By Mary O’KEEFE
As fast as it arrived, summer vacation for local public schools comes to an end. On Monday, the streets and sidewalks will again be filled as students and parents greet, whether grudgingly or excitedly, the first day of school.
If there is a common thread throughout the community regarding back to school it would be “We care.”
This week at student orientations at Rosemont Middle School and Crescenta Valley High School, the focus was on the kids – as usual – though this year there seemed to be an overall positive feeling at the campuses.
At the CVHS freshman orientation held on Tuesday in the MacDonald Auditorium, the freshmen were enthusiastic as they met their new principal, Linda Junge, and her staff.
PTSA president Monna Johnson also greeted the students.
“We are the same moms that were with you in kindergarten, the same moms that have been there with you all along,” she told the assembly.
Students also learned about Prom Plus, an after prom party for CVHS seniors and their guests. The organization is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
The kids then went out onto the campus, heading to the cafeteria to pick up their schedules. Friends compared classes then hurried down to pick up their books. The line was long but students got a pep talk by their principal as she walked the line.
“You are almost there,” she said.
She also reminded them that they could come back another day, but most students just hung in until they got their books.
The Associated Student Body – ASB – blared music from the quad’s stage and answered questions from freshman. PTSA members set up an old-fashioned lemonade stand and served kids and their parents a free glass of lemonade.
This is the first year PTSA has served lemonade to the students; they began at senior/junior day and carried over to the freshman. Johnson and PTSA board member Nancy Leum said the response was overwhelmingly positive.
Some students asked if they were just moms there on campus to support them. Others stopped by and asked if the moms would listen to their issues.
“We said yes. Tell us what you want us to know,” Leum said.
Most just thanked them for being there.
The campus was alive with smiling faces and helpful guidance.
The smiles were also found at Rosemont Middle School on Monday when incoming seventh graders attended Howdy Day.
Principal Dr. Cynthia Livingston welcomed them to their school and highlighted Rosemont’s motto of honor, excellence and pride. She too introduced the kids to the staff and encouraged them to ask questions.
Rosemont PTA president Kevin Cordova Brookey addressed both the kids and parents. He spoke about the transition from grade school to middle school and advised parents to continue to be involved with their kids and the school.
“Know your kids’ friends, and know their parents,” he advised.
The seventh graders then went to get their schedules, books and the ever-popular reminder binders. Livingston and her staff were on campus to answer questions and take care of any problems.
Elementary schools begin as well on Aug. 12. The city of Glendale has worked for weeks to create safer intersections at local schools. Those area crosswalks are shorter, reducing the area pedestrians have to walk. The theory is the less time pedestrians are on the street, the safer it will be for them.
In the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County in La Crescenta, the Crescenta Valley Town Council has worked to make crosswalks more visible, having flashing lights installed and at Rosemont Middle School, adding a crossing guard.
All to create safe routes to schools. However, despite all the pedestrian improvements, it still comes down to the drivers.
Officer Denmon continues to remind drivers to stay alert, give themselves enough time and stay off the cellphone.