Smiles and excitement at start of school year


August 27, 2002|By Nancy Gallant | Nancy Gallant,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CLASSES BEGIN today. Buses and backpacks make their way around neighborhood streets. Excitement at meeting up with old friends almost makes up for the loss of long, lazy summer days.

For pupils at Crofton Woods Elementary School, though, the real start of the school year came Friday at 3:30 p.m. That's the time class assignment lists were posted on the windows of the school office.

Within minutes, the parking lot was full of cars, vans and SUVs. Crowds of children gathered around the notices, eagerly searching for their names and their teachers for the year.

"Mrs. Thacker!" shouted one young boy with a smile. "I always get the teacher I wanted!"

A mother found her daughter's name on Mrs. Crawford's list. "You'll have a good year," she told the little girl with a smile.

And two prospective third-graders held hands with delight as they realized they would share the same classroom all year.

Not all local schoolchildren begin classes today.

Nate and Matt McGuire have one more week to sleep late, swim, cycle and have water gun fights. The two Crofton boys are among the 390 children entering School of the Incarnation in its new building on Waugh Chapel Road.

For the past two years, the school has been housed in temporary quarters at Our Lady of the Fields Catholic Church in Millersville. Kindergartners and first-graders already have begun establishing school traditions. But with the school's construction complete, classes will start in the new building Sept. 3 for kindergarten through sixth grade.

Principal Barbara Edmondson has been busy for two years, planning the school's curriculum and attending to supply and staffing needs. Knowing how many things can go wrong in the construction process, she says, "It was a blessing that we could actually enter the building in the summer, on July 15." Since then, she has overseen preparations for the coming school year.

The bright, clean halls lead to classrooms that are ready to greet the pupils.

Carol Gabelman was busy organizing her first-grade classroom last week.

"I am so excited," she said. Gabelman already knows several of her new students, through her volunteer work in religious education at Our Lady of the Fields parish. Now she looks forward to seeing them arrive in their maroon-and-gray uniforms.

Dr. Edmondson says that a lot of work remains to be done before the school is completely finished. Some supplies have yet to arrive and many things will be fine-tuned. Still, the school will be ready for students Sept. 3.

As she said: "We're here. Our classrooms are ready to go. Our staff is here. Everything that's essential is here."

Ice cream social

The Crofton Civic Association will sponsor an ice cream social from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Swann Park. Free ice cream will be featured; pizza, hot dogs and sodas will be sold. The popular local group Pocket Change will provide musical entertainment, and Holiday the Clown will entertain children and do face painting. Information: Town Hall, 410-721-2301.

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