WARWICK-Where did the summer go? That's a common refrain heard every August. This year, though, the summer didn't just seem to fly by-it really did! Kids are heading back to school days before the traditional end-of-summer Labor Day holiday. The buses will roll on Thursday, Sept. 2. "It goes in cycles," said Warwick schools Superintendent Dr. Joseph Natale. "Every six or seven years it happens that Labor Day falls late in September and we start before the holiday." It has been a short summer for the district personnel as well. While the kids have been enjoying their time off, hopefully with some reading interspersed with the swimming and biking, the district has been gearing up for the school year from the time school closed in June. Natale noted that just after school closed in June, all elementary instructional staff participated in a full day in-service session dealing with different learning styles. "Not all students learn the same way," Natale said. "We use different teaching concepts to reach all of our learners. Our goal is to achieve continuous progress for all our students." At the middle school level, Natale said staff has also been working on the teaching strategies for all types of learners. A big push has been made this summer to work with test analysis. The district takes the results of state testing and works on the curriculum in order to produce better results, he said.It seems to be working. Natale noted that across the board district English Language Arts scores were up last year. This school year will also be the second year of a new math series, something that has been a valuable tool in response to state testing. A new science program is being introduced this year. Warwick's 1,700 high school students begin their day at 7:10. A recent restructuring at the high school embraces the concept of smaller learning communities. The Freshman Academy offers 9th grade students the opportunity to ease into the high school environment. The Sophomore Initiative gives 10th graders a look at the three Learning Institutes, which are offered to juniors and seniors: math and natural sciences, humanities and social/behavioral sciences and the arts and applied sciences. The middle school day goes from 8 a.m. until 2:40. New students and their parents had the chance this summer to tour the school building during a new student orientation meeting. Warwick's four elementary schools-King's, Park Avenue, Pine Island, and Sanfordville-will be buzzing as students arrive for the start of their day at 9:05. Dismissal is at 3:35. St. Stephen/St. Edward School begins its classes on Wednesday, Sept. 8, with half days that week. Full days begin on the 13th. Calvary Christian Academy returns to work on Tuesday, Sept. 7. The district's website contains information on each of the public schools within the district, as well as Board of Education meeting dates, PTA information for every school, and the rules and regulations within the district. The site is warwickvalleyschools.com. Starting school on Thursday isn't too bad - at least there is not a long wait for the first school holiday.