LEMOORE —  Lemoore’s Mary Immaculate Queen School celebrated the approaching start of a new school year with a taco social Monday evening.

As parents, teachers and students began to show up for a night of socializing and feasting on tacos, they quickly made their way to the school's courtyard to hear Principal Roxie Martin give a quick introduction. All the students lined up for an evening prayer, returning teachers were welcomed back and new teachers were introduced and also welcomed to the school.

Brandy Evangello, president of the Parent Association Club who put on the event, said it was the group's second year hosting it and hopefully will continue as an annual tradition.

“Our school is not very big, but the whole point is to kind of involve our parents, our teachers and our parish as well,” Evangello said. “The kids all get to play with each other before school starts. We can talk, we can enjoy ourselves, we can eat some food before school starts on Wednesday, and it’s just kind of a relaxed time for everybody.”

The school has about 180 students in grades kindergarten-eighth.

Crystal Fabry, a pre-K teacher at the school was busy running the used uniform sale booth. She said parents usually donate anything their kids might have outgrown, and then the uniforms are sold at a discounted rate. The funds raised go right back to the Parent Association Club.

“It’s nice to get everybody here and meet people who are new," Fabry said. "It really just shows what a family we are out here and that gets everybody involved."

Leilani Castillo will be beginning her seventh-grade year at the school starting Wednesday and said she really enjoyed the event and, of course, the tacos.

“It gives us a chance to meet our teachers before school starts, meet our friends and our new classmates,” Leilani said.

Sixth-grade teacher Paul Vigil has been teaching for 25 years and said it was good for the kids to have the event so that they can familiarize themselves with their classmates and their new teacher before school starts.

“They can meet the teachers, ask questions,” Vigil said. “It’s a good way for everybody to come along, just say hi and get ready for the school year. These kids out here haven’t seen each other all [summer] probably. This event is good for them to take the edge off, so that when school starts they can go back to business.”

Mary Immaculate Queen begins classes today. The school is having a back-to-school night Monday evening. At that time parents will be able to visit their students' classrooms and find out what the students will be learning this year.