By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Students start new year with excitement
first day of school pic1
Students walk home from Dutcher Middle School on Monday after their first day back to school. - photo by MAEGAN MARTENS / The Journal

Students around town on Monday woke up early, grabbed their backpacks and sack lunches, and trekked off to their respective schools to begin a brand new academic year.

And despite the early school hours after a long summer of sleeping in, students were happy to be back in the classroom.

“I am excited to be back,” said Elaina Envia, 5th grader at Julien Elementary School. “I like learning and seeing all my friends.”

Some were even excited about their new role on campus after moving up a grade.

“It is much different being in sixth grade,” said Aaron Hayner, a student at Julien Elementary School. “We are the oldest and biggest kids in school, so we have to look out for everyone. I like being a sixth grader so far.”

Well, everyone looked out for everyone on Monday because it turned out to be a great opening, said Sonny Da Marto, Turlock Unified School District superintendent.

There were no serious problems and attendance was good, he said. All attendance numbers were not in by press time, but, so far, there were 6,595 students enrolled from kindergarten up to sixth grade. Staff is still enrolling students and those numbers will change as the school year gets underway.

The majority of the first day of school for students at Julien Elementary was spent learning the rules of the classroom and guidelines to help them succeed for the year.

Students learn their expectations for the year, the classroom rules and teachers give an overall summary of what the students will be learning, said Julien Elementary Principal Linda Murphy-Lopes.

Learning how to line up for lunch, use the smart board for class and using behavioral points were all things students learned on Monday to prepare for the rest of the year.

In Mrs. Payne’s sixth grade class at Julien Elementary, students learned about the economy and filled out job applications for the classroom, said student Emily Kline.

“We set up our own classroom economy,” Kline said.

Besides Kline’s excitement for her new teacher and seeing all her friends again, she is most looking forward to learning about the Greeks and the Romans this year, she said.

Eighth grader Lindsey Holm at Dutcher Middle School was most excited to hear about the promotion dance at the end of the year and seeing her friends again after a long summer.

Even at the end of the long school day, her excitement remained.  

“I was really looking forward for school to start to see my friends again,” Holm said.

The excitement of the first day of school masked the sleepiness of most students, but even through the thrill of starting a new year, students were having a hard time waking up so early.

“I had to wake up at 6:30 a.m.,” Hayner said. “I am so tired. I am not use to waking up so early.”

Despite Hayner’s heavy lids, he still managed to adapt into his new big kid on campus role and grab some energy from lunch to keep the day going.

His favorite part of the day—“seeing all the new faces, the new kids and the new teachers,” he said.

From the new faces to the new roles on campus, students had a great first day of school.

“(The first day of school) was really fun,” Holm said. “It seems like this year will be a good year.”

To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.