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Ironton gets school year under way

With a mix of being scared and being excited, the new school year began for kindergartners and first graders on Wednesday at Ironton Elementary K-1 school.

For the kindergartners, it was only a little taste of school since they were there for orientatation and testing. Their classes begin next week.

But for the first graders, it was time for orientation and then off to class. But for them, it was a familiar setting since they were kindergartners in the same building last year. The two grades were combined at a single school because of school construction.

Principal Annette Massie said it’s a busy day for everybody.

“Our big focus is on making sure the little guys are taken care of,” she said, since they may not know where their classroom or even the bathroom is located.

For the kindergartners, it is their first step into a bigger world without their parents.

“So a lot of them are just terrified, they are in a new place with strangers,” Massie said. “So it is just a lot of assuring them that it is going to be OK.”

For the first graders, Massie said it should be easier since they are returning to a familiar place.

“It is a little more challenging for us because we have two grades here,” Massie said. “But I am excited for this year. We are going to be challenging the kids to read more and get the parents involved with that.”

Dusty Douglas was waiting with his son, Skylar, for the school day to begin.

Skylar was too shy to say anything, but his dad said he was nervous.

“He has some cousins in his class that will be here so that should help,” Douglas said. “But he has really been wanting to come to school.”

Melonie Barker and her husband, Derrick, were bringing their two kids to school. D.J. was there for kindergarten orientation and Madison was starting first grade.

And what was Madison excited about?

“Coming to school,” she said before giggling.

“I think D.J. is just excited, period,” Melonie said.

Derrick Barker said he was happy and not happy to have both the kids in school.

“I’ll miss them but it will give Melonie and me a little more time on our own,” he said.