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Recess, lunch and painting highlight first day of school

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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The first day of school is an exciting event, especially if you’re a first-grader. Coming from the half-day world of kindergarten, first-graders were spending their first full day at school last Thursday as students in the Loomis Union School District returned from summer break. Franklin Elementary School first-grade teacher Carolyn Basque said, “It’s a long day for them. That’s huge. All morning they ask, ‘When is lunch?’” Basque shares her teaching job with Katherine Leupp, who was spending her 27th first day of school with first-graders. “The kids and parents are always so excited on the first day of school,” Leupp said. Basque said the best thing about the first day is all of the “new, little faces.” Basque and Leupp said this year was hectic getting the classroom ready for a new group of six-year-olds. “With the budget cuts we only had one prep day to get everything ready this year,” Leupp said. Budget cuts have also lead to larger class sizes, and the two teachers now have 24 stu-dents instead of the 20-student limit of recent years. Delaney Smith, of Penryn, was thrilled with her first day of school. “I love painting. I’m going to learn math and science this year,” Delaney said. Classmate Isabella Zaro, of Granite Bay, was also enjoying her first day of first grade and described it as “fun.” “I like recess time on the big playground the best,” Isabella said. Isabella’s mom, Kathleen Zaro, said Isabella was so excited about school starting that she he woke up 15 minutes before her alarm went off and was dressed and ready to go to school by 7 a.m., although school didn’t start for another hour and a half. Zaro said it was also an exciting day for her. “I was like ‘Hallelujah!’ I went for coffee after I dropped her off. I didn’t have any sad feelings,” Zaro said. For David Beseler, father of four, it was his youngest child’s first day of kindergarten and he was all smiles. “It’s great,” Beseler said. Lunchtime proved to be a high point in the young students’ day. “We’re eating outside,” exclaimed Bella McKernan, of Granite Bay, as she opened her pink “My Little Pony” lunch box. Justin Vottin, also of Granite Bay, proudly displayed his lunch. “I got a new lunch box. I have lemon cookies and a salami sandwich,” Justin said. Lunch recess seemed to perplex some of the first-graders as they pondered their many play choices – swings, blacktop, grass, play structures. They couldn’t seem to grasp their new freedom. “Where’s our teacher?” Isabella asked Becky Cunnington, who was supervising the play-ground. “It’s her turn to have lunch now and you get to play,” Cunnington told the girl. Isabella thought about this a moment, then rushed to the monkey bars to join her class-mates in boisterous play. It didn’t take the youngster long to adapt to the new world of first grade.