Kids across the district headed back to school on Wednesday, saddened by summer’s close but excited about seeing their friends, new possibilities, and the chance to show off their back to school accessories. Energy was in the air at Purdy Elementary on Wednesday afternoon, where kids were excitedly huddled around each other after the school day’s final bell. 6-year-old Ainslee Johnson, rocking a bright pink backpack that lit up in different spots, had just finished her first day as a first grader.
“It was exciting to be at school,” she said. “It was fun seeing my friends.”
Although Johnson was excited to be back, she said she will miss spending time with her family during the day.
Her sister Ella, a 9-year-old third grader, was a little more chatty, and talked about the different activities the class did during the first day.
“My favorite part was free time,” she said. “We got to write in our books. I drew owls.”
I guess you could say her first day was a hoot.
Ella wasn’t as diplomatic as her sister with her response to what she’ll miss the most about the summer.
“I’ll miss not having to wake up so early,” she said.
6-year-old first grader Ayden Ahlert apparently wasn’t enthused about the academic portion of the first day.
“My favorite part of the day was recess,” he said.
Ahlert said he will miss spending time at the pool.
The kids will miss sleeping in and lounging by the pool, but they aren’t always the only ones who have trouble letting go of summer. Sometimes teachers encounter nervous and emotional parents who are dropping their kids off at school for the first time, a transition that can be hard to deal with. 1st and 2nd grade teacher Mat Cleary said this year was an exception.
“There were no overly emotional moms this year,” he said. “Usually we get a couple. Sometimes they’re worried about the buses, but we didn’t have any concerns about the buses this year.”
The lack of crying moms set the tone for a smooth and successful first day.
“There were a lot of eager faces,” Cleary said. “The kids worked hard. It was a good start.”
The scene at Purdy Elementary was somewhat chaotic, given the overcrowding struggles the school is currently facing, but the teachers did a good job of keeping the kids organized and together in groups as they waited for the buses or for their parents to pick them up. Hopefully the kids—and the teachers—can get used to waking up earlier and make this a successful school year.