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Open houses set stage for Thursday

Start with middle schools on Monday

POSTED: August 6, 2013 12:31 a.m.
Jennifer Sami/

Kate Fleury exits a school bus for the first time during kindergarten roundup at Settles Bridge Elementary. Classes for students begin Thursday.

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Holding his mother’s hand, Noah Hermsmeyer walked off the school bus and headed into elementary school for the first time.

It was just a practice run during Settles Bridge’s kindergarten roundup Wednesday, but it helped “alleviate a lot of fears,” said his mom, Sarah.

“I never rode the bus, so this is my first foray into it too,” she said, adding that she’s looking forward to the school’s open house Tuesday.

“We are new to the area. This is the second time I’ve ever been in this building. He’s my first we’re sending to kindergarten, so it’s nice to see what they’re going to do.”

Most elementary schools will hold an open house Tuesday, following the system’s middle school open houses Monday.

The events are designed to help students familiarize themselves with their new teachers, grade level and campuses prior to the first day of classes on Thursday, said system spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo.

It’s also a time for parents to get important information about the school year and fill out paperwork.

“Open house is an essential event for students and their parents to attend to start of the school year off on the right foot,” she said. “For the elementary grades, students will meet their teacher and visit their classroom.

“For the secondary schools, open house time allows students the opportunity to review their schedules, do a run through of their day, and meet with each of their teachers.”

Kelly Mill Elementary was the first to hold its open house, which was held Wednesday in conjunction with kindergarten roundup.

While the rest of the school will have its open house Tuesday, Principal Ron McAllister said he’s heard positive feedback from parents about giving kindergarteners the chance to see the school without a packed house.

“Parents liked that it was just a time for kindergarten families,” he said. “We have quite a few first-time parents and so I think that they really appreciated that it was just them.

“They liked being able to know their teacher that same day ... and getting to spend some time in their child’s classroom.”

Like kindergarteners, high schools separate freshmen to get them acclimated to the major changes from middle school.

Students are given their schedules, shown their lockers and can ask questions of staff members.

Open houses are important for both parents and their children to prepare for the new school year, said Lee Ann Rice, principal at Settles Bridge, but they’re also about fun.

“It just builds excitement for school,” she said. “They get to meet their teachers and see their classrooms and ... they are already making new friends before school starts.”



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