‘Welcome back:’ Schools start up again

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2017


SALISBURY — By sunrise, the buses were out. As early-morning traffic picked up, students waited by the side of the road, dressed in school uniforms and carrying backpacks — geared up for their first day back.

Many schools planned special first-day activities for students on Monday — from parent activities to pep rallies to a dance performed by teachers.

“We had an exceptional first day ‘back to school’ for our students. All the activities and preparations from the last couple of weeks did much to make this one of the best and most exciting school openings yet,” Rowan-Salisbury Schools Superintendent Lynn Moody said in an email. “It always amazes me how quickly our students fall right back into the school-day routine. Walking through the classrooms this morning, it was as if we did not even have a summer break. … We are looking forward to a great school year.”

At Carson High School, students flooded the atrium to take pictures in a photo booth and to see a special performance by teachers. High school theater staff members spent part of their summer writing a parody of the Disney song “Be Our Guest.”

At exactly 8:20 a.m., history teacher Jason Stanley stood on the steps of the atrium wearing a glittering navy hat and launched into a welcome song.

“Your teachers have been waiting all summer long to say: ‘Welcome home!’” he said.

Carson theater teacher Alex Reynolds said such a show is common on the first day back at Carson.

“They do anything to make them feel like it’s a big deal,” he said.

Teachers wanted to celebrate the beginning of the school year with students and get them excited for the months ahead. For Carson Principal Angelo DelliSanti, the day was about letting students know that the school is a home they can return to, again and again. School helps bring consistency into a student’s life, he said.

“That’s probably what I’m looking forward to the most,” he said, “is seeing students grow into who they’re supposed to become.”

Monday morning, students stood in small groups around the atrium, catching up after the long summer break. Many were waiting for a final friend to appear before donning leis, funny hats or boas and getting their photo taken in the photo booth.

It’s just the second year Carson has had the photo booth and celebration, but students are already attached to it.

“There’s, like, good energy,” student Kimberly Barrera said.

The morning had a festive atmosphere with the props, teacher performance and a rain of confetti.

“I’m excited to be back,” Dallas Cobb said.

Cobb, who is a junior, said he is looking forward to taking new classes and honing in on his education goals.

“Because (junior year)’s the year that you really start focusing,” he said.

Others were glad to see old friends and looking forward to making new ones.

“I’m excited to meet new people,” sophomore Amy Kirkman said.

This year holds fewer worries for Kirkman and other sophomores than they had in their freshman year. They’re more experienced now and know the ropes.

Monday was the first of 180 days, and Kirkman and others were holding out for a good year.

“I wish everyone good luck,” she said. “Don’t be scared.”

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.