At Langston Hughes Middle School Tuesday around 7:17 a.m., eight minutes before school started, Nicole Winder and her mother pulled into the school’s kiss and ride on Ridge Heights Road.
Nicole hopped out of her mom’s minivan and headed to class.
But first she needed to stop at the library. “I don’t have my schedule yet,” said the seventh grader, unsure about where to go first.
Not only was it the first day of school for Nicole, but it was also the first day at a new school. Last year she’d finished her tenure at elementary school.
Nearly 7,200 students, like Nicole, started a new school year at a Reston school Tuesday morning.
As morning school bells rang throughout Reston, they sounded a little less familiar as thousands of students ushered in the new school year.
With the summer break behind them, students boarded buses, traversed crosswalks, reunited with friends and met new teachers.
Many students were excited to go back to school, like William Howard, 8, a fourth grader at Terraset Elementary.
“He had his clothes all laid out the night before,” said Julia Howard, William’s mother. “And he was showered and ready to go at 7:30 [a.m.].” School didn’t start until 9 a.m.
“I’m excited about everything: math, science, recess, P.E., lunch,” said William, who walked to school with his parents and his younger brother Carl, who will be in first grade this year.
Carl was walking fast because he wanted to see his friend Coy. “He’s my very best friend,” said Carl, who also said he was excited about climbing the monkey bars during recess.
But students weren’t the only ones eager to return to school.
“I think the teachers are just as excited as the kids. Many teachers told me they had difficulty sleeping because they had first day jitters,” said Elizabeth English, principal of Sunrise Valley Elementary, who greeted students filing off the buses.
Several administrators throughout Reston were outside their schools welcoming students back. Bruce Butler, principal of South Lakes High School, held a door open for students as they poured into the school. “Good morning,” he said. “And welcome back.”