GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Elmsford School District Superintendent Joseph Ricca spent Thursday morning with faculty members and other staffers getting his schools prepared for next Tuesday's unusual and early opening day.
"We have a great group of teachers and there's a very positive atmosphere in the school community," said Ricca, who took over the superintendent's post this summer. "And I've been thrilled to meet many of the students who have each extended a hand and welcomed me. We're getting ready for a great school year."
The Elmsford School District joins Rivertowns districts in Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry and Hastings, which coordinated their early openings this year. Schools will open Tuesday and Wednesday after Monday's Labor Day holiday and then close for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
Edgemont Schools will open on Sept 4., break for Rosh Hashanah and be back in class on Sept. 9., and all Greenburgh 7 District Schools will open on Sept. 9.
Victoria Salame, a first-year foreign language teacher at Hamilton High, said she was thrilled as she anticipated her first opening day as a full time teacher.
"I interviewed for three positions, including in the White Plains schools," said Salame, who graduated from nearby Pace University. "Hamilton is a perfect fit for me I believe. There's a small-town feel here and it's very welcoming. Being a young teacher will help some because I relate well, but being young means I have to establish the respect of the students also."
The Hamilton High School faculty spent Thursday in "class" in teacher development as the opening of the school year approached.
"Things are going well," Hamilton High School Principal Marc P. Baiocco said. "We opened (Thursday) with the "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", based on Stephen Covey's book, "The Leader In Me". Today's focus is on the individual - the teacher - because if we're not in the right place, we can't have students be in the right place to learn."
Baicco said Hamilton's faculty has built a unique rapport with its students and are building on those relationships for the 2013-2014 school year.