LEWISBORO, N.Y. – For single dad Andrew Tedder, Wednesday morning was filled with nervous anticipation as the Katonah-Lewisboro School District opened its doors for another school year.
His five-year-old son, Cecil, was embarking on his first day of kindergarten at Lewisboro Elementary School and there was a bus to catch. Tedder admitted that he was more nervous than his son as they waited at the bus stop.
“Cecil was excited but he had some Town Camp experience with the bus, so he was pretty cool about it,” Tedder said. “I was definitely more nervous. He's my only child, so it's my first and only time [sending a child off to school]. I'm pretty old and I’m getting a late start on this parenting journey. But I love it and am so blessed.”
Meanwhile in South Salem, Andrew Hammer hopped the bus to begin third grade at Meadow Pond Elementary. But this year he had company. He was joined by his little brother, Mitchell, who will attend kindergarten.
“Andrew was psyched for third grade,” said his mother, Laurie Hammer. “He’s very excited about his teacher and learning to write in script this year.”
Hammer said that Mitchell was “totally ready to start kindergarten.”
“He’s just excited to go to a big boy school now with his big brother,” she said, noting it was an emotional experience for her. “I took a teary-eyed walk down the driveway after the bus left.”
At Cecil Tedder’s school, Lewisboro Elementary Principal Cristy Harris was ready to greet her students.
“Students can expect an exciting year full of new friendships and learning,” Harris wrote in a statement. “The theme for the school year is “RESPECT YES!,” which stands for respecting Yourself, Each other and the School.
"The Lewisboro Elementary School learning community will focus on developing our children’s awareness of their responsibilities through planned buddy experiences, monthly assemblies, literature connections, sustainability projects, and incentive programs being developed by Marie Calo, our Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA), for the Recess before Lunch and transportation programs."
Harris noted that there are significant state mandates and district initiatives that will begin this year directly affecting curriculum and instruction and the ways that programs, goals and expectations are set for students. They include an extension of Response to Intervention (RTI) into the area of math, screening of all students three times a year to provide information about reading and mathematical proficiencies, and the school board’s recent adoption of the Science and Technology Concepts Program.
The school will hold a Curriculum Night on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. to explain the changes that parents and students can expect in the coming year.