• It happened! Our first day of school for the 2022-2023 academic year

    Gaston County Schools had a great start to the 2022-2023 year as more than 30,000 students returned to school on Wednesday.  Exciting for everyone involved, the first day of school is about welcoming students back to class.  It also is a time for going over procedures, practicing routines, and getting acclimated to being at school.  

    At Bessemer City Primary, students in Alexandria Caughey’s and Marilyn Hinton’s first-grade class were on their way to the cafeteria to learn what it is like to go through the lunchline.  It’s something they have never done because of COVID-19 as students had meals served to them in the classrooms during the pandemic.  The students were quick to point out that they go to the cafeteria to eat and are hoping to enjoy pizza, chicken nuggets, and cheeseburgers.

    Afternoon dismissal at Lowell Elementary was like clockwork.  Bus riders carried color-coded index cards to know which bus to board.  Car riders waited as staff maneuvered children to their parents’ car with assistance from the school resource officer, who handled traffic control and maintained order.  It took about 20 minutes for everyone to be on their way home. 

    Lowell’s principal, Kristin Kiser, was pleased with the first day, which can be a little hectic, but any stress is diminished by seeing the children, hearing their stories about what they did this summer, and watching them explore their new classroom and surroundings.  

    At Ashbrook High School, students Christian Reynolds and Shekira Littlejohn had differing, but positive perspectives on starting a new school year.  Littlejohn, a ninth grader, said being in high school now will be an adjustment, but she is looking forward to meeting new people.  Reynolds, the student body president, is happy about being a senior.  “I’m ready for the Class of 2023 to have a great year, and I want us to have fun before we graduate,” he said.

    Sherwood Elementary’s Christi Jolley is recognizing some familiar faces in her classroom.  She is teaching first grade this year, and many of the students she had in her class last year as kindergarteners are with her again as first graders.  “I love being back with the students,” she said.  “We are just a big family.”

    Like Jolley, teachers Brooke Boukather and Tyler Bullock were excited to see their students, greeting them with smiles and hugs as they arrived for the first day of school.

    Karen Womick dropped off her grandson, Kaden Caldwell, at Sherwood early Wednesday morning.  Her hope is that he enjoys being at school for the first time.  “I’m very excited for him to start kindergarten,” she said.  “He’s eager to learn and make new friends and have fun at school.”

    Before heading to class, second graders Marley Dennis and Ava McCray enjoyed breakfast together in the cafeteria.  Even though they are in different classes this year, they are still best friends.

    That’s what the first day of school is about.  Seeing friends, meeting teachers, getting information about the year ahead, settling in, and gaining an understanding of expectations and how things work.  It also is about setting goals, buckling down, and getting focused on academics while gearing up to enjoy athletics, extracurriculars, and other school activities.

    Then, tomorrow, everyone gets up, heads back to school, and does it all over again.

    Click here for back-to-school information from Gaston County Schools.  

VIDEO: First Day of School