As day broke on Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, and the first day of another school year quietly put summer to rest, approximately 15,000 students trickled into classrooms at 26 campuses across the district. A slight chance of rain and the overcast sky were a welcome change from the usual 100-degree August heat. The cloud cover kept temperatures in a pleasant range for most of the morning. Had the sun been shining, it wouldn’t have stopped the tears from pouring as some of the younger students said goodbye to their parents for the first time.
Fortunately, there were more many more smiles than tears. And each classroom was ready for the day, with decorated walls and an assortment of school supplies – crayons, pens, pencils, rulers, and of course, tissues. Every chair was filled with young minds, ready to learn.
Although some students were still sleepy from summer, teachers were prepared with activities and learning games to keep the students occupied, engaged, and happy.
Overall, it was a smooth start to the new 2016-2017 school year. Dr. Bonny Cain, superintendent of Waco ISD, visited 22 campuses and reported that schools were running smoothly, and that it was business as usual.
When Dr. Cain visited Indian Spring Middle School, Principal John Jenkins reported that the year was already off to a good start.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better first day,” said Dr. Jenkins, who is beginning his third year as principal at that campus.
In prekindergarten, where everything is new and nothing is usual, things were a little different. As to be expected, one of the biggest challenges of the day was learning how to walk in line. A critical skill for students to master, “line walking” involves walking straight, following the person in front without stepping on their heels, and keeping an equal distance between one another.
A prekindergarten class was learning this skill on their first trip to the playground. The 100-yard journey took 15 minutes with two teachers making multiple stops and many demonstrations in between as the students veered off course in multiple directions.
After the class finally reached the edge of the sidewalk connecting them to the playground, their “line” looked more like a disorganized football huddle than a straight line.
The two teachers, exhausted, looked at one another.
One teacher finally said, “We have to remember this is only the first day,” words of assurance for both of them.
“Right,” the other responded with a hopeful sigh, and a smile.
And then the line was forgotten, as were weepy parents, as the class of prekindergarten students barreled towards the playground.
Mary Henderson Senter I Public Relations Specialist
More photos will be posted at MyCap throughout the day tomorrow.