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New education commissioner greets students in Menands, Green Island

September 05, 2019 01:55 PM

MENANDS – Acting NYS Education Commissioner Beth Berlin was among those welcoming kids back to school Thursday morning. Her first stop was Menands School, which has undergone a major expansion over the past year.

"We need to find the right way to support teachers and administrators, educators and the folks that are here working day in and day out whether it's in the cafeteria, the social workers, psychologists," said Berlin. "They are making a difference in the lives of children and it's our responsibility to make sure that we're supporting them in that work."

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Kids arrived with smiles – and some nerves – to start the new school year.

"It's never easy for me," said Nicole Watson, dropping off her son to the first day of 2nd grade. "It's easy for him. He wasn't ready to come back but i just told him to continue to do what he's doing, be nice and be kind to all his friends and of course make sure they're kind to you as well."

Berlin toured the new Menands building and then visited Green Island to see classrooms and observe the free lunch program at Heatly School.

State Police are increasing patrols to crack down on dangerous drivers and keep students safe as the new school year begins.

"No matter how a child gets to school - whether on a school bus, a bike, a scooter, or on foot - they should feel safe," Governor Cuomo said in a statement. "I urge every driver to do their part -- be alert and follow the rules of the road. Drivers who put children's lives in danger will be held responsible."

In addition to stepping up patrols, State Police will again be partnering with AAA for its annual "School's Open - Drive Carefully" campaign. State Police will be displaying AAA's "School's Open" bumper stickers on all marked patrol cars as an added reminder to motorists to be on the lookout for students.

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WNYT Staff

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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