Bethel-Tate students returned to school Monday, Aug. 20

The 268 parcels represent all land located within one mile of the ALB infestation in Stonelick Township. The additional quarantine area increased the total square miles of quarantine from 56 square mile to 61 square miles in Clermont County.

First-graders in Sterling Moss' class at Bick Primary School pick books to read on the third day of school. From left are Aleah Mullis, Hannah King and Zaden Telbit. .
Students at Bethel-Tate Local School District headed back to school last week along with several other districts in Clermont County.

Matt Wagner, principal of William Bick Primary School, said the first day went smoothly for first and second grade students, who started school Aug. 20.

“It was a good day,” Wagner said. “Lots of planning went into it to make it as smooth as possible.”

Wagner also said he was pleased with the preparation for kindergarten students who were phased in Aug. 22 and 23.

He said the phase-in is designed to make the transition comfortable for the first-time students and prevent an even more hectic first day of school.

Gabrielle Caldwell, right, and Hailey Mounts, center, both get off the bus for their first day of kindergarten and Bick Primary School in Bethel.

Wagner said Bick Primary is part of the Ohio Ready Schools Initiative, which provides grant money to districts in Ohio so they can better prepare young students for their first years at school.

Wagner said the program helps smoothen the transition from home to school by funding different activities to acclimate students to the school environment.

He said this year, students were able to participate in a “getting to know you” day, playground nights and one-on-one appointments to get to know their teachers, new school and classmates.

Wagner said the program has been helpful for the kindergarteners and other students at the school.

“They have been here before and have an idea where their classroom is,” Wagner said.

Kindergarten students who arrived Aug. 22, were escorted off the bus and to the gym at the primary school, where their teachers lined them up and took them to class.

First grade students were also prepared for their first day after having a “step-up day” at the end of the year.

“They have an idea of who their teacher will be,” Sterling Moss, a first grade teacher said.

She said teachers also meet their new students outside on the first day.

“It went great,” Moss said about the first day this year. “They were excited coming in. It went smoothly.”

By the time students get to second grade, they seem to enjoy the first day of school. And several second graders said they are looking forward to the school year.

“I like that I get to see my friends,” Belle Wood, a second-grader, said about coming back to school.

Ethan Rettinger said he has been waiting a long time to start school.

“I just like when we started,” he said.

Rettinger said he is looking forward to doing science projects this year.

Korbin Dearing said he also likes seeing all his friends at school and enjoys learning new things.

He said coming to school on the first day does get easier, and things went good this year.

“I was scared at first,” Dearing said about coming to school. “But now I’m happy.”