ELIZABETH A. CONKEY
BENNINGTON -- For students within the Southwestern Vermont Supervisory Union, Tuesday marked the first day back to school after a well-deserved summer vacation.
Shaftsbury Elementary students celebrated the first day of classes with special guest Neil Brown of the "Dinosaurs Rock" program, based out of New Jersey.
Principal Jeff Johnson said that during the program, students were able to learn about dinosaurs, fossils and even bring a fossil home at the end of the day.
"It's was a really cool way to start off the year," Johnson said. "A busy day, but great for the kids."
James Law, principal of Bennington Elementary, said he was looking forward to the school year, which he and other faculty members kicked off with a brief assembly Tuesday morning.
"Lots of smiling faces"
"It was good to have the kids back," he said. "There were lots of smiling faces."
Molly Stark and Monument elementary schools celebrated the first day back with a "Welcome Back" barbeque for students, family and teachers Tuesday evening.
Throughout the day, both schools had days that ran "smoothly" and according to plan.
"The kids seemed so happy to be back," said Molly Stark Elementary Principal Donna Mackenzie King. "Lunch and recess were amazingly smooth. Sometimes there are glitches but not this year. It's good to have everyone back. "
Donna Cawley, Monument Elementary's principal, was equally enthusiastic.
"It was a fabulous day back, terrific for both students and families," she said. "Parents were invited to participate in our morning assembly with their children. The day was all about connecting as a Monument community."
This year, Monument Elementary's assembly focused on the school's positive behavior expectations.
According to Sue Maguire and Tim Payne, principals of Mount Anthony Union High School and Middle School respectively, the first day of school for their students was just as seamless as that of the younger demographic.
"Today was definitely a smooth start," said Maguire. "It felt like we had never left, like another regular school day. The kids were great and seemed happy to be back."
Payne concurred, noting Tuesday marked his second year as MAUMS principal.
"There was lots of positive energy," he said. "Definitely a nice smooth start."
The newly independent Village School of North Bennington will start its school year with a half-day today.
Contact Elizabeth A. Conkey at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @bethconkey.