The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

August 19, 2013

Only a day away ...

OTTUMWA — With the excitement of a new school year come the changes students have come to expect.

This is especially true in Ottumwa this year with the opening of Liberty Elementary. More than 700 students from Douma, Agassiz and Pickwick elementary schools will be in the new building on Wednesday, making for an exciting first day of school.

It's also a time of transition as Douma and Agassiz elementary students in kindergarten and first grade will spend the year together at Agassiz.

For Sarah Fischer, principal of both Agassiz and Wildwood elementary schools, she sees the changes a little differently. This is her first year in the district, so she doesn't have the same reference point that longtime residents do. When teaching 5- and 6-year-olds, though, that's not necessarily important.

"The teachers (at Agassiz and Wildwood) have been doing things collectively as a staff to all be in the same building next year," Fischer said. "They've been in the same meetings, have the same handbooks. It's probably not that different for the students, at this age, because they're just excited to be in school."

The school handed out procedures for what parents need to remember for the first day of school tomorrow. Fischer says there will be plenty of staff around to get everyone in the right place at the right time.

"We're so excited to get started. The halls are so quiet — we want to get them filled up," she said.

For those little ones on their first day, Fischer had some last-minute advice.

"Come ready to learn and have fun doing it. Get a good night's sleep," she said.

In other buildings, though, the changes might not be as dramatic, but they are still vitally important to starting the year off right.

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