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Local News

September 4, 2013

Students off and running at area schools

ONEONTA — School bells ring for many public schools in the the area today, with the balance of those surveyed opening Thursday.

After superintendent’s conference days Tuesday and today, the first day for students in the Oneonta City School District is Thursday. Students at its Riverside Elementary School are benefiting from a couple of recent grants.

Principal Melinda Murdock said support from Walmart, Hannaford, OfficeMax and private providers raised about $3,000 needed to purchase all the school supplies students will need. Instead of putting some students in a position where their parents may not be able to afford the pencils or notebooks needed, “I wanted to level the playing field,” she said. “We were able to get everything they need.”

In addition, she worked with Oneonta City School District technology director Bonnie Nobiling and Riverside librarian Julia Ianello to secure a $17,000 state Educational Technology Voucher program. The purpose is to make sure that students have enough resources to take online tests, Murdock said. About half the funds were used to purchase about 20 units, a combination of laptops and iPads. The balance is used for software.

After the conference day Tuesday, Riverside second-grade teacher Jason Neer was getting his classroom ready. He’s starting his 15th year as a teacher.

“It’s exciting,” he said about the start of school. “You are meeting a whole new group of students,” and there are always changes that can make students and teachers anxious. That’s one thing the class will talk about the first few days.

“It’s a quick process — getting to know each other,” he said.

Having school supplies provided by the school will help everyone, he said. “It will be a nice perk for a lot of students and families.”

He was looking to forward to hearing about the details of the technology grant.

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