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Tears, Smiles and First Day Jitters at Kindergarten Orientation

Parents divided on kindergarten pilot

Kindergarteners took their first bus ride to school Wednesday alongside their parents for orientation. Upon arrival at the, the students got in line for their assigned class and made their way to the room where they would begin their education.

With three lines formed, two were for half-day kindergarten and one was for full-day.

“I’m excited to meet the new group, and I look forward to the opportunity to expand (the full-day program) and offer it to all the kids,” Principal Rosemarie Bond said.

Bond did not receive much feedback or criticism regarding the , she said. This September, there will be one full-day kindergarten class per elementary school with a class size of 24. Students in the full-day classes were selected according to a lottery.

As orientation began, some parents were filled with excitement while others cried, along with their children, when they parted ways.

The parents were directed to the multi-purpose room where Bond and Supervisor Ann Taylor introduced the workings of the elementary school.

“Our goal is to provide world class education in a safe and nurturing environment,” Bond said, adding that this year’s kindergarteners will be a part of the class of 2025.

Bond encouraged parents to play an active role in their children’s education by getting involved in their academics, school activities and the Parent Teacher Organization.

“It’s so important that we work together to teach independence,” she said. Everyone from bus drivers and parents to custodians and teachers play a role in a successful education.

Bond continued to talk about security, communication, paperwork and more while Taylor went over the rigors of the classroom.

While the parents became acquainted with the Lanoka Harbor School, the children met their teachers and classmates. The teachers read a story and sang "This Old Man."

“They’re so excited and looking forward to a great year,” half-day kindergarten teacher Lisa Mooney said.

Sue Feldman said it was an emotional day. Her child is in the half-day class. Feldman’s other child, now 16, had full-day kindergarten.

“I’d prefer a full day. I didn’t like the lottery. I think they should just switch over,” she said, adding that the students can get more out of daycare than half-day kindergarten.

Adrienne DiPaolo is also familiar with the district, having other children. Her son, who is entering full-day kindergarten, was able to eat lunch with his brother throughout the year last year.

“I think everyone wishes they could get the pilot,” she said. “It’s a step in the right direction."

Kindergarten orientations were also held today at the and .

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