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Excitement, enrollment up on first day of school
Students and parents look for room assignments at the Wakefield Elementary School office on the first day of school on Tuesday. - photo by MAEGAN MARTENS / The Journal
Children all around Turlock waited patiently at bus stops early Tuesday morning. They were dressed in their best new clothes, carrying brand new backpacks. Some were eager, some were anxious, some just wanted to go back to bed, but they were all on their way back to school.
Tuesday was the first day of school for the Turlock Unified School District. TUSD Superintendent Sonny Da Marto said that the day went smoothly throughout the district.
“This was a great first day. There were no significant problems, and that’s always a good thing,” Da Marto said.
TUSD started their “Just Say Go” campaign earlier this summer to boost attendance throughout the district. Attendance numbers from every school site had not been reported by press time, but Da Marto said he thought the attendance was good for the first day of school.
Da Marto also said that enrollment was on the rise for the first time in four or five years. It is too early to tell if the numbers will stay high throughout the school year, but Da Marto thinks it is a good sign that enrollment is no longer declining.
Students at Wakefield Elementary School were excited for their first day back on Tuesday morning. Polka dot backpacks and school uniforms packed the school office as parents and students checked their classroom assignment papers. After each student found their classroom, they hugged their parents good-bye and dispersed to start their first day of school.   
Second-grader Yasenia Rodriguez said she was sad about giving up her late nights over the summer but she was excited to start school again.
“I am excited for school because I can do homework and homework teaches you a lot of things,” Rodriguez said.
While Rodriquez was excited for homework, other students were happy to spend time with their friends at school.
“I like school because I can see all my friends,” said fifth-grader Alize Cantu.  
Mikey Beede, a first-grader, shared a smile with his parents when he found out  Mrs. Littlepage would be his teacher. Beede’s father also was a student of Littlepage’s when he was in the first grade.
Students at Pitman High School were relieved when the last bell of the day sounded at 2:40 p.m. Freshman Rayann Arregondo said she enjoyed her first day of high school. She said it was a lot bigger than Turlock Junior High School, but she was glad that most of her friends were going to Pitman with her.
“It was fun, but I was really nervous when the day started,” Arregondo said.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003