Thursday, 4:30 PM
Smiles and a little apprehension on the first day of school
(George Rizer/Globe Staff)
Jonathan Osorio, 6, gets a pat and a pencil from Mayor Thomas M. Menino at the James W. Hennigan Elementary School today on the first day of school. Osorio’s mother, Margarita Castillo, looked on.
By Andrew Ryan, Globe Correspondent
Inside Brooke McMillan’s classroom at Ludwig van Beethoven Elementary School in West Roxbury today, 22 new fourth graders slid timidly into their desks.
"They were very nervous coming in," said McMillan, who after 10 years with the Boston Public Schools still relishes the tentative smiles of students on the first day.
"They didn’t talk," she said during a break today. "A few of their eyes were watering."
School started today for most of the 58,000 students in Boston's 145 public schools. In addition to the more than 4,000 kindergarteners slated to start on Monday, the school system has nearly 500 new teachers and 23 new principals this year.
In McMillan's classroom, her fourth graders sat ramrod straight, nervous and not talking to their neighbors. As the day progressed, the nervousness faded. Smiles appeared. A few students began to chitchat, emerging from their shyness.
"I love new beginnings," McMillan said.