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Brand new year begins for students

Published on -8/14/2014, 11:47 AM

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By Mary Clarkin

The Hutchinson News

SOUTH HUTCHINSON -- Blond-haired, bright-eyed Adasyn Fagan approached South Hutchinson Elementary School about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, outfitted in shorts and top and sneakers, and a backpack.

What was new?

"Everything," she said.

Also new to Fagan was something inside: The start of second grade.

Schools in Nickerson-South Hutchinson USD 309, Hutchinson USD 308 and Haven USD 312, as well as the Catholic schools in Hutchinson, began classes Wednesday morning.

"Faces are good until they get a flat-top," said South Hutchinson Elementary nurse's aide Vicki Klima, who didn't recognize the closely cropped Barrett Miller.

Miller now is in fourth grade. Looking forward to the new year? "A little," he said.

In teacher Connie Weesner's fourth-grade classroom at South Hutchinson, Levi Welch found his desk and waited for the 8:10 a.m. start. Preparing to leave the room were his parents, Brandon and Keta Welch.

"He didn't even want me to take his picture today," Keta Welch said of her growing-up son, but she snapped a picture with her cell phone before leaving.

Weesner assured her 19 students that teachers are nervous, too, on the first day.

The first lesson was to learn the teacher's name, and Lillianna Glacet correctly spelled "Weesner."

"Wow, you get an A-plus for the day," said Weesner.

Ashley Throckmorton dropped off three children -- fourth-grader Jesse, second-grader Wyatt, and first-grader Kaylee -- at South Hutchinson Elementary. But accompanying Throckmorton back to the vehicle was son Layne, who will enter kindergarten, but not until Monday.

In South Hutchinson's kindergarten classes, the girls will come Friday, and just the boys on Monday. Following that, the full class will begin.

Holy Cross Catholic School follows a similar approach. Kindergarten orientation was Wednesday for the girls and will be Thursday for the boys. Catholic schools will be closed for a holy day Friday, and the full kindergarten class will start Monday.

"Any time we can provide our Kindergarten students an opportunity to be in an initial small group, the less likely they will feel overwhelmed," said Holy Cross Principal Kevin Hedrick, in an email.

"The girls have already made friends with each other in their small group learning activities this morning," Hedrick said, and it gave teachers the opportunity to help them with the computer, music, physical education and their first school lunch, he said.

The Holy Cross kindergarten students will have half-days next week, and begin full days Aug. 25.

At Trinity Catholic Junior-Senior High School, Principal Joe Hammersmith said they started the new year with a Mass.

"It's going wonderful right now," he said at midday. "They're off and running," he said.

(c)2014 The Hutchinson News

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