For days, Kim Robertson and her five year-old daughter, Holly Robertson, have been preparing for this day: the first day of kindergarten at Hopkinson Elementary School.
For Holly, the excitement of the day boiled down to one thing: “It’s kindergarten, and I get to make friends,” she said enthusiastically.
“We’ve been talking about it for a while,” Robertson said. “This morning [Holly] even woke up early to help me get ready.”
To prepare for the day, Robertson said she made pancakes the night before and laid out Holly’s clothes so all everything would go off without a hitch.
While many children are nervous or scared about starting this chapter of their lives, Holly picked out her best outfit and walked to her classroom with barely contained excitement. Part of what made this day so special for Holly, she said, was that she got to share it with her best friend Cari Ferguson, 5, who was also starting kindergarten that day and was even in the same classroom.
Holly and Cari are just two of thousands of Los Alamitos children who began school today, marking the official start of the Los Alamitos Unified School District’s 2011-2012 year.
This year, district officials said that their goal is to continue its tradition of excellence in not only academics, but also athletics, activities and the arts.
“Our theme this year is ‘Igniting Unlimited Possibilities for Students’,” said Sherry Kropp, the district’s superintendent. “The entire organization, including teachers, support staff, administrators, and Board members, is dedicated and committed to providing the best programs and outcomes for all students.”
So far, administrators said that the school year is “off to a great start,” but the district has a high standard to live up to this year. Last year was one of the district’s best years academically: for the first time in the district’s history, two classes scored 100% proficiency in math and 81 percent scored proficient or advanced in English on standardized state tests.
This success, Kropp said, is in part due to the support it receives from its parents and the community; and the district is “extremely grateful” for this support, she said.
While district officials and teachers are excited about the start of the new school year, some students felt hesitant about it.
Twins Hayley and Sydney Bergstrom, 6, for example, held onto their mother as long as they could before entering their kindergarten classrooms. Part of what made it harder, said their mother, Mrs. Bergstrom, is that they are not in the same class.
“It’s ok,” Bergstrom said. “They’ll be able to spend time on the playground during recess.”
For Bergstrom, dropping her girls off at kindergarten was a special moment because she also attended Hopkinson Elementary.
“This is like coming full circle for me,” she said. “I notice a lot of my former classmates are also here, and it’s just such a great community to be in.”
Bergstrom’s comments echoed the words of district officials.
“We look forward to another banner year in the Los Alamitos Unified School District, which remains a great place to live, work and go to school,” Kropp said.
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