Today marks one month since we returned to school. The first days of school were filled with excitement, anticipation, and a wonderful energy that was infectious throughout City Academy. Students and teachers may not be as anxious as they were on that first day of school, but their excitement and contagious energy still abounds.

The first few weeks of school have allowed teachers to reminisce about their first days of school as students and as teachers, and have allowed students to share their hopes and dreams for the new school year. In fifth grade, students shared these hopes and dreams in their daily journals:

“Back-to-School season is personally my favorite. It is a time when we can see our friends and teachers at school. How exciting is that! Back-to-School is at times overwhelming, but it is also exhilarating, because we start learning again. Here at City Academy, we look forward to new school supplies and new schedules. It feels wonderful to be back!” – Nyla

“As I walked in, I was greeted by Mrs. Venne and the delicious candy smell of the Scentsy. I was exhilarated by the vibrant color displayed around the room. At this moment, I knew it was the beginning of a fantastic year. As I walked around our school, I saw joyful faces. It has been a while since I have seen my friends. Many of us have changed, but our friendships have never changed. I thought to myself, ‘Today is going to be a good day for a great day!’” — Michael

“Wow! I cannot believe it is already the second week of school. I have to say I have come a long way since second grade. Back then, I was shy. Now, I am a fifth grader and one of the many leaders of the school! Our class has come a long way too! Over the years, we have changed our reputation and lost our bad habits. We have also become a little bit nicer and take care of each other. Our teacher, Mrs. Venne, is very supportive. She is the one who helped us change our reputation. I can already tell this will a great year!” — Camille

Fifth grade students forming friendships during recess

The start of the school year also brought back memories for teachers of their first days of school. Our Second Grade Teacher, Ms. DeSimone, remembered her first day of second grade and being in a school that was accepting of others:

“I remember an occasion when I was in 2nd grade. A new student joined my class and everyone welcomed and accepted her immediately. In third grade, I went to a new school and I never felt the warmth and affection from my new peers that I was a part of in 2nd grade. I have two new students this year and they were welcomed and accepted warmly by their peers. I’m very happy to be part of a school where the prevailing culture is one of acceptance of others.” – Ms. DeSimone

Ms. DeSimone leading a book discussion with second grade scholars

Other teachers reflected on the start of the school year, and what their hopes and dreams are for their students. For Fifth Grade Teacher, Mrs. Venne, this includes aspirations of her students as school leaders:

“My favorite part about the first days of school this year is witnessing how our children continue to evolve to be leaders in our school. They are proud, empowered, caring and insightful. Every Friday at the end of the day, we have an hour of homeroom. During this time, we have been discussing how we can be leaders in our school, and Fifth Grade is eager to serve City Academy. With minimal scaffolding and facilitating on my part, they have set three goals for themselves— grow academically, be leaders, and be organized. They have also identified four areas in which they want to be school leaders— Be excellent models for attitude and behavior, mentor younger students, share our story of change and provide advice to others, and take care of our school.” Mrs. Venne

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