Educators cheering on students at first day of school

Posted at 1:05 PM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 17:56:19-04

The sounds of school are back in session.

Crossing guards blowing their whistles, while they guide children and parents across busy streets, children screaming and laughing with excitement.

At Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle School, a wave of cheering hits you like a concert. Chants from teachers and parents lining a red carpet of crate paper, encourage students of each grade, this is a day to be excited about.

"Today is the big day I get to go to second grade.. I'm excited to meet new friends and learn new things," Aubrey said. She was most enthusiastic about having lunch at school.

"I'm excited about her being in the second grade, little emotional this morning, but she's going back to school and I hope she learns a lot this year," her grandmother, Valerie Arrington, said.

Each teacher met their new class on the basketball course in front of the school and paraded their group down the red carpet, through cheering adults, holding pom poms, banging on buckets or clapping their hands.

Across Baltimore, children will be learning new lessons, and meeting new people, and most importantly gathering building blocks for their future.

"This year I'm really excited about because our blueprint is about developing the whole child. I'm excited about expanding their enrichment opportunities, I'm excited about faculty who really wanted to support the social emotional learning of kids," Dr. Sonja Santelises, CEO of Baltimore Public Schools said while visiting Mary Rodman Elementary.

Students here have been in school for a week, and were in the middle of class when Dr. Santelises and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh stopped by.

The blueprint includes equipping schools with counselors who can help children who've face trauma (like city violence), adding enrichment through extra-curricular classes, like art, and offering various clubs that fit students' needs.

"We know literacy is the backbone of all learning we want content literacy, meaning we want young people to read like scientists, read like historians," Dr. Santelises said.

Back at Brent, teachers say they're building on their own success as well. Last year was the first time they cheered kids into class. This year was bigger and better and they hope it continues growing and is something the children look forward to.

"I'm pumped so they gotta catch up with me and that's how teachers should be, they should be pumped and catch up with the teachers," Margaret Brent School Lead Teacher Cherae Sneed said.