BOONE, N.C. — Monday was the first day of school for many of the mountain counties, including Watauga. For one family though, it wasn’t just their first day of the year but their first day of school in the United States. 

What You Need To Know

  • Watauga County started school on Monday

  • The district saw a large increase in enrollment this year

  • One mother from Ukraine says her children are thankful to be here

Anna Bohoslavska, who came with her family from Ukraine, took photos of her two children Monday morning to remember the first day of school. It's an experience she will never forget.

“A little bit nervous because everything’s new. New teachers, new classes, new kids and the language barrier is still there. They worked hard this summer to improve their skills, but it takes time,” Bohoslavska said.

The family arrived in Boone in April.

“We were just saving our lives. Unfortunately, we are from the eastern part of Ukraine, and the city is already gone because it is super close to the Russian border and that morning when they started bombing the whole area, we just jumped into the car and went. We didn’t know where we were going,” Bohoslavska said.

A family in Boone volunteered to host them. Now, she says her children feel safe at Parkway School, which includes kindergarten to eighth grade. 

“It’s a blessing to be here — you can’t express it. We just feel so much love,” Bohoslavska said.

Watauga County Schools Superintendent Scott Elliott says that although coronavirus restrictions are gone, the district will still be following protocols for monkeypox and COVID-19 as well as watching for flu season ahead.

Until then, he says, the focus is to get kids back in the classroom and enjoying school.