It may have looked like the first day of school for those in the Silver City community.
Buses were running routes and picking up students, taking them to and from the elementary school.
But on this recent morning, it was a drill for rising kindergarteners and their parents to prepare for the first day of school Aug. 9.
In addition to learning their bus route and touring the campus, parents and their children heard from Elvis the Owl and a bus safety representative about bus rules.
Parents also listened as a fellow mother shared her experience about sending off a kindergartener on the bus.
“Sometimes it’s intimidating to put your 5-year-old on a bus for the very first time,” said Principal Paige Andrews. “We picked up parents and students … and they follow the same procedures as their 5-year-olds will when they enter the building.
“So there’s a comfort there in being able to experience exactly what their children will when school starts.”
Several Forsyth County elementary schools feature the bus roundup event, including Cumming, Johns Creek, Sharon, Shiloh Point and Kelly Mill, which is offering it this week.
Other schools, such as Haw Creek Elementary, combine a bus event with an open house.
“They’re picked up at bus stops and their parents can ride with them,” said Principal Amy Davis. “They come to school and have their own open house, and at that time they can go into the classroom and actually meet their teacher and have that opportunity to bring in supplies if they want to or find out about all the programs we have to offer.”
In March, the school system held its annual kindergarten registration roundup.
But as July gives way to August, the system is averaging about 70 new students, including out-of-county and state transfers, per day.
“We always have a big push the two weeks before school starts, where we might see 200 to 250 per day,” said Sue Derison, the district’s director of information systems.
“We have seen people come in earlier this year, so we’re hoping there won’t be a mad rush at the end.”
There’s still some time before the first day of classes, but schools are full of teachers.
“In the past week, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of teachers back in the building,” Davis said. “A lot of the classrooms are already ready. I think you can walk in some of them and start school tomorrow.”
The county’s elementary schools will hold an open house event Aug. 7, welcoming students from all grades, particularly kindergarten and those new to the district.
Parents can get information about the school and curriculum and students can meet teachers and visit classrooms.
Middle schools in the county will hold an open house Aug. 6 and high schools will have freshmen orientation prior to Aug. 9.
Derison said most parents know the drill. However, officials “see some who go to open house who haven’t registered.”
“But we’ve seen fewer each year because more and more people know what they need to do,” she said.
In the meantime, school staffs are eagerly preparing for their open houses.
“There will not be a parking space anywhere,” said Andrews, who anticipates a big turnout at Silver City. “They’re excited about the new school year beginning and anxious to meet their teachers.”