Fourth-grade students, entering this year, got a chance on Tuesday to meet their new teachers and see the classrooms they would be learning in all year.
When they return today – the first day of school – they'll be comfortable with the new school and environment. That was the purpose of the "meet and greet" day, which was initiated by about 12 fourth-grade teachers at the school.
"I think it's a wonderful way for the children to start with this day when they're loose and comfortable," said fourth-grade teacher Cindy Berkman, who herself went through the system and has been teaching at the district for three decades.
Lisa Natale, one of the parents who visited Berkman's classroom, said her daughter Samantha was excited for school to start, but at the same time she was a bit nervous about going into a new school building.
"It's great that they allow the students to come in," Natale said. "It puts them at ease."
Some of the students, who got to visit their classroom a day earlier, said they liked the couches by the book racks and were looking forward to sitting in them and reading a new book.
"I think it's going to be a good school year," said Grace Flandreau, who loves reading and learning new things at school. Her friend Olivia Waschenko agreed: "I like school because you learn new things every day."
Teachers, parents and students seemed equally excited for the new school year to begin. Angela Cantatore, a mother of four children, said that if she could summarize the school year in one word – it would be "madness" – madness in a good way. Yet, she makes it works, she said.
Berkman, who lives in Somers, said there is a number of new curriculum and activities she would be introducing to her fourth-grade students this year.
"No matter how many years you teach, it's great to have a new group of students and you hope to be able to encourage them to follow their dreams, foster their excitement into learning new things," Berkman said. "The bottom line is you really instill the fact they can be whatever they want to be."
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