SALISBURY — Salisbury High School students were looking up on the first day of school.
They crowded around lists posted in the hallways Monday morning, peering over classmates’ heads to see their homeroom assignments for the coming year.
As they left their school buses and cars and walked in the door, some students ran to their friends with enthusiastic yells and hugs. Others, still sleepy from the change in their schedules, greeted their teachers and classmates with a nod and a smile.
Sophomore Londreika Davis was in the more energetic group.
“I’m very excited to see all my friends and have new learning experiences,” said the sophomore.
Nicholas Greene, a senior, has shown up for every day of high school so far. But his backpack didn’t make it today. Greene said he accidentally walked out the door without it to start his senior year.
“I’m kind of getting back into things still,” he said, sheepishly. “It should be fun.”
He said he’s looking forward to playing soccer and running cross country as the school year gets underway. Less exciting, Greene said, is waking up early to get to school by 7:30 a.m. every weekday.
Simeon Caldwell, a freshman, said he’s excited about starting school at Salisbury High.
“I think it’s going to be fun,” Caldwell said. “I’ve been here most of the summer, and the people are nice.” He said he has already taken part in a tutoring program, as well as sports and band camp.
The only thing he’s nervous about, Caldwell said, is finding his way around the school and remembering where to go.
As students came back to the Rowan-Salisbury School System, some new teachers experienced the first day of school for the first time.
Lyndsay Tomlinson is just starting out as a fifth-grade teacher at Isenberg Elementary School. She has taught preschool before, but Monday was her first time leading a public school classroom. Tomlinson said she’s excited, but also a little sad. This is the only time she has missed the first day of school for her own two children, who are 6 and 8 years old, she said.
“I just love kids, and seeing that light bulb go off when they learn something,” Tomlinson said. “I love watching them grow and flourish.”
In addition to adjusting to the change herself, Tomlinson said it will be a challenge getting the students used to her and her expectations.
“There are so many different things they are expected to know,” she said. “I want to get them to learn as much as they can and get them ready for middle school.”
To start the day, her students decorated brown paper bags with crayons, colored pencils and markers. She told them that their first homework assignment was to fill the bags with items that represent them.
The children then sat on the floor in front of a bulletin board with a sign marked, “Rules.” Instead of telling them what her classroom rules are, Tomlinson asked her students what they think the rules should be.
“Raise your hand to talk,” “Respect others” and “Keep your hands and feet to yourself” were some of their answers.
Messiah Robinson, a student in Tomlinson’s class, said she felt good on the first day of school.
Her classmate, Dylan Perez, went a step further.
“I feel great,” he said. “I like going to school and making As.”
Coincidentally, both Dylan and Messiah said their favorite subject was math and their least favorite was social studies.
“Even though some stuff might be hard,” Dylan said, “I’m going to keep learning new stuff and get good grades.”
Messiah said she had fun over the summer going on vacation, having sleepovers, watching TV and playing outside. But she’s ready for the new school year.
“I know some people in my class,” she said, “and I’m going to have fun with them.”