HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - On the first day of school, it's a team effort to make sure students feel ready for success. Teachers and principals man the entrances, greet families, and explain the rules that everyone needs to know to make the day and rest of the year go well. Those we heard from in Huntsville said they had a positive day.
At Highlands Elementary School, Amie Hope asks her third grade students to write letters about themselves so she can read them, get to know them, and hear more about what they think they need to improve for the upcoming year.
Monday, she loved what she read.
"They put hearts on their paper and said, 'I already love third grade.' So for me to be able to end my first day with them, a day that is basically full of going over routines and rules and helping them create rules for the classroom, and for them to already know how much I love them, that was just amazing," she said. "I hope that my students, by the end of the year, know how much I love them. I hope they grow socially, emotionally, and academically like I want them to. I just want them to be successful in life."
She said that success is how she knows she has done her job.
"Them coming in here is just perfect," she said of her students. "I think it was a very smooth start. I mean, for a first day! I was able to get here this morning and walk in the door, enjoy the students, they came down so easily. Breakfast went well. Everybody knew their routines. We have a lot of new teachers this year... but they just did so great! The whole day was just perfect."
Brad Scott, Blossomwood Elementary Principal, said, "The first day of school is not only fantastic, it's about hope. Everyone has hope for having a fantastic year."
And parents know the routine: pull up, walk in, and say goodbye for the first time after a short summer together.
Tiffany Collins told ETV as she was dropping off her son, "I know the kids are always nervous about the first day of school so it's something to get used to."
But she knows he will not fear what he finds is waiting for him inside the building.
"I am hoping he will say he had a good day, that he met some nice people, he met some nice friends and he likes his teacher," she said.
School leaders, teachers, staff, and system administrators have worked hard to prepare for the first day of school. Superintendent Christie Finley made as many visits as she could on the first day of school to make sure everything was going well.
"I'll tell you what, our teachers are amazing," she told ETV. "We are so excited to have our students back. It's going to be a great year in Huntsville."
Hovet Dixon Jr, Highlands Elementary Principal, said, "We looked forward to this day. This day has finally arrived and we have left nothing on the table. We are all here rocking and rolling."
Leaders tell us there aren't just rays of hope for a good year, but all-out sunshine, in Huntsville City Schools.