Calera Elementary kicks off year with ‘great day’

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer

CALERA — As Calera Elementary’s new principal, Shannon Montgomery, settles into her first year at the school, the faces of the students and faculty members are quickly becoming familiar ones.

A total of 361 students attended the school on Thursday, and Montgomery said the smile on each face was the highlight of her day.

At CES, as with all Shelby County Schools, students’ return to school was extended over two days with a staggered start on Thursday, Aug. 12 and Friday, Aug. 13.

“As I visited classrooms, I saw our teachers engaged in activities that enabled them to get to know their students. We had a few of our little friends who shed some tears, but it was a great day overall,” said Montgomery, formerly an assistant principal at Montevallo Elementary.

While there were few differences between this year and the start of school last year, educators will continue to adapt to potential changes posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges, she said.

Many of the safety practices implemented last year are still in place, albeit without the mask mandate. Sanitation practices are being observed throughout the day, especially in high-traffic areas and on frequently touched objects such as water fountains. While the fountains are available for use, parents are encouraged to send students to school with a water bottle.

“As educators, we know how to be flexible and adapt to change. That is what we will continue to do. We will take one day at a time and do what is best for our students,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery thanked district leaders and the CES faculty and staff for their availability and support during her transition to the new position.
“We have a committed group of people at CES who have entered this school year with a positive attitude,” she said. “Calera is a great community, and I want to make sure that we maintain a strong connection with our parents and community members. If that is accomplished, our school can be successful in many ways. This is a shared responsibility and I am excited about doing my part.”