Smart start: Shelby County students return for first day of school

Elvin Hill Elementary started back to school at 7:45 a.m. on Aug. 7. (Reporter Photo / Ginny Cooper McCarley)

Elvin Hill Elementary started back to school at 7:45 a.m. on Aug. 7. (Reporter Photo / Ginny Cooper McCarley)

By GINNY COOPER MCCARLEY/Staff Writer

For Vincent Elementary Literacy Coach Margaret Battle, the first day of school is always exciting.

“It’s the excitement of a new day, a new beginning,” said Battle, who stood outside the school greeting parents and children as they walked in the front doors. “We haven’t had any tears yet.”

Rebekah Smith, a third-grader entering Ashley Bailey’s class, was wearing a new outfit and backpack.

“I like math the most,” Smith said. “I’m excited.”

“She’s been nervous all morning, that’s what she told me,” her mom, Jean Smith said. “We’ve had a great summer.”

Emma Brown, who is entering first grade with a new pink zebra backpack, said she is excited about her teacher who is “really nice.”

Tyson Youngblood, a first-grader, has not met his teacher yet because his family was on vacation during the open house, but he’s excited to “just go into the classroom,” he said.

By 7:45 a.m., the halls were quite and kids were bent over workbooks with pencils in hand.

“It’s going pretty smoothly,” Vincent Elementary Counselor Kathy Henson said.

At Elvin Hill Elementary in Columbiana, the first day of school was also a success.

“It is absolutely wonderful,” said Elvin Hill Elementary principal Betsy Smith. “All the children are happily settled in their classes, and we have amazing teachers who are teaching them already.”

Smith did not see any tears from students but “there maybe were some tears from mamas,” Smith laughed.

In order to help out parents who were not quite ready to leave their children, the school association KATS (Kids and Teachers Succeeding) hosted a Yahoo Boohoo breakfast for kindergarten parents who “weren’t quite ready to leave,” Smith said.

“The first day of school is always hectic, but it’s been very good,” Elvin Hill Registrar Pamela Oliver said.

“It has gone smoothly,” Nancy Vansant, secretary and media aid for the school said. “We’ve not heard any crying children anywhere in the building.”

Montevallo Elementary also offered support for kindergarten parents who were hesitant to leave the school, with a Comforting Coffee held in the library.

“We know it’s hard on parents to drop kids off on the first day,” Principal Dr. Allison Campbell said.

The day went “extremely smoothly,” Campbell reported. “We were very excited to have students back to see the upgrades. We had a lot of parents give a lot of compliments, and we got a lot of great feedback.”