July 26, 2022 -- Voices filled the gymnasium Monday evening at Woodcrest Elementary School as teachers and families mingled for an ice cream social ahead of a new school year.
“This is like a kick-off to the new year,” started Principal Yolanda Cooper. “Where the parents can come in, and the students can come in and meet the teacher who’s going to be in the classroom on that first day with them. They also get to connect with their unified art teachers; art, music, library, and physical education.”
Cooper said it was the first social event like it in her two years as principal. Her goal wasn't only to make kids more comfortable but to allow parents the chance to get involved in their child’s education by signing up for the Parent Teacher Organization.
“This is an opportunity for them to kind of participate and see what’s happening in the school and for them to have a buy-in of the school and give feedback on what they want to see happen within the walls,” Cooper said.
For the first time since the pandemic, Woodcrest families will be able to sign up for the school's PTO.
Parent Shayla Reynolds was among the crowd of families introducing her third grade daughter, Isabella, to teachers in the gym.
“I like to learn!” Isabella shouted as her mom explained how much her family looks forward to the new school year at Woodcrest.
“They are a phenomenal year-round school that offers so much hands-on help. When Isabella started here, she was shy, and she had some separation issues going on. The staff here took her on like she was their child, and it’s been like that ever since,” Reynolds said.
Meeting Isabella now, one would never guess she was once shy and quiet. Yet, she and other students bounced through the gym, getting to know each other as they waited in line for ice cream.
“On the first day, so much is going on they’re trying to get to their class, they’re trying to follow a schedule, they’re dropping them off. Some students are nervous, some students are crying, and others are so excited, but this gives them an opportunity to get all of that out before the first day;it kind of eases it a little bit,” Cooper said.
Woodcrest Elementary is the first school in the District heading back for the 2022-2023 school year. Classes resume Wednesday, July 27th at 9 a.m.