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Students back in school

August 26, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

The first morning back to school was going smoothly for parent Jeff Reynolds. He sent his daughter off for her first day as a third-grader without a hitch - or so he thought.

Reynolds ended up making the trip to Fountaindale School for the Arts and Academic Excellence after he realized he forgot one thing - to give his daughter her lunch bag.

Reynolds, 38, placed a post-it note on his daughter's blue lunch bag and dropped it off at the principal's office.

How did he feel about his daughter returning to the classroom?

"They could stay a couple more days at home, but that's OK," he said.

On Monday, a projected 19,794 students turned out at Washington County Public Schools for the first day of classes. The school year tentatively is scheduled to end June 3, 2004.

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Micah Christensen, 10, a fifth-grade magnet school student at Fountaindale School for the Arts and Academic Excellence, said he looks forward to learning how to play percussion in his class band.

Micah said he had been anticipating the start of the school year.

"I woke up in the middle of the night for no plain reason and then I had to stay up because I knew school was coming," he said.

Back-to-school jitters are not reserved for elementary school students. Smithsburg High School senior Kathryn Tiches, 17, said she was so nervous on Sunday night about her first day back that when her alarm went off this morning she "just jumped out of bed."

Kathryn, who said she didn't take any advanced-placement classes last year, will have a heavier load of upperlevel courses this year.

She said she's nervous about how she will fare in her classes and also is "nervous about being a senior."

Her classmate Sara Shafi, 16, is looking forward to starting her senior year as Smithsburg High's Student Government Association president. She said there are many student-driven activities, such as blood drives, planned.

Sara is enrolled in a new class at the high school, advanced-placement environmental science, and said she is excited about that.

Trey Malott, 11, a sixth-grader at Springfield Middle School, said he was excited about his math classes and about learning "new experiments" in science.

He said he was wearing a new pair of sneakers for school and had a new orange Trapper Keeper binder to keep him organized.

Collin Hutzel, 5, a first-grade student at Fountaindale, sat in the school's office and pulled out nearly every item from his brand-new Scooby Doo book bag to show his family.

"I have a pair of tissues and my thingie," he said as he opened his "thingie," which was a new pencil box.

Hutzel said he feels good about being back in school.

"I get to go outside," he said.

Lexie Donald, 4, who will begin kindergarten Thursday at Bester Elementary School, said (with a little coaching from her mother) that she hopes to learn how to write her name.

Lexie also wants to make new friends and play soccer, said her mother, Amy Donald, 25.

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