High hopes for new school year in Valley Stream

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Thousands of students who have already made the transition to high school also went to classes for the first time on Sept. 4, including those at North High. Chelsea Alexander-Taylor, 17, is senior class president and called the day “bittersweet.”

“You realize this is your last first day ever,” she said. “You want to make sure every moment counts and not waste it because you realize high school is over at the end of this year and you’re moving onto college.”

Fellow senior Jeanette Freeman, 17, said it was weird driving to school for the first time and added that she will miss playing the trombone in band class next year.

Sophomore Daniel Sanky, 15, was looking forward to learning new things in his Advanced Placement world history class while freshman Alina Castelluzzo, 15, said she was excited for chemistry and taking part in Class Act.

At Clear Stream Avenue School, kindergarten students were back for the first time in a decade. The program had been moved to other buildings in the district due to a lack of space.

“We’re ecstatic to have our little kids back,” Principal John Singleton said. “We’re excited that they get to attend the school they will eventually graduate from.”

Natasha Moore, co-president of the PTA, also was glad to have kindergarten back, so all Clear Stream students would be united under one roof. The PTA provided a light breakfast for new parents and Moore spent the morning answering their questions and encouraging them to join the organization. She said the theme for this year is “PTA: Everyday Heroes.”

“We want to be the heroes for our children in the community,” she said.

Geraldine Ferdinand sent a child off to kindergarten for the first time. She said her son was looking forward to going to the “big boy” school and show off his Thomas the Tank Engine backpack, but did have some first-day anxiety. “He was excited at first, but when he got here, it was new and he was a little shy,” she said. “He didn’t cry, though, just a little sad.”

Carlos Correa sent his daughter off to kindergarten. He said she wanted to meet her classmates and show off the backpack and lunch bag her older brother gave to her.

“She woke up and said, ‘Are we going to school today?’” he said. “I said, ‘Yes we are.”

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