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Danbury Schools Race To Get Ready For First Day Of Classes

Getting the books ready at South Street School in Danbury. Students will return on Monday, Aug. 24, for the first day of school. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
Students and parents will see familiar teachers at South Street School but may be surprised by a number of large renovations, including one at the main entrance. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
The roof project at South Street School is nearing completion just in time for students to return on Monday. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
The roof project at South Street School is nearing completion. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
The roof project at South Street School is nearing completion. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
The roof project at South Street School is nearing completion. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris
The roof project at South Street School is nearing completion. Photo Credit: Nicole Kasseris

DANBURY, Conn. — As kids in the Danbury Public Schools prepare for the first day of classes, the teachers and even some construction workers are racing to have the buildings ready when the doors open on Monday, Aug. 24.

At South Street School, students and parents will be greeted by a familiar face: Principal Heather Pellicone is returning. She was once known as Miss Coladarci and taught first grade and kindergarten at the school from 2004 to 2012. She also had a two-year stint at Danbury High School as the ESL/Bilingual Department Head.

But students will see some other big changes at South Street.

“This year we are going back a little earlier then usual, we have created new classroom space, and had a new roof put in this summer,” Pellicone told the Daily Voice.

The building's major interior changes include knocking down a wall in between old social work and special education room to make into a classroom; relocating a few classrooms: changing the bathrooms; and adding some new doors, Pellicone said.

While the building was getting a new roof, there was a flood, she said. But as a result, a new floor was put in by the front door with tiling and carpeting in other parts of the school, Pellicone said.

Workers were racing this past week to complete the interior renovations and the roof replacement. Construction was still visible outside the building on Friday.

Also, an intervention block has been added, which gives students 30 minutes a day to help them to succeed in class. A social worker, a custodian, and a safety advocate are new to the staff this year but the rest of the staff is the same.

A new roof is also going in on Rogers Park Middle School.

Other changes have been made in Danbury School District as well, said Superintendent Sal Pascarella, who praised the work of his teachers.

Pascarella said the district is continuing to grow, with an enrollment of 11,000 students expected this fall. The Westside Middle School will have an enrollment this year of 500 students as it adds another grade of Global Studies students, he said.

This fall, Danbury High School will welcome 100 first year students in the Early College Opportunity program. These students have the opportunity to earn associate's degrees from Naugatuck Valley Community College along with their high school diplomas.

More changes are in the air as well. This past spring, Danbury voters approved a $53 million plan to add classrooms at the high school and build a new Alternative Center for Excellence. The project is in its design phase, with construction expected to begin by fall 2016 for completion in fall 2017.

Classes begin for all students with a full day on Monday, Aug. 24. For more information on schedules and buses, visit the website at www.danbury.k12.ct.us .

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