Photo Album: Seneca Valley Heads Back to School
Wednesday was the first day of classes for students.
Dressed in their new fall finery, Seneca Valley’s students headed back to school on Wednesday.
“Everyone is in their Sunday best,” Dr. John Giancola, principal of Rowan Elementary, observed as he prepared to greet new and returning students.
Giancola also was wearing new duds, but his were anything but traditional back-to-school gear. Along with the rest of Rowan’s office staff, Giancola was wearing an apron. The look is part of “Recipe for Success,” the elementary school’s theme for the 2011-12 school year.
Giancola said he hopes part of that success will come from a new program called Intervention Care Time. A district-wide initiative for students in kindergarten through sixth grade, the program inserts 30 minutes into each school day where educators work with students on any subject where they may need help.
The modular classrooms also have disappeared from the elementary school. The district put the trailer-like structures up for sale in June, but Giancola said there weren’t any takers. The classrooms were demoed before the start of the school year, he said.
This is the first time in two decades that Rowan Elementary will have all its students under one roof. The classrooms originally were added to deal with the school’s growing student population.
Students also will start off the school year without a familiar face. After eight years as head of the district, Superintendent Dr. Donald Tylinski announced his retirement from Seneca Valley in May. Although his official last day is Oct. 1, Tylinski used vacation time to leave the district in late August.
Seneca Valley officials have been conducting interviews for Tylinski’s replacement. A new superintendent may be announced by October.
Back at Rowan Elementary, Giancola, teachers, volunteers, and paraprofessionals greeted and guided students to their new classrooms as they poured off the school buses. There also were a few tears that turned into smiles as some of the younger students left their parents and entered the school.
“Today is more exciting than the last day of school,” Giancola said.
Over at Haine Elementary School, principal Kyra Bobak also was feeling first-day-of-school jitters. She added she was so excited to start the school year that she hardly slept the night before.
“I still get that same feeling I did when I was their age and starting school,” she said.
Students entering Haine were greeted by members of the “Red T-shirt Club,” a group of volunteers from the Parent Teacher Organization who directed students to their classrooms.
School counselor Rozann Lamberto said Haine’s 40 new students also were paired with a buddy to help them navigate the school day. The new students also attended a family orientation at the school last week to introduce them to the district.
On Wednesday, the new pupils met their assigned buddies for the first time.
“We ask the buddies to introduce them to the other students and they’ll eat lunch with them and play with them at recess,” Lamberto said.
It also was the first day back to school for students at Haine Middle School, Evans City Elementary and Middle School, Connoquenessing Valley Elementary, and Seneca Valley’s high school, intermediate high school, and middle school.
Don't see your student? Want to show off your child's new duds? Upload your first-day-of-school photos to the site or send them to editor Jessica Sinichak at email@example.com. Welcome back!