Glad to Be Back at School

by Michael Porter
On August 10, our students returned for the first day of the 2022-2023 school year. You could see the happiness on the faces of the children as well as the adults.
The first week of school can be arduous for students and parents. The routine of getting up early, preparing breakfast, and navigating through traffic to beat that morning bell can be hard to get back into.
On the other hand, there is that sense of security and companionship that comes with being back in school.
"I must say I miss staying up late," said 4th-grader Milo. "But I did miss my friends!"
Also, there are things you get to do at school that you don't do at home, like being the line leader for your class. What a good starting point for leadership skills!
"There isn't one word that can define it, but I can say these days leave an impression on each of us for a lifetime," said Tonya Elstein, Director of Education.

Teachers quickly plunged back into working through rituals and routines with the students. Children found their cubbies or lockers, collected their JCDS-provided school supplies, walked quietly and expediently to specialists, and did some introductory assignments for their grade.

Students also got a few surprises this year. The Davis wing got a facelift complete with freshly-painted walls. Large video monitors were placed in the hallways so that 4th, 5th, and 6th graders can get reminders of what supplies and books to take to class. The playgrounds got a thick new layer of soft mulch to provide a little cushion for our active little ones.
Lunch service in the dining room went off without a hitch, with pizza making its debut for the year. Many students opted for a side salad from the fully stocked salad bar, or enjoyed a full salad as their entrée.

Of course, getting back to learning is what we are here for. Our teachers at JCDS put a tremendous amount of effort into making the lessons interesting and engaging. 
"I didn't want to do that math part but I learned that math is kind of fun," said 4th grader Maxim.
His friend Jude added, "Math class is the best!"

By the end of the day, many old friends were re-united and new friendships were kindled. Sharky is happy to see so many friendly faces and looks forward to a wonderful year.

A smooth start of school sets the pace and rhythm for the rest of the year.
"The first week of school has so many emotions surrounding it - excitement, joy, nervousness, shyness, fear, surprise. The students, parents, and teachers all feel it. It's these emotions that make the beginning of school so memorable," said Ms. Elstein. "Our hope is that the beginning of this year has felt positive, safe, and somewhat smooth for everyone. We are off to a great start!"