SAN ANTONIO — The school year is off to a great start for more area districts. North East ISD has 67,000 students back in class. The district is also celebrating the first school year for the Pre-K Academy at West Avenue. The halls are busy as 350 Pre-K students start their first day of school – ever. Scarlett, a 4-year-old student is thrilled to find out her school's mascot is a wildcat!
"That's so cute - I love cats," said Scarlett.
The 4-year-olds fuel up in the cafeteria for their big day and compare first day outfits. It's a milestone day and bittersweet for the moms, dads, and "nanas" who are dropping off the students.
"I kind of got teary-eyed with her,” said Lorraine Torres, Taliyah’s nana. “We've got to show her support and keep it going for her, keep a smile on your face so I'm trying my best."
Taliyah is in good hands. Each classroom has two teachers who are ready to make this school year the best.
“[I have] ten boys, ten girls,” said Nancy Cortez, a teacher at Pre-K Academy at West Avenue. “I'm like excited I can line them up boy, girl, boy, girl."
If the first day away from Mom and Dad is just a little too much for the 4-year-olds to handle, the teachers have different coping techniques. In Mrs. Cortez's classroom, there is a tipi set up for the kids to climb inside and calm down.
"We have a STEAM imitative at this campus so that's something that people will be hearing more about," said Principal Paul Kienlen.
This is Mrs. Cortez's second year teaching Pre-K and she is ready to see the students grow. In the classroom she'll help the kids with number concepts, spelling their names and letter sounds. She remembers when her students last year made progress.
“It was like wow, they are ready for Kinder and I got them there,” said Cortez. “I'm so excited to do that."