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By Daniel Curtin
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Young kids were out at the Martha Jones Elementary School to enjoy a cold popsicle and to meet some of their future classmates last Tuesday.
To beat the heat, Principal Donna Tobin was handing out popsicles to the children on the hot August day. Principal Tobin personally wrote each of the kids' names on their name tag to start building a relationship with the new students entering the elementary school.
“It’s really important for us to build relationships with parents. This is their community, too, not just their kids' community. So I want parents to feel comfortable coming here. I want kids to feel comfortable coming here,” Tobin said. “I want the parents to know me and I want to personally know all of the kids.”
Despite the warm weather, the children ran around on the playground and on the basketball court playing games with their new friends.
Joanne Butterfield, who went to Martha Jones Elementary when she was a child, is getting ready for her son to go into kindergarten.
“I think it will be good," Butterfield said. "There’s some hesitation because he’s my first to go back, and I think it is going to be really good for him and everyone to … have the [school] year start and get some organization back to it."
Kindergarten students will have an open house on Tuesday, with their first official day of classes being the next day. The first few days for the kindergarteners will be half-days to get help them get used to being the newest group of students at the school. For all other students in Westwood, grades one through 12, the first day will be on Tuesday, September 2.
With only about 300 students in the Martha Jones Elementary School, it is possible for Principal Tobin to know the kids on a personal level.
“I’m hoping it cools off by next week. I’m absolutely so excited, my favorite time of the year is seeing all the new kids start and welcoming all the old kids back," Tobin said. "Elementary school kids are really excited start school."