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District Officially Opens Prekindergarten Center

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The District’s prekindergarten students are being provided with a unique educational opportunity in the newly refurbished South Haven Early Childhood Center, located on Montauk Highway in Brookhaven Hamlet. The Early Childhood Center officially opened on Sept. 3 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by faculty, administrators, board of education trustees and members of the community.

“We are all very excited about the learning to come, under the leadership of Principal Brian Ginty and each of our teacher leaders, who in tandem with New Interdisciplinary School educators, will provide a creative, engaging and supportive learning environment that enables success for our youngest learners,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani said. “We believe that South Haven Early Childhood Center will become another gem for the South Country learning community.”

The District’s prekindergarten program now hosts 74 full-day placements, an increase from 20 full-day placements during the 2018-19 school year. Also offered in response to community requests is transportation and extended care for half-day program participants. 

The South Haven Early Childhood Center facility not only holds ample classroom space, but is now equipped with the latest technology, an indoor gym for fine motor and gross motor development and an inclusion playground with turf surfacing.  

After Dr. Giani, Principal Brian Ginty, Board of Education President E. Anne Hayes, Board Vice President Jack Nix and Board trustees Lisa Di Santo and Cameron Trent cut the ribbon to symbolize the center’s opening, prekindergarten students attended an orientation with their parents. The students met their teachers for the first time and toured their classrooms and the building. Some of the students even made new friends before starting the school year on Sept. 4. 

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Smooth opening for South Country Schools

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The District’s students disembarked from bright yellow buses with backpacks and school supplies on hand for the start of the 2019-2020 school year on September 4. Students were greeted with warm smiles and well-wishes from faculty and principals as they filed into the buildings ready to begin instruction and make new friends. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani said he was impressed by the District’s smooth opening and the teachers’ and students’ enthusiasm and motivation to begin instruction. “I am confident that the 2019-2020 school year will be productive for district faculty and a wonderful year of learning for all South Country students,” Dr. Giani said.    

New Faculty Welcomed

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During a three-day orientation program, 25 educators were welcomed to the South Country Central School District by the Board of Education and administration and were familiarized with the workings of the district on Aug. 20-22.  

In addition to a warm welcome by Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and General Administration Nelson Briggs and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability Marlon Small, new faculty members learned how to utilize the district’s technology, employee benefits and payroll and took tours of the district and their individual buildings. Presentations included information on how to reach every parent/guardian, how to create a culturally responsive learning environment, classroom management and positive intervention strategies, teachers’ union, training in Response to Intervention, Common Core Learning Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

The Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Giani also hosted a luncheon at the administrative offices to formally welcome new faculty to the South Country family. After introducing the administration, Dr. Giani noted that each and every South Country employee, regardless of their role and title, impacts student learning and contributes to the district’s mission to educate all students, even though successes may not always show up in the classroom.

During his opening comments, Dr. Giani told the new faculty that he believes that if each and every child has a connection with one adult in their school, that child will be academically and emotionally successful. “I challenge each of you to make connections with your students and build relationships with their families, regardless of who they are, where they live, or their socio-economic status,” Dr. Giani said. “Teaching isn’t easy, but what can be a more important profession than one that shapes the mind and lives of children.” 
Sunday, September 15, 2019
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