School Info » Administration



Dr. Semeen Issa


Dear First Avenue Families,

Welcome to First Avenue Middle School! Although we have all encountered some unexpected challenges with unforeseen events this past year, I am confident that the First Avenue Middle School community will be able to meet and overcome them in a very positive way. 

You may have many questions about how learning will occur at First Avenue. Our teachers and staff worked diligently through the summer to create a schedule that works for everyone, in addition to obtaining training to become more adept at teaching in a virtual world. 

The FA daily schedule provides for directed lessons and virtual communication with teachers from 9:00 am to lunchtime. The afternoon time consists of small group instruction by teachers, extra help for students who need it, independent work time for students, and a chance for students to get all their assignments done for the day. 

Attendance is mandatory by the State and will be taken every period. Virtual learning protocols have been established to address learning virtually, and to make sure that students have the best possible learning experience. Unlike last spring, students will be graded on assignments and teachers will have all the relevant information that pertains to grading in specific content areas. Our principal and assistant principal classroom visits will consist of us virtually popping into classrooms to make connections with students and teachers. 

The faculty and staff of First Avenue Middle School remain committed to the safety, wellness, and success of our students.  We value the partnership between parents and school, and we hope that you will continue to partner with us in this new endeavor. 

In closing, I want to offer my heartfelt thanks for your kind words, your patience, your support, and your perseverance.  We care very much for our students and families, and cannot wait for the time when we will all be back together on campus.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me should you have questions, concerns, or if I can be of any assistance.

Stay safe and be well.




Mr. Michael DeGrazia

I am excited to be engaged in my fifth year at First Avenue.  We will have a much different learning environment at First Avenue, but our staff is prepared to take on the new challenge and we will be prepared when we are able to return.  First Avenue has amazing students, staff, and parents.  There are a number of opportunities for students through innovation and teacher collaboration that support Arcadia’s tag line to imagine, inquire, and inspire.  We have an exemplary music program, performing arts program, sports program, and we have a number of electives that appeal to students with different interests.  This year, we are also having an advisory period where students can check in with teachers, listen to announcements, review materials, ask questions, and obtain support from teachers


Other programs we offer when we are in session at First Avenue are:  Ellis Island Day, Medieval Day, Science Day, and the Spartan Olympics continue to enable students to display all of their many talents.  First Avenue has a strong tradition and I enjoy being a part of it.  We continue to implement the “Leader In Me Program” and we are continually making improvements to the school.  


Many students and teachers have also made contributions to the growing sports program that provides students initial experiences to athletics in order to prepare students for high school athletics.  Math Circles and competitive mathematics will continue to take place in order to provide students experience and opportunities that can have a positive influence on their future. Along with sports and competitive mathematics, our music, performing arts, art, and robotics programs continue to impress.


I am looking forward to everyone having a successful year at First Avenue for the 2020-2021 school year. Thank you for your continued support and please feel free to contact me if you need any assistance.