The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

August 21, 2013

A new beginning

(Continued)

The greater congestion will likely happen after school, when it's not a simple drop-off.

"Now after school they come early, park and wait and not every child comes out at the same time, so there's going to be more congestion," he said. "We have to get through a few days of our traffic plan before we can really take a good look at what's working and what's not working."

The smooth side of the transportation plan was the bus system. Eidahl said all the buses — which enter on West Traxler Drive and loop through the north parking lot — made a quick transition.

The parents follow an identical path in the other parking lot, coming in on East Traxler Drive and looping through.

"But parents are getting used to the routines and getting used the route we designed within the parking lot," he said. "We know things aren't running as efficiently as we would like. But we'll continue to adjust and evaluate and we're in communication with city officials and police."

The brand-new school is nearly complete, Eidahl said. There's no grass outside or surrounding the playground, but seeding will take place this fall. Other than that, only a few pieces of furniture remain missing.

Third-grade special education teacher at Liberty, Courtney Berendes, said the nerves faded after this week's back-to-school events.

"It's a lot of excitement," she said of the first day of school. "After the open house there's no more nervousness — it's just excitement to start."

Berendes is looking forward to working in the new school, a change from teaching third-grade general education at Agassiz Elementary previously. She's not concerned about adjusting to the new environment.

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