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A look at opening day from Mr. Rich

For the most part, opening day went well. Like all first days, students looked forward to seeing friends, but were sometimes uneasy about their new teachers, classrooms, or buildings. By midday, however, everyone seemed to settle into a routine—although our Jarvis grades 7-8 students and CVA freshmen are still getting used to the layout of the high school.

Most disconcerting were the four elementary students who boarded the wrong bus at the end of day. They all arrived safely at home, but not with a measure of worry. Families trust us to safely transport their children each day and this is not a mistake we will accept. We expect that tomorrow every child will be on the correct bus.

I cannot begin to adequately thank our staff for all of their work over the summer, especially in these last days as we prepared for opening day.They did a phenomenal job converting our buildings from construction zones to places of learning.

This is a time of adjustment for everyone. Moving four buildings of students, staff, and furniture into three buildings is challenging. People have new room assignments and often share spaces. As I walked through the buildings, I witnessed teachers going out of their way to make students and fellow teachers comfortable in their new surroundings. Our directors and other administrators pitched in, meeting students at doors, answering questions, and doing everything possible to help students transition quickly.

A big challenge we faced is the change in traffic patterns at Barringer Road and Fisher elementary schools.

At Barringer Road, parents now drop their children off in the Moose parking lot. The grades 3-6 students then walk the supervised 100-yard path to the school.

At Fisher, the bus loop, as designed, is now at the rear of the building, meaning car riders now enter the building in the front. Unfortunately, we do not have space for our many drivers to line up along Fisher Ave. and Johnson Ave. In addition, that traffic would have been a safety concern for our village walkers. Drivers now use Johnson Ave. and Church St. to approach the school. They unload their children or park and walk children to the main entrance.

Neither situation is ideal, especially for parents who were previously able to drive close to the buildings, often to be met by school staff who helped with unloading children, lunches, and backpacks. We had administrators at both schools talking to parents and watching the traffic flow. We ask that parents let us monitor each site for a few days and look for solutions as needed.

Jeremy Rich
Superintendent of Schools