The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

February 11, 2014

Fearless fifth-graders

(Continued)

"There are so many twists and turns," agreed another girl.

"It'll take you two to three days and you'll know your way around," Miller reassured them.

Lunch will be different, too: There was only one school nutrition option at elementary school. But as long as they take a piece of fruit, they get five options at Evans Middle School. Fruit?

"You must take a piece of fruit," Miller said.

Miller and Harper, seeming perhaps a little embarrassed, explained that there is a state law requiring every student going through the lunch line to take a piece of fruit.

"If you don't take a piece of fruit, the [lunch workers] are going to send you back through the line," Miller said.

Signs in the cafeteria exclaim, "Don't forget fruit!"

And while kids are more protected in their first year at Evans, they will also have more responsibility. For example, Harper said, children can now bring cell phones to school. They can use them between classes or during breaks but are otherwise instructed to keep the phones in their lockers.

The students seemed excited at the prospect of having their own lockers, though some worried about how to work the combination. Miller told them they'd do fine.

The bus situation might be a bit overwhelming at first; elementary schools have as few as three yellow buses pull up after school. Evans has 14.

"If bus 33 is your bus, and it's the second bus in line, it will always be the second bus in line," Harper told the Horace Mann kids. "I know we're throwing a lot at you; don't stress. We don't expect you to remember it all right now. We'll see you again at the open house in May."

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