Students at Kenwood Elementary in Springfield got back in the swing of things Wednesday on the first day of school.

‘It just feels good’: Springfield students head back to school

Springfield students officially started the 2019-2020 school year on Wednesday.

Classes for students grades kindergarten through 9th started school on Wednesday, while 10th-12th grade will begin on Thursday.

No one seemed more excited for the first day than Springfield Superintendent Bob Hill, who had a busy day visiting all 14 of the district’s schools. Hill posted photos from the schools on his Twitter account — each with an accompanying, ‘welcome back,’ message.

Taci Jones, a 6th grade English Language Arts teacher at Kenwood Elementary School, said just like the students, teachers are nervous for the first day too.

“You get new students and you want to make sure you are doing the best at making sure that you are making them feel comfortable and safe,” Jones said. “You want to make sure that you do everything right, so you are just a ball nerves just like the kids are.”

Back to school: Springfield staff, faculty prepare to start new school year

Jones said the best way to describe the first day of school is, “fresh.”

“First day of school is super exciting. You get new students; it’s like a fresh beginning, a new chapter for us and the students,” Jones said. “We’re all nervous and excited all at the same time - it’s just a great way to start off the year. It’s fresh, it just feels good.”

To help calm nerves, students attending Kenwood Elementary will find some surprise encouragement in an unexpected place —the bathroom.

First grade teacher Simina Albaiu came up with the idea to paint motivational quotes on the elementary school’s bathroom doors.

“I saw it and thought that that’s something we can do here and it would be great for our kids to just have daily reminders in unexpected places of their worth and how great they are and that they are loved,” Albaiu said.

The quotes painted on the bathroom doors vary with surrounding grade levels, from, “Be kind” near the kindergarten and first grade classrooms to “Your mistakes do not define you” near the fifth and sixth grade classrooms.

The main purpose of the quotes is just to remind students about how great they are, Albaiu said.

“I think we could all use that,” Albaiu said. “I know I could.”

Albaiu said just the other day she was driving and saw that someone had hung a banner from a bridge reading, “You are enough.”

“We had already painted the doors at that point but it was just a reminder about how great it is to hear something like that,” Albaiu said.

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Other district that started the school year on Wednesday included Clark Shawnee Local School District, Greenon Local Schools, Northeastern Local School District, Northwestern Local Schools, Tecumseh Local Schools and Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools.

Urbana City Schools will begin on Thursday, Aug. 22.

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