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White Oak school hosts first day of kindergarten

MORRIS – Justin Kowalczyk walked leisurely along the sidewalk up to White Oak Elementary School on Tuesday morning with his parents, Vince and Sherrie Kowalczyk, for his first day of kindergarten.

“I’m excited to go to school,” he said after the crossing guard escorted him across the street from the school parking lot.

His parents said he was looking forward to going, and he had already met his teacher, which he likes.

Lani Hanley, another kindergarten student at White Oak was as nervous as she was excited for her first day of school.

District 54 superintendent Teri Shaw said the the morning drop off exceeded expectations as the new traffic pattern was put to the test on the first day of school.

“The new traffic pattern went really well,” Shaw said. “We had a couple of parent calls, and a few who didn’t receive a call from the bus company, so the parents brought them, but otherwise it went really well.”

Shaw was on hand outside the school opening the car doors to welcome students to school.

Molly Passerman, a first grade student at White Oak thanked Shaw for holding the door open and said she was happy, because she likes school.

In the back of White Oak bus students were dropped off and the incoming kindergarten students were greeted by their teachers, so they could line up by class before releasing balloons to celebrate their first day back at school.

Recess had to be held inside for district 54 and Saratoga because of mid day rain showers in Morris.

“Indoor recess on the first day is never fun,” Shaw said.

Ashlyn Punke, a second grade student at Saratoga said her first day at school was awesome, even though they had to stay inside for their second recess.

“We had to stay in for our second recess and read books instead,” Punke said. “But that’s OK because I like to learn.”

Saratoga principal Joe Zweeres said Tuesday was a successful first day.

Things went well, and we’re underway,” Zweeres said. “We’re looking forward to day two.”

Zweeres said a few minor adjustments had to be made but nothing out of the ordinary for the first day of the school year.

Students at Nettle Creek had an early dismissal on their first day back because of teacher’s institute on Tuesday afternoon, where teacher’s were given annual mandatory health training’s by the school nurse.

Don McKinney, superintendent and principal of Nettle Creek said the day went really well, after a fun back to school pig roast was held Monday night to welcome the students to the new school year.

“Today went really well,” McKinney said. “We had seven new students, and we helped orient them to the school, and I went around and welcomed each classroom.”

He said although the students only had a half day of school they already were into the swing of things with lessons on the first day.

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