Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Back to School Changes at ECSD

Back to School at ECSD

ELMIRA (WENY)-- It's the start of a new school year and it's also the beginning of school changes throughout the Southern Tier.

Beecher 5th grader, Mikey Strait, got a running start on the school year this morning. He has a new backpack and high hopes.

"I hope some of my friends are here, there are going to be a lot of new kids, but they are moving our classroom. We are going upstairs now," said Strait.

Mikey's classroom move is just one of a bunch of changes this school year.

Thomas K. Beecher Elementary President, Mike Lanning said, "Beecher now is a 3 to 6 building, we used to be Pre-K trough 5, so we've got half the kids that were here last year, approximately half, and we have about 220 kids from Fassett that are all new here."

That's true for the staff, too. This year, half of the teachers are new to Beecher. The Elmira-school district laid off more than 126 people, including 100 teachers and there's a 2.6 percent tax hike.

Krista Harmar is worried about the changes, her twins used to go to Beecher but this year, they're starting at Fassett.

She says, "I am very nervous about my twins and the school that they are at, it honestly scares me to death."

Harmer says she doesn't favor the location of the school.

The Middaugh brothers have been attending Beecher since kindergarten and their mom says they welcome the new steady stream of students.

Their mother, Kimberly says, "It gives them the opportunity to meet new friends. I think it should be alright I am sure there is going to be some bumps in the road but I'm sure it will work out fine."

Beecher is just one of the schools -- part of the Elmira re-districting -- there's going to be a lot of change in the classroom but it's not the only school seeing change.

Grade groupings have changed at all eight Elmira elementary schools. Notre Dame is adding seventh and eighth grades. But, even with the changes, Mikey is ready for the first bell to ring.

"If you guys are watching this, have a great day at school!"

Elmira City Schools are not the only ones changing, here is a break-down of other school district changes in place this year.

- Watkins Glen will be seeing different school day lengths and groupings and there is now one bus run instead of two.

- Notre Dame High School is adding seventh and eigth graders.

- Corning's Alternative School for Math and Science has a 35,000 square foot expansion and it can now house 50% more students.

- Schools in Elmira Heights, Odessa-Montour, Corning and Bradford now have new Principals.