Marshalltown students shake off first-day jitters

It was excitement, apprehension and a little bit a nervousness all rolled into one.

Yes, it was the first day of classes for the 2013-14 school year in the Marshalltown Community School District Tuesday.

Teachers and other staff were more visible outside and inside the schools to help answer questions and get students where they needed to be.

“We welcome them and try to ease those first-day jitters,” said Hoglan Elementary School Principal Amy Williams as she stood outside the school in the morning. “We are always ready for kids to come back and love the start of the school year.”

Dain McBride, gave three words of advice to his 7-year-old son, Kyan, as he dropped him off at Hoglan for the start of his second grade year.

“Just have fun,” Dain McBride said.

His father said his son was looking forward to that first recess time of the school year.

“He gets to play on the big playground now,” he said.

At Lenihan Intermediate School, the back to school transition plan spans six days, said Principal Ralph Bryant. He said expectations are outlined to the students during this transition.

“This helps them meet the teachers and get ready,” Bryant said.

One of the visible staff members at Miller Middle School was John Augustine, who works as a guidance counselor.

“We try to put them at ease and be around to assist them as needed,” Augustine said.

While it is important for the students to learn the names of the staff, it’s also important for the staff to learn about the students, he said.

“We encourage them to ask questions,” Augustine said. “We are all learning.”

Miller eighth graders ShayeLyn Pickett and Dhalia Jara-Tapia greeted each other and were sure to catch up on how each other’s summer went before heading into school. Jara-Tapia said she looks forward to being in art club again this year.

“I like being creative,” she said.

The 2013-24 school calendar currently runs until May 30.