FORT COVINGTON - As hordes of students flooded schools across the north country Thursday, one mother waited patiently outside Salmon River Central Schools for her daughter to be let off the bus.
For the past five years, Nancy McMahon of Fort Covington has taken her daughter Tiannas photo when she arrives for her first day of school. The tradition began when Tianna was in kindergarten.
I just take her photo when she gets off the bus, said Ms. McMahon. Then we hang it up next to the other photos.
Tianna, 9, has just entered fourth grade this year. In Salmon River style, she only exited the bus after those students in higher grade levels had gone before her. Nancy waited steadfastly through the human flood, right outside the door of bus 37. Tiannas face lit up as she came down the steps onto school grounds.
Ms. McMahon was not the only parent waiting expectantly on Salmon Rivers sidewalk after placing her child on the bus. Other mothers, mostly of kindergarten-age students, just wanted to make sure their children got to school and into their classrooms.
According to Superintendent Jane Collins, more than 1,250 students come to Salmon River Central Schools by bus on that first morning.
Schools in St. Regis Falls, Brushton-Moira, Malone, and Chateaugay also kicked off the school year on Thursday.
In Malone, high school seniors decorated their cars and paraded to the school, honking horns and shouting with glee to celebrate the first day of their final year. They typically continue this tradition in school halls until the first bell rings.