District welcomes back students, staff for new school year

It’s back to the books for more than 10,000 students in the Vineland Public School District as classes resumed on Wednesday for the start of the 2019-20 school year.

Despite the overcast skies, there were plenty of smiles as students hopped off busses and said goodbye to parents before venturing to their new classrooms. There were the typical first-day bus delays as parents adjusted to the new routine – and new school times, in many cases - and drivers became familiar with their routes.

A workforce of nearly 2,000 was ready to greet the students from preschool to grade 12. While there were minor issues that occur with so many students in so many buildings, Superintendent Dr. Mary Gruccio was confident that staff and administration made every effort to resolve the issues quickly. Members of central administration visited many of the district’s 16 schools and will continue to do so throughout the week.

There will be several administrative changes as the school year begins. The district has hired Dr. Danielle Sneathen as Assistant Superintendent of Administration following the retirement of John Frangipani last month, and she will begin in October. Two new assistant principals will join the administrative ranks this year – Melissa Finizio, who will replace Ismael Bermudez at Sgt. Dominick Pilla School, and Lauren Coia, who will become new assistant principal at Rossi Elementary School. Current assistant principal Kristina Craig moves to Vineland High School this year, filling a vacancy that was open for almost an entire school year. Several schools will have leadership changes this year, as well. Melanie Lovisone takes over for Lisa Arena, who retired at the end of last school year, at Mennies Elementary School. Melissa Painter becomes the new head of the Vineland Preschool Program, following the retirement of Lynn Monteleone last year. And Bermudez, who was named principal of Pilla Middle School in anticipation of principal Tammy Monahan’s upcoming retirement.

The district’s facilities and maintenance staff were hard at work over the summer, ensuring that our buildings and athletic fields were ready for the start of another school year.

"All of our employees have been working very hard this summer preparing for the opening of school," said Dr. Gruccio. "I want to wish all of our students, their families, and all of our employees a safe and productive school year."

A reminder that parents and students can find all pertinent information on our district website, www.vineland.org and at the following links:

Updated school hours: http://bit.ly/2lwTzZL

2019-20 school calendar: http://bit.ly/2k6mZh4

Dress code information: http://bit.ly/2ly15nl

Parent Portal: http://bit.ly/2lUQ13B

Please click the following link to a gallery of staff and submitted photos from the first day: http://bit.ly/2k1GV4F

Enjoy a short video clip of Rossi Elementary School students being welcomed back to school this morning: http://bit.ly/2k2cIlU