By John Anderson

According to Auburn Superintendent Maryellen Brunelle, 2163 students went back to school today along with 168 kindergartners who stepped into Mary D. Stone or Bryn Mawr for the first time.  Officially at the start of the 2013-2014 school year, Auburn High School has 666 students; Auburn Middle School has 594 students; Pakachoag serves 269 students; Julia Bancroft welcomes 284 students; Mary D. Stone serves 245 students; and Bryn Mawr has 273 students.

This morning I decided to visit the bus stop at the bottom of my street where I first brought my son 19 years ago.  He went through the half-day kindergarten and many hours at the wonderful Satellite and Galaxy extended day programs. I’m glad to see middle school students are now accommodated in the Asteroid program. These services are in high demand and are a lifesaver for both single parent households and families with two working parents.

After the bus left, I ventured over to Bryn Mawr Elementary to watch the hustle and bustle of the first day of school. I parked a couple of blocks away and observed organized chaos as I neared the school zone. APD cruiser #16 with emergency lights flashing guarded the crosswalk; cars lined both sides of Swanson Road and the side streets; and yellow buses pulled through the school driveway and discharged their precious cargo.

Parents and grandparents lined the chain link fence on the classroom side of Bryn Mawr. Many had cell phones raised to record their children before the bell rang for the first time this school year. Siblings were also in the crowd carrying backpacks for their own school day, or a blanket for their return home. Teachers and aides ushered the students into organized groups before finally proceeding inside.

Best wishes to all parents, students and staff for a happy, healthy and productive school year!