While Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, that reality came a few days early for town students who rose early Thursday morning to catch the school bus for the first day of school.
There were 30 new teachers greeting them in the town's schools, hired to replace those who left the district after the last school year.
"I'm jealous because they have the ability to go in and directly influence children everyday," said Supt. of Schools Fran Rabinowitz. While she enjoys her job, she misses that aspect of teaching, she said.
There's also new curriculum that's being implemented this year that was developed over the summer, she said, as well as the implementation of data teams to track student achievement.
Other changes this year include the implementation of lunch supervisors in the cafeteria in each school -- a budget item that parents fought hard for last spring, saying that there needed to be more supervision in the cafeterias.
And in the cafeteria, students will no longer have the option to purchase snacks.
"As part of our commitment to develop the healthy minds and bodies of our students, Hamden Public Schools will be discontinuing the sale of snacks at all elementary schools," according to a release from Central Office this week. "Several of our schools (Bear Path, West Woods, Spring Glen) have already transitioned away from offering snacks. While the snacks that were offered met the standards for “healthy snacks,” a number of students were choosing to use their lunch money to purchase them rather than buying lunch.
This change is only one aspect of our ongoing effort to optimize student wellness," it said. "Other efforts include a new K-12 health curriculum, increased opportunities for students to participate in physical activity, launching a social emotional wellness initiative and, working toward Healthy Food Certification in all of our schools."