By Terry Rogers
On Monday, August 22 and Tuesday, August 23, Milford School District (MSD) students returned to the classroom for the 2016-17 School Year. Students in grades six and nine began school on Monday while other grades started on Tuesday. Milford LIVE social media pages were filled with photos of the first day of school photos taken by parents as their children prepared for the upcoming school year.
The different start days were decided by the Milford School Board in order to allow sixth and ninth graders, who were moving into a new school to become acclimated to their new school building. Elementary students are not required to change classes as students are starting in sixth grade. The Milford Central Academy and Milford High School also have layouts that can be confusing to new students. The Board felt that giving students entering those schools for the first time a chance to learn where each class was without crowded hallways would make the transition easier.
“Our sixth graders and ninth graders had a rewarding transition day experience, led by our Central Academy and High School staff,” Dr. Kevin Dickerson, MSD Superintendent, said. “This helped them have a successful first day with the entire student body the next day. Morris [Early Childhood] exhibited their caring, nurturing reputation with first-time pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students while Ross, Mispillion and Banneker staffs facilitated successful first grade transitions into new schools.”
Parents throughout the district posted on social media with a common theme, most wondering how their “babies” had gotten so big. “Hard to believe my baby is a sophomore in high school! Where has time gone! To think he will be driving this year! Good luck on your first day as a sophomore,” posted Tracy Grose with a photo of her son, Lawrence “Larnie” Grose.
Sheri Messick posted that she did not even know what to say about the day as her son, Tyler, headed off to Middle School. “When did he grow up,” Ms. Messick said. “He said, ‘Mom, I’m going to have a good day and I love you” and off he went!”. Amber Messick posted a photo of her son, Avery, as he stepped off the school bus from his first day at Kindergarten. “He made it!” she said in her post. “He says he’s going back tomorrow.”
Superintendent Dr. Dickerson said that the first week of school was “outstanding.” He said that faculty and staff enjoyed welcoming students back and seeing them fill the schools, from the youngest at Morris to the mature learners at the High School.
“We thank our families for entrusting us with their children’s education and allowing us to educate such wonderful students,” Dr. Dickerson said. “Having an early start this year, we also thank our families for helping us get our students into our schools on time for productive school days. Contributing to our outstanding start was the involvement of our families, students and educators at our open houses. We had overwhelming attendance and participation at Morris, our elementary schools and the Central Academy prior to the first day.”
Dr. Dickerson said that he is very proud of the custodial and maintenance staff for working together to get the schools looking “great” for the first day. He also commended the Child Nutrition Department for their hard work over the summer as they are feeding more breakfast and lunch meals to students than ever before. Dr. Dickerson said that the department worked throughout the summer to implement new programs such as grab and go breakfast, to increase the number of students receiving meals at school this year. Dr. Dickerson also commended the Transportation Department for providing bus stops for all students prior to the first day, adjusting routes to accommodate new enrollees and for transporting students to school safely. He said it was a very smooth beginning from a transportation standpoint.
“Our expectations are for us to continue building off this start with a great school year,” Dr. Dickerson said. “We are confident that high-quality teaching, support and learning will be prevalent throughout our schools each day. We expect that our students will continue to grow as learners and individuals with increased numbers of students achieving grade level standards, being prepared for the next grade level, graduating prepared for successful post-secondary schools and career experiences and being excited to be students from Milford School District.”
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