Parents turned their shoulders to shield themselves from their children and to wipe tears away on the first day of school Thursday in Dadeville.
It is something Dadeville Elementary School reading coach Ashley Ledbetter said she will be doing next year with her first child entering school for the first time.
“I haven’t seen any crying this year,” Ledbetter said while standing in the halls of Dadeville Elementary School. “I’ll be bawling my eyes out next year when mine starts school.”
Most parents made the day a bit special by walking with their children to their classrooms, some stopping to take photographs like Julie and Rusty Mask. Julie made sure the day was remembered with the photograph of her son, Ryker, who held a sign stating it was his first day of first grade. Julie followed Ryker’s photograph by posing his older sister Rorie, who started third grade. Both children had monogrammed backpacks and were handling the morning of the first day of school better than their parents.
Dadeville Elementary School principal Rance Kirby said things were moving along pretty well Thursday morning for the nearly 700 students.
“It’s pretty smooth for a first day of school,” Kirby said. “It’s like we never left for the summer.”
Just across campus at Dadeville High School, principal Chris Hand echoed Kirby’s thoughts on the day getting everyone back into routine as he monitored every one of his 500 or so students eating breakfast in the cafeteria.
“Everyone can eat breakfast for free,” Hand said. “We are a little bit behind, but it’s normal for the first day. Next week we will be at least 15 minutes faster as we knock the rust off.”
While the parents might be struggling with their children’s first day of school and not seeking help, Dadeville Elementary School second-grade teacher Chris Blue likens the first day of school to something a lot of people can relate to in the South. But he thinks staff is equipped to deal with it by the time parents pick up their children later in the day.
“It’s like kicking over an ant hill,” Blue said. “Hopefully we will have it put back together this afternoon.”