Kindergarteners Max (left) and Matthew (right) spent their first day ever in school on Wednedsay at Shortreed Elementary. On Tuesday, Max’s dad and his two-year-old brother Parker (middle) walked the eldest son to school on the first shortened day back. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Aldergrove families gear up for back-to-school week

Shortreed Elementary students started their first few hours of classes on Tuesday

Tuesday morning marked the beginning of a new school year for Aldergrove parents and their young children.

At Shortreed Elementary, parents and guardians lined up, many hand-in-hand with their kids in front of their last year’s classrooms.

Future generations were suited up with backpacks and supplies for their first day back at school.

A sign spelling out “You belong here” could be read in capital letters at the front entrance on a changeable letter board.

Mom Celeste Smart admitted that getting back into the routine of early morning drop-offs and packed lunches is a bit difficult after summer holidays, but nonetheless rewarding.

Her daughter Harley started Grade 1 at 8:40 a.m., spending the first day back in her last year’s class like those in other grades, for just two hours.

“We love the fundraisers and everything positive that goes on here,” Smart said as a reason for excitement over seeing her daughter back in classes.

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On Wednesday morning, kindergarteners around the age of five began their very first day with teachers.

Aldergrove father Craig McTaggart listed the fun activities his boys and family got up to over the summer months – everything from fishing, camping, barbecues with friends, and aquatic sessions at the new Aldergrove recreation centre.

“We had tons of fun,” McTaggart added.

He and his three sons all walked together to Shortreed to bring the eldest to class.

His four-year-old child, Max, immediately recognized neighbourhood friends upon reaching the school grounds.

McTaggart recognized a host of returning parents, for which he explained are a community of sorts, especially in the hours before and after school as they gather in groups and socialize.

“Max is only four so we weren’t even sure we would enroll him this year,” McTaggart said about his shy middle child.

“But he already towers over other kids his age and he’s been gearing up to go,” so McTaggart and his wife agreed it was time.

“He will miss Parker though” – his two-year-old little brother who will now stay at home with just dad.

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Max’s playmate Matthew also started kindergarten on Wednesday morning.

His mother, though excited, expressed worry over her son who suffers from asthma.

For a wide range of students, the first day back at elementary school is largely about readjusting into a learning environment, and allowing teachers to figure out the best fit for their child’s classrooms for the upcoming year, McTaggart said.

It is also a time where parents make known any food allergies, learning difficulties and other specific requests or challenges, the father noted from his previous years of experience at the school.

For that reason, “we don’t find out until next week who there teachers are,” McTaggart said, and for kindergarten students, parents accompany their young ones on the very first day of elementary school.

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