Principals Weigh In on Start of School Year this Week

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As always this time of year, the town’s almost 5,000 students returned to school on staggered dates during the week of Aug. 26.

But with Robinson School Principal Kevin LaCoste seriously injured by a fall from a tree, the opening of the town’s nine schools had a different focus this week.

Robinson School in Westford. PHOTO BY JOYCE PELLINO CRANE

Scott Middlemiss, who most recently served as the assistant principal at the Abbot School is now serving as interim principal at the Robinson School while LaCoste recuperates.

“We are working hard with our K-2 students here at Robinson to appropriately and delicately discuss this topic that they all have questions about,” Middlemiss stated.

Next door at the John Crisafulli School, Sharon Kennelly was doing something similar for her young students.

“We are working collaboratively with our 3-5 students here at Crisafulli to appropriately address this when questions arise,” she said.

Just up the road, Westford Academy Principal James Antonelli reported that he has assembled a group of football and hockey players to take care of the school property. A fall planting and mulching day is planned for late September.

Granite sign outside of Westford Academy. PHOTO BY JOYCE PELLINO CRANE

Antonelli said he’s hoping to plant fall flowers and plants, such as mums, pumpkins, and cornstalks.

“We also have a teaching assistant who makes beautiful quilts,” he said, “and she is making a family, friends and work quilt.”

At the Blanchard Middle School Principal Timothy Hislop said a new class called STRIDE is being offered to students in all grades. The class teaches essential study skills and strategies and promotes engagement and success.

STRIDE stands for:

Strategies to engage in learning

Time management to maximize your schedule

Readiness to reach your academic goals

Initiative and personal responsibility

Developing organization skills

Evaluating progress through action