New before school program a hit

Local News

With a later start to the school day, elementary kids can participate in a new before school program.  We stopped by Joanna Connell to get a closer look at it.

The kids who attend this program may be up early, but it doesn’t seem to faze them.  Noelia Morales, a fourth-grade student, gets excited when she wakes up in the morning.

Jesse Williams, Principal of JoAnna Connell, tells us, “sometimes you get them here a little early and by the time school starts they’re awake and ready to go”.

The Director of Teaching and Learning, Diane Sutton, tells us, “for the children, they seem to come in happy and ready to go”.

When the district restructured, change was necessary, but we all know that change can cause anxiety.  So, administrators worked to ease the burden on parents, and to serve the students effectively.

What started out as an obstacle has turned into a unique opportunity for an extra hour of enrichment.  Williams says, “we look at it as extra teaching time for us.  So, we’re using it for reading support, physical activities and all those little things that weeded out of curriculum we’re putting right back in.”

The principals have some flexibility in their use of the extra time, but there is one common theme.  Sutton tells us, “what are we doing for enrichment, what are we doing to support, bolster and boost engagement throughout the school day,” and the kids at Joanna Connell certainly appear to be engaged.

Morales agrees that it’s a good thing they get to spend more time at school.

 Lilly Czarkowski, fifth-grade student, tells us, “I like that we get to do stuff instead of just sitting in library all the time”.

Williams says the kids are having a good time, and much of the credit for the success of this transition is given to the educators.  Sutton says, “what we’ve known for a long time is folks are dedicated teachers; administrators, this is just another example of folks showing that to kids of the Erie Public Schools”.


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