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Reed Intermediate School Welcomes Future Fifth Graders



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Reed Intermediate School Welcomes Future Fifth Graders

By Larissa Lytwyn

While Hawley Elementary School fourth grader Gillian Malone is looking forward to starting next fall at a new school, she admitted one thing she would definitely miss.

“All the teachers at Hawley are really nice,” she said. “I’m going to miss them a lot!”

Her friend Kelsey Karp agreed. “Yes,” she said. “The teachers at Hawley are great!”

This was perhaps the only lamentation the fourth grade students expressed during their recent orientation at Reed Intermediate School, an event largely met with wide-eyed enthusiasm.

Tours were conducted between May 3 and May 10 for Hawley, Head O’ Meadow, Sandy Hook, and Middle Gate elementary schools, each orientation lasting about two hours.

Fourth grader Nikita Srivastava said that she was looking forward to going to the newer and larger Reed Intermediate, with opportunities to take a wider range of arts and music courses.

Rhea Schneider, another student, said she was looking forward to learning how to play the viola.

Kelsey agreed. “I’ve never played strings before!” she declared. “It’s going to be fun next year to learn how!”

Last year’s significant cut to the education budget eliminated the fourth grade orchestra program. It was not reinstated in the recently town-approved 2004-05 education budget.

While many students were excited about learning string instruments, fourth grader Jacob Enrique could not wait to catch a glimpse of Reed’s spacious gymnasium.

“Wow!” he cried, gaping at the heavy ropes and mats hanging from the gym’s impressively high ceiling.

“I’m really excited about having gym here,” Jacob said. “The [equipment] is newer. And the gym is bigger!”

Reed Assistant Principal Tony Salvatore said that he wanted to emphasize Reed’s similarities to elementary school rather than its differences.

Through this approach, he explained, the transition from elementary to the intermediate school could be made more easily.

He created a “scavenger hunt” that allowed students to find different areas of the building, as well as locate objects unique to a certain classroom.

While on the scavenger hunt, students had the opportunity to visit the principal’s office and cafetorium.

They were not, however, allowed to go into classroom because classes were in session.

The total Reed Intermediate School population is expected to remain stable at 875 students; however, the sixth grade class will be larger than the incoming fifth grade one.

In addition to the student tours, Reed will hold an orientation for incoming fifth graders in special education on Monday, May 24, from 7 to 8 pm in Reed’s Media Center.

There will also be a combined orientation for special education students, parents, and regular education parents on Wednesday, May 26, from 7 to 8:30 pm in Reed’s cafetorium.

New this summer, Reed will hold summertime open houses for incoming Reed students and their families on July 21, July 28, August 4, and August 11 from 9 am to noon.

“This is especially helpful for families moving to Newtown over the summer,” said Mr Salvatore, who noted that the incoming fifth grade class has “about 12 students” new to the district.

A fifth and sixth grade “new to the school district” orientation night will be held on Monday, August 23, from 7 to 8 pm in the Reed cafetorium.

A “Reed Rally Picnic” will take place for parents and students to share with former elementary friends and families as well as their new peers on Wednesday, September 8, from 5:45 to 8 pm in the Reed lawn area. The rain date will be Thursday, September 9.  

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