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August 28. 2014 10:02PM

New school year kicks off in style in Wilton/Lyndeborough

Kaylee Degan is happy to see art teacher Amanda Luter on the first day of school Thursday. (Kathleen Baglio Humphreys/Union Leader Correspondent)

Excited students carried new backpacks filled with school supplies and played in the playgrounds while waiting for the bell to ring Thursday morning to get back into the school routine.

“It went smooth as silk,” said Principal Tim O’Connell.

Some parents were reluctant to let their little ones go. There were misty eyes and photos snapped to mark the milestone occasion.

“I’m sad and nervous,” said Wilton parent Jessie Watson. She took a photo as her oldest child entered Florence Rideout Elementary School for first grade.

Parent Al Gibson of Lyndeborough watched his second- and fourth-graders go into Lyndeborough Central School.Lyndeborough fourth-graders Gabrielle Ramsey and Amoria Riendeau hugged when they saw each other again after the long summer vacation.

“I was ready to go at 7:30 a.m. this morning,” said Amoria.

School started at 8:20 a.m.

Wilton lost its playground to construction over the summer, but it was relocated just in time for the students’ arrival.

“The new playground looks great,” said FRES art teacher Amanda Luther.This school year brings many changes and a lot of “lasts” at the two elementary schools in SAU 63.

The 2014-2015 school year will be the last time students in grades 1-5 will walk through the doors at the Lyndeborough Central School. It will also be the last year the Florence Rideout Elementary School will use the 1950’s wing for classes. A portion of the wing was demolished last June and then construction began on a new addition. Next summer, the reminder of the wing will be demolished to complete the new building.

“In Wilton we had to make changes to the arrival and dismissal routes due to the construction zone. We made change in the best interest of safety for the students and convenience for the parents, with safety our first priority,” said O’Connell.

Luther greeted returning students with a big smile or a hug as they entered the 1895 wing.

“I’m glad to be back. It will be exciting to see how the rest of the day goes. There are a lot of changes this year, but it will be exciting to see how it all turns out,” said Luther.

The 2015-2016 year will start with the consolidation of both towns’ elementary schools. Grades 1 to 5 will attend Wilton while Lyndeborough will become a pre-kindergarten and kindergarten school.

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