The school buses pulled into the extended parking spots, one after the other. As the students unloaded, teachers arranged them into lines organized by grade and called them into the building one grade at a time, from kindergarten to fifth grade.

New backpacks of all sizes and colors, many of them with animated characters, adorned the students. With fresh clothes and smiles on most of their faces, the children walked through an arch of multi- colored balloons that filled the entrance to the main hallway at Brosville Elementary School.

Teachers, all wearing T-shirts with a large red paw-print and the words “Bulldog Pride,” greeted and high-fived students and helped direct them to the right place.

After the influx from the buses, individual students entered the school. Some came with parents, and many of them were unsure of where their new classroom was.

Friday marked the first day of the 2019-2020 school year for Pittsylvania County Schools, after Danville City Schools started Thursday.

Once the students were settled in their new classrooms, principal Felita Atkins made the morning announcements from a phone in the administration office.

Then, they played a happy-go-lucky tune about a new day, by the pop artist Mandisa.

“Good morning, it’s a brand new day,” her voice sang as drums thumped and a synthesizer hummed. “I’m kissing all my worries goodbye.”

Atkins welcomed the students and listed every student and staff birthday that happened over the summer and gave the students some behavioral reminders.

“Make sure that you smile because that makes others feel comfortable and welcome,” she said.

Lee Hardy is starting her second year teaching at Brosville Elementary and is beginning her 15th with the county schools. She teaches cross-categorical, or exceptional services, classroom with six students.

“I just love working with children,” she said.

In her classroom, the beginning of school enthusiasm lasts several weeks.

Resource Teacher Kathy Oswald said her favorite part of first days is getting to see the children again. School librarian Christine Collins echoed that sentiment.

Asked about her favorite part of first days, she smiled and said “Coming back and seeing all the kids.”

The enthusiasm didn’t just belong to the teachers, who all said they were excited to be back. Bright smiles and greetings showed the students were ready to return.

“I think most of our students really like being here,” Collins said.

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Ayers reports for the Register & Bee. Reach him at (434) 791-7981.

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