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Nervous parents calmed

School breakfast serves up answers

School breakfast serves up answers

August 28, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - Kim Applegate was a little apprehensive about her son Collin's first day of kindergarten at Tuscarora Elementary School, but with the help of breakfast, some of her questions were answered.

For the first time, the elementary school had a "Boo-Hoo Breakfast" for parents of the more than 100 kindergartners who started school Monday.

That number is about 20 more than last year, according to Susan Burner, president of Tuscarora Elementary School's PTA.

"We just wanted to give (the breakfast) a chance to answer questions that (parents) didn't feel were important at the orientation," Burner said. "We wanted to ease their anxiety for sending their children to us for six hours a day."

"It answered a lot of questions from the orientation (last Wednesday) that you didn't think to ask," said Applegate, whose son is starting kindergarten. "(Questions) about the security and the transportation - they didn't talk about that at orientation."

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"He's my first one, so I'm nervous," she said.

Applegate said there was little she had to do to get her son ready for school.

"He was in preschool, so he had a good idea he was going to school," she said.

About 40 parents attended the breakfast and received information about school safety, snow days, fire evacuation drills, the new car-rider procedures, what the child's day would include and responsibilities of the parents.

Tiffany Coleman's daughter was also her first to go to kindergarten.

"I'm nervous - I think it's always nervous for the parents," Coleman said. "I think (the breakfast) helps the parents get more comfortable - helps me get more comfortable with how the school is run."

Coleman said her daughter Trina was excited to start kindergarten.

"She gets away from her parents for the day and her brother," said Coleman, who also has a 2-year-old son. "She was up at 6 a.m. - didn't have to do a lot since she was so excited."

Donna Russ and her son, Zane, began getting ready for the first day of school over the weekend.

"We're used to getting up already," Russ said.

Although Zane is ready to start school and even wanted to ride the bus, Russ said she was a little nervous.

"It's tough. I'm excited, but also separation anxiety on my part," she said. "I got pictures of him getting on the bus."

In addition to Burner speaking at the breakfast, Lawrence Hitt, Tuscarora principal, and Bill Norris, vice president of the Berkeley County School Board, also spoke.

"I think the presentation was absolutely fabulous," Russ said. "It alleviated my anxiety."

One of the new policies discussed at the breakfast was the procedure for parents who drive or pick up their children from school. Instead of going to the front of the elementary school at the beginning or end of the school day, parents are now instructed to go to the church area (Bethel Assembly of God) next door and walk children up the sidewalk to door five. This procedure was changed to keep children and adults safe from bus traffic, Burner said.

"Safety is top priority," Norris said during his speech. "Your pride and joy are in very good hands at Tuscarora Elementary."

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