More than 50 people — students and parents — roamed the halls of Barringer Road Elementary School in Ilion Monday evening, getting familiar with its facilities.
Matthew Denicola, 5, walked through the unfamiliar halls with his mother, Jennifer Major, snagging stickers at the art room and the gymnasium, as part of Monday’s orientation.
Matthew previously attended pre-kindergarten at Remington Elementary in Ilion before it closed due to the merger of Ilion and Mohawk schools into the Central Valley Central School District.
Now, he’ll start kindergarten at Barringer Road Elementary School.
Students from Remington were split between Barringer Road and Fisher Elementary School in Mohawk based on their addresses.
“I'm really grateful this is the building he’s going to be in,” said Major, a Utica resident. “I love Barringer Road. I went to elementary school here.”
More than 50 people — students and parents — roamed the halls of the school Monday evening, getting familiar with its facilities.
“It’s going to make it so the children aren’t so frightened,” first-grade teacher Candace Darling said. “Our smiling faces will put them at ease.”
Family orientation evenings are being hosted at all the schools in Central Valley in the next two weeks.
Barringer Road principal Jeremy Rich said orientations are aimed at the students and the parents. The goal is to make sure parents “become comfortable of where their child is going to school,” he said.
Each student received a paper with several locations they were asked to visit, such as the art room and library, and were given stickers once they’d visited the room.
“It’s all the important spots that I feel you need to know,” Rich said to the crowd.
Once they’d visited each location, the children received a prize from a treasurer chest set up in the main office.
Rich said classrooms are not completely ready to be viewed yet, so “tonight is about spending some time in the building.”
There were some questions parents wanted answers to that just weren’t available.
“Just to find out who their teachers are,” Silka Rodriguez said. “See how many kids they’ll have in their classrooms.”
Rodriguez has two children coming from Remington to Barringer Road — Elanah, 7, and Emilio, 5.
Rich said teacher assignments and bus routes would be announced soon, but didn’t give a date. He added that start times have changed for both elementary schools. The day will begin 15 minutes earlier than last year, at 8:05 a.m. Dismissal still will be at 3:15 p.m.
Rich reminded the parents and students that everyone is getting oriented.
“It’s new for everybody. It’ll be interesting how all this unfolds,” he said. “There will be changes for all of us.”
Rich previously was the principal at Remington.
Sherry Dehart, whose two sons previously went to Remington, said despite the unanswered questions, she remains optimistic for her children.
Page 2 of 2 - “They’ve never been in this school. I think (this orientation) is going to help,” she said. “They’re young; they’ll adapt.”