Alabaster Schools launch second year

Alabaster students get settled into their desks on the first day of school on Aug. 7. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Alabaster students get settled into their desks on the first day of school on Aug. 7. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Creek View Elementary School kindergartener Jayne Ann Smith didn’t feel the apprehensiveness typically accompanying a child’s first-ever day of school.

“She’s been up since 4 a.m. She’s been super excited,” Jayne Ann’s mother, Joanna, said as she and her husband, Reid, escorted their two children to class at about 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 7.

“She’s the baby. It’s hard to believe today is already here,” Reid Smith said.

Jayne Ann’s brother, Collier, also seemed calm and confident as he prepared to begin his first day as a second-grader at the school.

“Yes sir, I’m ready,” he said when asked if he was excited about entering a new grade.

Thousands of children returned to Alabaster’s schools on Aug. 7, marking the beginning of the Alabaster City School System’s second school year since becoming an independent school district in July 2013.

Entering third grade at CVES on Aug. 7, A’Shya Brown was already a pro at first days of school.

“I’m ready to see all my friends,” Brown said excitedly as she prepared to enter the school’s front doors.

“She woke up three times this morning ready to go to school,” her mother, Faireca Bates, said with a laugh.

Haley Carpenter, who was escorting her son, Jaden, into the building for his first day of kindergarten, had mixed feelings about the day.

“It’s hard. But everyone says this school is really good,” Hayley Carpenter said. “He’s actually doing better than I thought he would.”

At the school system’s central office, ACS leaders reported a smooth start to the 2014-2015 school year.

“We’ve had the normal little hiccups with the bus routes, but everything has gone really well,” ACS Operations Coordinator Dr. Jeff Atkins said shortly after the morning school bell rang. “All the buses were at the Sixth Grade Center before the bell rang for the first time ever.”

ACS Coordinator of Exceptional Education Dr. Keri Johnson and ACS Transportatin Coordinator Jeff Nichols also reported smooth mornings.

“All the special-needs buses have dropped their students off. We also sent half a bus to Linda Nolen this morning, and they’ve already been dropped off there,” Johnson said. “Everything is going great.”

ACS Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers said Aug. 7 was a “great first day for a second year.”

“Last year, there was a lot of anxiety with us being a new system,” Vickers said as he prepared to tour the city’s schools with several Board of Education members. “You’ll always have butterflies on the first day, but we’ve worked hard to be prepared. Everything has gone well so far.”