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Santa Clarita Valley students head back to school

Posted: August 13, 2013 12:38 p.m.
Updated: August 13, 2013 12:38 p.m.

Cathy Ethington, center, welcomes her Peachland Elementary fifth-graders on the first day school in Newhall on Tuesday. Signal photo by Jonathan Pobre

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SANTA CLARITA - The diesel roar of a school bus cut through the early morning air.

A constant stream of cars rolled up to the curb, waiting for backpack-wielding children to hop out.

Officials in brightly colored vests gave directions to get around campus, their voices mingling with the laughter of children reuniting with friends and the chatter of parents getting re-acquainted.

A sign hung on a classroom door read, “Come in, we’re open for learning.”

School was definitely back in session in the Santa Clarita Valley.

At Peachland Elementary School in Newhall, parents and students were lined up at 7:20 a.m. — 40 minutes before classes began.

And many of those lined up said they were excited for the new year to get under way.

“I’m excited to have fun and learn more stuff,” said fifth-grader Jesus Alinz.

Alinz said he wasn’t worried about getting back in the groove after summer vacation.

“I’m just ready to roll,” he said.

Alinz was one of dozens of students outside the school, many of whom crowded around notices posted on the front gate to see what classrooms they were assigned to.

Many parents, such as Newhall resident Kim Rollins, accompanied their children to school.

“About a week before school starts I start to ease him back into the school schedule,” Rollins said of her son, Nathan. “That way he’s prepared when the school year starts.”

Rollins also said she was glad to hear that the Newhall School District, which includes Peachland, had moved to make all of its schools closed campuses — adding additional security measures that parents and visitors have to go through to gain access to campuses.

“I’m looking forward to that,” she said. “It’s a needed change.”

Newhall district Superintendent Marc Winger had announced earlier that all district schools are getting additional security this year.

Another parent, former California Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, came to see his two children off to school.
For Smyth it was also a return to his alma mater, as he himself attended Peachland.

“As a parent, the first day of school is always bittersweet,” Smyth said. “Every year you come it’s like seeing the kids grow up before your eyes.”

Peachland is part of the Newhall School District, which is the first to launch the 2013-14 school year following summer break. Several Newhall schools opened their doors Tuesday.

The rest of the schools in the Newhall district, along with those in the Saugus Union School District, will open Wednesday, with other Santa Clarita Valley School districts — Castaic Union, Sulphur Springs and William S. Hart Union High School District — follow on Thursday.
On Twitter @LukeMoney



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