It was a cloudy Monday morning as parents and students walked the grounds of Kyrene de la Esperanza Elementary School for the first day of school, and the start of a new fall term.

Though the weather seemed a bit gloomy, the atmosphere at the school was filled with sunshine as excited faculty members directed students onto the playground.

Many of the seasoned students who are familiar with the school rushed the playgrounds located in the rear of the school to chat with their friends, and had a morning recess session before the final bell rang to go to class.

The kindergartners crowded the basketball courts in line formation waiting to see what their fist day had in store for them.

Some of the newcomers were taking the separation from their parents well, standing up tall clenching their backpack straps waiting to take on the day, while others were taking their first day away from mommy and daddy a bit harder.

Parents and faculty members were trying their best to calm the situation by letting the child know that kindergarten is a fun experience they will surely enjoy.

Principal of Esperanza, Dr. Cheryl Greene, said all the parents were welcome to be on the playgrounds with their child until the first bell rang at 7:40 a.m., then they were told to say goodbye to their child for the day.

For the first day, students got the chance to get into their school routine practicing lunch and recess schedules, along with touring the grounds.

Greene said incoming kindergartners do really well entering the school because most of them are excited to be at the school.

“It’s teaching them the expectations, modeling, practicing, and helping them get to know each other to build that learning community,” Greene said. Parents of kindergartners who are interested in volunteering are asked to assist with the Kindergartner Volunteer program, where they assist with classroom duties for the first four weeks of school.

Middle school

and high school

Being that Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School doesn’t begin its first day of school until 9 a.m., some people would think the students would like to sleep in before they had to start their first day.

However, many Akimel rattlers were outside the front entrance of the school geared up to get into their classes and start the fall term.

At the front entrance of the school there were tables outside with class schedules for students who were unable to attend Meet the Teacher night last week.

When the gates to the school were opened, students flooded the courtyard while faculty members directed them on where they needed to go.

Before heading to their first class, some rattlers hung around the courtyard chatting with their friends about their summer vacation and looked at one another’s class schedule for the year.

Mike Deignan, principal at Akimel, said many of the students were able to receive their schedules and got a chance to look at the campus to know where they were going during Meet the Teacher night.

“Administratively we want to make sure we are getting the right schedules in the kid’s hand, so they’re comfortable going where they need to go,” Deignan said.

He added that during the first week of school they’ll be having nine pod meetings throughout the first week to cover what is to be expected from students.

For the first day of school sixth-graders attended the pod meetings to cover what the “Akimel way” is really about, so they feel more comfortable about their first day.

Deignan said by mid-week the school hits the ground running by making sure to engage students in the school standards and what they need to be teaching them.

“Sixth grade takes a little bit longer, but by Wednesday and Thursday we’re flying,” Deignan said.

Desert Vista High School also was in full swing for the first day of school, getting its students into their classrooms and ready to begin the new year.

Principal Dr. Anna Battle said the day was going smoothly with students already aware on what they needed to do and the incoming freshmen were familiar with the school by attending Thunder Day this past Friday.

“They’re comfortable with where their classes are and what questions they had were answered last Friday, so they’re already feeling a part of the Thunder,” Battle said.

She said while walking the halls of DV, she noticed a number of classrooms were already getting down to business completing some pre-assessments so they know what level students are performing at in order to improve their academic performance.

Battle added that the micro burst, which damaged the exterior of the school’s facilities, hasn’t interrupted the start of school.

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