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Lunch boxes are full and backpacks packed because it’s time for the Verde Valley’s children to head back to school.

Sedona Red Rock News Managing Editor Trista Steers MacVittieAfter just over two months of freedom, local students return to the classroom for another 10-month stint of learning.

The first day of school is an emotional time for a student.

Itty-bitty kindergartners cling to their parents’ hands not quite sure what to expect on their very first day of school.

After the first year, however, the same students are excited to see school friends again and resume busy schedules.

Middle and high school students complain about the expected workload but are excited about school activities and social opportunities.

My most memorable first day of school experience is from first grade.

I took the hall pass to use the bathroom — no more kindergarten group bathroom breaks for me — feeling proud of the freedom I’d earned by simply entering full-day school.

I stood in the bathroom looking in the mirror, wearing a stone-washed jean jumper with colorful buttons up the front and a pink T-shirt underneath, and I remember saying to myself, “ I am so grown up now.”

When I recall that memory today it makes me miss the excitement I felt the night before every first day of school.

While summer is the most anticipated event of every school year, the first day of school is a close second.

Three months — the length of my summer vacations — seemed difficult to fill when mid-August rolled around.

When the first day of school finally arrived, I always went to bed early but never could sleep.

I picked my outfit the night before, packed my lunch and backpack, and set my alarm to ensure I had plenty of time to get ready.

Every year I returned the same faces would be there to greet me but it would feel different — different teachers, different classes.

Progressing through elementary school, junior high and high school gives a person an instrument to measure growing older, one we don’t encounter as frequently in our adult lives, which may explain why it seems like just yesterday we attended high school.

The first day of school marks an exciting transition in a child or teenager’s life and reminds them and us how quickly time slips away.

Ask any parents sending their baby to kindergarten this year.


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