No other day even approximates the first day of school. Of all of the “players”, the Principal probably has the easiest job on this day. Assuming schedules are in place and there are no personnel gaps, I can spend some time visiting classrooms and kids at lunch and recess, while gabbing with parents and taking pictures. Teachers are dealing with brand new faces, students have fresh routines to adjust to, and parents have potential separation anxiety to struggle with.
Of course, there is some troubleshooting to do as the day moves on. The bus routes were certainly not perfect this year and this caused some confusion. I know that many parents are not ecstatic about the length of the ride, which maxes out at an hour for some children. There is a way to save both time and energy of course: create more bus stops instead of traveling door to door which is more the habit in Hopkinton. This would create some issues of its own as students may need more supervision at stops and the safety risk increases somewhat. This may be a tough choice.
Yet, the first day was as smooth as any in my years at HMS. There were few tears from kids or parents, we had good turnout at PTA’s “Book Hoo Breakfast” (thanks to new PTA President Christie Menard and the PTA leadership), and the weather was splendid.
Let’s hope the 179 days to go this year go as smoothly.