Students bubble with enthusiasm as another school year begins
By Shant Shahrigian
Brisk temperatures and a clear sky greeted students in the Northwest Bronx as they returned to school on Monday. The start of the year came a week later than usual at most schools due to Rosh Hashana observances last week.
Ariana Ortiz, a fourth-grade student at St. Margaret of Cortona School, embodied the enthusiasm that carried the day throughout the neighborhood.
“I’m excited because I’m going to see my friends, the 9-year-old said. “I’m going to have a new teacher and I’m going to have a lot of new things to learn.”
The first day of kindergarten at the Spuyten Duyvil School started an hour after the bell rang for older students. Parents were allowed to attend the shortened kindergarten day to help students with the adjustment.
One boy new to kindergarten at PS 24 and the mother of another novice student showed extremes of anticipation and nervousness as they waited outside the school.
“I’m excited about everything,” 4-year-old Samuel Rayas said with a smile.
Samuel’s father said the boy spent Sunday night picking out an outfit for the first day of school, settling on a smart polo shirt and shorts. Over the previous week, Samuel and his 7-year-old sister counted down the days until the start of school.
A few steps outside of PS 24, Lisa Hoti tightly hugged her son as the minutes before class sped by. She tried to reassure 5-year-old Elton he would be fine in the new atmosphere.
“He’s shy, but I told him you need to talk to the teacher,” Ms. Hoti said.
This fall brings a number of firsts to New York public schools. Teachers have a new evaluation system, while many students will work with new English and math curriculums focused on the Comon Core, the recently introduced set of standards aimed at making students ready for college and careers.
The finer points of education policy were far from most students’ minds, while social concerns seemed more relevant.
Students at the IN-Tech Academy congregated in large groups outside the main entrance at the start of the day.
Keywordsfirst day of school, Department of Education, St. Margaret of Cortona School, PS 24, IN-Tech Academy, E.L.L.I.S. Preparatory Academy, Shant Shahrigian