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Hart district first day of school greeted with excitement

Schools join Castaic, Sulphur Springs in starting 2013-14 year

Posted: August 15, 2013 11:25 a.m.
Updated: August 15, 2013 11:25 a.m.

SANTA CLARITA - It was noisy chaos outside Rancho Pico Junior High School this morning as students shrieked and ran to greet each other, exchanging high-fives and hugs, as junior and senior high schools started a new year in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Some students milled about nervously outside the Stevenson Ranch school, stopping to ask directions from adults surveying the scene, their conversations interrupted occasionally by the blare of walkie-talkies.

Principal Erum Jones stood nearby, waving to parents in cars lined up in the school’s parking lot.

“Look at all these happy parents dropping their kids off,” she said, smiling.

The approximately 1,000 students enrolled at Rancho Pico joined more than 20,000 others throughout the William S. Hart Union High School District in heading back to school Thursday.

For many students at Rancho Pico, Thursday marked their first foray into middle school.

“You have to get used to switching classes,” said incoming seventh-grader Ethan Doty. “But I’m excited to start.”
Others were seasoned veterans of the back-to-school rush.

“I’ve been here so many times that it’s routine now,” said eighth-grader Heart Arromdee.

Though he has the routine of middle school down, Arromdee said he is still excited for the new year to begin.

“So far it’s been great,” he said. “You get to see old friends and start meeting new ones.”

The students weren’t the only ones learning the ropes, as Thursday marked the first time some of the school’s leadership, including Jones and Assistant Principal Chad Powell, experienced the first day of school at Rancho Pico.

"It's my first day at Rancho Pico and everyone seems to be doing a great job of understanding the flow, the kids are very excited to be here and they are very well behaved," Powell said. "They look like they're ready for a great first day of school."

Jones said the school works to make sure students are prepared for the differences between elementary school and middle school before the year starts, holding orientation sessions and campus tours so the transition is easier.

“But honestly, I think the parents are the nervous ones and the kids are excited,” she said.

Schools in the Hart district, Castaic Union School District and Sulphur Springs School District all opened their doors Thursday, meaning all the public school districts in the Santa Clarita Valley are now in session for the 2013-14 school year.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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