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    Welcoming Environments Await Students and Families on the First Day of School
    Posted on 09/07/2018
    Students high five community members as they walk into school

    Welcoming Environments Await Students and Families on the First Day of School

    All across the district, open doors and smiling faces awaited students and their families. Sept. 5 marked the first day of school for students in grades 1-12 after extensive planning took place all summer. Over the summer, teachers attended professional development sessions, principals met with other school leaders to plan out the year, and central staff coordinated new school openings and logistics to ensure a smooth start to students’ first day.

    The summer was a restful time, but students and families alike were excited to head back to school.

    At West Seattle Elementary School, a red carpet was rolled out, and a DJ was spinning tunes as a crowd of sharply dressed adults prepared to greet the VIP invitees. “Come on down,” the DJ gestured to the guests to signal the start of the procession. With the cue of the DJ, the students made their way across the red carpet walking into a wave of outstretched hands. School staff and members from all sections of the community lined both sides of the red carpet and extended high-fives. As music played in the background, the crowd of supporters exclaimed, “Welcome back to school!”

    The halls at Aki Kurose Middle School were quiet, except for the voice of a teacher walking down the hall with his students. He was pointing out classrooms and matching it to class schedules. “We invite 6th graders a day ahead of their 7th and 8th grade peers to help them transition to middle school,” said Principal Mia Williams. Navigating a new building, schedules, and classrooms can be stressful, and concentrated efforts were made to help students and families feel at ease with the changes. To mark a successful first day, students and staff celebrated on the field with sunshine and popsicles. And as the students were leaving for the day, staff were saying goodbye to students by name.

    Across the district, school staff created welcoming and warm first-day environments, inclusive for all students and families. As Superintendent Juneau remarked in her welcome letter to students and families, “It’s going to be a great year!”

    See additional photos and updates from the first day of school by following our Twitter page.