Sunday | October 22, 2017
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Back to the books: Classes begin at most public schools

Some came through the doors wearing bright smiles, eager to begin a new academic year.

Others entered with a little trepidation etched onto their faces, weighed down by a mixture of first-day jitters and backpacks of supplies that appeared to be bigger than they were.

Friday marked the first day of public school for some keiki on the Big Island, with others set to report to class next week. Teachers began the new academic year on Monday, giving them time to prepare their classrooms and lessons.

At E.B. de Silva Elementary School, parents pulled up in their cars in droves, often with both parents coming to bid their young charges a good first day.

Meanwhile, Principal Dennis O’Brien stood near the driveway, helping students out of cars and welcoming them to school.

“We had an excellent opening day,” he said Friday afternoon. “It was evident in the excitement and the smiling faces of our children, who were glad to come back and see their friends.”

At Hilo High, a large class of more than 300 freshmen reported for their first day, said Principal Bob Dircks.

Seniors acted as guides, ironing out some of the bumps for the ninth-graders.

“Our seniors are helping them to alleviate those feelings by serving as escorts and providing much-appreciated information for those ‘lost’ looking souls,” he wrote in an email Friday afternoon. “Who had the real jitters were the mothers and fathers who brought their children to school this morning.

“The school had a small breakfast and a short review of the day for all of these parents/guardians who came. This seemed to lessen the ‘I’m losing my baby’ concerns.”

Email Colin M. Stewart at cstewart@


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