schools re-opened their doors on Wednesday, and thousands of students from , and gathered at their morning assemblies to greet old friends and meet new teachers.
“There's always something special about the first day of school,” said Kimberly Rodriguez, the parent of a Sumac fifth grader. “All of the kids are excited and looking for their friends, and all of the parents are hopeful for a new year that's beginning. We are sad that this will be our last year at our beloved Sumac, so we are going to make sure we make it a memorable one.”
Carol Martino, principal of , was excited about the start of the new school year and Sumac’s new L-STEM program.
“Our dual immersion Spanish/English kindergarten class is full, and we are eager to start integrating science and technology into our curriculum and focus on more hands-on project-based learning,” said Martino. “It was so wonderful to see so many returning faces and so many new ones at this morning’s assembly. I know this is going to be a fantastic year.”
Over at , students laughed, hugged and posed for pictures. Marcy Enoch, the parent of new first and fifth grade students, said she id looking forward to the new school year. “I’m just so happy today,” she said. “I’m thankful for the teachers that we got and happy about starting a new year. My kids are thrilled.”
Principal Jessica Kiernan addressed the students gathered on the playground, telling them she was so excited about the start of school that she couldn’t sleep the night before. The children giggled in response.
“We worked all summer long preparing for this day,” Kiernan told Patch. “This year, nine of us travelled to Nashville to attend a conference for model schools for our new program, so we will be seeing a lot of different and interesting things this year.
Kiernan explained that the program is based on brain research and kids' developmental stages and will focus on communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. “This new way of thinking will not only change our kids for the better, but ultimately, will change the world,” she said.
principal Christina Desiderio said she is looking forward to another great year for her school.
“My hope for the new school year is that Yerba Buena continues to be the family-oriented, strong learning community that we’re known for, focusing on arts and humanities,” said Desiderio. “We are so happy that our attendance is up and our school is growing. This is the first time in ten years that we have four kindergarten classes. I feel so lucky to be here with such wonderful parents and such fantastically smart kids.”
Fifth grade parent Denise Hartman said she was a bit frazzled. “This year, I have three kids at three different schools. I can’t believe this will be our last year at Yerba Buena. This school feels like a family to me.”
Yerba Buena Past president Deborah Lopez said she appreciates the education her children receive from the school. “I just love this school and this whole district. I’m so happy with my kids’ teachers this year, but of course I’d be happy with any of the teachers at this school; you really can’t go wrong," she said. "We are so lucky to live in such a great community that puts such an important emphasis on our children’s education.”