More than 100,000 students head back to school as Northside ISD starts school year

Principal, parents and students at Fernandez Elementary talk about their first day excitement

SAN ANTONIO – The energy of the first day of school is different.

There’s excitement to meet new teachers and students, but also emotional parents and students doing their first-day drop-off.

Principal Frank Johnson of Northside ISD’s Fernandez Elementary School has a message to parents who might be worried about nervous students.

“Just know there is an incredible transformation that happens when your pre-k and kinder kids come to school,” Johnson said. “What you see when you drop them off, these tears and that worry goes away so quickly, I wish I could take a picture and show parents just know how fast their kids adapt.”

Monday marked the first day of school for Northside ISD, one of San Antonio’s biggest districts that serves more than 100,000 students.

Vannessa Novosad, the school’s Parent–Teacher Association president, said she has three kids.

She said she understands the tears.

It’s why she brought what she calls “boohoo” breakfasts to comfort first-day parents dropping off pre-k and kindergarten students.

“It goes by super quick so I get the tears, but they are going to have so much fun, so crying, excitement yes, new chapter is also exciting too,” Novosad said.

Johnson said his favorite part of the first day of school is seeing the excitement in the students’ faces.

”This is a place that is truly their home away from home and so when they go on summer vacation it’s a great time to be with their families, but they definitely miss school,” Johnson said.

Fourth grader Lillian Gonzales said she remembers her first day of kindergarten.

“I was really scared and sad because I had to leave my mom and mostly every kid is like that when they are really young,” Lillian said.

Now as a seasoned elementary school student, she has advice for first-day pre-k and kindergartners.

”Don’t worry it’s going to be an exciting class and that you’ll have fun.”

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About the Authors

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.

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