First day of the new school year is pure excitement


Katie Jarman, 8, has been practicing going to bed earlier so she’ll be sharp today for the first day of school at South Hancock Elementary.

The schedule is on the refrigerator — 5 p.m. dinner, 6 p.m. bath, 7 p.m. brush teeth.

Katie said she eased into the new schedule. First it was bed at 9 p.m., then bed at 8 p.m., with TV for a few minutes in her room. Then this week, she hit the sack at 8 p.m. — with no TV.

Her grandmother, Debbie Shifter, smiled as Katie explained the transition to getting up early for school.

It’s not just the kids whose lives change. The lives of parents, teachers, administrators and staff are altered all along the Coast this week and next as they make the mental and physical leap from long summer vacation days to the discipline of school.

But even with all the anxiety that comes with change, many see the first day of school as pure excitement.

“I don’t think there will be a child in the district who comes tired,” said Heather Dedeaux, guidance counselor for East Hancock Elementary. “It’s like Christmas morning, even for the teachers. The next two days are just excitement.

“They won’t be tired until Monday,” she said, “when it starts to becomes a routine and you start hearing, ‘You mean I have to get up and do it again?’ ”

For the younger kids, Dedeaux recommends a healthy dinner, a calming bath at night and reading a story for a calm-down period before bed.

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