The first day of school in New Haven was a source of excitement for kids across the Elm City despite the rain that greeted many of them as they began the school day Thursday.
Around 21,000 kids will begin classes in New Haven public schools this year. The school system wants to start the year off on a high note, by building on the successes of the last school year. They launched a campaign, “#StartStrong” aimed at addressing the needs of the entire student.
In an interview with NBC Connecticut, superintendent Garth Harries said the district has made strides in reducing its drop-out and chronic attendance rates, but wants to do better. Through #StartStrong, they want to address the needs of students both in the classroom and at home to guarantee success.
“If they don’t feel cared for, they’re not going to be ready to learn and we want to make sure they feel cared for when they come to our schools. We have made a lot of progress in this district on graduation, on test scores, we have to continue that” said Harries. He says that means addressing the wellness, cultural and academic needs of every student enrolled all school year long.
Students who spoke to NBC Connecticut told us they were excited about the first day.
“It’s fun because we get to do everything and learn and be good” said Bernard Davis who is beginning first grade at Elm City College Preparatory Elementary School.
“I’m feeling a little anxious because I’m scared and I don’t know a lot of people. I’m ready to come here and get an education that I should be getting” said Briana Fuller, a new freshman at Hill Regional Career High School. She hopes to become a pediatrician one day.
“I’ll meet a lot of new people and have more new friends” Emore’j Bennerman, a fourth grader at Wexler-Grant School.