First-day jitters …

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 22, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. – The first day of kindergarten did cause 5-year-old Gregory Jones a moment of anxiety, but not the kind you would think.

&uot;He’s been overly excited about the first day of school,&uot; said Jones’ mother, Misti Freeman. &uot;So when he saw the school bus pass our house, he said, ‘Oh, mama, we’ve missed school!’ &uot;

But not to worry — Freeman, along with hundreds of other parents, brought her son to Ferriday Lower Elementary herself, just to make sure he got settled in.

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Concordia Parish’s littlest public school pupils were among almost 4,000 students who returned to school Monday. &uot;I’d say it went very smoothly,&uot;&160;said Superintendent Lester &uot;Pete&uot;&160;Peterman. &uot;Everyone seems to be getting adjusted just fine.&uot;

Not that there haven’t been some changes. Since last year, kindergarten and pre-K classes in Ferriday have been moved from Ferriday Kindergarten Center to the lower elementary. The latter school will now house pre-K through second-grade students.

But the majority of students arriving at Ferriday Lower Elementary between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. weren’t shedding any tears.

In fact, they were wide-eyed and ready to find out which classrooms were theirs, with first- and second-graders also giving waves and hugs to classmates and teachers they recognized from last year.

&uot;They’ve been so excited about this that they were putting on their school clothes last night,&uot; said Stacy Jefferson, gesturing to her twin daughters, Ebony and Diana., both first-graders. &uot;They’re definitely ready to go.&uot;

&uot;She’s been very excited,&uot; said Angela Johnson, standing in line at the school’s front door with daughter Desiree, 5, a kindergartner.