Hawaii public school students head back to the classroom

Washington Middle School

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It was back to school on Monday for public school students across the state. The young students at Washington Middle School are ready for the challenges of a new school year.

“I feel nervous and excited at the same time because I haven’t seen my friends in like a month or two. So it’s good to be back in school again,” seventh grade student Julie Kobayashi said.

And that excitement isn’t exclusive to the students.

“For me it’s just really exciting. It’s kind of like the day before Christmas. Really excited to be here, looking for to meeting all the kids,” Washington Middle School math teacher Eric Floro said.

“I’m kind of really nervous because you’re not expecting what kind of teachers you’re going to get. Plus, for newcomers that are going to be here, it’s going to be a really big challenge,” seventh grade student Scott Nguyen said.

Welcoming new sixth graders is something not lost on the award-winning school’s principal.

“We make a large school of 800 kids down to a team of 120 kids. And then they have an advisory class, which is only about 15 to 17 kids,” Washington Middle School principal Michael Harano said.

That oversight can be important because Principal Harano says these years are vital.

“It’s the most critical time because kids are going through more changes now than they have ever. Again physically, emotionally, intellectually it’s a time of tremendous change,” principal Harano said.

KHON2 asked one of the seventh graders what advice she had for incoming sixth graders.

“I would give them advice to do their homework. And if you are, from what I heard from a lot of students, if you don’t turn in your homework on time you might like get graded down,” seventh grade student Julie Kobayashi said.

These middle school students have lots to live up to. Principal Harano showed off the Math Counts state title — something the school has won three straight years.

Here’s to another great year, students!

Related story: Thousands of students head back to school Monday

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