Groton students headed back to school Wednesday, and staff reported all went smoothly, despite consolidating from three middle schools to two and shuffling many children and staff.
, compared to 250 last year. . Both schools took in students that had previously attended Fitch Middle School, which closed in June.
Principal Robert Pendolphi said the new students were greeted by faculty they recognized.
“I think that eased them and they felt very welcome coming in,” he said. About half of the 50 staff at Cutler are new.
There were a few bus snafus. About 25 children from West Side didn’t get picked up so they arrived late; all were in school within about 40 minutes.
The portables for both middle schools weren’t ready for the start of school, so classrooms had to be juggled some.
Andy Ilvento, an alternative education facilitator at West Side, said sixth graders waited for the start of school in the courtyard outside unless they were eating lunch, and that eased the congestion.
But he said other than some new faces, it wasn’t that different. “I think we’re all very relieved and happy,” he said.
Among elementary schools, one child from Claude Chester got on an early bus and wound up at Cutler Middle School instead. A bus driver transported the boy back to the elementary. He was not upset, staff said.
At , classes began as usual although the rooms had been emptied and reassembled for the summer to remove asbestos floor tile.
“I’m so proud of my classes and my teachers." Principal Monica Franzone said. "It just looks stunningly beautiful,”
Said Damien Rothbart, 5: "First grade rocks."
“First grade rocks,” he said.