JAY — The positive energy was evident Wednesday as students in RSU 73 returned to classes after their summer vacation.

“I like to see my classmates,” said Spruce Mountain High School senior Caleb Burnell, who was outside the front entrance greeting students.

Principal Thomas Plourde was also eager to start the school year.

“I like seeing kids, honestly,” he said. “I’ve been without them the whole summer. It’s so boring. I’m ready to go.”

Superintendent Kenneth Healey said all of the school district staff received training on use of social media, how to deal with an active shooter and suicide awareness.

“We had the best start of the school year since I’ve been here,” Plourde said. “The staff was super-encouraging over the workshop day.”

It will take a few days for students to get fully adjusted to the school routine, he said.

At Spruce Mountain Primary School in Livermore, Principal Kevin Harrington said, “This has been phenomenal. The first day of busing can be taxing.”

He said stickers were made up ahead and bus drivers made sure the stickers were on the students. “This is the first time I didn’t have to consult my list of who goes where,” Harrington said.

“No tears is a good start,” he said. “The building is in great shape. They worked hard this summer.”

Harrington said 424 students were enrolled at the primary school. There may still be some walk-ins.

Asked if there were any changes in scheduling, Harrington said the times were the same.

Keene said, “We tried to start the year the same as we ended last year. It’s worked well.”

RSU 73 has a total of 1,476 students attending its schools at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, according to the latest information from the Superintendent’s Office. The student totals are as follows: Spruce Mountain High School, Jay, 415; Spruce Mountain Middle School, Jay, 295; Spruce Mountain Elementary School, Jay, 341; and Spruce Mountain Primary School, Livermore, 425.

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RSU 73 first day1
First-graders, from left, Grayson Mitchell of Jay, Avery Cook of Jay and Chloe Wyly of South Paris and Livermore arrive Wednesday morning for the first day of school at Spruce Mountain Primary School in Livermore.

RSU 73 first day2
Transportation secretary Shawn Keene, Principal Kevin Harrington and Regional School Unit 73 Superintendent Kenneth Healey greet students on the first day of school Wednesday morning at Spruce Mountain Primary School in Livermore.

RSU 73 first day3
Students arriving at Spruce Mountain High School for the first day of classes Wednesday got a friendly greeting from senior Caleb Burnell, right, Principal Thomas Plourde and Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Marc Keller.

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