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School year kicks off with blend of old and new

Two students get off a school bus

Technology was a focus as Herkimer Central School District kicked off the 2019-20 school year. High school students started the day by picking up their Chromebook computers, which they will use throughout the year. For middle school students, classroom sets of Chromebooks are available to use throughout the school day.

Personal devices such as Chromebooks allow students to collaborate, and give students and teachers more tools to share work back and forth easily. In Mrs. Reppel’s seventh-grade Spanish class, students used Flipgrid, an app that lets students record short video responses to a prompt, to practice their conversational language.

But while some classes began with interactive Smartboard presentations, other first-day activities were more low-tech. In Miss Witter’s Chemistry class, high school students began the period by writing down facts about themselves, crumpling up the papers, tossing them into a box and then trying to match up the papers with their classmates. In Mr. Mathy’s STEM class, eighth-graders were put into teams to try to build free-standing towers using only spaghetti, string, tape and a marshmallow.

Students and parents hug

At the elementary school, first-time students in prekindergarten and kindergarten gathered in the cafeteria to meet their teachers and say goodbye to their parents before starting their school day.

The elementary school will continue its “Be.” character education program this school year, with a different character trait highlighted each month. September’s trait is “Responsible.”

“We encourage parents to talk with their children about the monthly character trait and how they can exemplify it at home, at school, and in the community,” elementary Principal Renee Vogt said.

Parents are encouraged to attend upcoming open-house events at both schools. On Sept. 11, the Herkimer Elementary PTA will host an ice cream social at 6 p.m., followed by an open house from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. At the Jr./Sr. High School, the open house will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 12.

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