Published in the August 23, 2017 edition


LYNNFIELD — The days of sleeping in and relaxing in the sun will be coming to a close for local kids when a new school year begins on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

Students in grades 1-12 will be returning to the classroom on August 30 and the first day of school for preschool and kindergarten students is Friday, September 1. School officials, teachers and staff members having been spending the last days of summer making sure everything is ready to rock and roll for students’ return next week.

FIRST GRADE teacher Jennifer Moore hangs a poster in her Summer Street School classroom in preparation for the first day of school. Students return to school on Wednesday, Aug. 30. (Keith Curtis Photo)

FIRST GRADE teacher Jennifer Moore hangs a poster in her Summer Street School classroom in preparation for the first day of school. Students return to school on Wednesday, Aug. 30. (Keith Curtis Photo)

“I cannot wait for opening day,” said Superintendent of Schools Jane Tremblay. “It’s one of my favorite days of the year. It symbolizes new beginnings and a fresh start.”

School administrators have spent the final days of summer setting their agendas and teachers are working to get their classrooms ready for the 2017-2018 school year. Additionally, custodians are making a final push to make sure each of the town’s four schools is in pristine condition when students return.

School schedule

School hours for the school year are as follows:

Lynnfield Middle School: 7:40 a.m.-2 p.m.

Lynnfield High School: 7:50 a.m.-2:26 p.m.

Huckleberry Hill School: 8:50 a.m.-3 p.m.

Summer Street School: 8:20 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Preschool morning session: 8:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Preschool afternoon session: 12:15 p.m.-3:15 p.m.

School initiatives

Tremblay said the school system will be undertaking several different initiatives this year, including initiatives to improve school security.

“We are going to do additional training with the faculty and staff,” said Tremblay. “We are also looking forward to holding a parent information night later in the fall.”

The School Department is also welcoming Curtis Blyden as the new METCO director.

“We are very excited about Curtis Blyden joining our team as the new director,” said Tremblay. “He has been busy over the summer working with administration in order to get the lay of the land of the buildings. He has also reached out to families, and has done some visits with our METCO families in Boston. He will be sharing an entry plan with the School Committee at one of our September meetings, and we are looking forward to hearing his vision for the METCO program.”

Additionally, Tremblay said the School Committee will be holding one of its spring meetings in Boston in order to give “our METCO families an opportunity to attend a meeting more easily.”

The School Department is also welcoming 15 new faculty members this year.

“It’s a combination of new educators and educators who have worked in other communities,” said Tremblay.

The school system will be placing a greater emphasis on social-emotional learning this year.

Elementary school initiatives 

Huckleberry Hill School will be building on its social-emotional learning program, Second Step, next year. Huckleberry Hill School Principal Brian Bemiss said recently the elementary school wants to expand social and emotional learning in the classroom as part of an effort to enhance the elementary school’s culture.

While Huckleberry Hill School expands its social-emotional program, Summer Street School will begin laying the groundwork for adopting one. Summer Street School Interim Principal Gregory Hurray said recently the elementary school will be reviewing different programs throughout the fall, and hopes to select and implement a program in the winter.

As part of the Summer Street School improvement plan, the elementary school will be looking to expand and improve its inclusive practices in general education classrooms in order to provide greater access to all students. Hurray said recently the goal builds on a similar goal established for the 2016-2017 school year.

Additionally, Tremblay noted the Department of Public Works spent last week creating more parking spaces at Summer Street in order to “alleviate some of the parking taking place in surrounding neighborhoods.” She said 10 new parking spots have been established. 

LMS initiatives

As part of the social-emotional initiative, Lynnfield Middle School will be looking to build resiliency in students. Middle School Principal Stephen Ralston said recently the initiative will allow LMS to “build strategies and support for students to develop resiliency to help them handle both academic and social adversity that they will likely encounter during their middle school years.”

The LMS improvement plan also includes a goal entailing identifying and expanding “curriculum connections to the LMS core values.” According to the goal, the middle school will strive to “build connections within (its) curriculum across all subject areas and grade levels to the LMS core values/STARS (Self Advocacy, Tolerance, Achievement, Respect and Service.”

Tremblay said the DPW has installed two cooling units in two of the middle school’s pods, which she said have previously become very hot during the beginning and end of the school year.

“DPW Director John Tomasz and the entire DPW have been amazing,” said Tremblay. “It’s very nice.”

LHS initiatives

Lynnfield High School will be looking to implement more project-based learning initiatives this year, which is included in the LHS improvement plan. High School Principal Bob Cleary said recently the goal is to have students “assume more ownership of their learning while increasing student engagement.”

“Through authentic, real-world experiences, students will be best prepared for life beyond high school,” Cleary said recently.

LHS will also be looking to improve vocabulary instruction this year. The high school’s Compass program will be taking an active role with different initiatives as well.

Additionally, the high school will be able offer varsity spring track meets this year once the LMS track and field project is completed later this fall.

“We are grateful that the Lynnfield community approved this project,” said Tremblay.