It’s only a little over two months, but kids can do a lot of growing over summer vacation. Next week, they head back to school, most of them a grade higher than they were in June, some of them maybe an inch taller, too.
“I am always excited to see the students and how they've grown and what they've learned over the summer,” said Jan Epstein, principal of Waterville Elementary School.
All students attending schools in the Lamoille North Supervisory Union start their first day of classes on Monday, Aug. 26, bright and early at 7:30 a.m. The school district has the most recent bus schedule at bit.ly/2MsDaSj.
The long Labor Day weekend breaks up the first two weeks of school into four days each, during which kids will get acclimated to their new classrooms and teachers, and vice versa.
The five elementary schools in the district — Cambridge, Hyde Park, Johnson and Waterville elementary and Eden Central School — all have various events scheduled for the first week to ease into the year.
So does Lamoille Union High School, said principal Brian Schaffer.
“The first day, and largely the first two weeks of school, will focus on establishing tendencies and patterns for a successful school year,” Schaffer said.
Many students participated in summer classes of some sort, often with trips to the Robtoy Farm in Cambridge, where the Green Mountain Technology and Career Center has its sustainable agriculture and food systems classes.
“Students really seemed to enjoy all the activities at the farm and learning about how farms work,” Epstein said.
Eden Central School principal Melinda Mascolino said the Robtoy relationship will extend into the school year for other schools besides the tech center.
“Along with the whole district, we are increasing our farm to school practices by having monthly taste samplings and by taking field trips” to the farm, Mascolino said.
Mascolino, Epstein and Lamoille Union High school principal Brian Schaffer responded to requests about the first few days of school in time for the press deadline.
They said that, in addition to new students — or older students in new classrooms — their schools will also introduce new teachers and staff.
Waterville has a new kindergarten paraeduator, Vanessa Tourangeau, as well as a pre-k para who will be shared with Johnson Elementary School, Amy Maher. The school also has a new “climate coordinator,” Julie Kozac.
Eden has a bevy of new faculty and staff: 4th grade teacher Angie Baitz, physical education instructor Judith Wine, administrative assistant Lisa Vanat, speech and language pathologist Kayla Zakrzewski, and kitchen coordinator Bonnie Blaisdell and her assistant, Naomi Roberts.
The high school has five new teachers: Scott Brown, driver education; Matthew Girouard, math; Daniel Johnstone chorus; Keith McKenna, English; and Amy Urling, science.
Schaffer said he expects high school enrollment to be “similar to recent years; right around 490 students.” Mascolino also expects the same at Waterville, approximately 90 students, “but more may enroll this week.”
Eden didn’t have numbers yet, but Epstein said, “Our enrollment is roughly the same and has been on an upward trend the last three years.”
When asked what he’s most excited for, Schaffer said, “To get things started. We miss our students and look forward to their return!”