Cedar Rapids Schools Begin With District Changes in Full Effect
By Jill Kasparie, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS – School classrooms are filling with the buzz of children excited about a new school year.
After months of planning, students, teachers and parents will experience changes made by the district due to declining enrollment as the first day of the school year gets underway. In the spring, the school board voted to close the Monroe Early Childhood Center, change boundaries make Wilson only a middle school.
It also closed Polk Elementary. Many parents fought hard to keep that school open.
Landyn Mitvalsky, 6, has packed up all of his new school supplies. He's going to Garfield Elementary. His mother, Cassie Mitvalsky, said her son is nervous, especially after his old school, Polk, closed at the end of last year.
"He said last night when we were reading stories, 'what if Garfield is too big for me?' and I said, well, you'll learn where your locker is and stuff,” Cassie said.
The first grader's mom remains frustrated with the district's decision to close the school.
"I'm still so irritated and annoyed and I feel really irritated and betrayed,” Cassie said.
She has, however, vowed not to let it impact her son's first year at a new school.
Just across the city, Wilson middle school is shifting course. Principal Andrew Eley said this is the first time in more than two decades that the building won't have second through eighth grade students. Instead, 400 six through eight graders will walk into the building Tuesday morning.
"I think almost every teacher moved classrooms. Over the summer, there were quite a bit of moving around, moving all of the elementary things out and we had to purchase six classroom sets of desks to accommodate for the sizes of the children,” Eley said.
It's a big first day across the district, one with new teachers, new classrooms and new friends. Landyn's even been practicing what to say to make new buddies.
"Nice to meet you!" Landyn said.
Despite all the changes everyone is still excited for the first day. Most schools will dismiss early on the first day to help kids get into the swing of a new school year.
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