REGIONAL – Ellenville had it great, a warm, almost muggy first day of school Tuesday, September 5. For Pine Bush and Rondout Valley there was rain, but also that same sense of optimism mixed with just a bit of apprehension of what a new year brings, from greater challenges to different teachers and classroom configurations.
Halls in elementary, middle and high schools were filled everywhere with hearty hellos, shy waves, and face-down nods of recognition. Some had to face first days, ever, either in new schools, or in school, period. The same went for teachers, and administrators.
How quickly could one personalize a locker? Had brittle and close friendships lasted the vacation? Were cliques shifting, or classroom and extra-curricular interests? Had anyone become dating-ready over the past three months, or started going steady? What would be for lunch?
Back on the home front, where some parents sighed for relief that they had their working days back, there was plenty of similar worrying and trepidation to what our kids were feeling in school. Would they like the lunches provided at the school cafeteria, or packed in a lunch bag or box? Would our son or daughter be communicative about their day, or not? Were tears in the focus? What might be the best family dinner, or would it be better to go out, or even order in?
How many memories of one's own school days were being dredged up with the sight of school busses on our roads, the rustle of students headed off in the early hours of the day, or returning home mid-afternoon?
Meanwhile, school administrators double checked paperwork. Bus drivers reported on what went smooth, or where there might be glitches as the weather worsens. School board members suddenly got a shot of pride for the real reasoning behind their long volunteer hours.
Lesson plans were handed out. Upcoming game, homecoming, Open House, conference day, board meeting, and testing dates were announced.
A new year involves a lot of action, a flurry of activity and emotion.
It's one of life's, and our region's, great annual thrills!