Kids survive first day of school

Fremont Elementary School principal Jan Sullivan sat down with Dee Steele's kindergarten class on the first day of school Tuesday to talk about the rules.

"School is very important and you have a very big job at school," Sullivan told them. "Your job is to learn. We learn using our eyes, noses, mouths, ears and hands."

She told them another important rule was to be kind to one another - a rule 5-year-olds Ricky McLeod and Walter Jackson used to form a new friendship on the first day of school.

"We played good games together," Ricky said. And he sees a good chance the relationship will stay strong "maybe for forever."

Fremont Elementary, the only year-round school in Carson City, was the first school to go back into session with about 630 students.

"The children are very eager to learn," Sullivan said. "We're excited to have them back."

Jake Ricketts, 6, was excited to be back - this time as a first-grader.

"It was really good," he said. "My mom let me bring a water bottle."

Steven Ross, the English-as-a-second-language teacher, spent the day helping to ease the fears of those who weren't excited to be there.

"I go around and try to get them accommodated," he said.

He pointed out one 5-year-old girl who was playing with colored blocks. A native Spanish speaker, colors were some of the only words she knew in English.

"She's been crying for awhile but now she's got the giggles," he said. By recess, however, she was crying again.

But Edgar Ortiz, 5, didn't cry all day and said the best part of kindergarten was "having fun."

Ross will spend the first couple of weeks of school getting to know the second-language students and pairing them up with buddies who will help them integrate before he begins formal classes.

Second-grader Erika Valenzuela didn't have any apprehensions about returning to school, however.

"You get to have fun and you get to have recess," she said. "You learn math and you learn rules."

Jay Lanuza, 6, learned an important rule Tuesday.

"Don't push because that's not nice," he recited.

An open house for kindergartners and their parents is planned at the school tonight at 7. The open house for the other grades will be Thursday. The first- and second- graders will meet at 6:30 p.m. and third- through fifth-graders will meet at 7:15 p.m.


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