Parents walked away Tuesday night with an understanding of what is to come from this new school year as their kids get ready to embark on a new chapter in their educational lives.
Administrators from both put together a program for parents of students entering grades 6 and grades 9 which included a tour of the school and information on academics, athletics, dress code and other policies.
Middle School Principal Joseph Mastropietro told parents of the three rules the school wants to live by – to be safe, respectful and responsible. Mastropietro said safety is number one and he also wants students to be respectful of themselves and each other and middle school is also a time for students to learn to be responsible as they begin to ready themselves for high school and college.
He reminded parents that they too are part of the team and encouraged them to get involved through the PTSA.
High School principal Linda Simmons told parents the high school’s objective is to make sure every student is successful, not just academically, but emotionally, socially and physically as well. She said everyone on the administrative team is involved working together to problem solve, create ideas for the benefit of the students.
She introduced each member of the administrative team including the school’s four guidance counselors, child study team, the athletic director, vice principals, special services director who each shared information about programs at the school.
Kerrie O’Hagan, guidance who previously worked at the middle school level, is now overseeing grades 8 and grade 9. She told parents she will sit down with each students in the 9th grade to go over his or her academic plan for their four years in high school. She also spoke of the Naviance program which students will use in the personal finance class this year which will introduce them to career ideas and colleges they may be interested in.
Catherine Cassidy, vice principal for grades 6 to 12, went over the actual process for HIB reporting in addition to the separate talk on bullying given by guest speaker Drew Donofrio. Cassidy said if a child were to be involved in a reported incident, the parents of all students involved in the incident would be notified and students would be interviewed as part of the investigation. From there the school would have 10 days to complete the investigation and then 5 days later the parents will receive a note in regards to the results of the investigation.
Parents got an overview on lateness and absences from vice principal Nick Delcalzo. Lateness will result in detention and parents should also be aware of how many absences are allowed. More than 20 can result in the student not receiving credit, which he assured parents the school does not want to see happen. Illnesses are excusable, he said.
Mike Scuilla, athletic director, told parents students can bring a padlock to safely lock away valuables in the locker room during gym class to prevent theft. He also advised against body piercings because a student that refuses to remove a new piercing will result in getting a zero for the day. Gym class is graded predominantly on attendance in which case this could severely affect one's grade, he advised.
Parents were told of important dates to keep in mind which includes a community outreach night planned for Oct. 1 on the dangers of bullying.
Back to School night for the middle school is set for Sept. 12 and Sept. 13 for the high school.