CHELSEA — The much-anticipated new Sixth Avenue School in Chelsea got off to a happy start on its first day Thursday, as excited students and their parents streamed in through the bright yellow doors.
P.S. 340, also known as the Foundling School because it occupies the first six floors of the former Foundling Hospital at Sixth Avenue and 17th Street, welcomed its first pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes this year.
The school is zoned for families in Chelsea, Greenwich Village and Union Square, but it was also a top pick for parents outside the zone's border, including Tirsit Asfaw, 42, whose 4-year-old daughter Ariam Tedla was one of the first eager little ones to arrive for kindergarten Thursday morning.
"We heard wonderful things about the principal," said Asfaw, whose family lives at Waterside Plaza on the East Side. She was also drawn to the "wonderful, really involved parent body."
The principal, Pat Carney, was a longtime teacher at P.S. 234 in TriBeCa. She was handpicked by the school district's superintendent last year to lead the new school.
The parents of P.S. 340 have already started a Facebook group for the school to share information about the school's progress.
On Thursday morning, clusters of kids gathered outside the school's side entrance on 17th street, showing off their first-day-of-school outfits and new backpacks. Several little girls toted knapsacks featuring the characters from the movie "Frozen," a few with matching sparkly turquoise headbands.
"It's all about the backpack," Asfaw said with a laugh. "She's got the new backpack, she's excited to make new friends. Now she thinks she's a big girl."