They walked up the school's sidewalk at 8:30 a.m., about 45 minutes before the start of classes, long before the first bus arrived.
Aiden and his dad navigated the near-empty halls to his first grade classroom. There, they were greeted by his teacher, Cindy Fogg.
Aiden beamed as he found a desk in the room with his name on it. No first-day jitters for him.
"He's the happiest kid ever," Marc Christin said of his son's anticipation of the start of school. "He's been talking about it for weeks. He said it's exciting to go to the big kids' school."
Aiden even packed his own lunch, his dad said, a peanut butter sandwich and a granola bar.
Everett was one of 12 school district in Snohomish County to resume classes on Wednesday. Other districts launching the school year were Darrington, Edmonds, Arlington, Granite Falls, Index, Lake Stevens, Marysville, Monroe, Mukilteo, Snohomish and Sultan. Lakewood, Northshore and Stanwood started classes on Tuesday.
At View Ridge, where about 470 students will be enrolled this year, there were hugs and kisses from parents as they said goodbye to their kids. There were hugs and handshakes from teachers and staff welcoming students.
The school held an open house Tuesday afternoon to help parents and their kids prepare for the first day of classes, said Kert Lenseigne, school principal, whom students often simply call "Mr. L."
"Kids got to see their classrooms," he said.
Parents also got phone messages telling them which teacher their students had been assigned to, he said.
On Wednesday morning, as parents and students lined up on the playground in rows next to signs with each teacher's name, there was a feeling of festivity.
Many, like Tammy Baker, were snapping pictures of their kids with their cell phones.
Her daughter, Chloe Wehmeyer, a second grader, was assigned to Teresa Townsell. She's the same teacher her daughter, now 16, had a decade ago.
"I held you when you were a baby," a smiling Townsell told Chole.
Addisen Myslak, a second-grader, said she was excited to be back to school. "I like to learn new stuff," she said. Her favorite classes are art and reading.
Ventzi Dimitrov was dressed in a grey suit, blue shirt and tie as he stood in line with his daughter, Venina, a first grader.
He said he was dressed up because "we need to respect school, both the parents and the kids.
"The kids are really excited to go on the first day," he said. "We've been preparing for a long time. This is a great day for the kids."
Lenseigne was meeting and greeting parents and kids on the playground as the students waited to walk in groups to their new classrooms.
"Very, very smoothly," was how he characterized the beginning of the new school year. With a hearty laugh he added, "You expect a little more chaos."
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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