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School Is In Session
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Normal 0 0 1 27 154 oakdale leader 1 1 189 11.1287 0 0 0 A Cloverland Elementary School crossing guard ensures that traffic stops for a mother and daughter in the crosswalk on Johnson Avenue during the morning rush on the first day of school. - photo by Dawn M. Henley/The Leader

Throngs of students and parents descended on Oakdale’s schools this past week for the official start of school on Wednesday, Aug. 11. As of that day, the district had 5,345 total students enrolled, according to the district’s Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Marc Malone.

Now that the dust has settled from the first week and the students have learned the ropes, they are ready to begin their classroom learning.

“The first day of school was very exciting,” said Cloverland Elementary School Principal Stacey Aprile. “Students with hope and curiosity in their hearts dressed in their finest to come to the first day. They loved shaking hands with their new teacher and our staff gave them a very warm welcome.”

Fair Oaks Elementary School Principal David Kindred reported that his school had an “amazing start up” to the 2010-11 school year.

“Our staff greeted many happy students and parents on the first day of school,” he said. “As I walked down the hall a little girl ran up to me with a huge smile on her face and outstretched arms and announced, ‘Mr. Kindred, I love school’… It was truly a wonderful way to start the school year.”

Magnolia Elementary School Principal Julie Minabe reported that the first week there went very smoothly.

“I heard many students comment on how much they ‘love’ their teachers and are ‘so happy’ to be back at school,” Minabe said.

“The first few days are full of getting-to-know you activities, introductions to the grade level curriculum, and a teaching of work ethic and behavioral expectations in class,” Aprile added.

Cloverland also held Kindergarten Orientation the day prior to school’s start. Aprile explained that at the orientation, parents accompany their child to school to meet key school personnel. Then the Kindergarten students lined up – standing in line was a first for many of them – and they walked with their new teacher to their classroom for the first time, for games and introductions.

During that time, Aprile led a “first year of school” in-service for the parents.

“I introduced procedures, discussed programs unique to Cloverland, and provided the Kindergarten academic standards to the parents,” she said. “It really broke the ice, and we had excited rather than anxious Kindergarten students (the first day).”

Junior high and high school students were also back on those campuses, with students learning where all their classrooms are for the new year, while the high school welcomed freshmen coming in not only from Oakdale Junior High but Knights Ferry and Valley Home schools as well.