Students Prepare to Switch Teachers Mid-Year

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Zach Watson, Kala Van Aken and Brandon Hamilton are meeting their new teacher and their new third grade classmates today.

"Kinda scared," Brandon said.

It's the orientation routine students at Parnall Elementary School are used to, just not in the middle of the school year.

"We're changing classrooms," he said.

Forty-six students will be changing classrooms. A lower-than-expected student count made a tight Northwest Community Schools budget even tighter. So the district laid off five teachers and will send two classrooms full of students to new teachers.

"Not a preference at all but if you have to do it, you can do it positively or negatively," Principal Valerie Shelters said.

Shelters says is trying to do things positively by talking to students and parents about change and settling them into their new classrooms slowly. The idea is to get students comfortable in their new classrooms before they join them permanently on February 1st.

"I've made some nametags in case you forget your names," third grade teacher Judy Chrisofttersen said.

She's taking in Zach, Kala and Brandon into her class. Christoffersen says the transition won't be as tough as it could be.

"They've had the same curriculum so it'll be helpful," she said.

And all the changes are coming within the same school, so students may already know their new classmates. So while it's tough to leave the old classroom.

"Really sad," Brandon said.

The new classroom means new friends.

"Really fun," he said.

Teachers and administrators say they're trying to make the best of an unfortunate situation brought on by tightening school budgets.

"This is going to be great. Excellent, guys," Christoffersen said.