worldview" to those who are "disillusioned" with schools but lack the means to home school their children, to open in the existing building on site.

This building had been part of a larger PDD request from J&L Enterprise, LLC, that included 86 apartments on a presently vacant portion of the property listed as 74 Todd Road. 

From Seeds to Sprouts last year had locations in Southbury and Seymour. The group announced its plans to move its Seymour location to Todd Road in Shelton, but the complexity of the plans — with the apartment component — delayed any final action. 

From Seeds to Sprouts would be in the existing two-story building that had long been home to Wonder Years Learning Center daycare facility. 

“We need a solution for these children,” said attorney Benjamin Proto Jr., who represents the developer. “The most important thing is to get these children in the building. We can deal with the development (of the rest of the property) down the road." 

Proto urged the commission for approval as soon as possible "so these children can have a normalized learning situation."

With that in mind, J&L Enterprise, LLC, decided to pull the apartment portion and resubmit a PDD request for the existing building so the commission could act quickly and get the association into operation as soon as possible. 

Several parents – and two children – spoke at Wednesday’s public hearing, calling on the commission to approve the plan.

“We really want to be in our building,” said 6-year-old Sebastian, reading a letter he wrote to the commission with mother by his side. 

Director Shawnee Scanife joined the parents and children in asking for a quick resolution to the matter. At this point, she said she has been forced to find other accommodations that have not been conducive to instruction. 

The children are home schooled, with some spending part of the day on site, others the entire school day. Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to about 3 p.m., with aftercare services running to 5:30 p.m. 

From Seeds to Sprouts is open to members only and serves children in grades Pre-K-4, with an aftercare program. Scanife said 85 children would be served on site, with six staffers. 

A private education association does not operate under the jurisdiction of any government agency. This is a private member association, according to the website, for “the purpose of education that establishes its own operating guidelines and is not under the jurisdiction of the state, local, and federal government’s laws and regulations."

The organization does not receive public funding.