Poland Union kicks off first day of school

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Students waited in line to greet their teacher at Poland Union Elementary School in preperation for the start of the school year.


Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Incoming kindergartners at Poland Union Elementary School took a tour of their new school building on Aug. 19 in preperation for the start of school.



Poland Local Schools started a new school year on Aug. 22.

Union Elementary School Principal Mike Masucci said that he was excited to kick off the school year on a high note.

“Even after all these years I still get excited,” Masucci said.

He said that while you can always expect tears during the first day, the school is very prepared for it.

“We have lots of support in place a counselor will be here,” Masucci said. “We have a lot of nurturers that will be floating around that door way when they come in like a deer in headlights. We will be able to direct them to where they need to be.”

For the 2019-20 school year, Masucci said that the school will be making a number of changes to help increase the quality of students education. Along with continuation of the Bridge Math program the school started previously, the school will also implement a new comprehensive literacy framework.

“We look at ourselves as the building block, the foundation for literacy in our schools,” Masucci said.

The program will start in kindergarten and be implemented in all years. The program will include three literacy nights exclusively for parents, to inform that on the changes the school has been making.

Later in the year there will be another three literacy nights for students to showcase what they have learned.

“This is the first in a three year goal to change the way that we teach English language arts,” Masucci said.

The school will also be implementing a character building program called Core Essentials.

Masucci said that the school partnered with Chick-fil-A, with the cow visiting the school on Sept. 3 to kick the program off.

“It’s all about behavior and positive reenforcement,” Masucci said.

The Chick-fil-A cow will bring hundreds of free meal coupons to the school in it’s visit, that Masucci said he, along with the teachers, will be able to pass out to students who demonstrate that months character trait.

Youngstown State University Graduate Assistant Tracy Doughty will be working at Poland Union to implement the program.

Doughty will be meeting with each classroom for 40 minutes a week, going over the program.

She said that each month outlines a different trait, with an animal who demonstrates it.

“The motto of the program is ‘to treat others right, make smart decisions and maximize your potential,’” Doughty said.

She said the will spend the month of August getting to know students before the first month of the program begins in September with the theme of Trust.

Trust is symbolized by the sea lion, because the mother sea lions trust each other with their young while they go hunting.

“It’s about putting your confidence in someone you depend on,” Doughty said.

Each month includes crafts and games that help students learn that months concept.

The program also includes quotes, and video and book recommendations for continued education.

“It involves team work and building self confidence and trust in your classmates,” Doughty said. “It also helps build social and communication skills.”

Masucci said that he has working with the program before during his time at North, where they received the National School of the Year award.

“I love that they tie it in with an animal,” Doughty said. “I am very excited to be part of it this year.”