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Back to School: Greenfield schools open their doors

GREENFIELD — With the last few days of vacation slipping away, students throughout town shook off their summer haze this week and returned — if briefly — to hallways they will be filling daily for the next nine months.

Throughout Greenfield, school hallways were filled with parents and students as they picked up schedules and class assignments and met with teachers for annual open houses.

Some students excitedly greeted their teachers, looking forward to opening the pages of new reading material. Others dragged their feet, fully aware that open house was the first real sign that summer vacation was coming to an end.

School starts on Tuesday

The Federal Street School, Greenfield Middle School and Math and Science Academy held open houses on Wednesday. Discovery School at Four Corners, Newton School and the Greenfield High School held open houses on Thursday.

Under a “welcome back to school” banner at the Greenfield Middle School, Associate Principals Karin Patenaude and George Lanides greeted fourth- to seventh-graders.

Standing in line to pick up her class assignment, Destiny Rose Sullivan, 10, looked forward to starting fifth grade with teacher Rebecca Guiterrez. She couldn’t wait to hone her arts and crafts and music skills.

Keegan Vassar, 11, was entering the sixth grade under the tutelage of Nathan Burdick.

An avid reader, Vassar is looking forward to cracking open his school books. He spent much of the summer reading science fiction, including “Percy Jackson and the Olympians.”

As students and parents quickly filed into the building, Lynn Facey, chairperson of the school’s Parent-Teacher Organization, passed out pink fliers to parents, informing them that the next PTO meeting is Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. in the middle school library.

“We’re trying to get new members,” Facey said. “In four years, people move on. We need younger families.”

The PTO, a volunteer parent-teacher group, raises money for the school, including field trips.

New this year at the middle school is the “One School, One Read” program, in which the faculty and students will all read “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio.

At an assembly on Sept. 26 at 9 a.m., students will receive copies of the novel. During advisory period, students will read aloud.

Patenaude, a former English teacher, had proposed the idea. Over the summer, Patenaude, Lanides and Principal Gary Tashjian agreed to launch it.

“It builds a community of readers,” said Patenaude.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268 On Twitter, follow @RecorderKatMcK

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