The floors sparkled, the windows shined, and eyes twinkled with excitement.

All that added up to a picture perfect start to another school year as Wednesday marked the first day of classes in the Palmerton Area School District.

One by one, pupils in the p.m. kindergarten class at the Parkside Education Center filed in to join their fellow classmates for the start of the 2010-11 school year.

Inside the gymnasium, first grade pupils were treated to a lesson on SOAR, a schoolwide positive behavior program.

School psychologist Robert Palazzo told the pupils that SOAR stands for Safety first, Our responsibility, Always try your best, and to Respect yourself and others.

Mary Brumbach, principal, S.S. Palmer Elementary/Parkside Education Center, said she couldn't have asked for a better return.

"It's very exciting; I think the teachers are every bit as excited as the kids," Brumbach said. "It's gone very smoothly."

Brumbach said there was a calm atmosphere, and not a frenetic pace that often accompanies the first day of school.

"We didn't have any glitches that I'm aware of," she said. "We've tried to cover all our bases."

Superintendent Carol Boyce, who toured each of the five buildings in the district, praised all those who played a part in the successful debut.

"I really want to thank the custodial and maintenance staffs; every single floor, every single window is bright and shiny," she said. "The teachers have their bulletin boards up, the secretaries are so organized."

Boyce said there were no mishaps in student transportation whatsoever.

"I've been very impressed with the positive continuity, the teachers welcoming the youngsters," Boyce said. "I think the students are in very good hands."