School resumes with a mix of old and new

Students, educators ready to work as academic year begins

Julie A. Taylor
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 8/27/18

Students across the district streamed into local schools for the first time this school year, ready to tackle the new challenges that lie ahead of them. Most of the high schoolers and middle …

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School resumes with a mix of old and new

Students, educators ready to work as academic year begins

Posted

Students across the district streamed into local schools for the first time this school year, ready to tackle the new challenges that lie ahead of them.

Most of the high schoolers and middle schoolers got off to a good start on Aug. 20, but, as expected, there were some tears as kindergartners braved their new routines. Sixth- and ninth-graders were given the opportunity to ease into their new buildings and schedules by starting on Aug. 17, a few days before the rest of the student body. Elementary students came in a few days later, on Aug 23.

The students were welcomed by some familiar and some new faces. Legacy Academy celebrated the return of every teacher, which their principal called “pretty rare,” and the rest of the district gained 30 new staff members, including John Everhart, vice principal at Elizabeth High School.

Everhart, who was previously the athletic director for Bishop Machebeuf High School in Denver, just started as Elizabeth High School’s athletic director and assistant principal.

“(Machebeuf) played against Elizabeth High School in football, and I saw the great community aspect,” Everhart said. “I got to see how great it was, and thought it was something that I would want to be a part of.”

He said that even though their first day of school in Elizabeth was “organized chaos,” it was a positive experience for him, the freshmen and the returning upperclassmen. The Regis University graduate said his goal in his new role is to “be a good support system for teachers and students.” As an athletic director, he wants to take the students to state championships.

“I have been really excited to be here,” Everhart said. “Everyone has been really nice and accepting and there has been very positive vibes so far.”

While Legacy Academy uses pencils, paper and three-ring binders, they place emphasis on utilizing technology in every classroom and look forward to using new gadgets this year.

“We are in the process of rolling out brand new iPads this year,” said Principal Kurt Nabers.

Every year, students in each grade receive an iPad. While the youngsters are required to leave them in the classroom at night, older students have permission to bring them home. In addition to the latest iPad model, students are excited to explore new places with their HTC Vive virtual reality headsets in many of their classes as they tour Egyptian tombs, fiddle with the solar system and create objects, like chess pieces, to print with their 3-D printers.

“It has been a great start,” Nabors said. “There’s been good vibes and a good feel in the building this year.”

The number of students attending school this yearin the Elizabeth School District is still being verified, but Singing Hills Elementary has just under 500 students, Running Creek Elementary has just under 400 students, Elizabeth Middle School has just over 400 students, Elizabeth High School has just under 700 students and Legacy Academy has about 400 students in its kindergarten through eighth grade school, plus about 75 students in their homeschool program.

Also new to the district this year are a mass communication system that should appear similar to the old one and 10 school buses, rolling in over the next few weeks.

“It has been a very long time since we have had a new bus so it is exciting,” said Melissa Hoelting, communications director for the district.

Another big-picture detail for this year for the Elizabeth School District is a mill levy override question that could end up on the November ballot, depending on what the board of education decides at its Aug. 27 meeting, which was set to occur after this story went to press.

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