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Teachers give advice for first day of school
Gainesville system starts classes today
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Parents and students fill the hallways at Gainesville High on Tuesday afternoon as they attend an open house at the school.

First day of school

Gainesville City: Today

Hall County: Friday

Heritage Academy: Friday

Lakeview Academy: Aug. 19

Riverside Military Academy: Aug. 24

Buford City: Thursday

Lumpkin County: Thursday

White County: Thursday

Dawson County: Friday

Jackson County: Friday

Jefferson City: July 31

The first day of school can be hectic and stressful, but Gainesville school officials have advice for making the day smooth and fun.

Gainesville City Schools’ first day of school is today, and parents and students should “relax and come ready to learn,” according to Eileen Toledo, sixth-grade language arts teacher at Gainesville Middle School.

“Come ready to meet your new teachers,” Toledo said. “And understand it’s a whole new experience, especially for our rising sixth-graders coming in here for the first time.”

Toledo said it’s important for students to be open-minded and prepared. She said students sometimes forget their schedules, or they didn’t come to the open house and feel “a little lost.”

She and Zach Hobbs, a seventh-grade math teacher and special education department head at the middle school, said parents can help give their students confidence the first week of school.

“At the end of the day, I think most students really do like school,” Hobbs said. “I think they enjoy school and are excited about the first day. But parents can help them gain confidence and be excited about going back to school.”

Hobbs said the biggest things for parents are to get their children on the bus in the morning and for their children to get on the right bus going home in the afternoon.

“For parents, just talk them up and get them excited about the first day rather than, ‘Oh, you’re going back to school,’” Hobbs said.

Courtney Hagans, a Gainesville Middle eighth-grade language arts teacher, said it helps to prepare students the night before school, so they are ready in the morning.

“Then be sure to eat breakfast in the morning, or they can have the breakfast that’s prepared at the school,” she said. “And just make sure you are ready to have fun, because your teachers are eager to meet you.”

Hobbs said it helps to bring a notebook on the first day to take notes about the syllabus and expectations in each class. He also advised students to “not to be afraid to ask for help,” especially if they are lost or having trouble finding their next class.

Hagans said students shouldn’t worry too much about forgetting something on the first day.

“The first day we are really just welcoming them and introducing them to the curriculum,” she said. “So I would say not to worry about forgetting anything because that’s when we’ll let you know what you need.”

Brandy Stapleton, a Gainesville High School teacher, said there can be a lot of changes and students should be patient as they get used to them.

Gainesville High teachers Mikki Stinchcomb and Chandra Karnati said to “be excited” and enjoy the first day.

“Get ready to rock this school year,” Karnati said.

Barrett Lingenfelter, a seventh-grade social studies teacher at Gainesville Middle, said the best way to succeed in a new school year is to be willing and ready to learn.

“We are looking to have a good school year when it comes to our academic success,” Lingenfelter said. “We hope students had a great summer and are rested up to have a very successful school year.”

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