Parochial schools kick off new school year

Most public schools begin Aug. 27

Published On: Aug 30 2012 03:14:53 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 13 2012 06:19:11 PM CDT

The halls of Providence College Preparatory School were bustling with students fresh off their summer break on Monday morning. 

For Marissa Sanchez, it was a bittersweet day, knowing that as a senior, this will be her least year.

"I'm ready to move on but also sad to leave Providence behind," she said. 

Sanchez was happy to see her friends and teachers again but it's often a harder start for new students.

Claire Smith, a new 7th-grade student, spent the last three years in Germany, so the first day of school is a brand new start.

"I'm nervous," she said. "It's a little bit nerve-wracking."

Providence has a program to help new students adjust.  They're assigned a "big sister" to show them around the school and help them throughout the year.

School Principal Alicia Garcia said the first day of school isn't completely academic. It includes taking pictures, assigning books, learning where classes are and making new friends.  

"On the first day we want to connect with our students," said Garcia. "We definitely want our teachers to get to know their students and help them out with their schedules, especially our younger ones (such as) 6th-graders and our freshmen who are coming in.  The new students get to know their environment and get comfortable before they start their academic year."

Although parochial students are the first to head back to school, most public schools will follow suit in about two weeks. 

Most public school students will head back on Aug. 27.

For a list of recent stories Eileen Gonzales has done, click here.