PLYMOUTH – With students returning to school Monday, Aug. 29, Superintendent of Schools Brian Falcone is excited to offer an enhanced curriculum and a return to normalcy.
Falcone said that the district has accomplished a lot in preparation for the return of students next week. These include new programs throughout the district, building improvements and some reorganizing of leadership at the schools.
“We’re excited to get children back to school and we’re looking forward to an amazing school year,” he said. “With all of the improvements made throughout the district it has never been a more exciting time to be here.”
Some of the academic highlights, he said, will include a library media and unified arts program at the K to 2 Plymouth Center School. Students at Harry S. Fisher Elementary school, for grades 3 to 5, will have a new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program. At Eli Terry Jr. Middle School, a new consumer science and technology education program will be offered.
Terryville High School will have a “unified experience” program for both special education and regular students and there will also be a new, certified career counselor.
“We’re opening up the opportunity for seniors to leave school during the day and do job shadows in their areas of interest,” said Falcone. “The program will also help them to plan resumes and cover letters. It will help parents, students and teachers really think about how to prepare for the next level.”
Falcone is also excited for going back to normal school operations after the pandemic.
“Last year at this time, we were focused on who was vaccinated and making sure that teachers were tested prior to starting their week,” he said. “Now those regulations have rolled back and we’re getting back to a business as usual experience. We’re bringing back all of our school events and traditions.”
The district is also working on its “Portrait of a Graduate,” which Falcone said will be brought before the Board of Education in September. This project had been put on-hold during the pandemic, and it will now resume. It involves aligning curriculum to match the Vision of the Plymouth Public Schools, which the district’s website defines as “to create a learning community where the academic experience, student engagement and wellbeing develop a foundation for learning.”
Falcone said that the leadership at the schools has been “revised to better meet the needs of students.”
Kim Loveland, who was principal at Harry S. Fisher elementary school, will become the new principal of Plymouth Center School. Angela Suffridge is now the principal of Eli Terry Jr. Middle School.
At Terryville High School, Jessica Hurd, who was a math teacher and department head, will become the new assistant principal. Stephanie Satow, who was the former Dean of Students at Fisher Elementary School, will now be the assistant principal at Eli Terry Jr. Middle School.
Local schools have also seen numerous physical upgrades.
At Plymouth Center School there is a new outdoor sidewalk, stairs have been repaired, roots on the hill have been pulled, the cafeteria has been repainted and new cafeteria tables have been ordered.
Harry S Fisher Elementary School has also seen sidewalk repairs, new cafeteria tables ordered and common areas repainted. The old middle school lockers have been removed and air conditioning has been installed in the nurse’s office.
Eli Terry Jr. Middle School has had sidewalk repairs and new art tables. The gym and common areas have a new coat of paint and there are also new portable scoreboards for the athletic fields. The family and consumer classroom and technology education classrooms have been renovated and a new art kiln has been ordered. The back wall brush has also been cleaned up.
Terryville High School has seen landscaping improvements and its front, side and back sidewalks replaced. There is an upgraded auditorium sound system and also a new, portable sound system. New baseball and softball scoreboards have also been ordered.
The district has a new van for special education, career studies and athletic transportation. Employee files have been digitized and there is also a new, electronic human resource system and district website. The district has implemented a new ticket system for maintenance, technology and facility-use requests.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.