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New Middle School Principal Readies for School Year

Joseph Mastropietro has been focusing on rewriting curriculum, character education and anti-bullying efforts and more as he prepares for the new school year.

New Principal has been spending the summer preparing for his new role and helping to get the school ready for the students who will enter through the doorways in another two weeks.  

is excited to serve as principal of the school he taught at for several years. He has been with the district for more than a decade teaching math at different grade levels in the . He also coached sports teams at the high school, including girls soccer.

He spent the better part of this past school year as co-assistant vice principal for grades 6 to 12 along with who is now the vice principal for middle and high school.

Among the many things he has been focusing on this summer including rewriting curriculum, fixing schedules, training, meeting new students and working with fellow administrators as they gear up for the new school year. 

He has been working closely with , high school principal, who previously served as principal, Cassidy, the athletic director and other administrators and the superintendent, who he says are all a great support system.

Mastropietro is looking forward to building a relationship with the whole community.  Most importantly he wants his students to know he is someone they can come talk to. He wants them to know he is someone that there will be there to help them be the most successful they can be.  He wants parents to know they can email or call him anytime and he will always get back to them as soon as he can.

He fully recognizes that there is a lot of social and emotional growth that happens during the middle school years. When he was growing up he remembers hearing from others that middle school doesn’t amount to much but he disagrees with that completely.

“Middle school is when a student really develops study habits, and the skills that will help a student become successful in high school, college and later in life,“ says Mastropietro. 

During these years there is also a little maturity where bullying can come in and the school will work to educate the students in the best way possible with character education, he explains.

Character education is one of the main focuses for this year as the district continues its efforts to combat bullying in the schools, especially at the middle school level. Mastopietro credits Cassidy for putting together the overall character education program for the middle and high school.

Stricter efforts are being put into the daily routine as well.  For example, cameras are being installed in the hallways and the boys in each grade level will have an assigned bathroom, says Mastropietro.

The sixth grade boys will use the bathroom on the first floor near the main office, the seventh grade will use the bathroom in the Middle School hallway and the eighth grade male students will use the second floor bathroom. The girls will not be assigned bathrooms by grade, he said. 

As for curriculum, Mastropietro says he plans to focus on writing and is rewriting curriculum to meet common core standards as opposed to state test standards. Also the recent introduction of pre-Algebra at the sixth grade level and Algebra in the seventh grade will continue as it is believed this has had a positive effect on the students’ success.

The school custodians have been working all summer fixing up classrooms which needed maintenance, says Mastropietro. The school’s media center has also gotten a makeover. Some of the book shelving has been removed and more tables have been put in. Part of the room can now be used for classroom space as well, explained Mastropietro.

It’s been a busy summer, he says, adding that students have also been in helping to put up the bulletin boards in the Middle School hallway, doing some decorative painting in the classrooms. Two high school students – Jenna Digiacinto and Grace Dequinzio – painted a mural in his new office. A scene of the many things that go in the school from music to sports with the words “Reaching Our Goals” at the top.

Aside from preparing for the school year, it really has been a busy summer for Mastropietro. He and his wife welcomed their first child, a baby boy, Joseph on Aug. 8.

He looks to forward to continuing what Linda Simmons started making the Middle School the best school it can possible be, he says.

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