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New year setto begin at Sandy Valley

By WALTER DOERSCHUK The Press-News Published: August 19, 2016 10:00 AM
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The new school year begins for Sandy Valley middle and high school students Monday at 7:10 a.m.

That is when doors open for the first day of classes, and first period begins a little later at 7:32 a.m.

The middle school and high school along with the elementary building have already been preparing for another school year.

Open houses were held for students entering kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades on Aug. 17. All other students attended an open house on Aug. 18.

A graduation ceremony for the Sandy Valley class of 2029 on Aug. 9. The ceremony was held at the Sandy Valley Branch of the Stark County District Library. Families completed learning activities and shared books. Students also designed their own graduation caps.

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The elementary building also held a get ready for school program Aug. 1-4.

"The program provided incoming kindergarten students and their families a jump start to meet other families, learn expectations, and acclimate to a new environment," said elementary principal Vic Johnson.

Several new faces will greet students on their first day.

Two new fourth grade teachers, Laura Clear and Jennifer Forney, arrive to district at the elementary building.

New teachers at the middle and high school are as follows: Thea Lehotay, sixth grade language arts; Jay Airhart, middle school tutor; Laura Butera, middle school CD Unit; Trisha Hanlon, middle school paraprofessional; Andy Rasicci, 10th grade intervention specialist; Greg Wiggs, 12th grade intervention specialist; Emily Keane, high school science teacher; Brian Schwall, high school math teacher; Chrissy Finlayson, family support specialist and Dave Poteet, special education director.

New and continuing programs are in place for all grade levels.

Students in fifth grade will have a chance this year to work with an artist in residence, Johnson said. Through a grant from ArtsinStark, the students will learn in-depth academic standards through the arts.

The middle school and high school will continue to participate in the Young Entrepreneurs Consortium grant. The grant offers students the opportunity to learn through experiments. Students also solve real-life problems through problem-solving techniques, and new classes have been created to increase participation in the initiative.

At the high school level, more entrepreneurship college credit plus courses will also be offered. New ACT preparatory electives will be available to students as well to strengthen their college readiness.

The middle school has additionally restructured its math curriculum to challenge learners with more honors or advanced options.

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