School rolls back into Moffat County

"C'mon it's time to get up. You'll be late for school."

It's that time again, and bleary-eyed kids made their way to bus stops and bike racks Monday as the Moffat County schools opened the doors to another school year.

"Today was tiring," said Tim Gonzales, a senior at Moffat County High School. "I'm not used to the schedule I'm used to sleeping in until one or two."

While the summer brings plenty of freedom and fun, most students seemed to be content to get back to the grind.

"Yes, I'm happy to get back," said seventh grader Michelle Workman. "It was pretty boring today. All we did was talk about rules and get papers. I think I'll like The Law and You, though."

Workman's teacher for The Law and You will be Cheryl Lassota. Ms. Lassota was very happy to back at school.

"Today was great," she said. "It has been a little hectic, but we're off to a great start."

Lassota said some of the new regulations have already begun to pay off. The students at the middle school are now required to leave their backpacks in their lockers.

"The halls seem a lot less crowded now," Lassota said. "Some kids were carrying around 80-pound backpacks it was like having twice as many students in the hall."

Lassota said the first day is pretty much an opportunity to establish a rapport with her students and establish some ground rules.

"I want them to know what works with me and what doesn't," she said. She hands out a green list and a red list, so the students know exactly what to expect. Two of Lassota's rules are that she "chooses not to grade late assignments," and not to grade assignments completed with borrowed materials.

Even with such clear guidelines, some of the students struggle a little during the first week.

"It was a pretty good day, but a little confusing," said Erin Bennett, an eighth grader.

"You know, you're trying to find where your classes and locker are. I guess I'm happy to be back, though. The summer was boring."

Kristin Hentschel, who teaches algebra and geometry at the high school was pleased with the first day.

"It really went very well," she said. "This is my first year back here." Hentschel taught at Moffat County High School in 1994 and 1995, so she calls herself a "recycled teacher."

As for first days, she said, "It's pretty much the same everywhere. It takes them (the students) a while to get back into the routine. They're used to taking naps in the afternoon and eating junk all day."

Despite the rust on the gears, things went smoothly at the high school according to Sandi Johns and Anna Nitschke who work in the administrative office at the high school.

"This has been the best start of a school year I've ever seen," Johns said. "The kids were kind and considerate and the teachers were kind and considerate."

she added.
Nitschke, who has worked at the high school for seven years, agreed. "This was probably the best first day of classes since I've been here," she said. "Usually, there are a lot of schedule changes and problems with lockers, but this year we haven't had many problems. I kept thinking there was something else I needed to be doing."

It's all a matter of opinion on the first day of school, though.

"It's more of the same," said sophomore Jared Kipe. "Same people for the most part, same classes, same teachers."

It may seem boring to Kipe, but maybe the thought is, if it's working, why change it?

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