Albert Leonard Middle School
New Principal Camille Edwards Thomas set a warm and welcoming tone at Friday’s orientation for the entire ALMS community, a tone consistent with her focus on social and emotional wellness. This approach was reflected in the excitement of the ALMS administrative team, teachers, and staff, as well as 1,100 students. The PTA was delighted to welcome Edwards Thomas and looks forward to a wonderful year of dedicated work and excellence that advances our children and community. Orientation featured staggered grade-level sessions that enabled all students to have a brief presentation in the auditorium and a school tour afterward. The excitement of having students back in the building was felt by all!
Barnard Early Childhood Center
The Barnard Early Childhood Center welcomed over 450 Barnard BATs. (Bats are Barnard’s mascot, but BATS also stands for Be Attentive, Be Tolerant, Be Safe.) Students in kindergarten through grade two enjoyed various get-to-know-you activities in their classes and took a tour of Barnard with their teachers. Half of the school’s prekindergarten students and parents came to meet their teachers and tour the school so they’ll be ready for the first day of prekindergarten on Wednesday, Sept. 15. The other half of prekindergarten students will meet their teachers Monday due to social-distancing requirements. On Tuesday, all prekindergarten parents will attend an orientation session to get ready for the official start of school for Barnard's youngest BATs.
Daniel Webster Elementary School
The start of a new school year brings excitement and anticipation for all the good things to come, and Webster had a wonderful first day of school, Principal Melissa Passarelli said. It welcomed close to 500 students into the building, and teachers and staff greeted them with smiles, elbow bumps, and pats on the back. Making personal connections and creating a safe and nurturing environment begin on the very first day of school. Students returned from summer vacation, bringing their unique talents and interests to the school community. By 9:30 a.m. Friday, students were writing about their summer vacations, using dance and movement to follow directions, and learning mindfulness practices and techniques. “As principal, it is a privilege and honor to learn alongside such amazing students and teachers,” Passarelli said.
Davis Elementary School
Davis enthusiastically welcomed back nearly 660 students. The first day of school is like the first chapter of a story, in which students develop relationships and get to know each other and the school, said Principal Anthony Bambrola. He said several classes enjoyed creative introduction exercises that helped students identify what they have in common. These exercises are part of the District’s commitment to embracing diversity. Six new teachers at Davis also introduced themselves to students, and there was deep pride in the external school makeover that greeted students and families. These features include new blacktop, a new bus area, and new recess lines. “It was wonderful to see students and families, and the sunny day was a metaphor,” Bambrola said.
Jefferson Elementary School
Jefferson had a great start to the school year, Principal Kimmerly Nieves said. Students, parents, and families, and arriving buses, were welcomed. The PTA and school staff members also greeted parents and guardians, and security teams were on hand to reassure all that children’s safety is the school’s highest priority. Students then proceeded to the lawn. A brief introduction with teachers took place and attendance was taken. Once all gathered, classes moved into their classrooms to begin the instructional day. "There were smiles all over,” Nieves said, noting that 475 students were welcomed. One, first-grader Xavier, said, "I feel happy; I am excited to be here.”
Trinity Elementary School
Trinity Elementary School welcomed 850 students back to school! Scholars were enthusiastically greeted by Principal Michael Hilderbrand and escorted to their classrooms by teachers and staff members. Friday marked a unique return to school for many students who participated in virtual learning last school year. Scholars were happy to be reunited with friends and reconnected to their teachers. "I'm so happy to be here!" exclaimed a second-grader. Trinity teachers and staff couldn't agree more!
William B. Ward Elementary School
Approximately 1,000 attended the first day of school, and many classes took advantage of the nice weather to enjoy fun activities. For example, fourth-graders in Tanja Rolon’s class learned an important lesson: working together toward a solution, listening to one another's ideas, and making compromises are how to accomplish a goal. Students partnered to stack cups using rubber bands and string, not their hands, and did an amazing job. Earlier, Principal Franco Miele greeted excited students, and there was high interest in the school’s new Ward gear, being sold by the PTA. "What a great feeling it is to be starting school in person at the beginning of the year,” Miele said. “It’s the closest we’ve been to normal in quite some time. I know we are all smiling and ready to learn under these masks. Here’s to a productive, happy and healthy school year!"