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Suri Cruise's First Day of School Sees Paparazzi Flock to Chelsea

By Mathew Katz | September 11, 2012 10:46am

CHELSEA — Suri Cruise's first day of school began not with the ring of a bell, but with the flash of many cameras.

The six-year old daughter of recently-divorced celebs Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes started at Avenues, a $40,000-a-year private school that opened this week at 259 10th Ave.

Dozens of paparazzi, including a German television crew, showed up hoping for a shot of the pint-sized princess or her famous parents.

The presence of Cruise — not to mention hundreds of others who could afford the school's hefty tuition — meant at least four cops and several private security guards were there to protect kids from the swarms of photographers.

Paparazzi were on the scene for both Monday’s orientation day and Tuesday’s first day of classes.

According to an NYPD source, Cruise arrived in a tint-windowed Chevrolet SUV at around 7:40 a.m. on Tuesday. The car was let into the school's barricaded-off garage, which was closed before photographers could get a shot of Cruise saying goodbye to her family.

Avenues boasts a 10-story, $75 million campus, Spanish or Mandarin language immersion programs starting from nursery school, and students from all over the world — not to mention a location right next to the High Line.

Aside from an incident early on Monday, when some chastised the press for smoking in front of the school, parents at the luxe new school were largely unfazed by the presence of so much media.

"It's not too bad," said Andy Vogel, who enrolled his nine-year-old twins Cole and Gemma in the school because of its diversity and Mandarin language program.

"They hide well, I haven't seen many [photographers]. I haven't seen her either, we parents don't really know anything about it."

Debbie, whose granddaughter started Avenues this week, said she expected great things of the school and had not noticed much of a disruption because of the press attention.

"I'm not expecting much," she said, asking that her last name not be used. "I assumed it would be well organized and it has been."

Some parents were more vocal about the press scrum.

"I just don't understand why you can't leave these kids alone," said one mother, who did not give her name.

"They're just kids. She's just a kid."

The school did not respond to requests for comment on the large media presence there, though faculty and security guards asked any press standing in front of the main entrance to move along.