RUMFORD — Scores of children with their parents or grandparents streamed through Rumford Elementary School Wednesday night looking for the their new classroom, enjoying an ice cream cone, and getting used to the place where they will be during much of the next 10 months.

It was RES’s annual open house.

“Having the open house before school starts helps parents feel more at ease when they send their children off to school,” said Principal Ann Chamberlin. “Parents get to meet the teachers and children get to see their new classrooms.”

Chamberlin said later Wednesday evening that 86 percent of the 270 students expected to begin school on Thursday attended the open house with parents or other family members.

This is the third year the school has held its annual open house before classes begin and it appears to work out well.

Jessica Archer brought her two children to the school to explore their new classrooms. It’s the same school she attended when she was growing up.

Her oldest daughter, Larissa Laskey, is entering Denise Richard’s fourth-grade class. Her younger daughter, Keeleigh, begins first grade.

“I’m excited,” said Larissa. “I’ve missed my friends and haven’t seen many of them all summer.”

Richard said the open house eases the minds of youngsters.

“They get reacquainted,” she said.

Second-grader Garrett Blodgett was visiting his new classroom with his sister, brother, mother and dad.

He was thrilled to be coming back to school.

“It’s awesome. I want to wear my new skinny jeans,” he said.

His parents, Kelly and Jennifer Blodgett, were busy filling out forms as well as visiting each of the three classrooms of their children.

Grandfather Bruce Richardson brought his granddaughter, kindergartner Godiva Danforth to the school. He was pleased that the open house took place just before school opened.

“It helps the children calm down,” he said.

Along with visiting their classrooms, eating ice cream, receiving fully-equipped backpacks, and for kindergartners, receiving new books, both parents and children learned about digital safety through an ongoing slide show in the school’s library.

One of the goals for Regional School Unit 10 this year is digital safety and citizenship. It’s a part of a program meant to discourage bullying. The slide show also instructs students to avoid plagiarism and urges responsible use of the Internet, among other things, said librarian Eileen Broderick.

“Everyone has to sign an acceptable-use policy,” she said.

Fourth- and fifth-graders have their own e-mail.

Classes begin Thursday morning.

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