Excitement buzzed amongst Rosedale elementary’s kindergarten students Tuesday morning.
Bundled up in winter jackets and rain boots, the students looked back at their old school one last time and said goodbye before walking the now familiar 25-minute journey to their new school.
Unlike their older counterparts and teachers, these students don’t have the years of nostalgia for their old school built within them. For them, move-in day at the new Rosedale kindergarten to Grade 9 school was like a second helping of Christmas.
“Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to our new school we go,” they sang as they marched away from the old school.
Since the start of the school year, kindergarten teachers Garry Penner and Gay Henderson have been guiding their classes on regular walks to see the progression and development of their new school.
It only seemed right for them to do the same on the first day of the Rosedale traditional community school opening.
“I believe this [walk] is a wonderful opportunity for the children to celebrate the first day at our new school and to create lasting memories for themselves,” said Mr. Penner.
Along the route, they waved goodbye to the holly tree on McGrath Road, and said happy new year to the barking white dog behind a fence on Yale Road. They waved to the clerk inside the local gas station, greeted a friendly neighbour across the street, and picked up an elderly resident who, too, had been itching to get into the new school. They jumped over puddles, authoritatively held their hands out in the stop position as they crossed streets, and “jiggle jogged” to catch up to the rest of the group when their little legs fell behind.
The whole way, sounds of giggles and sing-song chatter, and anticipation for the great big new playground, “that has a spider web and monkey bars,” filled the air.
With just a couple more blocks to go, MacKenzie Pollard could barely contain himself.
“We’re almost there! We’re almost at our new school!” he shouted out.
They pointed at the new building, way bigger than the old one, peered into the library windows lined with a multitude of computers and new books, and flushed out nearly every joyous exclamation in their vocabulary.
Upon entering their new classroom, it took only minutes for the most exciting part of all to be unanimously chosen: the kindergarten washrooms.
“The sink is tiny, it’s like down low, and the soap is down low, and the dry hands is down low, and the toilet is down low, and it flushes all by itself,” said Ethan Fleming, not taking a breath, his eyes bulging, and his arms flying all over the place.
A great start to the next nine and half years at Rosedale traditional community school.