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Riverbank Students Crowd Campuses, Playgrounds
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Students on Riverbank’s Mesa Verde Elementary School campus take a recess during their first day back at school this year, Wednesday, Aug. 8. Although pupils on the other elementary campus were restricted that day in their out of doors activities, it was not the case at Mesa Verde. Ric McGinnis/The News

Those lazy, hazy days of summer aren’t officially over – fall arrives on Sept. 22 – at least according to the calendar, but you couldn’t tell that to Riverbank’s school students, who are already back in session. Temperatures in the area last week were at or near the century mark, and skies were, well, hazy.

Those widespread fires burning across the state left their smoke blown all across the valley, diminishing sunshine. On Wednesday, the first day of school last week, one of the campuses was set to a ‘Rainy Day’ schedule.

On opening day, instead of students at California Avenue Elementary School going outdoors for their recesses, they took study materials to the cafeteria. Air quality was projected that day to be “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” so the students were kept indoors.

Other campuses in the Riverbank Unified School District did not observe similar precautions.

Where the middle school and high school hosted their ‘Round-Up’ and ‘Bruin Day,’ respectively, the week before, opening day at the elementary schools, both California Avenue and Mesa Verde campuses were abuzz with the comings and goings of parents and their children, meeting their new teachers, reuniting with friends and classmates, and adjusting schedules as needed.