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Grove welcomes first students
MARYSVILLE — The first day of school is supposed to be an exciting time in a young person’s life but on Sept. 2 at Grove Elementary School, one young man was anything but excited as he lay on his stomach in the doorway to the school’s main office, watching his fellow schoolmates arrive with their parents while he waited to be placed in a classroom.
While opening a brand new school has its share of uncertainties, Grove realized it had about 100 more, in the form of new students, the week before classes were scheduled to begin.
New students transferred into Grove from Quil Ceda and Tulalip elementary schools, which hadn’t met their adequate yearly progress standard under No Child Left Behind. Consequently, Grove scrambled to find substitute teachers and open four more classrooms to meet the needs of those incoming students who became eligible to transfer to an open school. Another 20 or so registered at Grove the first day of classes.
“We were enrolling new kids all the time,” said Grove principal Jeanne Tennis, who added that they made the call as they became aware of how many students they were adding. “The same thing happened at Quil Ceda when we opened.”
By Sept. 12, Tennis said the district should have teachers realigned from overstaffed schools to Grove.
Despite its location near the intersection of Grove Street and 67th Avenue, Grove Elementary, which drew students from Kellogg Marsh, Pinewood and Allen Creek elementary schools, is very much a walking school. With the new school’s opening, many students who had previously bused to school now find themselves within the one-mile radius of the school, which is considered a walkable distance.
Tennis added that the city and school district have taken steps to ensure the safety of those students walking to Grove.
“I think we’ve done a pretty good job with the city to make sure the walk is safe. There are sidewalks, there are crossing guards. Even though they’re busy streets, they’re good for walking,” she said, adding that for a first day, things were as smooth as could be expected.
“It’s a beautiful school and a great start,” she said.