New kindergartners got a close look at their new school during orientation at Benton Hall Academy on Tuesday, and also got a chance to meet their teachers, see their classroom and meet their classmates.
Two classmates that didn’t need an introduction were Zane Synenki and Michael George, Jr. Their parents said the two are best friends and were excited to learn they were in the same class together.
“It’s exciting. I think he’s excited [about school]. It’s something new,” said Michael George, Sr. while helping his son find his cubby in the classroom.
“We’re both very apprehensive,” said Zane’s mother Jessica Synenki. “We both cried already and we’ve been talking about it and what to expect and what mommy did on
her first day of school.”
The orientation started with the kindergarten teachers greeting their students outside of the auditorium. Stacey Barnett, one of the teachers, gave a big smile and welcomed new student Savannah Manno with open arms.
“She’s excited. I’m excited,” said her mother Shaina McKinney.
MaryJo Morrissey, also a kindergarten teacher, sent a blank page home to her students so they could bring in a drawing to her during the orientation.
“It’s anything they want [to draw],” she said. “It breaks the ice a little.”
Students and parents then heard from Principal Joe Long, who reminisced about when his son started going to school.
“I think that was the last time I cried like a baby,” he said.
Donna Todd, food services director, talked about the new regulations put on school lunches through the federal Healthy-Hunger Free Act, how to handle food allergies and how to apply for the free and reduced meals.
Besides going to their classrooms, kids also took a bus ride with their parents and were served a meal in the cafeteria.
Kids also joined in unison reciting their ABCs in the auditorium, in what has become a tradition at the Benton Hall Academy orientation.
“Now every kid is ready for kindergarten,” said Long.
Long said that there’s 85 kindergartners projected to start the new year, which he said is up by about a dozen students.