Big day comes for school kids |

Big day comes for school kids

Mary Thompson

Months of quiet classrooms and empty hallways ended Monday when students returned to the Nevada schools on the south shore of Lake Tahoe for the first day of classes.

Rowena Shaw, Zephyr Cove Elementary school counselor, cruised the campus as children scurried through the hallways – trying to find their assigned classrooms in time for the first bell at 8:55 a.m.

“Sometimes the kids don’t know which classroom to go to, others don’t have lunch money on the first day,” she said. “There’s also a lot of separation anxiety on the first day and they are tired because they’re not used to the schedule.”

Even kindergartners have to adhere to the school schedule.

“Every day, after we call roll, we stand up and say the pledge of allegiance and, because it is state law, we have 30 seconds of silence,” said kindergarten teacher Mrs. Susich to the group of 20 new faces who were starring back at her with wide eyes. But some students said they were excited about their school schedules.

“We’re going to do a lot of fun activities and get to go to the playground,” said first-grade student Charlene Young as she searched around the busy halls for her classroom, while other students passed by looking for adults to help them to their classes.

“Do you know where you’re going,” asked Shaw?

“Well, it’s the first day of school,” explained first-grader Teresa Barrientos.

Some students, like 5-year-old Zach Welch, had no problems getting to where they were supposed to go. All on his own, the kindergartner took the bus, found the counselor to ask where he should go, went to the classroom and found his own name tag and assigned seat.

“The bus ride was really noisy when it came to a stop,” Zach said, who had his brand-new Hot Wheels back pack engulfing the back of his head. “I had to hold my ears.”

When the bell rang, Zach and the other students quietly settled into the circle at the teacher’s feet while the parents jockeyed for position around the classroom door to capture the last clip of their young ones at their first day of school on video tape.

But that’s when Shaw said is the best time for the parents to leave.

“Some of the students come running out of the classroom in tears asking their parents to take them home,” she said. “But if the parents aren’t there, they tend not to act that way with the school staff and after a while they see that we do a lot of fun stuff here, especially in the first few days when they get to take a tour of the school.

“Typically, it takes them just a few days to adjust.”

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