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Maplewood transition gets high marks

While the majority of students at the school live in close enough proximity to walk to school, not all students do.

"We do have some that are beyond a certain limit, and because there's no sidewalks and they do have to cross railroad tracks, those are concerns," he said.

In previous years, those students would have to have their parents drop them off and pick them up. Now, a North Colonie bus service transports those students who do not live close enough to the school.

Another service that has been greeted with excitement is the hot lunch program. Before the annexation, Maplewood students would have to bring their own lunches to school, with the exception of those who would get hot lunches ordered for them through Spiak's, a nearby restaurant.

"But now, as we're part of North Colonie, we get the hot lunches, and I have to tell you, that has been a big hit with the kids," Steele said.

Through the program, Maplewood students have been able to have pizza, fish filets, pasta salads and many more options for lunch.

But even more important than what they are eating is where they are eating.

Before the annexation, Maplewood supported students in grades kindergarten through eighth. Now, middle-school-age students go from Maplewood to Shaker Junior High School. With that transition Maplewood has been able to reconfigure the space so kids can eat their lunches in a cafeteria that is inside the main building.

"Kids would have to bundle up in the winter to go outside to the cafeteria," Steele said of the previous set-up. "Now they don't have to."

Aside from the major changes in the lunch program and transportation, major changes have also occurred in the educational programs that are now offered at Maplewood.

For instance, Maplewood now has its own band program.

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