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The district opened its doors for the start of classes on Sept. 5. Each
school was abuzz with excitement for the students’ arrival, and many
teachers and principals waited outside to greet them. Hallways that were
silent all summer came alive with chatter, laughter, and stories.
At Washington Drive, kindergarteners with the entirety of their school
career before them hopped off buses first—some sporting backpacks larger
than their bodies! Assistant Principal Kathryn McNally, along with
other faculty and staff, greeted each one, offering high-fives and
wishing them an incredible first day. Once in the building, they formed
wiggly lines and followed green footprints on the floor to their new
Experienced students confidently traversed the hallways to their
classrooms at both Washington Drive and Thomas J Lahey. Children
unloaded backpacks, stuffed with fresh supplies, and got to know their
classmates through sharing things like their favorite summer memories.
Others participated in activities such as “explore your new classroom”—a
quasi-scavenger hunt to familiarize thems with the details of the room,
such as where the pencil sharpener was, or how many students were in
At Oldfield Middle and Harborfields High School, teachers wasted no time
jumping into the syllabus and reviewing topics with students to
transition them out of summer-mode. Many incoming middle and high
schoolers that needed help navigating the building were guided by
“If you ever need help you can always text me, and I’ll meet you at your
locker,” an upperclassman told a freshman between classes on the first
day. “Don’t worry. You’ve got this.”
Even though school’s out for the summer months, the district was still bustling with activity thanks to Harborfields Community Educational Foundation’s (HACEF) Summer Camp program. This camp, that just wrapped up for the season, offered four-day camp options for elementary and middle school students throughout the summer. Each week offered a plethora of themed programs — from Harry Potter Camp to Wood Crafting to Summertime Science — and this year’s enrollment boasted 850 students, a number that surpassed last year’s previously record-breaking 680.
Most programs were taught by Harborfields teachers and offered fun ways for children to pursue subjects or hobbies that they gravitate to or are curious about. The STEM centered camps — like Coding, Robotics, and Intro to Video Production — were some of the most popular of the summer and provide students with hands-on learning in a different setting.
“In these camps, students learn skills that they will carry with them,” said HACEF Camp creator and coordinator Karin Fey. “And we hope that something they learn here will help ignite the pursuit of a lifetime passion.”