Preschoolers attend 1st day at reconfigured schools


Ten minutes into their school year, new preschool students at East Elementary School had only one thing on their minds: The new playground.

One girl, wearing a dress, glittery shoes and pigtails for her first day, had some inside information.

"We have a brand new playground," she announced to the rest of the class. "And it has a house."

But, paraprofessional Gayle Kendall assured them they would be able to play outside later in the day. Just minutes earlier, parents had dropped off the students into a new setting.

Until this year, all preschool classes were at the Moffat County Early Childhood Center.

With reconfiguration, preschool rooms were set up at each of the four elementary schools.

The new classrooms include separate, secure entrances and fenced-in playgrounds.

The new preschool configuration is intended to provide a more convenient option for parents and an easier transition into kindergarten and beyond.

Jamie Vasquez, mother of 4-year-old Jace Vasquez, said it was much closer for her to drop her son off at East Elementary than the Early Childhood Center.

But, the hard part came when she had to leave her son in his classroom.

"I think it was harder for me than it was for him," she said. "There was a little separation anxiety."

It was Jace's first day of preschool, but his mother said it wasn't a difficult transition for him. He knew his teachers from church and had been in the classroom before.

"They all came in so happy today," said BettyJo Anderson, preschool paraprofessional, as she watched the students peel off into groups and play. "There were no tears."

In fact, the only tears came from one of the parents who found it difficult to leave her child in the classroom.

But, after the emotional goodbyes, the children played quietly in the dramatic play area, making pretend breakfast, or ran toy cars across the blue carpet.

"I think it helps that this room is so fresh and new," Anderson said.

The room grew quieter as the first-time students settled into their respective activities.

Vasquez was the last parent to leave her child in the care of the three paraprofessionals.

"I'm OK right now, but I haven't made it back to my car yet," Vasquez said, glancing back at her son. "It was tough, but it will get easier every day."


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.