EAST HANOVER, NJ - On September 5th, the classrooms of Frank J. Smith Elementary, Central Elementary and East Hanover Middle School became full for the first time since summer vacation ended. On that morning, school leaders, such as Superintendent Natalee Bartlett, personally visited each school to greet students as they got off the buses and made their way through the school doors.

“The schools are the center of a caring community,” said Superintendent Bartlett. “We want our children to feel wanted and protected. We want the whole community to be present when we open. This sets the tone for the whole school year.”

Also coming to greet students and ensure a safe first day of school were members of the East Hanover Police Department, including Chief Chris Cannizzo. “Public safety and working with the schools is our number one priority,” said Chief Cannizzo. “We love working hand-in-hand with the school district and we look forward to another great year.”

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And the school leaders themselves also looked forward to another great school year, whether in collaboration with the police department or any organization in the East Hanover community. “Having this connection is a strong bond and it creates a better environment for the kids,” said Stacie Costello, principal of East Hanover Middle School. “We will go above and beyond for the students.”

And indeed, it’s safe to assume teachers and staff are going above and beyond for the students as new things come to the schools. These new things include district-wide facility initiatives such as upgrades to HVAC systems, ceiling retiling, beautification efforts to grounds at all schools, and cafeteria upgrades with new lunch providers. And among new programs and classes, the East Hanover School District has been exploring new programs and initiatives that focus on social and emotional learning.

“We try to live with our motto, #WEAREEH,” said Superintendent Bartlett.

And the students themselves, though they always wish the summer would last much longer, were also looking forward to another exciting year at school, such as 13-year-old eighth grade student vice-president Thomas Callanan. “I’m a bit nervous and don’t know what to expect, but am looking forward to this school year,” said Callanan.

And 13-year-old eighth grade student president Isabella Kowalski wanted to get things started already at her middle school. “I’m excited to be back,” said Kowalski. “We’re going to do a lot of things in council with new events.”

School hours for Frank J. Smith Elementary are from 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. School hours for Central Elementary are from 8:35 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. School hours for East Hanover Middle School are from 8:00 a.m. to 2:46 p.m.

For more information on the East Hanover School District and their latest events and activities, visit the school district website at https://www.easthanoverschools.org/.