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Smiles and Hugs Mark the Beginning of a New School Year

Friday, September 11, 2015

“I’m so excited to be back at school!”

“I love this school so much I never want to leave!”

These are just two of the many exuberant exclamations overheard as children arrived Wednesday for the first day of the 2015-2016 school year. Hugs and high fives were in abundance on 96th Street as students and parents alike shared stories of summer adventures while they waited for the big oak doors of Manhattan Country School to open.

Once inside it didn’t take long to get down to business. During morning meetings, children got reacquainted and made new friends, while teachers shared their plans for the school year and expectations of their students. During the first Upper School assembly of the year, students participated in an icebreaker activity, finding fellow classmates who shared their month of birth, and got centered with a few minutes of silent meditation. Then they explored the Upper School theme for the year—“Neighborhoods and Change”—by identifying classmates who live in the same neighborhood as they do and working together to craft bubble maps about what they like most about the place they call home.

After a much-appreciated half-day of school on a sweltering September day, families gathered in Central Park’s East Meadow for an informal bring-your-own-lunch picnic. In the cool shade of the park’s tall trees, parents and students reconnected over pizza and sandwiches, played games of catch and soccer and shared their plans and hopes for the school year.  

As one 7-8s student told her mother: “This is going to be a great year!” We couldn’t agree more.