As the summer draws to a close, Stamford’s 20 public schools are buzzing in preparation for the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. While the school year starts on August 28th, the behind the scenes administrative and support personnel have spent the summer laying the groundwork for the new school year.
“It’s a herculean task making sure that everything is in place for the 15,000 students who attend the city’s public schools,” said Alison Corbo, executive secretary to the principal at Westhill High School. Ms. Corbo also serves as the first vice president of UAW Local 2377, whose membership includes over 50 school system personnel, such as office support specialists, executive secretaries and clerk typists.
Virginia Yost, an office support specialist at Springdale Elementary School and secretary of the union explained “We spend the summer moving all of the kids up a grade. This includes registration for children entering kindergarten and transfer students, inputting their information into a private database for school personnel, ordering textbooks and registering the fifth graders for middle school and eighth graders for high school.”
Corbo and Yost have both been busy at the 2,100 student Westhill High School and 600 plus student Springdale Elementary School, sending parents packets answering questions they might have in preparing for the school year and providing Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) flyers, information on upcoming events and lists of suggested school supplies.
“Once the students are back to school, a majority of time goes to creating a friendly and helpful environment for the students and parents,” explained Ms. Corbo. “The little things we do daily go a long way to make a difference in the lives of the children and their parents. It is our job to take care of this city’s most precious commodity – our children.
“Many people think that when school is out for the summer the support staff is also on a three month vacation, but that’s simply not the case,” said Gloria Kelley, president of UAW Local 2377 which represents more than 400 city employees, including public school support staff. “Alison and Virginia are just two of the many loyal and dedicated public school system employees who do the unheralded work that allows students and teachers to concentrate on learning.”