Thursday, Sept. 4 marked an annual rite; Central Valley Schools opened its doors for the first day of school.
It was a busy day. Buses and cars filled the parking lots. Students looked for new classrooms, met new teachers, struggled with their locker combinations and caught up with friends they had not seen since last June. Pre-kindergartners, many escorted by a parent, walked into Fisher and Barringer Road with wide eyes, unsure of what lay ahead.
Although things were not always perfect, the day went reasonably well.
“We had 2375 students start school at Central Valley today. And other than some busing challenges, it was a smooth opening,” said Interim Superintendent Gary Tutty.
Much of the first day was spent getting everyone settled back into the school routine. Each school building held group meetings to take care of general housekeeping—reviewing school and classroom rules, handing out locker assignments and reacquainting classmates.
At Barringer Road, Principal Jeremy Rich held hallway chats. He brought all of the students into the hallway by grade to introduce the Barringer Road Shining Stars program. Students who demonstrate great behavior by following three simple rules—be respectful, be responsible and be safe—can earn a star that will be displayed in the school entry.
At Fisher, Principal Marsha Mays-Smith filled the gymnasium with all K-4 students to renew the Fisher Pledge, a promise to follow six basic rules. Each rule in the pledge begins with a letter F-I-S-H-E-R. She also unveiled a series of fish tanks purchased through a generous grant from Hannaford. The tanks are on display in the windows of the main office.
At Jarvis, Principal Melissa Hoskey held grade-level assemblies, introducing the Jarvis Journey. Again, this is part of a district-wide commitment to respect, responsibility and safety. She outlined this year’s school trips and other events and encouraged students to take part in the school’s many clubs and activities.
Finally at Central Valley Academy, Principal Renee Rudd held two school-wide assemblies. The first in the morning highlighted the school alma mater and introduced staff and covered school expectations. The second at the end of the day featured entertainer and psychic Robert Channing. Mr. Channing has performed nationwide and is a finalist on the television program, “America’s Got Talent.”
“Seeing all of these students and our talented staff reminds me how fortunate we are. Other school districts are struggling with cuts and trying to figure out how to do more with less. Instead, Central Valley is blessed to be giving students even greater opportunities this year than last, as the result of the merger. I’m looking forward to a great year,” said Mr. Tutty.