Cloudy
48°
Cloudy
Hi 50° | Lo 46°

Back-to-school week begins in and around Concord

  • Elisa Owens, center, hugs her daughter Mave, 5, while catching up with some of  kids in the parent pick-up area at the Harold Martin School on Monday, August 26, 2013. Owens's daughter Paige, 7, right, is a second grader at the school. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Elisa Owens, center, hugs her daughter Mave, 5, while catching up with some of kids in the parent pick-up area at the Harold Martin School on Monday, August 26, 2013. Owens's daughter Paige, 7, right, is a second grader at the school.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Summit Olkonen, 5, shows his mom Nicole the sticker on his shirt that reads "I'm an official Kindergartner" while getting picked up from the Harold Martin School in Hopkinton on Monday, August 26, 2013. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Summit Olkonen, 5, shows his mom Nicole the sticker on his shirt that reads "I'm an official Kindergartner" while getting picked up from the Harold Martin School in Hopkinton on Monday, August 26, 2013.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • One of the raccoon puppets made in Sarah Surette's first grade class has a poem pinned to it about shaking the nerves on the first day of school. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    One of the raccoon puppets made in Sarah Surette's first grade class has a poem pinned to it about shaking the nerves on the first day of school.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Sarah Surrette, a first grade teacher at the Harold Martin School in Hopkinton, finishes up some paperwork in her classroom after dismissal. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Sarah Surrette, a first grade teacher at the Harold Martin School in Hopkinton, finishes up some paperwork in her classroom after dismissal.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Elisa Owens, center, hugs her daughter Mave, 5, while catching up with some of  kids in the parent pick-up area at the Harold Martin School on Monday, August 26, 2013. Owens's daughter Paige, 7, right, is a second grader at the school. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Summit Olkonen, 5, shows his mom Nicole the sticker on his shirt that reads "I'm an official Kindergartner" while getting picked up from the Harold Martin School in Hopkinton on Monday, August 26, 2013. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • One of the raccoon puppets made in Sarah Surette's first grade class has a poem pinned to it about shaking the nerves on the first day of school. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Sarah Surrette, a first grade teacher at the Harold Martin School in Hopkinton, finishes up some paperwork in her classroom after dismissal. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

At 2:35 p.m. yesterday, children burst into a preschool room at the front of Harold Martin School in Hopkinton to greet their parents after the first official day of school, donning colorful backpacks and carefully chosen first-day-of-school outfits.

Kindergartner Summit Olkonen proudly wore an “I’m an official kindergartner” sticker on his bright-green shirt. His mother, Nicole, said there were some tears when she dropped him off yesterday morning, but by mid-day his teacher Stephanie Duval called Nicole and told her Summit was socializing and making jokes all day long.

“She called me, reassured me, said they were having a great day,” said Olkonen, who also has a 7-year-old daughter at the school.

Yesterday marked the beginning of back-to-school week in the Concord area, with students in Hopkinton, Canterbury, Belmont, Barnstead, Alton and the Kearsarge Regional School District heading back to class. Bishop Brady High School also had its first day. Districts that start today include Concord (10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders start tomorrow), Hillsboro-Deering, Merrimack Valley, Franklin, Winnisquam Regional and Prospect Mountain. Bow, Pittsfield, Weare, Henniker, Gilmanton and Gilford start tomorrow, and John Stark Regional High School opens Thursday.

Maddie Foley, a third-grader at Harold Martin, talked excitedly about her first day in teacher Dave Tilley’s class.

“It was good because the first day he let us pick out a prize for the prize box,” she said, noting that her prize was a Hershey’s Kiss.

Foley’s mother, Danielle, said the family moved to Hopkinton specifically for the schools’ small class sizes and reputation for academic excellence.

First-grade teacher Sarah Surette also considered the first day a success. Of the 14 students in her class, not one complained about being tired during the day or asked when school would be over, which sometimes happens with students making the transition from half-day kindergarten to a full day of first grade, she said.

She and the students read a book about a little boy who is nervous to go to school on the first day and made raccoon puppets with poems attached to take home for their parents.

“The kids did awesome,” she said.

Other districts that opened yesterday also reported successful first days.

“We are having a fantastic start, I’m really pleased with how it’s going,” said Bishop Brady Principal Trevor Bonat.

The first day began with a schoolwide assembly that included faculty introductions and a reminder to students to embrace values such as respect, responsibility and truth.

Canterbury Elementary School students also had a first-day assembly, Principal Mary Morrison said. The school has a theme each year, and this year’s is “Harvesting Healthy Habits.” For last year’s gardening theme, each classroom planted seeds. This year, the students will harvest those vegetables, talk about food and nutrition, and even do some yoga throughout the school year.

Concord’s schools have similar schoolwide assemblies planned for today. At the high school, the incoming freshmen will have the building to themselves for the day, with the upperclassmen starting tomorrow. The morning will include team meetings and icebreaker activities, as well as a tour of the building. They’ll then have lunch, which is paid for by donations from this past May’s graduating class, a tradition that’s gone on for several years, Principal Gene Connolly said.

In the afternoon, the students will stop by all of their classes. A full back-to-school assembly will be held with all students tomorrow.

At Christa McAuliffe School, the students will get together for introductions, singing and safety reviews, said Principal Kris Gallo.

“It’ll be fun to have the kids back, finally,” she said.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or
kronayne@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @kronayne.)

Legacy Comments1

Ahhhh that bittersweet time of year. Sad to see the summer end yet happy and hopeful for the promise of the coming school year. Good luck to all the students, parents, faculty and staff for a great 2013-2014 academic year!

Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.