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Decatur students return to school for new year

Hundreds of students and parents walked through the rain to Oakhurst Elementary School on Wednesday morning for the first day of the 2018-2019 school year.

City Schools of Decatur welcomed students back Aug. 1.

Rain began to pour around 7:50 a.m. as families were walking the final blocks to Oakhurst; for many, walking to the first day of school is a treasured tradition. 


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READ | Atlanta students return to school


“My parents always say it’s like 1950s America in Decatur, everyone walks to school” said Elizabeth Roke, whose son Linus began first grade Monday. She, her husband and their toddler son accompanied Linus on the walk to Oakhurst Wednesday morning.

“He’s excited to have more independence this year,” Roke said of her first grader. “Last year in kindergarten he was still figuring out school. Now he knows what to expect.”

The annual first day walk is also an opportunity for parents to mingle, said Ian Rose. 

“Kids appreciate getting to see each other, and it’s social hour for all the parents,” Rose said.

His 7-year-old son Henry started second grade at Oakhurst and his 9-year-old son William began fourth grade at the 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue (often referred to as F.AVE).

William Rose was excited to start at a new school and be with older kids, his father said. 

“He went to Oakhurst the past four years so he is excited for the new scenery,” Ian Rose said.

Down the street at Renfroe Middle School, Jaclyn Schoknecht dropped off her seventh grader Eliza for the first time. Schoknecht and her family moved to Decatur from Buckhead over the summer, primarily because of the school district. Schoknecht’s daughters, entering seventh and fifth grade this year, previously attended Atlanta Public Schools.

“They’re excited. I thought they would be more nervous,” Schoknecht said. “We went to the the open house over the summer and the facilities are amazing, especially Renfroe. They have a design and innovation lab with incredible equipment, like lasers.”

The rain had subsided by Renfroe’s first bell at 8:40 a.m., but most students didn’t walk to the first day, instead getting dropped off by parents and school buses.


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Live Team 2 Coverage took you through the morning.

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