RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL)– The smell of new pencils is in the air along with the sound of bookbags unzipping and children in the hallway. As Oliver Elementary School prepares for the first day of school on Monday.
Students and parents filled the hallways as they searched for their new teacher’s classroom. As students and parents entered the classrooms they were greeted by their teachers, and they took a look around the unique classrooms. Principal Nancy Kennedy (Edwards) said she’s glad students and teachers are face to face this year.
“Well we are excited to kick-off this 2021-2022 school year, it has been since February of the previous year that we’ve had parents in the building. So to be able to have this opportunity for parents to come into our school to meet the teachers face to face. To have an opportunity for students to come in with their parents to experience this open house and to kick off this school year with excitement has been a pleasure to watch,” Kennedy said.
All of the teacher’s classrooms had specific themes ranging from superheroes, honey bees and a wild jungle, to help students become excited and feel more comfortable with coming to school.
“Our theme this school year for Oliver Elementary is Oliver Elementary School, where learning is fun. That’s the whole theme, we just want the kids to be excited about being here and that’s the first obstacle. Once you can get them here and get them ignited about learning, we know that the environment is an important aspect of that, as well as the relationships that they build with the people in this building,” Kennedy said.
As students return to school, they are required to wear a mask to keep everyone safe. Kennedy told News 3 she’s aware of the different viewpoints when it comes to mask-wearing, but she would like for everyone to come together for the students.
“I would hope as being a collaborative unit, the school and home that we all can agree that the safety of our students and staff will be our number one priority. With that being stated, that’s why we have the mask mandate in place,” Kennedy said.
Students who fell behind last school year due to virtual learning were able to participate in the summer reading program to help bridge the gap. Those enrolling in kindergarten were able to participate in the two-week kick start program to help them get acclimated to school.
Kennedy told News 3 she can’t wait for the school year to officially start on Monday.
“I am so excited for the 2021-2022 school year Oliver Elementary School where learning is fun!” Kennedy said.