Kids are ready as school starts early at Sandy Hook
STRASBURG — Although the first day of Sandy Hook Elementary School started a month earlier than it has in the past, Wanda Flynn said that her three grandchildren were all ready Monday.
“Actually, they were easy to get up this morning,” Flynn said. “I think they were very excited to go. Believe it or not, they were.”
The students — Tanner Heflin, who is in third grade, Turner Heflin, a fourth-grader and Brady Heflin, in fifth grade–were all wired after the day ended. Their father, Mike Heflin, had to tell Brady to climb down a tree and said he was excited to see them “get out of the house and back to school.”
But Heflin said he was still disappointed by the decision to start the school year earlier.
“I don’t know why they did that,” Heflin said. “They should keep them out so they could have the whole summer, until after Labor Day. Should have let the kids enjoy their summer.”
Tammy Dellinger, whose daughter Piper is starting second grade and whose son Cooper is entering kindergarten, said that her kids also seemed ready for the early start. She was mainly worried about Cooper’s teacher.
“I’m anxious to go in there and see if [Cooper] survived,” she said. Then she added, “See if his teacher survived.”
Dellinger said that both of her children are flexible, making the change easier.
“So long as I don’t make a big deal of something, they don’t make a big deal of something,” Dellinger said. “And I was surprised: my kindergartner (Cooper), he was eager and ready to go.”
When Cooper came to the doors of the school in the morning, Dellinger said, he was smiling.
“(He) didn’t even hug me goodbye, just walked right in,” Dellinger said. “So he was ready. Now, we’ll see what he looks like when I go in.”
After she picked her kids up, Dellinger said that Cooper had a great first day.
While her brother was looking forward to a new adventure, Piper was familiar with Sandy Hook and was looking forward to returning to the routine of going to school, Dellinger said.
“She loves school; she misses her friends, the friends that she sees in school,” Dellinger said. “So she was anxious to go back.”
Principal Robin Shrum said the experience of Dellinger’s and Heflin was a common one. Even with the earlier start, Shrum said, the children were ready to start the year.
“I was worried that kids would be, like, ‘ugh,'” Shrum said. “But they were ready. They were happy. Teachers were happy to see the kids, and it feels like September.”
In fact, Shrum only pointed to one group that really wanted the school year to start later.
“I think the kids were ready, really,” Shrum said. “Parents may not have been ready, but kids were definitely ready.”