At 7:15 a.m. Monday morning, Moss Street Partnership School opened its doors wide to greet 420 children of Reidsville on their first day of school. Back to school means homework and happy reunions, but for students and teachers at the partnership school, it also means a brand-new curriculum, updated classrooms and new technology. It means a fresh start.
In Summer 2017, UNC Greensboro, Rockingham County Schools and the Moss Street community formed a collaboration to transform Moss Street Elementary into the new Moss Street Partnership School (MSPS) in an effort to increase student success.
“It was amazing to see this partnership between Rockingham County and UNCG come alive with the energy of the students and families of the Moss Street community,” said Dr. Randall Penfield, dean of the UNCG School of Education, who greeted families outside of the school on Monday.
Students stepped off of the Rockingham County yellow buses with eagerness and curiosity, backpacks in tow. New principal Catina Chestnut, a UNCG alumna who was hired in April, wore a wide grin as she shook the hands – or in some cases doled out hugs – of every student and family member who came through the doors.
Siblings walked together hand-in-hand down the halls, lit up with the smiles of their teachers. Each classroom clean, colorfully decorated and ready for the first class.
Moss Street Partnership School is part of the UNC Lab School Initiative, and UNCG is one of nine campuses selected by the state to improve student learning in low-performing schools as part of the initiative.
The school will develop student skills and interest in the highly desired “STEAM” subjects – science, technology, engineering, visual and performing arts, and math – as well as provide other services including counseling, social work and additional support for students and families.
Moss Street will also serve as an educator-preparation and professional learning site for teachers, administrators, school librarians, school counselors and school social workers.
“I was gratified to see the culmination of more than a year of preparation,” said Christina O’Connor, co-director of MSPS. “Seeing teachers and students engaging in hands-on learning from day one exemplified the vision and goals that we have spent so many months cultivating.”
UNCG extends a warm welcome to the very first class of Moss Street Partnership School!
Story by Elizabeth L. Harrison, University Communications
Photography by Jiyoung Park, University Communications