SOUTHINGTON - Parents dropping their kids off for the first day of school at Derynoski Elementary School Thursday lauded the school’s “spectacular” programs, which had left many children excited to return.
It was a bright day with pleasant, cool weather as parents walked hand-in-hand with their youngsters up to the front of the school at 240 Main St. Several families paused to take pictures next to the school sign. Many returning children excitedly speculated about who their teachers would be this year. Those children entering Kindergarten for the first time listened as older siblings shared their experiences.
Margaret Nodland was dropping her five-year-old son, Caius, off for his first day of kindergarten.
“It’s a big day; we just moved to Southington because we heard how good this school is, especially their special needs program,” she said. “My son is on the autism spectrum.”
Kathy Keegan was also bringing her child, five-year-old Juliana, to her first day of kindergarten.
“I’ve only heard wonderful things about this school,” she said. “I heard that they try to make the classes small and intimate so that teachers have time to work with each student.”
Sinead Politz, who was dropping off her nine-year-old daughter, Lorelai, and her five-year-old son, Jaxton, said that Derynoski is a “great school.”
“I love school. I like science and I like that they let you do experiments,” said Lorelai, who is going into fourth grade.
Jaxton, who had previously attended preschool at Derynoski, said he likes science too.
Jonathan and Nicole Bates were dropping off their son, Jonathan Bates Junior, another budding scientist, for fifth grade.
Jonathan Bates Jr. said that he likes to learn new things every day.
“One time we got to dissect owl pellets,” he said.
Jonathan Bates Sr. said Derynoski is “one of the best schools around.”
“The teachers and everybody are awesome,” he said. “They have a great science program.”
Nicole Bates described Derynoski Elementary School as a “big school but a small family.”
Jackie St. John, a former teacher at Derynoski who has since retired, was walking by the school on her way to drop off her three-year-old grandson, Austin, at the preschool at the YMCA nearby.
“I taught in Southington for 35 years and I can honestly say that Southington has always been cutting edge with its education programs,” she said. “Every teacher is passionate and dedicated and works 12 months a year to ensure that when students go out into the adult world that they will be successful.”
Superintendent of Schools Tim Connellan said that it was a “great first day in Southington.” He visited all schools in the district, starting at the high school and ending his day at the elementary schools.
“There were a lot of smiling faces and there was a lot of positive energy in all of the schools,” he said. “It’s nice to see our students, including our youngest students, so excited about learning.”