First Days…

The school buses are off and running all over Worthington. We’ve begun!  Today begins our week of first days. I began my morning today at Thomas Worthington High School. Our buses drop students at the high school at 7:05 A.M. This morning it was only freshman students. Veterans will return after a late start that allows the TWHS staff to welcome and orient the freshman.

In Worthington we consider today the official first day of school. However we won’t have all of our students in school until this Friday. Today all 7-12 students will attend school. At the high school freshman attend all-day while 10-12 graders run a late start schedule. This helps Freshman acclimate and all students to run an abbreviated version of their schedule. Our middle school students are in school for a full-day.

The elementary is a whole different story. For elementary students today is a meeting with their teacher either individually or in small groups. This allows the students and teachers to get to know one another and to set academic goals for the start of school. Hopefully it makes what looks like the traditional first day, tomorrow, easier for everyone and we can start slow to move quickly into instruction.

Then there is kindergarten. K students are phased in, with half the class attending on Wednesday and the opposite half attending on Thursday. Everyone attends on Friday and thus our week of first days will conclude.

I love the first day of school. It is a new beginning for everyone (students, teachers, parents and administrators). If you struggled the year before, you can start fresh. If you were successful the year previous, you must prove it again. The shoes students wear are clean, the lunch boxes still smell nice, and some lucky student has a new Under Armour backback on. It’s a good day! A nervous day for everyone, but the start of a great journey.

In college I learned a poem that has always stuck with me. It’s a daily poem, but is always appropriate for the first day of school:

This is the beginning of a new day,
I have been given me this day to use as I will.
I can waste it or use it for good.
What I do today is very important.
Because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.
When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever.
Leaving something in its place I have traded for it.
I want it to be gain, not loss – good not evil.
Success, not failure in order that
I shall not forget the price I paid for it.

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