On Monday morning, the sights, sounds and smells around town were different.
Once again, school buses were chugging up Wheeler Ave, their tailpipes emitting freshly burned diesel into the atmosphere; moms and dads choked back tears and hugged their kids a little tighter before releasing their kindergartners for their first official day of class, high schoolers lined up 10-fold at In-N-Out at lunch time acting as if they had been on a starvation diet all summer.
Yes, school is back in session for the students and teachers in the Bonita Unified School District, which comprises 13 schools in La Verne and San Dimas, 11 of which were named to the California Businesses for Education Excellence Honor Roll. Moreover, the district is one of six nationwide to be named to the honor roll as a district.
Ramona, under the principalship of Anne Neal, had the honor of kicking off the district’s first back-to-school night. Her teachers, including three new additions, and leadership squads blanketed the campus, some selling Ramona Vikings sweatshirts, others hoping to recruit new Boy Scouts and some simply pointing frantic parents and students in the right direction.
Despite the enthusiasm of eight graders Julian Bonitez and Joey Perez, they found it tough going selling sweat shirts. The $40 price tag may have been a little steep for many parents still recovering from ringing the register too often at all those enticing back-to-school sales.
Boy Scout and seventh grader Ryan Gabaldon seemed to be happy just being on campus before disclosing that his favorite teacher is Mr. Pogan.
Jilian Sayers and Kalista Redman also expressed their joy at being back at school after spending weeks sleeping in, going to the beach and summer camp and traveling to Montana.
Janelle Smith, an 8th grader, also was ready to immerse herself in her studies once again after the long summer hiatus. “I’m ready to be back in school,” she said. “I like school because the teachers are nice and I like to be busy.”
Meanwhile, for Nayeli and Mikayla Casteel, they were equally eager to buckle down and hit the books, both expressing that math was their favorite subject.
On this first back-to-school night, math and science appeared to be the clear-cut favorite subjects among students asked in our unscientific poll (”Hey, what’s your favorite subject?”)
For Casey Curlie, she was steps away from walking through Ramona’s gates for the first time, about to become a newly minted sixth grader.
“I’m excited to get good grades and to make new friends,” she said.
Back-to-school nights will extend over the next few weeks, with teachers laying out their course plans for the 2013-14 school year. Here is the back-to-school night schedule for schools in La Verne:
August 21, 6:00 p.m. La Verne Heights, La Verne
August 26, 4:00 p.m. Roynon Elementary School, La Verne
August 27, 5:30 p.m. Bonita High School, La Verne
August 28, 6:00 p.m. Grace Miller, La Verne
August 28, 6:15 p.m. Oak Mesa, La Verne
Sept. 5, 6:00 p.m. Chaparral Continuation/Vista School complex, San Dimas
For more information please call Nanette, Hall, assistant superintendent of educational services, at (909) 971-8200 or email at NHall@bonita.k.12.ca.us.
Earlier in the school day, a student was struck by a car and broke her femur, but she is reportedly doing well. So parents, if you’re driving you children to school, slow down, and tell your kids to look both ways.