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Back to school for Arlington students

From left, Eagle Creek Elementary Principal Kathy Engell, is on hand to help Jim Sliker get his kids, Katie and Chris, to the second and fourth grade, respectively. -
From left, Eagle Creek Elementary Principal Kathy Engell, is on hand to help Jim Sliker get his kids, Katie and Chris, to the second and fourth grade, respectively.
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ARLINGTON Both parents and school district employees have spent most of the summer preparing for Sept. 5, the first day of school for most students in the Arlington School District.
While the first day of school has become a routine event for Eagle Creek Elementary parents such as Tracy Bradford and Jim Sliker, Presidents Elementary parents such as Kelli Stemmer and Heidi Schultz were taking their children to their first day of school for the first time this year.
Tanner Bradford started fifth grade this year, while his brother Tyler entered seventh, and the hardest part of it for mom Tracy was how easy it was for them.
They dont really need me much for this anymore, said Tracy Bradford. Im happy to see them grow up and become more independent, but its sad that theyre moving away from me.
Katie Sliker admitted that she was a bit scared of starting second grade, while her brother Chris struggled to shoulder the weight of the backpack hed picked out for his fourth-grade year.
Everybody was excited, said dad Jim, who also has a daughter, Jamie, in middle school. Its hard for them to give up their summer, but I tell them its how I feel going back to work. For the most part, weve all been looking forward to it.
As Shayla Hopkins started kindergarten at Presidents, mom Kelli Stemmer said the experience has probably been more nerve-wracking for her.
I think Im more scared than she is, Stemmer said. Shes been waiting all summer long for this. Plus, she already knows one of the girls from preschool. Waking up early was not easy, though, since were used to sleeping in late.
Heidi Schultz confessed to feeling a similar separation anxiety about letting go of her son, Jordan, whos also starting kindergarten.
Hes been my little man for so long, said Schultz, before laughing, Whos going to yell at me all day long?
Kent Prairie Elementary fifth-grade teacher Donnica Farnsworth said that kids of all ages need time to adjust on their first day of school, which is why she spent her first day helping her students get acquainted, not only with each other, but also with their school.
Because of the boundaries, weve got a lot of new Kent Prairie students this year, Farnsworth said. So, we do exercises that let them learn about their community and share about themselves. They do scavenger hunts for facts, where they go around and find out things like which other students have lived in different states, and then we review the schools goals.
All of the ASD elementary schools invited families to their own back to school open houses Sept. 4, which included barbecues and ice cream socials. This allowed students to see their classrooms, meet their teachers and drop off their school supplies.
In late August, Haller Middle School had a Hawk Fly-In, while Post Middle School had a Passport Day. At both events, students obtained their schedules, locker combinations and athletic packets. Arlington High School conducted their Eagle Days in August as well.
For AHS freshmen and new students, Sept. 5 was the first day of school, during which they had the opportunity to purchase yearbooks and ASB cards, have their pictures taken, update their emergency information and get their class schedules. For the rest of the AHS students, school started Sept. 6.
ASD Public Information Coordinator Misti Gilman said that the schools schedules are posted on their respective Web sites.

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