Back to business in St. John classrooms

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 7, 2009

By David Vitrano

LAPLACE—Many children clutched their parents’ hands tightly as they approached the buildings where they would be spending most their days for the next 10 months.

But the initial trepidation soon gave way to excitement as they saw the faces of friends not seen since May. And after the reluctance and even some of the excitement began to die down, it was back to business-as-usual at schools across St. John Parish.

Board Member Lowell Bacas, who witnessed portions of the first days at Emily C. Watkins Elementary School and LaPlace Elementary School, said, “I was truly impressed. It looks like school’s been in for about two weeks.”

Other members of the board echoed his sentiments at Thursday’s School Board meeting, held at Watkins.

Board Member Keith Jones said, “It looks like it’s going to be a real good school year,” and Board Member Russ Wise added, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more smoothly operated first day of school.”

One of the only problems of the day came when the lights at a school in Edgard went out briefly. The situation was quickly remedied, though, according to Superintendent Courtney Millet.

“Hats off to our administrators, our principals and our teachers at all our schools,” said Millet.

In all 4,528 students showed up for the first day of instruction. Ninth graders at East St. John High were not required to be at school until Friday, Aug. 7, and the district’s kindergarten students do not have to report to school until Aug. 12.