Students in Western Wisconsin celebrate first day of school

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis.-- (WEAU) Most students across Wisconsin and those in the Chippewa Valley returned to school Tuesday morning for day one of classes in the 2014-2015 school year.

While students are just beginning their time in the classroom, teachers have been working for quite some time to get things ready.

One school in the Chippewa Falls School District, Halmstad Elementary, put a twist on the standard welcome celebrations. It opted for a Pirate theme, with PIRATE standing for Prepared, Informed, Responsible, Achieving, Together, Everyday.

Principal Wade Pilloud says it started as an idea last spring to do something fun for the first day of school and quickly expanded from there, as staff adding ideas for more fun.

He says the whole point is to help get students even more excited for school. Halmstad will continue the PIRATE theme throughout the year with celebrations and other activities.

According to staff, the first day of school for elementary is like a parent/teacher conference. Teachers break their classrooms into four groups and meet with the parents and students. This smaller group allows for better communication and relationship building, Pilloud says. Student pictures are taken, registrations forms completed, tours given, a clothing exchange is available, RCU encourages youth to join their savings program, the PTO has a presence, even the Boy Scouts set up a table. There is a lot going on throughout the day.

Click on the video above for a "taste" of that back to school fun.

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