EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Smiling teachers and Principal Jeffrey Melendez welcomed students at Waverly Elementary School back from their summer vacations on Tuesday morning in Eastchester.
While Melendez opened car doors for sometimes eager, sometimes anxious children, teachers took bags of supplies to classrooms as the Eastchester School District opened its doors to students for another year.
“Everything is new. It’s our first year with this most of this group, so a lot of the students need to get used to us,” bus driver Geri Higgins said of the anxious kids. “It’s wonderful to be back. It’s like Christmas for a lot of us.”
Although some kindergartners had to be coaxed from their parents, several first-graders were excited to see their teachers and classmates. With the younger students, it’s a big shift, teacher Candida Ambroseo said. But many first-graders are ready and excited to get back to class.
“With the first-graders, it’s really more about easing them back into a routine of coming to school,” she said. “It can be a big transition for kindergartners, being away from their parents.”
The students weren’t the only ones who needed consoling. Many parents also found themselves emotional as they dropped off their children, some for the first time.
“It can be tough, for sure. It’s a big change going from preschool to kindergarten,” said one parent of a first-grader. “But we know everyone here is nurturing, and our kids are in good hands.”