Scenes from the first day of school in Jeffco schools

Staff report
Posted 8/23/21

Wilmot Elementary School in Evergreen was full of cheers with some tears Aug. 17, as students returned to school. Some kindergarten parents took advantage of the available boxes of tissue while …

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Scenes from the first day of school in Jeffco schools

Posted

Wilmot Elementary School in Evergreen was full of cheers with some tears Aug. 17, as students returned to school.

Some kindergarten parents took advantage of the available boxes of tissue while parents of older students were glad that in-person school had started again.

Parents agreed that getting back into the school schedule even on the first day was a bit daunting.

“My kids are really excited to meet their teachers and to have lunch in the cafeteria, not classrooms,” said Shannon Holtmann, whose third-grade twins and first grader also were looking forward to recesses. “It will be normal-ish.”

Parent Chris Lewis, who has a kindergartner and third grader, noted that it was nice to be in the school. He explained that he was expecting an easy transition for his kindergartner.

“Wilmot has such a great staff,” he said. “They make returning to school easy.”

Fifth-graders Cora Pecchia and Arbor Beach, who painted rocks as their first assignment in art class, said they were especially excited to see their friends again.

Fifth grader Elliot Hotopp said he was happy to be back in school, adding he had been pretty bored over the summer.

Down the hlll at Free Horizon Montessori in Golden

Nicole Steinbach, mother of a fifth grader and a second grader at Free Horizon Montessori, in Golden said she was "so grateful to have our kids back in school"

"Ans so grateful that our school district put the mask mandate in and so grateful that they are talking with the kids about mental health and social connection. It’s so awesome."

Steinbach said she did have concerns about the open positions at the school.

She said that in talking with some educators who are not going to work because of "really crappy wages" for what has become a frontline position in a pandemic.

"I just really hope that we improve the situation for our teachers because I’m very grateful as a parent so I just hope it gets much better for our teachers."

While she was happy that her school had all the lead teacher positions filled, many support positions remain available.

"And my understanding from listening to parent conversations is its true all over Colorado. The conditions have to be improved so more people are willing to do it and I think that would be wonderful."

For her kids at least, the new year is still filled with excitement.

"Yesterday was our first day and they were up at 5 a.m. latest and they were thrilled," Steinbach said. "My youngest actually wrote a song and my oldest was dressed and ready to go about an hour before. They were so excited to be with their teachers and friends and to be in person and do art and history and all those good things."

Reporters Deb Hurley Brobst and Paul Albani-Burgio contributed to this report

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