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The First Day of Classes was a Success
Students returned to classes Thursday at Unadilla Valley Central School and the day was marked by enthusiasm, a little fun and the start of a year administrators said will be a great one academically.

"We’re really excited about it. The custodial staff did a great job getting the building nice and tidied up,” Secondary School Principal Frank Johnson said. “Our teachers hit the floor running today.”

Although there are no new programs at secondary school, there will be a new emphasis on how teachers teach and students learn.

“One focus for teachers this year will be building better relationships with other faculty and students,” Johnson said. “We moved 22 classrooms this summer because we are doing a big renovation project that is supposed to start at the beginning of the calendar year.” 

This move allows for departments to be consolidated in the same wings.

“We have opportunities for a lot more collaboration amongst staff and department, in addition to that we have made a scheduled shift from teachers teaching the same grade level,” Johnson said.

For example, instead of having one teacher teach all ninth grade English classes, multiple teachers will teach each grade level class.

“I think we are really excited about that. I think that our real focus is on collaborative meetigns, how we look at data and how we provide intervention for students who need it,” Johnson said. “Not all kids learn at the same speed not all kids learn in the same way and we need to ensure that all students achieve high levels of learning."

At the Elementary School, new returning students were reunited with friends from last year and the dozens of new students learned their way around and met future friends.

“Our first day was super,” said Elementary Principal Christopher Harper. “The students make the school and that’s why we are all here.”

There are a lot of new things happening at UV Elementary School this year, Harper said. A new program, “One District, One Book,” will launch in October and run for six to eight weeks. The program involves nearly everyone in the elementary wing reading Charlotte’s Web – this includes faculty, staff and students. Harper said that even some representatives from businesses in the community will be reading the book and looking to engage students when they see them outside of the school day. It’s basically one giant book study.

“We’re really excited about that,” Harper said.

In other developments at the elementary school, an early learning program called, “Early 3” is planned. The program is geared toward the district’s youngest children – those not old enough for pre-kindergarten - and their families.

There are also a number of new faces among faculty and staff throughout the building. They include:

Shana Bugyi, 6-8 Special Education, Secondary
Shannon Cameron, Science Teacher, Secondary
Kirsten Figary, Occupational Therapist
Aimee Slagle, English Teacher, Secondary
Christine Thomson, Second Grade Teacher, Elementary
Garrett Mackey, Licensed Teaching Assistant, 4, 5, and 6 Grades
Renee Stanford, Licensed Teaching Assistant, Secondary
Allison Stevens, Long-Term Substitute for Science, Secondary
Stacey Kline-McDermott, Director of Pupil Personnel Services (Stacey has been a Special Education teacher/Administrative Intern at UV)

Support Staff
Sarah Anderson, Food Service Helper PT
Linda Martin, Food Service Helper PT
Renee Sickmond, Food Service Helper PT
Darien Scheuerman, Maintenance Worker (Darien joined UV in June)
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