Shara Teague and her family live in West Haven, but her oldest child is beginning seventh grade in the New Haven school system.
"They always have a lot to do after school, they always seem to have a lot of activities at this school," Teague told NBC Connecticut before picking up her son, Deleon. "He’s done newspaper club, he’s done band."
Teague has been a student at the East Rock Community Magnet School since third grade. Teague is one of about 3,000 students from New Haven’s suburbs to be enrolled at one of the school district’s 18 magnet schools.
"They know me by name, they know me by face," his mom said. "I’m always welcome and I like that."
At the start of this new school year, Interim Superintendent Dr. Reginald Mayo said New Haven schools are striving for progress in three areas.
"Our goals in New Haven are to cut the dropout rate in half," Mayo said Monday morning. "To cut the achievement gap in half, and certainly make sure that every student is prepared and financially able to go on to college."
Board of Education members are still looking for a new permanent superintendent as Mayo begins his second school year in the interim role.
The district has hired about 100 new teachers and administrators, Mayo said before greeting students for their first day at the John C. Daniels Interdistrict Magnet School of International Communication.
"We have a new principal here at John C. Daniels," Mayo said. "He’s fresh from Puerto Rico."
Over the summer, recruiters from the school district went to the Caribbean island in search of more Spanish speaking educators.
"We are working hard to develop our students and to develop our schools," Principal Daniel Bonet-Ojeda said. "To unify cultures and to have the next future of New Haven."
With school back in session, Mayor Toni Harp is urging state lawmakers to pass a budget by the end of September. She told NBC Connecticut schools in New Haven should be OK through the first quarter because of funding form the state’s education cost sharing grant program.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut