Eastridge Community Elementary School Principal Jane Snyder loves the first day of school.
“I’ve been doing this for 36 years and the first day is always the best day of the school year,” Snyder said. “Just a lot of excitement to be able to go to a new class, meet new friends, new teachers.”
That excitement was obvious as students and parents gathered on the Eastridge playground on July 7, the first day of the 2015-16 school year at the four year-round schools in the Cherry Creek School District. There were big grins and shy smiles, hard goodbyes and warm welcomes, as nearly 600 students began an educational adventure that will be guided by outstanding classroom teachers like Megan O’Dorisio, a kindergarten teacher who is new to Eastridge this year.
“I think I’m most excited to meet the children and families and establish relationships with them, just so I can understand how I can help them,” O’Dorisio said.
One of her new students is Royal Scott-Johnson. His mother, Brittani Scott, was feeling a full range of emotion, even before the first day of school. They attended Eastridge’s “Meet and Greet” on July 6, the day before school began.
“I cried on the way to this,” Scott said. “I’m very emotional but very excited – excited for him to learn.”
Meet and Greet is a great way for the learning to begin, for both students and parents. Eastridge is a very diverse school, where families speak many languages, so interpreters were on hand to help parents with the online check-in process.
“We love Meet and Greet because the parents can come in and meet teachers with their children,” said Principal Snyder. “They bring in their school supplies, they get registered, they get signed up for the lunch program. They all get a free T-shirt and ice cream to celebrate the start of the school year.”
It all helps make the first day of school go more smoothly. On July 7, the first-graders in Catrina White’s class didn’t have any trouble finding her on the playground or following her to their classroom. They made their way to their desks and eagerly began their first assignment: coloring a picture of their school. As they worked, they talked about what they’re looking forward to this year.
“I’m excited to make new friends,” said Taressa.
“Math,” said Ayannah.
“Science and social studies,” said Dominic.
With first-graders already eager to tackle new subjects and take on new challenges, the new school year is off to a great start!