Parks Empty, Schools Buzzing on First Day Teachers, Students in Tri-Villages Caught Up in Thrill of New Classes, Faces

Article excerpt

Outdoor basketball courts throughout the Tri-Villages were empty Wednesday. So were most pools, bike trails and living rooms, for that matter.

The children who had been there for the last few months were nowhere to be found, because Wednesday was the first day of classes in Elgin Area School District U-46.

Bartlett and Streamwood high schools, along with all the middle and elementary schools in the area, awoke from their summer slumbers to a buzz of excitement that only the first day of school can bring.

"It's always a special day," Streamwood High School Principal Ronald Kalicki said.

Why was fifth-grader Bobby Skocz of Ontarioville Elementary School in Hanover Park excited?

"Recess!" he exclaimed without pause.

Bobby said his least favorite part of the day was learning that his two best friends would not be in his class. Still, he was glad to be back.

"I get to go places in the summer, but my friends are in school," he said.

"It's peaceful at home now," is how his mother, Carol Skocz, put it.

At Streamwood High School, Kalicki said things were running smoothly Wednesday, even though the school has about 200 more students, more than 40 new employees and four more mobile classrooms than last year.

"There aren't as many kids getting lost, and many fewer questions about where to go," he said. …