Wednesday Aug 13 2008
Rarin' to begin
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal staff writer
There's a thrill to school's first day
There was nothing vacation-y about the last day of summer Tuesday. Area schools were abuzz with activity as teachers, administrators, parents and students made last-minute preparations for the first day of school — that’s today, by the way, if you’re a student at Placer Union High or Auburn Union Elementary school district campuses. Auburn’s Skyridge Elemen-tary was not exempt from this last-minute buzz Tuesday, where a slight last-day-of-summer kink came in the form of non-cooperative phones and computers. “It’s typical, you plan everything and then, whoosh,” said Doris Chandler, Skyridge principal, sitting down at her desk for a moment. Kinks aside, Chandler said everyone was excited to kick off the 2008-09 school year. “That’s what’s exciting about the first day of school — the adrenaline is pumping like crazy,” she said. A banner hanging outside the multipurpose room welcomed everyone “to the new look of Skyridge.” The campus does look a little different, with three additional portable classrooms installed to accommodate students coming over from Alta Vista School, which closed at the end of the 2007-08 school year. Former Alta Vista teachers have been welcomed into the Skyridge family, Chandler said. “It has been awesome and we have just been excited because they have come with interest,” she said. “They’ve gone through a trauma, but they’re excited to be here.” Jan Hyatt, Skyridge kindergarten teacher, shared a similar sentiment. “The Alta Vista teachers have been very, very excited to join the staff and the existing Skyridge staff has been very, very welcoming,” she said. Hyatt spent Tuesday preparing for the 13 boys and eight girls assigned to her class, meeting with students and their parents during kindergarten orientation. “The goal is for children to see their classroom, where they’ll spend a good part of their day, and for parents to have their anxiety go away,” she said. Each child was sent home with a Humpty Dumpty nametag — “So that when there’s 100 children, I know which ones are mine,” Hyatt said — and knowing where their cubbies are located. Hyatt also handed out a sort of new-parent packet for moms and dads. “For many parents this is their first child to go to school, and I’m a stranger to them,” she said. “As much as you’re comforting the children, you’re comforting the parents too.” “It’s exciting because they are so eager,” she said. “They have anticipated this day for a long, long time.” Hyatt asked one of her new students a question after orientation had concluded. “Matthew, what do you think you’ll do in school?” “Maybe do a lot of stuff,” Matthew Gold answered. “Maybe do everything.” A moment later, Matthew had a sort of question for his teacher. “My mom was asking — do you have naps here?” he said. The answer to that question was no — too much to learn in kindergarten, Hyatt said. Julie Gold, Matthew’s mother, said the baby of the family is quite excited to start kindergarten. “He could not wait for this day,” she said. “He’s moving on to the next level in life. It makes me realize he’s growing up, and it’s kind of scary.” The Journal’s Loryll Nicolaisen can be reached at email@example.com.