Schools Open This Week
New teachers, facilities and longer hours for some students.
Local students will say goodbye to summer and hello to a new academic year as area children return to school next week.
At the Peddie School, a private high school in Hightstown, fall term classes begin Monday. Greeting the students will be five new faculty members, including two science teachers, two English teachers and a math teacher.
Cranbury School students return to school Wednesday and are facing an extended school day this year. The school day, which begins at 8:30 a.m., is extended to 3:15 p.m. Students can arrive before 8:30 a.m., and as early as 8 a.m. Students in grades five through eight should report to the cafeteria upon arrival to school, and those in kindergarten through fourth grade reporting to the auditorium. The main office’s hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesday marks the first day of school for students in East Windsor’s Hightstown High School, Melvin H. Kreps Middle School and four elementary schools (Grace Norton Rogers, Walter C. Black, Ethel McKnight and Perry L. Drew).
Approximately 5,115 students are enrolled in East Windsor schools this year, said Superintendent of Schools Edward Forsthoffer. In the schools there will be 37 new teachers including 13 at the elementary level, 15 at the middle school, eight at the high school and one district speech and language specialist.
At the elementary school level, the school district has designed magnet bilingual programs for students at Grace Norton Rogers and Ethel McNight.
“By doing this, our students will no longer be in multi-grade bilingual classes,” Forsthoffer said. “It is our belief that this will dramatically improve instruction for all of these students.”
Each elementary school will also now have a computer teacher, Forsthoffer said.
“The emphasis here will be on informational literacy,” he said.
The school district is in negotiations to become a satellite campus for Mercer County Community College, Forsthoffer said. Starting last year online, the district began offering dual credit courses where students can earn high school and college credit for the courses.
“This would not be an asset to our students, but also our community at large,” Forsthoffer said. “In the future, I hope to expand dual option courses so that some of our instructed classes can earn credit at both the high school and college level.”
At Hightstown High School, there will be a total of 1,435 students with 388 ninth graders, according to Alix Arvizu, the high school’s principal. New staff at the school this year includes Special Education/Math teacher Christina Bachar, Social Studies teacher Christopher Edwards, Business teacher Kelly Gaskill, English teacher Kathryn McKenna, French teacher Sarah Myers, School Nurse Kathleen Shaffer, Guidance Counselor Douglas Shunk and Earth Science teacher Todd Peto.
Two of the big events this fall include homecoming weekend Sept. 24 and 25, and a visit from a Jets professional football player during a school assembly Sept. 27. The school and its food service, Chartwells, won the visit from the player as a winner in the “Eat Right Move More” competition, a joint effort between the New York Jets and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to encourage healthy eating and lifestyle in New Jersey school children.
“I think it’s a great way to kick off the school year,” Arvizu said.
At Melvin H. Kreps Middle School, there will be 1,250 students this year, said Principal Lori Stein. There is a new computer lab and a noncompetitive intramural sports program is being brought back this year, Stein said.
The school has also brought on a sous chef, who will be cooking up new menus for the students, with the school menu featuring days that will offer special Asian, Mexican and Italian cuisines, she said.
“The lunch experience will be more exciting for the kids,” she said.