News

Kids adjust to new school settings

Thomas Crews and Elyse Anderson listen attentively to the rules at their new school site. The children are Olympic View Elementary second-graders now attending class in the Mulitpurpose room at Oak Harbor Elementary.  - P.C. Smith
Thomas Crews and Elyse Anderson listen attentively to the rules at their new school site. The children are Olympic View Elementary second-graders now attending class in the Mulitpurpose room at Oak Harbor Elementary.
— image credit: P.C. Smith

By P. CHRISTINE SMITH

Staff reporter

A group of Oak Harbor second-graders are proving the theory that a building doesn’t make a school, people do.

The four classes of students, part of the displaced student body of Olympic View Elementary School, settled into the Multipurpose room of Oak Harbor Elementary Monday morning. The initial transition went well, teachers said, which was backed up by the children’s calm behavior as they sat in a large group, learning the ropes at the new school site.

“I think it’s gonna take a little while to get used to,” said Elyse Anderson, a student in Judy Harvey’s class. “This is the second time we moved, and if I could get used to it the first time, I can get used to this one,” the little redheaded girl said confidently.

Olympic View students made the first move to the interim school site, the old North Whidbey Middle School, last fall. The site was used as an interim site while the Olympic View Elementary building is being remodeled. The second move, to OHE’s Multipurpose room, is due to the emergency closing of the interim site, which is suspected of making people sick.

Finding a desk with her very own name on it helped Elyse to immediately settle in, she said.

“I think the kids were glad to come in and see their desks with the name tags,” said teacher Mary Rodgers. “One of my kids said, ‘I like our new class.’ ”

More than finding comfort in locating a space of their own, the students have an obvious sense of security because they are with their teachers and their friends.

“Many of their parents ... stated that they were very apprehensive about coming here, but once they got here and saw the same people, they were fine,” Harvey said.

The individual classes are separated in the large room by dividers. More dividers, similar to those used to create office cubicles, will be installed this week in an effort to give more definition to where one class stops and another begins.

Thomas Crews, another second-grader in Harvey’s class, agreed that the new school setting will take a little getting used to, but hearing the rules presented by the teachers helped him understand what it is he needs to do.

“It’s not like our other classroom ... You can’t just leave and you have to be quiet,” Thomas said. “We have to get used to going to the bathroom and to the office.”

Young Thomas also proudly showed off his desk, as well as a book he is reading about mummies. He also said he put his week break from school last week to good use.

“I read three or four chapters of my Boxcar Children book,” Thomas said.

Aside from Harvey’s and Rodger’s classes, Gerald Judd’s and Marilyn Hoffman’s classes are located in the Multipurpose room. The four teachers transformed the vast open space into individual classroom settings with desks, book cases filled with books, plants, artwork and projects made by the students.

You can reach News-Times reporter Christine Smith at csmith@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611

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