Back to School!

  • Left, Twins Tyler and Taylor Rutland arrive at Frazier Park School. [photo by Pam Sturdevant]

    Left, Twins Tyler and Taylor Rutland arrive at Frazier Park School. [photo by Pam Sturdevant]

By Patric Hedlund

There were hugs, kisses and, yes, a few tears on the first day of the new school year at Frazier Park School.  Some kindergartners felt a little confused as mom gave them a squeeze and waved good-bye. But first through 4th graders were in the groove, running up to the friends they hadn’t seen all summer, happy to be back.

For 2013-14 the 5th and 6th graders have been moved back to the middle school. In the morning hours of Thursday,  Aug. 15 the grassy playgrounds of El Tejon School were still a peaceful place for unsuspecting deer and cottontail bunnies to graze. Their tranquility was about to be shattered. By 10:15 a.m. there were loping school kids  screaming and laughing around the playground.

Interim Superintendent and acting El Tejon School Principal Bud Burrow wore a bright purple shirt and a big smile as he was meeting the buses of incoming students at the front of the school that morning.

“It’s all gone surprisingly smoothly,” he said with a grin. “Parents and teachers did a great job of getting the students where they needed to go.”

Excitement was high, but there was very little confusion as the main buildings of the middle school were filled once again with students, after sitting dormant for two years while 5th and 6th grades attended Frazier Park School and only 7th and 8th graders used a wing of the 1939-era middle school.

Principal Sara Haflich said she was thrilled to see how well the first two days of school went at Frazier Mountain High School. By the beginning of the first full week of school August 19, she was even able to bring in new after-school offerings in free arts training for students [see related story for the details].

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Photo captions:

Top, Mom Alma Silva kisses daughter Julie goodbye. Julie hugs her friend Andrea Calderon, happy to see each other after a long summer. Above, Seth and dad Wade Cole look for Seth’s new classroom.

The very first day of school, ever, is bound to arrive with a few tears. At Frazier Park School, this young man (left) says goodbye to his mom, then (center) has his doubts. Kindergarten teacher Michelle Penner was quickly on hand to reassure the young student that he is going to enjoy this new adventure. She is a master at quickly engaging the youngest students.

Right, FMHS graduate Cathi Howell who works in the San Fernando Valley moved with her 7th grade daughter Kaylee back to the mountain with grandmother Teri Howell (also shown, nephew, Ashton, 4) “because these small schools are safe.” Kaylee says she wants to go to Harvard to study law. Below, Teacher Charles Stewart took his 6th grade class for a tour of the campus.

This is part of the August 23, 2013 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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