RANDOLPH - Students of the Randolph Central School district had only to make it through one school day before the weekend.
While most area districts started classes earlier in the week, Randolph welcomed students and staff back for its first day of classes Friday. According to Kim Moritz, district superintendent, holding off until the last day of the week to begin classes is the preferred course of action for Randolph's teachers.
"The teachers like having the first day on Friday," Moritz said. "Originally, we did it a couple of years ago because the schedule dictated it, and it went well. The first day has a lot to do with rules and routines and giving out materials, and then they come in fresh on Monday and get right to work."
Pictured from top left: Randolph superintendent Kim Moritz welcomes students in front of Chapman Elementary School as they make their way into the building; fourth grade teacher Nikki Beaver and her daughter, Lilly, who is beginning prekindergarten; and speech pathologist Brooke Patterson and her son, Parker, who is starting kindergarten.
P-J photos by Gavin Paterniti
Moritz could be found greeting Randolph's younger students and their parents as they filed into Chapman Elementary School. As with most other area districts, Moritz classified the back-to-school transition as a "smooth" operation.
"It's a good day for us," she said. "Everyone's happy and positive. I only saw one child crying this morning, so that's successful. (The students) seem really happy to be back. With pre-K you're talking about 4-year-olds, so every year I'm aware of the 4-year-olds and wondering how they're going to handle it. But this year looks like a really smooth opening," Moritz said.
"Maybe knowing that their friends in other districts went back a little sooner made them more excited to get here today," she added.
As classes kick into full gear next week, Moritz said students can expect little change in the way of curriculum, as the district has been transitioning into the Common Core Learning Standards in recent years.
"This is our third year implementing things like local assessments, such as i-Ready (online learning instruction)," Moritz said. "Our teachers came in a lot over the summer and did work on the Common Core by grade level in module work. So we looked at whatever modules were available. We've also ordered all of the materials necessary for the modules and those are in. So teachers are getting a look at those things."
The standards are a U.S. initiative that seeks to bring diverse state curricula into alignment with each other, while preparing students from college and career readiness. Although it was introduced in 2009, the 2012-13 academic year was the first in which New York schools were tested on the new standards.