Lake Bluff children start school journey
8/28/12 Principal Shelley Overman greets kindergarteners at the first day of school at Lake Bluff Elementary in Lake Bluff. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 6, 2012 11:58AM
LAKE BLUFF — A sea of older students and teachers wearing red T-shirts flooded the gathering space in front of Lake Bluff Elementary School on a sunny morning to welcome the 63 kindergarteners on their first day Aug. 28.
“We’re here to meet and greet the kindergarteners,” Principal Shelley Overman said, wearing a smile as bright as her red shirt. “It’s key for them to be comfortable.”
Kindergarten, after all, is a building block for their future, she said.
“It’s their introduction to formal education,” Overman said. “Kindergarten is very critical.”
To smooth the transition, the kindergarteners walked into school on the first day having already been there twice, for an open house and assessments, a few days before. While they knew what they were getting into, that didn’t quiet all the jitters. Most of the kindergarteners lined up quietly behind their teachers. Some looked nervous, a few tearful.
Nate Borland, 5, of Lake Bluff stood behind his teacher, Mandy Noble, looking a little uneasy.
Though Nate stood quietly, his mom, Samantha Borland of Lake Bluff, said the youngest of her three children was prepared.
“He’s ready,” she said. “I’m ready, too.”
Nate piped up that he was, in fact, excited about the first day of school, in general, and lunchtime, in particular.
“I have Angry Bird cookies,” he said.
By 8:05 a.m., the lines of teachers and students began filing through the front doors to begin the day.
Just an hour later, school was well under way for the 63 kindergarteners in three full-day and one half-day classrooms at LBES.
Nate Borland sat on a blue carpet with his 15 classmates in Noble’s class for story time and a song. Afterward, Noble asked the children to form a circle so they could meet each other.
The children quickly scurried into position.
“That’s the fastest circle I’ve ever seen a brand-new group of kindergarteners ever make,” Noble said.
After introductions, the children lined up for a pre-snack bathroom break and wash-up. Noble had a few minutes alone.
“Everything was beautiful. It’s unbelievable,” Noble said. “They’ve had a wonderful transition.”