Some local students will see changes at their schools when they return today and Thursday.
None may be more apparent than in the Greater Johnstown School District, which is starting its grade-level grouping structure for elementary school children this week.
Superintendent Robert DeLilli said the new grouping is configured so prekindergarten, kindergarten and first grade children will go to Pleasant Avenue Elementary School; grades two and three will go to Glebe Street Elementary School; and grades four, five and six will go to Warren Street Elementary School.
Mayfield Central School staff member Laura Luck, center, escorts students Savanna Fisher, left and Rachel Williams to their classroom on the first day back to school at Mayfield Elementary School this morning.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
Warren Street Elementary School teachers and faculty discuss lesson plans Tuesday for the upcoming school year in Johnstown. Johnstown schools start Thursday.
The Leader-Herald/Arthur Cleveland
DeLilli said teachers and administrators are excited about this new setup.
"Last week, we had a welcome-back-to-school event, and it was very well attended. Parents and students are very excited to get back to school and start the year off on a positive note," DeLilli said.
Other big changes at the district will include the Freshman Academy, a program designed to help incoming freshmen move from junior high to high school "in a positive way."
"We will spend time reinforcing study skills and reinforcing skills that will help make them more successful," DeLilli said.
He said he is excited about the school year.
"Teachers were working very hard over the summer. The buildings and grounds [staff] were working hard over the summer. I think the staff are going to do a great job," DeLilli said.
Many local schools, including Johnstown and Gloversville,
are starting classes Thursday, but several districts - including Amsterdam, Wells and Mayfield - started today.
Mayfield Central School Interim Superintendent A. Paul Scott said, "There has been extensive effort on the behalf of our two schools [for the school year]."
Scott said this year, more funding was available for English and math.
"We will have some added capacity for students who have been identified or will be identified as the year unfolds as needing additional assistance," Scott said.
Northville Central School Superintendent Leslie Ford said she is feeling positive going into her first year as superintendent.
She said the school year already was starting out well, with the elementary school removed from the state's list of "focus" schools, which are schools that need improvement.
"It means we are making progress," Ford said.
Ford said the district is still going over its goals and how they may fit in with state standards.
Ford said interdisciplinary unit planning is being developed for the secondary school.
Fonda-Fultonville Central School Superintendent Ray Colucciello said staff members Tuesday were in training, learning how to properly use a new computer system for classrooms.
Colucciello said more than 400 new computers were added to the school for the 2014-15 school year.
Colucciello also said the district will spend more time focusing on English and math for fifth through eighth grades this school year.