School begins in Elbert County

Family shares excitement, worries as bells ring for new year

Chancy J. Gatlin-Anderson
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 8/21/21

It is the start of a new school year in Elbert County and students are learning what the 2021-2021 academic year will hold for them. Elbert School District #200 began classes Aug. 11, the earliest in …

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School begins in Elbert County

Family shares excitement, worries as bells ring for new year

Posted

It is the start of a new school year in Elbert County and students are learning what the 2021-2021 academic year will hold for them.

Elbert School District #200 began classes Aug. 11, the earliest in the county. Elizabeth schools began on Aug. 13 for sixth- and ninth-graders — giving them a chance to acclimate to their new surroundings and schedules — while the remainder of middle and high school students began on Aug. 16. Elizabeth Elementary Schools students began their year on Aug. 19. Kiowa Schools began the latest in the county, with all students returning on Aug. 20.

For the Thompson/Harrity family based out of Elizabeth, it is an exciting beginning of the school year.

Devin Harrity and Michelle Thompson have four children attending three different schools within the Elizabeth School District: Riley Thompson (senior) and Kennedy Thompson (sophomore) both attend Elizabeth High School while Sawyer Thompson is entering sixth grade this year at Elizabeth Middle School. Caelin Beary, the youngest of the family, is beginning third grade at Singing Hills Elementary.

On Aug. 17, the Elbert County News interviewed Riley and Sawyer Thompson as they launched their senior and sixth-grade years.

Riley Thompson

What are you excited about for your senior year of high school?

“I’m excited to be at school in person this year and to graduate.”

Do you have post-graduation plans? If so, what are they?

“I plan to attend a police academy after graduation and continue working.”

Sawyer Thompson

What are you excited about for your first year of middle school?

“I am excited for band and my new classes.” Sawyer will begin playing flute this year.

What are you nervous about for middle school?

“I’m not really nervous about anything, I’m just very happy and excited to start school.”

Now having experienced your first few days of middle school, how is it different from elementary school?

“Sometimes you have to walk a long way between classes and getting used to how the classes work.”

Amid the excitement about the start of school, there is notable concern among students, parents, faculty and staff about the COVID-19 delta variant and its potential future impact on schools throughout the county.

Riley and Sawyer Thompson also shared their concerns the possible outcomes for their school year.

Riley Thompson said she is “very worried that the delta variant will close schools,” while Sawyer is concerned about “being forced online” again.

Devin Harrity also shared his concerns for the spread of the COVID variant and its potential impact on the school year.

“I don’t want the kids to get sick or get other family members, grandparents, or friends and neighbors sick,” said Harrity. “I really hope they don’t close schools, though. Michelle and I have jobs that don’t allow us to hover over their shoulders to keep them on task.”

Currently there is no masking requirement in place at Elizabeth High School, though students are being told to wear masks on the buses. For the Elbert School, there is also no masking requirement, though masks are optional with students and parents are encouraged to make the best decisions for their families.

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