A look inside Joplin's first day back to school

JOPLIN, Mo. — From breaking open that brand-new box of crayons to powering up a Chromebook – it’s the first day of school for thousands of students in the Four States. It’s a parade of hugs, backpacks, and brand-new school supplies.

“Today is our first day of school,” said Kris Garrett, Cecil Floyd Principal.

Which means finding your classroom, meeting your teacher, and saying goodbye to Mom and Dad.

“They’re already in their classes. We didn’t lose anyone. And so it was a great day,” said Glenn Coltharp, Royal Heights Principal.

About 240 students are walking into Royal Heights Elementary, where school leaders say there’s a lot to tackle this year.

“We’ve got a lot of district initiatives that we’re starting this year with assessment with disaggregation of that data to help students learn,” added Coltharp.

Like a reading improvement program called “LETRS” – also on tap at Cecil Floyd Elementary where they’ve seen big progress.

“I mean, it ties into everything as far as math and science, social studies, and just life skills,” said Garrett.

The first day is less about homework and more about easing back into classes

“Figuring out where to put our stuff and meeting our classmates.” Julie Glenn, Joplin 5th Grader: “I love this school and all the things they do here.”

Meanwhile, at Kelsey Norman Elementary, it isn’t just kindergartners who are having a first “First” day.

“It wasn’t something I was planning on– had a totally different job to start out this year. So it was only four weeks ago that I was asked to do this,” said Shayna Briggs, Joplin Teacher.

Briggs is now starting the year as a new teacher – and is looking forward to what lies ahead.

This also marks the last “first” day for a couple of Joplin schools, including Columbia and West Central. Both will transition to Dover Hill Elementary this winter but are celebrating one final semester before the big move.

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