MIDDLETOWN — The school district surprised incoming students in grades six through eight with a college celebration on Wednesday, where administrators, staff, community members and others gathered for a unique welcome party.

Members of a group called ‘Change the Narrative’ were among those who formed reception lines flanking both sides of the rear entrance to Beman Middle School on Wilderman’s Way, with a DJ playing popular tunes, chants of “rock stars” and high-fives all around as students exited their buses.

After the students made their way into the building, some administrators and staff, including Superintendent Alberto Vazquez Matos as well as School Board President Deborah Cain, got into the mood by performing a little sidewalk dance.

“See, the community is having a great time: the students – I’ve never seen them run around the school so fast,” Cain said. “At the end of the day, they’ll think, ‘Someone really cares about us.'”

Seeing familiar faces dancing was particularly refreshing, she added. “Kids need to see it, teachers need to see it. We are delighted, it’s the new year.

A similar reception was held earlier at Middletown High School, where, Mayor Ben Florsheim said, students were greeted with applause and shouts, including a very loud “grand finale” for the last student, who took the bus to school alone. He laughed, imagining that the child might have been embarrassed to be the subject of the special greeting.

Vazquez Matos applauded as the students entered the facility.

“As a teacher, you always look forward to the first day of school. You have these butterflies in your stomach – just like kids,” he said. prepare, set up your classrooms… and start the school year off right.”

“The first days of school are the most important days for our students. This sets the tone for the rest of the year,” the superintendent added.

Principal Raymond Byron said he was delighted to have the children back, “especially the sixth graders”.

“I’m so driven to create new experiences and relationships for all of our students,” he said. “We miss them.”

Until last year, when Beman replaced the old Woodrow Wilson Middle School, sixth graders were housed at Keigwin Middle School, which is now closed. “Last year we were learning,” the manager said of the directors. “We moved into a new building, and we still had a lot of work to do in the building and to learn the structures we needed to put in place.”

This year, Byron added, things should go smoothly.

Cain was also excited to be there. “It’s always nice to have a fresh start. Our community is there to support our young people and let them know… “Whatever you are going through, the community has your back. It’s so important that our students see it.

Common Council Majority Leader Gene Nocera is a former longtime educator at the former Woodrow Wilson Middle School.

“It’s more than exciting, because that’s what this is about for our young people,” he said. “School is a very big part of it, and we have to celebrate…that it’s a big day.”