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School buses and cars filling school parking lots, along with hugs and kisses goodbye, set the scene at several schools signaling the first day of classes within the Lake Havasu Unified School District Monday morning.

“Today is just a fantastic day,” said Connie Hogard, Principal at Smoketree Elementary. Students are ready. Parents are ready. And they were very calm it was outstanding.”

Cindy Williams kisses her daughter, Kennah, good luck on her first day of kindergarten at Starline Elementary. Jillian Danielson/RIverScene
Cindy Williams kisses her daughter, Kennah, good luck on her first day of kindergarten at Starline Elementary. Jillian Danielson/RIverScene

More than 5,600 students enrolled within all schools in the district were expected to fill classrooms, and while many parents are no strangers to the back-to-school routine and are glad to see their kids start school. Some first timers, like parent Cindy Williams, said it was a bittersweet moment to see her child start kindergarten at Starline Elementary.
“I’m nervous and excited,” Williams said.

“My baby is growing up and she is no longer a baby she is a big girl now.”

Teachers and staff members were in and out of all schools a few days before the new school year, working around the clock to prepare and get organized before students returned to the start the new class year.

“I am looking forward to every single day ahead of us this year,” said third-grade teacher Sara Delgado at Smoketree Elementary.

Some new things parents can expect this year – 30 new teachers and a new principal at Jamaica Elementary. No superintendent has yet been selected for the school district. And for parents concerned about students information being public or being published, local media directory “opt out” forms are no longer sent home.

“Parents wishing to opt out of having their kids excluded from being published on local media or public directories can complete a form online on our district website and bring it in to the school,” said Denise Miner with the Lake Havasu Unified School District.

Despite many new changes made every new school year, students are always anxious or glad to start a new year and meet new friends and faculty members.

“The kids are very excited about coming back to school, our teachers have been in and out for the last week,” said Claude Sanders, Principal at Havasupai Elementary.

“We are all just hoping to have a great year just like we have in the last five, and 10 years.”

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