O’FALLON, Ill. – Many schools in the metro east are getting ready for the first day of school on Monday.

In the Central Elementary School located in O’Fallon, Illinois, principal Brad Rickert welcomed parents and students in the gymnasium Friday to participate in workshops, and to go over the ground rules for the upcoming school year.

“This family workshop starts off that process where our families are coming in, and parents and students are coming in, and making connections with our teachers,” said Rickert. “So, we can build that winning team and do the best we can by their students.”

“I usually cry every year,” said Rebecca Glasper. “I won’t do that this year. I won’t cry at all. I’ll be excited and probably celebrate.”

Rickert said he encouraged conversations between teachers and parents and for parents to spend time in their child’s classroom.

“They’re committed,” said Rickert. “They’ve been here for a long time. They are revved up and ready to go.”

The staff at Wyvetter Younge School of Excellence in East St. Louis is also preparing for the first day of school.

“I am extremely excited and nervous at the same time,” said Dr. Brittany Green, Principal of Wyvetter Younge School of Excellence. “It’s always exciting to see new faces and old faces coming back for the upcoming school year.”

Green had won the 2022 Illinois Meritorious Service Award from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Leadership.

Green said her school expanded to over 400 students with the addition of seventh grade. It is expected to expand to eighth grade in 2023.

“Just seeing them as kindergarteners and first graders and now coming into 7th grade,” said Green. “It’s just exciting to their growth and development.”