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Old friends, new faces head back to school

Teachers and students end vacations and return to classrooms in the SCV

Posted: August 13, 2009 9:57 p.m.
Updated: August 14, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Seventh-grade math teacher Erin McHorney, left, directs seventh-grader Dash Howell to his classroom as students begin their first day of class at Rancho Pico Junior High on Thursday.


A line of cars, trucks and minivans formed outside Rancho Pico Junior High School, backing up onto a packed Valencia Boulevard.

Doors swung open and kids hopped out, reaching back to grab their backpacks and gadgets and wave goodbye to their parents.

“Are you ready?” Principal Michele Krantz called to students while directing cars through the drop-off line.

“Have a great day!”

Thursday marked the first day of school for more than 1,000 seventh- and eighth-graders at the Stevenson Ranch junior high school, one among dozens of schools valleywide that opened their doors to the first day of the 2009-10 school year.

William S. Hart Union High School District, along with Sulphur Springs and Castaic Union school districts, all began their school years Thursday.

Elisa Horowitz, of Stevenson Ranch, dropped off her 12-year-old daughter, Ashley, for her first day at Rancho Pico.

“She was very nervous,” Elisa Horowitz said as kids walked into the school.

The Stevenson Ranch mother reassured her daughter, telling her that things were going to work out and she knew classmates.

It didn’t mean Elisa Horowitz wasn’t nervous herself.

“It’s a big change” from elementary school, she said.

She hopes her daughter will enjoy her classes and teachers, make new friends and just “feel comfortable.”

Krantz said the biggest change for incoming seventh-graders is taking classes with multiple teachers and attending a school with so many new students.

To reassure students and their parents, PTA volunteers spent two days before school calling the incoming seventh-grade class with a welcome message.

The seventh- and eighth-graders walked past the “Welcome Back Mustangs” sign and underneath the balloons at the front entrance to a campus filled with circles of students catching up with each other.

Nicole Hendry, 13, chatted with her two friends as students began filing into classrooms.

Brianna Guzman and Hayden Harker, both 12, were ready to start school as eighth-graders.

Nicole said she is looking forward to “all the new experiences and having all new teachers and meeting new friends.

“And old friends,” she added as she put her arm around Brianna.



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