School News

The first school bus of the new year arriving at Sag Harbor Elementary School September 5.

Sag Harbor

The first school bus of the new year arriving at Sag Harbor Elementary School September 5. Independent/Courtesy Sag Harbor Union Free School District

There was laughter, hugs, and a few nervous smiles as Sag Harbor students in kindergarten through 12th grade headed back to school September 4. Excitement for the new year was in the air as teachers, staff, and administrators welcomed everyone to a new year of learning and growth.

“The start of the school year comes with the shine on the floor, teachers getting their rooms ready, and the hum in all the offices,” said Superintendent Katy Graves, “which is all done to help welcome our students and their families back for their best school year ever.” Elementary school principal Matthew Malone set the stage for a great year ahead, calling for “all aboard the learning journey” and encouraging everyone to focus on their personal learning experience.

As always, the safety of the students is paramount, and the staff also took time to remind everyone of related protocols, conducting fire drills and checking to make sure important technology and tools were in place to keep students protected.

Graves encourages the community to check the school calendar for events open to the public. Pierson High School homecoming festivities kick off September 20 and 21.


Southampton students are greeted by a teacher on the first day of school, September 5. Independent/Courtesy Southampton Union Free School District

Students across the Southampton Union Free School District eagerly arrived back at school on the sunny morning of September 5 and were greeted by beaming teachers and administrators.

At the high school, Principal Brian Zahn started the first day with a schoolwide assembly, where he spoke of the new school year and what’s to come for students. At the elementary and middle schools, students quickly became acquainted with their new teachers, routines, and schedules.

“This is going to be a great year,” said Superintendent of Schools Nicholas Dyno.

Hampton Bays

From the kindergarten Class of 2032 to the senior Class of 2020, students across the Hampton Bays School District were ready for a new year when they headed back to school on September 3.

Kindergartners began their K-12 journeys as they stepped off their buses to be greeted by smiling teachers. They entered their colorful classrooms and started their day with learning-based play. Older students also met their teachers and made a smooth transition back as they adjusted to their new classrooms and schedules.

“We are excited about the 2019-20 school year,” said Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen. “We are sure this year will be filled with many learning milestones for our students.”

Westhampton Beach

Westhampton Beach students arrive to school with smiling faces September 5. Independent/Courtesy Westhampton Beach School District

Westhampton Beach students became acquainted with their new teachers, routines, and programs as they kicked off the 2019-20 school year September 4.

Staff members cheerfully greeted the eager elementary school students upon their arrival and escorted them to their new classrooms. The students got right to work, setting up their supplies, making new friends, and learning more about their weekly schedules.

“We are looking forward to a year filled with outstanding academic and extracurricular opportunities for our students,” said Superintendent of Schools Michael Radday.

Middle and high school students began their year of learning by taking part in organization lessons and engaging activities. Some middle schoolers, for example, worked together in the school’s technology room to construct towers using paper and tape, while down the hall, others were setting up their binders.


Incoming Riverhead High School freshmen became better acquainted with their new school August 29 as part of an annual freshman orientation session led by the school’s student ambassadors.

During the orientation, the incoming ninth graders received general information about classes and schedules. Other students led them on tours of the building and broke into small groups afterward to answer questions and conduct icebreaking games.

The student ambassador program is comprised of a group of upperclassmen who are selected based on recommendations from their club advisors and trained as peer mentors. In preparation for the freshman orientation, they participated in a full-day peer mentoring workshop August 28.

The Riverhead Central School District also recently hosted a three-day new teacher institute for nine new teachers and four leave replacement teachers who are joining the district in 2019-20. As part of the program, led by New Teacher Institute Mentor Coordinator Tammi Michaelson, the educators were introduced to the district, received information from district administrators, and took a bus tour around the district. They also met with assigned mentors.

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