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Gainesville school leaders say first day ran smoothly
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Alejandra Quevedo, physical science teacher at Gainesville High School's Ninth Grade Center, takes a moment to act as interpreter for new students Wednesday morning as they get accustomed to the school during the first day of classes for Gainesville students.

The halls of Gainesville City Schools are full once again.

Students returned to class Wednesday in the city, and New Holland Knowledge Academy Principal Pam Wood said the day went “very smoothly.”

“I was just standing in amazement of how well our first day has gone,” Wood said. “Here at New Holland we have 198 4-year-olds, because we have nine Pre-K classes. And it was very smooth, very organized, and it was just fabulous.”

The first day seemed to be “going very well” at Gainesville High School too, according to Principal Tom Smith.

Schools are still working out new school year logistics, but teachers at Gainesville High were asked to come up with fun or different ways to make the first day memorable for students.

“We’ve just asked our teachers to do something a little outside the box in terms of trying to connect from a relationship perspective, being that it is the first day,” Smith said. “We asked them to come up with something creative in terms of how they can connect and develop relationships with each of their particular classes.”

Leslie Frierson, Centennial Arts Academy principal, said the first day of school includes a lot of “get to know each other” games and activities and there’s always “a lot of excitement in the building.”

“There’s a lot of that and a lot of establishing routines,” she said. “It’s getting to know each other and understanding what the year is going to be about. And it’s working on building relationships between the teacher and student. We want them to feel this is an extension of their home and that it’s a positive experience.”

Both Frierson and Wood said teachers and students at the elementary schools seem to be excited to be back. Frierson added the end-of-day carpool and busing ran smoothly.

“It was incredible,” Frierson said of the first day back. “It was a fabulous day, and it is always a victory when you can get everyone home safely on the first day.”

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