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School’s Start First-Day On-Time

Though it was a close call, there were no delays in the first-day-of-school openings in Milford, unlike many surrounding communities who were forced to adjust their school calendars in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

The one question mark in Milford was Stacy Middle School, which remained without power as late as the evening before the scheduled opening. However, through the efforts put forth by town departments, along with the utility companies, the school was up-and-running on schedule.

At the September 1 School Committee meeting, board member Paul Mazzuchelli, voiced a note of appreciation "to the municipal offices that helped us through this hurricane, such as ... the highway department ... parks department, as well as the fire and police chiefs who helped us with the schools".

Middle School East principal, Craig Consigli, reported a glitch-free opening day, although he noted that many of the teachers at the school, who live out of town, were still without electricity. The school itself survived the storm unscathed, although Consigli admitted to being "worried about flooding." Thankfully, the threat failed to materialize.

At Milford High School, approximately 300 freshmen officially began their four-year journey, with some degree of comfort, after attending Freshman Orientation in August, which promised the class of 2015 "all the help you need".

Students returning to the classroom can expect to encounter some new faces, as a number of new teachers and administrative staff join the district and several staffers take on new roles.

At the high school, Albert Mercado, former Director of Guidance, Career and Academic Enhancement was replaced by Peter Bruce, with Mercado becoming Assistant Principal at Stacy Elementary.

At Memorial Elementary, former principal, Francis (Andy) Anderson, has retired, with Lisa Burns now filling the position. Burns had previously held the position of Director at Shining Star Early Childhood Center.

Several new initiatives are on-tap for the district, including the implementation of the Pathways program at Milford High School. The program, according to Principal Michael Tempesta, "seeks to provide a means by which the students can receive alternative instruction, in a smaller classroom setting, to make up work in classes that they've fallen behind in".

Athletic program participants at the High School may find themselves in the final year of competing in the Midland-Wachusett League, as Milford has been officially invited to join the Hockomock League. Though there are two years remaining on their current agreement with the Midland-Wachusett League, the feeling is that the change will occur earlier, possibly within a year. The change would drastically reduce travel expenses for the district.

As part of a federal mandate, elementary school lunches in Milford will increase by ten-cents this year bringing them in line with the government reimbursement rates.

Communication at Middle School East will receive a boost as the school unveiled a plan to hold a monthly meeting for the entire school community. The first meeting took place on opening day, when students learned about the building rules and were introduced to the school's support staff. "We talked about the importance of respect ... for the school ... staff and students, themselves," Consigli said. "This year we're really trying to focus on the school community as a whole."


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