Vol 6 No. 46 - August 9, 2006

Mixed emotions greet new school year

Reese Bell uses his fingers to form “rabbit ears” on himself and kindergarten classmate Christian Daniels as they walk with their teacher, Katie Boesen, to class on the first day of school at Anna Maria Elementary

By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

HOLMES BEACH – It was back to school Monday for students and their parents at Anna Maria Elementary School, after a summer break that amounted to little more than two months.

This was the first time for student orientation at the new campus and parents were directed to drop off students in the northernmost loop at the front of the building, which was not available last school year. Buses used the smaller traffic loop to the south of the parent drop-off loop, and it appeared there was little confusion.

School counselor Cindi Harrison was at the parent drop-off to direct students to the auditorium. To avoid confusion on the first day of school, kids were taken there and put into class groups before being marched to their classrooms.

As usual, emotions ran high at the kindergarten section where the children were entering public education for the first time. Several parents kissed their children at the auditorium, but others walked with their kids to the classrooms. In the classroom, there was generally little angst on the part of the children, but several parents walked away with tears in their eyes.

Enrollment was up a little, according to school officials. On Monday morning, they counted 322 students compared to 317 last year. There were enough kindergarten children to require another classroom this year, which will likely require the school to add an extra class each year to the grade level those students move on to all the way to middle school.

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