School’s back in session (Slideshow)

Whether you’re back in the routine of packing your child’s lunch or you found yourself stuck behind one of the yellow busses on your daily commute to work this week, both instances are signs that the 2016-2017 school year has begun.

As the busses rolled in and some parents struggled to say their final goodbyes to their children, Sunnyside Elementary school students officially began their school year by walking underneath the annual arch of balloons which was placed inside due to tropical storm Hermine warnings.

Principal Amy Yost was all smiles Tuesday morning and said she’s eager to get the students back on track.

“We’ve got a great staff here and we’re all ready to begin exploring new opportunities for the students,” said Yost.

With the new school year bringing new opportunities for students to learn, for Sunnyside Elementary it also includes the addition of new staff members.

According to Yost, the school added a new alternative learning center which will be run by Shannon Leavy, a new music teacher Deborah Goldstein who will also be teaching at Shelton High School. Yost said she’s confident both new staff members will contribute to the school’s strive for success.

Yost clarified that the main goals set for the new school year are improving school’s state math scores as well as broadening the student body’s vocabulary through the collaborative effort called the “Vocabulary Project.” The strategic project aimed towards expanding students’ vocabulary by assigning a “Word of the week” each week and having them use it in conversation and sentences.

Superintendent of Shelton Schools Dr. Chris Clouet said the Word of the Week is just one of the efforts the city’s education staff is making to “build deeper thinkers.”

Clouet said establishing a healthy relationship with the students’ parents is also a key in successfully teaching students how to be successful in this new age of education.

“Parents are the first teachers and parents and teachers are partners,” said Clouet. “We need to respect parents and realize they’re the primary teachers for the kids, but then realize for the good of the children that our staff and the parents are partners in assuring success for the children.”

Letting go of a younger student proved to be tough for some parents early on in the school year, but Clouet and Yost confidently stand behind the abilities of Shelton’s education staff.

“We welcome parents in on the first day, but encourage at-the-door drop offs. We’re very open here, we’re actually a family here at Sunnyside. We just encourage them to trust in us and continue their support going forward to contribute to a relationship with the staff,” said Yost.

“Children are in good hands at all of Shelton schools as we are all top flight professionals who are committed to the wellbeing of the children,” said Clouet.

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