NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- On Friday, City School District of New Rochelle students in all grades had filed through the doors of their respective buildings as the 2017-18 school year fully got under way. It was a very successful opening, said Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne.
"It was one of the smoothest openings to a school year that I've seen," Osborne said. "We're off to a tremendous start. That is a credit to everyone involved - the teachers, the administrators, the secretaries and the custodial and kitchen staffs. The facilities department worked so hard through the summer overseeing construction projects and getting the buildings into better shape."
Friday was the first day of class for juniors and seniors. Sophomores reported on Thursday, and freshmen reported on Wednesday. Elementary school students arrived on Wednesday. Both middle schools began classes on Thursday.
"I like the spirit," said New Rochelle High School senior Andrew Alphonse, sitting with two friends in the cafeteria on Friday. "We're really diverse. Everybody knows how to come together."
While Andrew and his friends are starting their last year in the district, Nathanael Miranda is beginning his first. The Trinity Elementary School kindergartener was shy about discussing it on his first day. But his father, Pitagoras Miranda, said Nathanael was eager to come to the school after attending a pre-kindergarten program elsewhere last year.
"He's been talking about it the whole summer," Miranda said.
The Wednesday elementary schools opening went as planned, even with parents and their children dodging raindrops at some points to reach the school buildings. On Thursday, the middle schools also started off well.
"This first week was a fantastic success," Isaac E. Young Middle School Principal Anthony Bongo said Friday. "Students brought their energy and enthusiasm, creating a joyous and exciting learning experience."
NRHS Principal Reginald Richardson spent part of the first full day for all students teaching a class on advanced topics in African-American studies.
"I want to thank all of you brave souls who wanted to take a class with the principal," Richardson told the students.
Many of the seniors were already feeling the thrill of looking forward to senior year activities and toward college. Rachel Motley, who was in Richardson's class, was happy to be starting her final year of high school.
"It's my last 'first day,'" she said. "So, I'm excited."