U46 hopes for ‘more of a normal’ school year (Sun-Times Media)

by Emily McFarlan Miller

ELGIN — Bright and early Monday morning, Kitty Syavong of Elgin snapped a photo of her daughter Deja, 9, outside Channing Memorial Elementary School.

It was Deja’s first day of fourth grade and her first at the east-side school at 63 S. Channing St. Syavong also had attended Channing when she was growing up, but her family only recently returned to Elgin from Florida, she said.

That’s not why Deja was nervous, though, according to her mom.

“She’s scared because she knows it’s haunted,” Syavong said, referring to legends that grew from the school’s location on a former graveyard.

All around them, students threw their arms around each other as they reunited after the summer break. They pointed out classroom assignments posted in the front window of the building and dragged plastic bags of school supplies, complaining their arms were tired.

They lined up outside with their classes, and, finally, said goodbye to the parents and little siblings and puppies and Spider-Man toys that had come that far — as summer officially ended and students returned to class in Elgin School District U46. Students in Burlington Central Community Unit School District 301 returned to class the same day.

U46 Superintendent Jose Torres also had returned to Channing last week to record his 2012-13 welcome video. That’s appropriate, Torres said in the video, because he had introduced himself as superintendent to the Elgin community at the same place five years ago.

“I introduced myself by saying I have a quote on my desk that says, ‘Actions reflect beliefs,’ and those beliefs that I have I said would drive the actions that I would take in the district,” he said.

For the rest of the story (and some fun back-to-school stats to impress your friends with), read U46 hopes for ‘more of a normal’ school year (Sun-Times Media).

For more information about the Breakfast in the Classroom program that also started yesterday in Elgin School District U46, read U46 schools start year — and every day — with breakfast program grant (Sun-Times Media).

And, finally, for more photos of the first day of school in Elgin School District U46, view our photo gallery.

Photo credit: Katherine Peters for Sun-Times Media.