NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- It was back to school this morning for kids in New Haven. The district also starts off the year with a new superintendent, and improvements to at least one school building.
An excitement usually reserved for the last day of school, this first day, as East Rock Magnet School students in New Haven cut the ribbon on a new year and a completely renovated school.
With all these improvements, do you kind of wish you could stick around more than one more year," asked News 8's Jeff Valin.
"Yeah, since it's a new school, yeah," said student Yassin Ouroagy.
Computer labs, a multi-purpose so-called "cafetorium," and a sweet-looking gym are just some of the centerpieces.
"We have two playground areas, one for the younger students and one for the older students, there's a large field for the students to play in, and we have an area for gardening," said Principal Peggy Pelley. "We're planning to establish a community garden with the help of Common Ground."
One result of the physical changes at East Rock is much more natural light in the building, perhaps symbolic of changes at the state level that administrators say make for a much brighter future for education in Connecticut.
"Teachers across the state are going to receive meaningful feedback on their practice to help improve their classrooms for our children, so that we can learn at higher levels, and we're also introducing a brand-new set of standards called the 'Common Core'," said Stefan Pryor, CT Commissioner of Education. "The 'Common Core' represents fewer, clearer, higher standards for our kids."
As for New Haven, East Rock is the 37th of the Elm City's 46 public schools to be built or renovated in just the last 18 years.
"I think that reflects the investment that the city has made in education over a very long time," said Garth Harries, Superintendent of Schools. "We've just had our first kids start to arrive; they're so excited to go in."
And that's not every day, unless you're talking late June.
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