Southern Students Head Back to School
Superintendent Henry shares what's ahead this school year
Four-year-old Zilnera Pabon bounced off the school bus, and was eager to share the details of her day.
"I played today," Pabon told a Patch reporter. "They had stuff for dress up."
Pabon's stepmother, Stafford resident Gina Triolla, said today marked Pabon's first day ever at school, as she started preschool at the Oxycocus Elementary School.
Although a lot of things around the district were new to little Zilnera, Superintendent Craig Henry said that opening day was business as usual for the staff that make up the Southern district.
He said things went very smoothly, save for a few "overloads" on the district's transportation, or a few extra students that were not expected. Additional vehicles were quickly dispatched and the routes will be figured out by later in the week, Henry said, but the overload and other quirks are all just part of the first day back to school.
Administrators and teachers largely remain the same this year as in year's past, save for a few retirees being replaced.
But not everything is the same as years past. This year, students in upper level world language classes will be afforded, if they wish, the opportunity to take a test that would qualify them for college credit at Stockton.
The idea was prompted by a teacher, Vicki Matthews, that works at Southern and serves as an adjunct professor at Stockton, Henry said. The concept builds on the advanced placement courses already in place at Southern.
Henry said he is happy with the opportunities afforded through Southern, and enjoys watching those opportunities grow every year.
"Anything we can do to put some college credits in their pockets before they even leave here, that benefits everyone," he said.