NORTH SALEM, N.Y. -- There was a lot of activity at the Pequenakonck Elementary School on Friday as parents and children went in and out, making various arrangements for Tuesday's opening day. Notably, this year's group of kindergarteners is 15 percent larger than last year's class.
The Daily North Salem asked several youngsters how they feel about returning to school. The consensus is, “I wish the summer wouldn’t end, but I’m looking forward to seeing my friends.”
New third grader, Tyler Golisano, 8, observed, “It’s not really the first day of September because it’s still summer.” Besides seeing his friends, he does look forward to meeting his new teacher.
Two brothers, Vincent, 11, and Michael, 7, agreed that seeing friends is the biggest advantage in returning to school. Their older brother, Nicholas, is going into high school. He said, “It’s confusing. It’s big. And it’s going to be harder, with more work.”
Will he be making lots of new friends now? “Perhaps,” replied his mother, but one of the special features about the North Salem school system is that children are kept in the same groups from year to year. The arrangement often fosters lifelong friendships.
Principal Roberta Reiner reports, “There are no new teachers on the staff this year and no new programs, because of the budgetary cuts.” She said she is looking forward to meeting all the new kindergarteners.
There will be 87 kindergarten students this year, 15 percent more than last year. They will be divided into five classes.
“People who come to North Salem want to stay here,” said Reiner, giving her opinion for why so many people have moved to the area. “We have a wonderful and fully supported community and an expert and excellent staff.”
Traditionally, the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) meets on the first day of school, but because of last week’s weather turmoil, this year’s meeting is delayed until Wednesday at 9 a.m.
“Our PTO offers a variety of programs for the children,” Reiner said, “ranging from building with Lego blocks to learning Italian.”
The Pequenakonck School covers grades kindergarten through five. Because school district lines and town lines were not established simultaneously, children come from Southeast, Brewster, Lewisboro and Somers, in addition to North Salem.