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US: First day of school: La Serna High welcomes freshmen with special orientation

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Aug. 16—It was the first day of school — kind of — at La Serna High, and it looked like a group of celebrities were being welcomed on to campus on Tuesday, Aug. 16.

But actually, the celebrities at La Serna were the incoming 670-member freshman class.

They were welcomed by 100 returning students who split into two lines — gauntlet style — allowing the Class of 2026 to walk in between and were cheered on with chants such as, "let's go freshmen" as they entered the school's gymnasium. Regular school for all students will begin on Wednesday.

"Freshman first day is an opportunity for us as a school to welcome our freshmen, get them to get involved and embrace them into our La Serna culture," Griselda Castro, who is in her third year as La Serna principal, said.

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"We have them meet their teachers and not feel like the first day they're completely lost," Castro said. "It gives them a good introduction to our school."

After entering the gym, many returning students, including the cheer squad, ASB and Link crew, held cheering, team building and other activities for the freshmen. After lunch — they ate pizza, the freshmen in the afternoon then met all of their teachers.

Similar ceremonies at La Serna were held at the four other Whittier Union High School District schools.

Freshman First Day has been held by the district since 2004.

The welcome for freshmen was appreciated, several said in interviews.

"It was exciting and made the experience fun for us," Julianna Franco said. "I was really excited to get into school spirit. I know La Serna has a lot of that."

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Many students said they were nervous but excited.

"It's a whole bunch of emotions, I guess," Tyler Duenas said. "It's my first day of school and I don't know what's going to happen."

Flynn Garner, who came with his twin brother, Zane, had similar feelings.

"I'm a little nervous because once you go to high school there's nothing after it. You could go to college. I have four years but time can go fast.

Some were in no hurry for school to begin, such as Anthony Reynoso, who said he is sad that he no longer can sleep in until 10 a.m.

Students will get an extra half hour in the morning with the state's new rules mandating high schools start at 8:30 a.m.

Alyhssa Uribe said she will miss her summer break.

"I got to spend a lot of time with my mom," Uribe said.

But others are looking forward to school starting.

"It should be fun," Jaine Hernandez said. " get to see new people, new teachers and more fun people in the school."

(c)2022 The Whittier Daily News, Calif. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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