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Summer vacation kicks off for students in London

Tens of thousands of little ones in the London area got to celebrate another year of school in the books on Thursday.

The city’s Catholic and public school boards observed the last day of the 2018-19 school year and officially kicked off summer vacation.

Before making her way to Lord Roberts French Immersion Public School, Lindsay Sarsfield says her daughter wasted no time getting out of bed.

“She’s six so she likes to be up bright and early. It’s me, more, that has to be dragged out of bed,” Sarsfield said.

She added that her daughter will be making a big scholarly transition from kindergarten to Grade 1 once the next school year begins.

“It’s exciting. With growth comes a lot of change, and I embrace all of it fully,” she said.

Coming along for the ride to Grade 1 is the daughter of Chanzy Rennie.

Rennie says it’s reassuring as a parent to see the two girls receive support at school.

“Whether it’s through parents or teachers — but the kids, too, are really important,” Rennie said.

“Knowing that she has those buddies with her and she doesn’t have those nerves going into that higher grade, she’s gonna be all good.”

Just down the street from Lord Roberts is Gary Nutley, who serves as a crossing guard at the corner of Colborne Street and Princess Avenue.

Nutley says his crosswalk sees ongoing excitement leading up to the day before summer vacation.

“I always run a countdown so we count the days down starting a month away… they’re excited and so am I,” Nutley said, adding that he’s looking forward to his own time off.

The veteran crossing guard added that the mutual feelings often disappear in September when students have to return to a life of classrooms, books and homework.

“For me, I’m rejuvenated and ready to come back. For them, they’re not too bad but they’re happier when it’s the final day.”

Gary Nutley stands at the corner of Colborne Street and Princess Avenue, where he works as a crossing guard for children at Lord Roberts French Immersion Public School.

With children now having plenty of free time on their hands, London police are reminding drivers to look out for little ones enjoying their summer vacation outdoors.

“Drivers need to be aware that there’s going to be kids out during times when they’d normally be in school,” said Sgt. Sean Harding, head of the London Police Service’s traffic management unit.

“Look for kids that are out playing in the area, out riding their bikes and using other types of devices — skateboards, rollerblades, scooters — those sort of things.”

Students in the London region will get more than 60 days of time off.

The 2019-20 school year is slated to begin in early September.

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