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Easthampton schools host welcome sessions, post new Web pages for new year

EASTHAMPTON — With classes set to start after Labor Day, welcome events have been scheduled this week and next to help students and parents ease into the coming school year.

Easthampton High School will hold its annual evening program for new students from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the new high school building on Williston Avenue. Picnic food will be served. Because the high school parking lot is still under construction, parking for the event will be at the Williston field lot between Taft and Higsen avenues.

On Thursday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Amy Napolitano, newly hired principal of Center/Pepin Elementary School, will be on the school playground on Park Street for an informal meet and greet. Napolitano, who was previously assistant principal at Belchertown’s Swift River Elementary, will be joined by Allison Rebello, who has moved from her former post as principal of White Brook Elementary to a new assistant principal position at Center/Pepin.

Maple School’s welcome back event is set for Sept. 3, the first day of school, when parents are invited to walk their children to their classrooms.

Principal Tim Luce said the school will call families the night before to remind them of the event. Letters have already been sent out with student classroom assignments. The school bell at Maple is at 8:50 a.m. and students are considered late after 8:55 a.m., Luce said.

White Brook Middle School’s welcome to new students came in the form of a locker learning station that was open this summer for students who needed practice opening combination locks.

The middle school has a new interim principal, Meredith Balise, a veteran White Brook teacher and former president of the city school employees union. The search for a permanent replacement for Rebello gets under way early next year.

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Final details at EHS

The final phase of construction at the new high school will require new drop-off and pickup procedures for the next few months. Entrance to the high school can be made via Williston Avenue or Bryan Avenue, school officials said. There is as yet no designated drop-off area, so parents should drop students off at a sidewalk and not in designated busing areas. Student parking will be available in the last four rows at the south end of the existing lot via Geryk Court. Students must apply for a free parking pass in order to use those spaces.

A detailed map is available on the EHS website .

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Website face-lift

The Easthampton Public Schools website, www.easthampton.k12.ma.us, has a new look. Some pages have been moved to new locations and there are new sections designed to help students and parents find information about school programs more easily.

New sections include:

∎ “About EPS,” a page with facts about the district and contact information for administrators.

∎ “Plans and Policies,” including the district’s strategic plan, literacy action plan and staff handbook.

∎ “Services & Programs,” including information about English language learner services, health services and parent organizations.

Easthampton High School’s Web page also has several new sections, including an “About EHS” page with information about the school’s improvement plan, admissions and school choice, and the new $39.2 million high school building. The high school website also has a new “Academics” page with links to department Web pages, the school library and guidance office.

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