September 3, 2013 at 10:15 PM
WESTFIELD, N J — Westfield Public School students returned to their classrooms Sept. 3 for the start of a new school year that features 35 different revised curricula and hundreds of new computers for students and teachers in the district’s 10 schools.
In her August 30 welcome message to the community, school superintendent Margaret Dolan said the district has planned a “stimulating, safe and supportive” year ahead for its students. (Watch it here.)
With the hiring of 53 new teachers, the system is fully staffed, and Dolan noted that she is “delighted” to welcome the hundreds of new students to Westfield.
For sixth grader Leanna Prip, moving to Edison Intermediate School brought worries about getting lost in a larger building, but her first day went smoothly.
“I like having lockers and switching [classes],” she said. “It’s better than staying in one classroom.”
Jefferson Elementary School Principal Jeanette Munoz was eager to roll out her school’s new Healthy U initiative this year, which includes more nutritious lunch options and a new focus on fitness.
“We’re now in our second year of Teacher’s College Readers and Writers workshop, and all the teachers will be trained in that,” she noted.
Munoz added that Jefferson received 30 new iPads for teachers and students to use thanks to support from the Parent Teacher Organization.
Throughout the district, many maintenance projects have been completed over the summer, and roof replacements at Westfield High School, Roosevelt Intermediate School and Washington Elementary School are being finished, Dolan said in her August 30 statement. Any further work on the roofs will be done when school is not in session.
In addition, the Westfield school district installed its own fiber optic network this summer that will increase speed and expandability while keeping monthly network costs down.
The system’s technology initiative will also make 350 new computers available to its students.
Westfield Public Schools will be closed on Thursday, Sept. 5, and Friday, Sept. 6, in observance of Rosh Hashanah and will reopen on Monday, Sept. 9.