Kindergartners have first day in Columbus Metropolis Colleges


When Jeremiah Richardson watched his older brother go to second grade Southwood Elementary School Last week he felt left out.

The 5-year-old even packed his lunch box to get to school.

On Tuesday, however, it was Jeremiah’s turn to start his first day of kindergarten at the South Side School.

While Jeremiah couldn’t wait to talk about dinosaurs with his teacher and new classmates – Tyrannosaurus Rex is his favorite, of course – his mother was equally nervous and relieved for their middle child’s first day of school.

“I’m a little curious to see if he’ll listen. All he likes to talk about is dinosaurs, ”said Frantasia Richardson with a little laugh.

Lillie Burgett, 5, far left, stands for a photo with her cousins ​​on the first full day of kindergarten at Southwood Elementary School Tuesday.

But like many parents dropping their kids off for Columbus City Schools’ first day of kindergarten, she welcomed the milestone for the most part, especially after the last 18 months of parenting during a pandemic.

“I am happy that he will meet different children,” she said. “He only plays at home with his brother and sister.”

Southwood’s parents were grateful that their young students had the opportunity to start the first day of school in person, unlike those who were in their shoes last year.

Continue reading: For the first time in 531 days, Columbus is reopening most of its schools at full capacity

Kindergarten numbers will increase from 2020

In the fall of 2020, many kindergarten kids in central Ohio were practically entering school as the COVID-19 numbers spiked. Columbus City Schools didn’t return to face-to-face learning until spring.

This has led some parents to postpone the start of kindergarten for their children since the district saw a 16% drop in enrollments – nearly 600 children – for the class in 2020.

Kassi Birkhimer hugs her son Waylon, 5, on his first full day of kindergarten at Southwood Elementary in Columbus City Schools Tuesday.

At the national level, education experts have examined how these numbers compare with this school year. could recover Some think it could be the greatest kindergarten class of all time.

As of 2020, the numbers in Columbus have certainly increased. As of August 28, the last date for which data is available on the district’s website, there were about 370 more kindergarten teachers enrolled this year than last year.

Around 3,400 kindergarten teachers started school on Tuesday in the district. Southwood principal Miracle Reynolds said she has enrolled 26 kindergarten children between two classrooms so far for the 2021-22 school year.

“We usually have a little more, but because of COVID and BlendED (the district’s virtual option) we’re still a little bit down,” Reynolds said.

Regardless of the numbers, she was thrilled to finally see some of the school’s youngest students – with nerves and all.

“Some students feel very scared when they have their first experiences with school – if they weren’t in Pre-K or were home last year because of the pandemic,” Reynolds said. “But as soon as you meet your friends, your teachers, you get used to it without any problems.”

“Go and find your new best friend!”: Parents wave goodbye

Proud parents Devin and Kassi Birkhimer watched their son Waylon in the cafeteria.

At first they saw from the outside door their 5 year old looking around in confusion, unsure what to do, only to find his way to the breakfast line and a seat next to some classmates.

Melody Stroupe, 9, accompanies her little brother Tyrone Moultry, 5, for the first full day of kindergarten at Southwood Elementary School.

“It’s terrifying and exciting at the same time,” said his father. “You never know how much you have over- or under-prepared them. You go in blind. ”

Kassi Birkhimer fought back tears, saying she knew her son was ready, smart, and able to deal with all applicable COVID-19 protocols to keep him safe, such as wearing a mask, social distancing and frequent hand sanitizing.

Still, she said it was difficult as a parent to prepare for the moment a firstborn baby leaves for his first day of school.

The couples each made heart symbols with their hands on Waylon before saying goodbye for the last time for the morning.

Devin Birkhimer couldn’t help but give last minute advice and shouted from the door: “Go find your new best friend!”

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