Framework for Connecticut Schools During the 2020-21 Academic Year

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Jun 252020

Yes, your children WILL be going back to school this fall.

There are a lot of rules set up for the 2020-2021 school year, comprised in cooperation with students and parents. The one sticking point that many are not thrilled about is that kids will be required to wear masks all day, which may very well prove to be difficult, especially for those younger than 10.

This is what the state has provided:

Guiding Principles

As Connecticut schools plan to reopen, the guidance and considerations outlined in this framework are grounded in six guiding principles:

  1. Safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff;
  2. Allowing all students the opportunity to return into the classrooms full time starting in the fall;
  3. Monitoring the school populations and, when necessary, potentially canceling classes in the future to appropriately contain COVID-19 spread;
  4. Emphasizing equity, access, and support to the students and communities who are emerging from this historic disruption;
  5. Fostering strong two-way communication with partners such as families, educators and staff; and
  6. Factoring into decisions about reopening the challenges to the physical safety and social-emotional well-being of our students when they are not in school.

These guiding principles require all districts to develop their plans with a certain level of consistency, however, they retain wide discretion in implementing approaches to reopening given unique local considerations.

School districts must balance their planning with contingency plans to provide robust, blended learning or remote learning for all grades in the event that a school, district, or region has to cancel or limit in-person classes due to health precautions.

Main Operational Considerations


  • Districts should emphasize grouping students by the same class/group of students and teachers (into a cohort) so each team functions independently as much as possible. Consider this methodology by grade levels.
  • Placing students in cohorts is strongly encouraged for grades K-8, and encouraged where feasible for grades 9-12.

Social Distancing and Facilities

  • Review building space and reconfigure available classroom space, such as gymnasiums and auditoriums, to maximize social distancing, consistent with public health guidelines in place at that time.


  • Districts should plan for buses to operate close to capacity with heightened health and safety protocols, including requiring all students and operators to wear face coverings.
  • Plans must be developed to activate increased social distancing protocols based upon community spread.

Face Coverings

  • All staff and students will be expected to wear a protective face covering or face mask that completely covers the nose and mouth when inside the school building, except for certain exceptions including when teachers are providing instruction.

Ensuring Equity and Access

  • Equitable access to education is a top priority that supports a full-time in-school model by mitigating any barriers to education or opportunity gaps that increased during the pandemic. Efforts to support equity, close the opportunity gap, and provide a wide range of support for students in the state are best achieved with in-person schooling opportunities for all ages.
  • Districts should identify gaps and develop action plans for reopening that specifically address inclusion, equity, and access for all learners with strategies and clearly defined action steps.

Hey, Orange Live, Where Are The Bus Routes?

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Aug 122019

As you can imagine, with children still being registered and the Bus Company coordinating with the schools, this is a very hectic time of year.

The bus routes cannot be drawn up until every child is accounted for because making changes is a waste of energy and making last-minute changes can only lead to mistakes.

The final routes could be available as soon as this week. The format in which they released is ok, but not the most user-friendly and we usually spend a lot of time re-formatting them for Orange Live readers.

We will post easy to follow copies of your children’s bus routes as soon as possible and in plenty of time for you to prepare for the school year. So hold on just a little bit longer, we won’t let you down.

2018-19 Bus Routes — Amity Middle School Orange

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Aug 232018

The first day of school is Wednesday, August 29.

Following is the Bus Route schedule for Amity Middle School Orange

Route No. 126

Driver Beth Winkle

Dennis Drive & Garden Road

Hilltop Road & Cold Spring

389 Hiltop Road

Hilltop Road & Grassy Hill Road

Robert Treat Ext & Charles Court

Robert Treat Dr & Southland Dr

Hemlock Hill & Robert Treat Ext

Grassy Hill Rd & Laurelwood Rd

820 Bayberry Lane

Hollyhock Rd & Bayberry Rd

Bayberry Rd & Longmeadow Road

394 Longmeadow Road

Cedarwood Rd & Longmeadow Rd

Grassy Hill Rd & Robert Treat Dr

715 Ridge Road

Mulberry Rd & Ridge Road

Old Hickory Rd & Buttonball Rd

129 Buttonball Rd

108 Buttonball Rd

719 Lambert Rd

726 Lambert Rd

Estelle Court & Shepard Lane

Royal Lane & Shepard Lane

St John Drive & Farm River Road

St John Drive & Pryde Drive

Arrival Time 7:25 a.m.

Regular Dismissal 2:17 p.m.


Route No. 128

Driver Amy Pomerenk

Butternut Ct & Grassy Hill Rd

Ridgeview Rd & Butternut Ct

Ridgeview Road & Sycamore Rd

Augusta Drive & Clark Lane

Augusta Dr & Treat Lane

Narrow Lane & Old Tavern Road

Miles Road & Narrow Lane

Miles Road & Knight Lane

Treat Lane & Old Country Rd

Treat Lane & Michael Court

Hitching Post Rd & Ridge Rd

Ridge Road & Hemlock Hill Rd

Englewood Rd & Laurie Lane

Orange Center Rd & Orchard Rd

695 Orange Center Road

Mapledale Rd & Surrey Lane

Mapledale Road & Cherry Hill Rd

909 Mapledale Road

946 Mapledale Road

Arrival Time 7:25 a.m.

Regular Dismissal 2:17 p.m.


Route No. 130

Driver Greg Hine

Ridge Road & Farm Hill Road

Meetinghouse Rd & Farm Hill Rd

Sportsman Rd & Squire Lane

Sportsman Rd & Grassy Hill Road

Grassy Hill Road & Wingfoot Rd

334 Grassy Hill Rd

314 Grassy Hill Road

379 West River Rd

S Greenbrier Rd & Burning Tree Rd

S Greenbrier Rd & Brentwood Rd East

715 North Greenbrier

North Greenbrier & Burning Tree Rd

North Greenbrier & Derby Milford Rd

Prudden Lane & Arrowhead Rd

Prudden Lane & Derby Milford Rd

Derby Milford Road & Fawn Drive

Derby Milford Rd & Cranberry Road

469 Turkey Hill Road

Hyland Terrace & Midland Drive

1014 Pleasant Hill Rd

Derby Ave & Abby Ct (AM)

Arrival Time 7:25 a.m.

Regular Dismissal 2:17 p.m.


Route No. 131

Driver Dave Woodmansee

Smith Farm Rd & Whitewood Rd

Boston Post Rd & Lindy St

Avalon Drive West Avalon Drive East

Peck Lane & Mallard Rd

Boston Post Rd & Silverbrook Road

311 Lambert Road

Old Tavern Road & Saybrook Rd

Racebrook Rd & Neenan Rd

Racebrook Road & Norman Street

Racebrook Road & Rolling Ridge Rd

491 Racebrook Road

Racebrook Rd & Crofut Road

Racebrook Road & Andrew Lane

Racebrook Road & Hampton Close

Woodside Drive & Murfield Rd

Arrival Time 7:25 p.m.

Regular Dismissal 2:17 p.m.


Route No. 132

Driver Joe Tirollo

New Haven Ave & Marble Road

New Haven Ave & Halliwell Road

Hall Drive & Locust Drive

Tyler City Road & Russell Ct

Tyler City Road & Lambert Road

Lambert Road & Hall Drive

Lambert Road & Sunset Road

Lambert Road & Putting Green Road

Lambert Road & Wellington Dr

Lambert Road & Bear Den Road

Wellington Dr & Manley Heights East

Taulman Road & Valleybrook Road

Orange Center Road & Hitchcock CT

Orange Ctr Road & Crocker Ct

244 Harvestor Road (AM)

Forest Road & Carriage Drive (AM)

697 Orange Center Road

Orange Center Rd & Cherry Hill Rd

904 Orange Center Road

942 Orange Center Road

Arrival Time 7:25 a.m.

Regular Dismissal 2:17 p.m.


Route No. 133

Driver Polly Knight

Old Tavern Rd & Demarest Dr

369 Orange Center Road

Drummond Road & Old Tavern Rd

Drummond Rd & Fairlea Rd

Drummond Rd & Wilson Rd

Fairlea Rd & Wilson Road

Narrow Lane & Sarah Circle East

Narrow Lane & Sarah Circle

West Knight Lane & Peck Lane

Peck Lane & Arnold Lane

Peck Lane & Old Tavern Road

Peck Lane & Karen Drive

Karen Dr & Petrose Cir (West)

Karen Dr & Petrose Cir (East)

David Court & Argyle Road

David Court & Currier Drive

Currier Drive & Rustic Lane

Hawthorne La & Pine Tree Dr

East Hawthorne La & Pine Tree Dr

West Pine Tree Drive & Pine Tree Drive

Pine Tree Drive & Spruce Lane

Ridge Road & Meetinghouse Lane

Meeting House La & Oakview Rd

Meeting House La & Church Rd South

Arrival Time 7:25 a.m. 

Regular Dismissal 2:17 p.m.


Route No. 134

Driver Nancy Pedula

494 Wheelers Farm Road

454 Yellow Brick Road

407 Wheelers Farm Road

Wheelers Farms Rd & Stonehill Rd

Wheelers Farms Road & Herbert St

Herbert St & Wolcott Lane

Windy Hill Rd & Wolcott Rd

Wagon Trail Rd & Fairway Rd

Cedar Grove Rd & Aspen Lane

Aspen Lane & Broadview Dr

Skyline Dr & Scenic Rd

Skyline Drive & Windy Hill Road

Coram Lane & Coram Lane

Clearbrook Rd & Cart La

Clearbrook Rd & Herbert St

594 Wheelers Farms Rd

Wheelers Farms Rd & Cobblestone Rd

Wheelers Farms Rd & Hundred Acre

515 Turkey Hill Rd

447 Turkey Hill Rd

Grassy Hill Road & Robert Treat Dr

839 Grassy Hill Road

921 Grassy Hill Road

943 Grassy Hill Road

Grassy Hill Road & Haystack Hill Rd

Grassy Hill Rd & Old Silo

Grassy Hill Rd & Skyview Rd

998 Grassy Hill Rd

931 Green Circle (AM)

Arrival Time 7:25 a.m.

Regular Dismissal 2:17 p.m.


Route No. 135

Driver Ken Mitchell

Dentree Drive & Whitney Lane

Birchwood Dr & Whitney Lane

393 Derby Ave (AM)

Derby Ave & Ironwood Rd

Derby Ave & Mapleview Rd

Cummings Dr & Avon Dr East

Cummings Dr & Twin Acre

Grannis Rd & Andrew Lane

Russell Ave & New England Lane

Russell Ave & Dogwood Rd

Dogwood Rd & Cricket Lane

Dogburn Lane & Spring St

Spring St & New Haven Ave

Howelton Rd & Grace Trail

Alling Farms & Summitt Drive

Kanuga Trail & Crestwood Rd

559 Summit Road

537 Dogwood Road

Bittersweet Road & Great Oak Road

South Indian Hill & Great Oak Road

Bittersweet Rd & Harborview Rd

Juniper Drive & Lakeview Road

Derby Ave & North Lakeview Rd

Derby Ave & Hillcrest Road

Indian Hill Rd & Hillcrest Road

Dogburn Road & Glen Road

Ohman Ave & Woodruff Road

Arrival Time 7:25 a.m.

Regular Dismissal 2:17 p.m.


Route No. 137

Driver Stephan Bespuda

High Ridge Rd & Quarter Mile Rd

Derby Ave & Opekum Rd

842 Derby Ave

Wildwood Road & Wildwood Road

Wildwood Road & Ox Yoke Rd

Corn Cob Rd & Haystack Rd

Northwood Rd & Rainbow Trail

Rainbow Trail & Rail Fence Road

Willard Road & Patricia Court

Willard Road & Beechlawn Rd

Derby Ave & Fernbrook Rd

Orange Center Rd & Green Hill Rd

Green Hill Road & Walnut Hill Road

Orange Center Rd & Center Rd Circle

Arrival Time 7:25 a.m.

Regular Dismissal 2:17 p.m.


Routing By Tirollo Bus Co., LLC 

Have a wonderful school year!

How Well Do You Understand the Pledge of Allegiance?

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Aug 222017

After a long, long summer, Orange (and Amity Schools) open next Monday, Aug. 28.

Children of all ages will be waking up early and heading off to school.

One part of their day, which, during these tumultuous times is very important than ever, will be reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Like an old song, we all know the words, but do we really know what they mean?

An Orange Live reader sent us this link to a video of the late comedian Red Skelton reciting the pledge as we’ve never heard it before.

If you have a young child 1-5th grade, why not sit him/her down and give this presentation a watch for a better understanding of what it’s all about.

Wireless Zone, Orange Helps Children In Need

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Jul 192017

The National Retail Federation predicted the average person with children in grades K-12 would spend $97.74 on school supplies such as notebooks, pencils, and backpacks.

With more than 16 million children in the U.S. living in poverty, Orange Wireless Zone, 330 Boston Post Road, is working to alleviate the rising costs of school supplies through the fifth annual School Rocks Backpack Giveaway in partnership with The Cellular Connection (TCC) and Culture of Good.

On Sunday, July 23 between 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., the local Wireless Zone and TCC stores will be inviting Orange families and their children to pick up a backpack filled with school supplies, and this is expected to be the biggest year yet with more than 230,000 backpacks full of books expected to be delivered in 2017.

Bus Routes for Race Brook School

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Aug 182016

school busIt’s that time of year again, back to school = the release of the school bus routes.

Here’s the information you need to know about Race Brook School bus runs:

Route No. 50

Arrival Time 8:15 a.m. – Regular Dismissal 3 p.m.

Driver: Don Gillotti

639 Lambert Road, 691 Lambert Road, 719 Lambert Road, Shephard Lane and Estelle Court, Shepherd Lane and Royal Lane, 676 St John Drive, St John Drive and Farm River Road, 655 St John Drive, 15 Pryde Drive, 64 Hampton Close, 79 Hampton Close, 5 Hampton Close, 53 Woodside Drive, 15 Murfield Road, RaceBrook Road and Murfield Road, 708 RaceBrook Road, 642 RaceBrook Road, 620 RaceBrook Road, Racebrook Road and Andrew Lane, 22 Andrew Lane, 55 Andrew Lane, 64 Andrew Lane.

Route No. 51

Arrival Time 8:15 a.m. – Regular Dismissal 3 p.m.

Driver: Mike Tirollo

430 Racebrook Road, 354 RaceBrook Road, Avalon Drive (West), Avalon Drive (East), Prindle Hill Road and Avalon Drive (East), 321 RaceBrook Road, RaceBrook Road and Norman Street, 491 Racebrook Road.

Route No. 52

Arrival Time 8:15 a.m. – Regular Dismissal 3 p.m.

Driver: Joe Moncheski

1091 Orange Center Road, 52 Williamsburg Drive, 10 Williamsburg Drive, 965 Orange Center Road, 831 Walnut Hill Road, 20 Green Hill Road, 47 Green Hill Road, 65 Green Hill Road, 804 Walnut Hill Road, Orange Center and Pinecrest (North), 24 RaceBrook Terrace, 44 Center Road Circle, 1050 Orange Center Road, 940 Orange Center Road (South of Rt 34), 791 Lambert Road No Transportation (Emergency Only) 

Route No. 53

Arrival Time 8:15 a.m. – Regular Dismissal 3 p.m.

Driver: Ken Mitchell Jr.

834 Sheffield Road, Ohman Ave and Columbia Street,  Woodruff Road and Ohman Avenue,  Woodruff Road and Hadley Road, Woodruff Road and Taft Road, College Road and Ohman Avenue, Ohman Avenue and Alling Road, Hadley Road and Alling Road, 181 Derby Avenue, 806 Oakwood Road, 828 Oakwood Road, 319 Derby Avenue, 341 Derby Avenue, Birchwood Drive and Whitney Lane, 834 Birchwood Drive, 860 Birchwood Drive, 5 Ironwood Way, 20 Ironwood Way, Derby Avenue and Mapleview Road, 643 Dogwood Road, Cummings Drive and Twin Acre Road, 142 Grannis Road, No Transportation (Emergency Only) 

Route No. 54

Arrival Time 8:15 a.m. – Regular Dismissal 3 p.m.

Driver: Polly Knight

584 RaceBrook Road, 528 Racebrook Road, Locust Drive and Edward Court, High Meadow Lane and Russell Court, 540 Bishop Drive, 63 Hall Drive, Chippendale Lane and Wedgewood Drive, 464 Lambert Road, 29 Rolling Ridge Road, Lambert Road and Sunset Drive, 567 Lambert Road, 546 Lambert Road, 575 Lambert Road, 54 Tyler City Road, 48 Tyler City Road, 16 Tyler City Road, Grannis Road and Racebrook Road, 27 Grannis Road, 80 Grannis Road No Transportation (Emergency Only) 

Route No. 55

Arrival Time 8:15 a.m. – Regular Dismissal 3 p.m.

Driver: Gary Colello

393 Derby Avenue, 493 Derby Avenue, 931 Green Circle, Trillium Court and Green Circle, 927 Mapledale Road, 916 Mapledale Road, 909 Mapledale Road. Mapledale Road and Peach Tree Drive, Mapledale Road and Cherry Hill Road, 132 Cherry Hill Road, 104 Cherry Hill Road, 122 Pardee Manor, 146 Pardee Manor, Pardee Manor and Mapledale Road, 181 Surrey Drive, 202 Surrey Drive, 810 Mapledale Road, 778 Mapledale Road, 639 Schoolhouse Lane, 669 Orange Center Road, 695 Orange Center Road, 166 Orchard Road, Old Hickory Road and South Hickory Road, 134 Buttonball Road, 125 Rogers Road, 726 Lambert Road, 115 Buttonball Road, 696 Orange Center Road, 116 Tyler City Road, 121 Tyler City Road.

Route No. 56

Arrival Time 8:15 a.m. – Regular Dismissal 3 p.m.

Driver: Andy Vasquez

359 Dogwood Road, 377 Dogwood Road, 438 Howelton Road, 471 Howelton Road, 483 Howelton Road, 486 Grace Trail, 450 Grace Trail, 477 Alling Farm Road, 513 Kanuga Trail, 551 Summit Drive, 594 Summit Drive, Crestwood Terrace and Summit Drive, 455 Dogwood Road, 521 Dogwood Road, 537 Dogwood Road, Dogwood Road and Riggs Road, Bittersweet Road and Harborview Road, Harborview Road and Hunting Hill Road, 605 Dogwood Road, 638 Avon Drive, 595 Avon Drive, 579 Avon Drive No Transportation (Emergency Only)  

Route No. 57

Arrival Time 8:15 a.m. – Regular Dismissal 3 p.m.

Driver: Alicia Abbott-Negron

826 North Lakeview Road, 805 North Indian Hill Road, 825 Tall Timber Road, North Indian Hill Road and Hillcrest Road, North Indian Hill Road and Shagbark Road, 846 Shagbark Drive, Shagbark Drive and Hillcrest Road, 830 Beechwood Road, 841 Dogburn Road, 803 Dogburn Road, 658 Chestnut Ridge Road, 74 Derby Avenue, Juniper Drive and Lakeview Road, 324 Juniper Drive, 303 Great Oak Road, 290 Great Oak Road, 258 Great Oak Road, 616 Chestnut Ridge Road No Transportation (Emergency Only) 

Route No. 58

Arrival Time 8:15 a.m. – Regular Dismissal 3 p.m.

Driver: Peter Danielczuk

317 Lindy Street, Founder Way and Lindy Street, 16 Founders Way, 330 Dogburn Lane, 345 Dogburn Lane, Dogburn Road and Spring Street, 380 Spring Street, 145 New Haven Avenue, 168 New Haven Avenue,  Alpom Drive and Russell Avenue, 120 Russell Avenue, 483 New England Lane, New England Lane and Overland Drive, Overland Drive and Highfield Drive, 523 Highfield Drive, 549 Highfield Drive, 123 Cricket Lane, 141 Cricket Lane, 402 Dogburn Lane, 124 New Haven Avenue, 93 New Haven Avenue, 510 Ferry Road, 483 Marble Road, 518 Marble Road, Quintard Lane and Crofut Road, 16 New Haven Avenue, 5 Russell Avenue, 33 Russell Avenue.


First Day Of School: Busses, Backpacks, and Butterflies

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Aug 312015

Parent Paparazzi

Parent Paparazzi

It’s the first day of school, Peck Place has a newly paved and re-routed parking lot and for the most part everyone followed the rules (and the directional arrows). A steady line of SUVs pulled in past Mike Luzzi, who directed them to the drop-off area. They let their children out, then pulled around the parked cars and drove out through the exit in a safe and orderly fashion — except ONE mom, who pulled in through the exit and later told Luzzi she was “in a hurry.”

“That’s a good way to get into a head-on accident,” he told her, with a reminder that the correct drop-off routine is designed for everyone’s safety.

Over at Mary L. Tracy School, the parent paparazzi lined up and ready for action armed with fully charged cell phones and a few 35MM cameras to document their baby’s first day of school.

There were a couple of apprehensive youngsters and plenty of tears, but not from the children — mothers lined up near the front door wiped their eyes and choked back the sobs as reality sunk in.

We wish everyone a wonderful school year, and minimal snow days.

NOTE: For all the time I spent at these schools, you may wonder why I didn’t take lots of photos of the kids. For security reasons, I can no longer take dozens of pictures like I did 20 years ago. Getting permission to publish a child’s photo online takes a lot of extra legwork, running the pictures by the school office, having them check the permission slips to see if that child is allowed to be photographed OR calling the parent to ask individual permission for an extraordinarily good photo. Last year, I waited 2 days to get permission for 5 photos, by then, it’s old news. I also have smudged out the children’s faces in the past, but the photos look like something from a horror movie — terribly unappealing. So, this year the rule of thumb was backs and waist down, except for ONE photo of a friend’s child with his immediate permission (a breath of fresh air). 

Letter: Middle School Principal Offers Important Back-To-School Information

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Aug 212015

Amity Middle School, Orange

A Letter To Amity Middle School Parents:

In one more week we will be meeting and greeting our new 7th grade students and our returning 8th graders. We also have thirteen new students enrolling in AMSO from other towns and states.

The first day of school is Monday, Aug. 31.  The day begins at 7:34 a.m. and ends at 2:18 p.m. On the first day, students should bring a small notebook and a pencil or pen.

A packet has been mailed to your homes with important information including bus stops, PowerSchool, InfoSnap, MyPaymentsPlus along with a parent/student packet regarding such things as student absence procedures, appropriate attire, café…..etc. If you have not received this information, please call the school so we can mail it to you, or you are welcome to come by the school and pick one up. The school is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. In fact, students are most welcome to visit and check out their classrooms and teams.

Throughout the year I will send an email at least once a week, mostly on Fridays. I hope you will find the information helpful and informative. Very soon we will be posting a calendar to our website with important upcoming dates and events. The calendar will be continually updated.

The following link will take you directly to the AMSO homepage.

Enjoy the rest of August!

All the best,

Kathleen Fuller-Cutler (Kathi)

Get Ready to Get Pounced Peck Place Hosts First Fundraiser of 2015-16 School Year

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Aug 172015

panther pounce bannerPeck Place School families, welcome back your favorite Peck Place students with a lawn banner.
For a donation of $15 to the Peck Place PTO, a large banner will be placed on your lawn for 3 days to welcome back your children, grandchildren or favorite Peck Place Student.
Contact Marcie Rocchio at teachrocc@yahoo.com with your name, e-mail address, street address, students last name and phone number to sign up or with any questions.
Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 4.53.42 PMWhere will the Peck Place Banner show up next?
 Try and spot the Panthers as they move around town.

Photos: MLT Kindergarten First Day Of School

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Sep 082014

On Tuesday, Sept. 2, dozens of adorable kids arrived at Mary L Tracy for the first day of school.

As they stepped off the busses, throngs of paparazzi yelled out names and screamed, “look at me!”

Orange Live was there, too, taking dozens of photos. We submitted about 10 to the school administration for approval (you can never be too careful these days) and the following three photos were given the go-ahead.

Often Live will blur the faces of children, but there’s something special about the first day of school that would have been lost. The children in these photos were approved by the school (which means the parents signed permission slips).