Chelsea students begin a new school year

Published 11:32 am Friday, August 12, 2022

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

CHELSEA – Many crying mothers escorted their kids to the first day of class at Forest Oaks Elementary School on Thursday, Aug. 11.

Fortunately for them, school staff expected such a situation, and had refreshments ready for parents.

“We were very excited to get back to what we remember as being a normal year,” Principal Stevie Sims said. “Being able to have people back in the building is the biggest thing and (also) having that welcoming environment for our parents and community leaders and different stakeholders throughout Chelsea.”

After a couple of unusual years, Forest Oaks’s teachers and staff hope to get the students adjusted back to a state of normalcy.

“The first couple of days we will introduce everyone to our procedures and our policies and our building itself, how to get around, especially for some of the new students and the younger students that may have forgotten over the summer,” Sims said. “We’re just going to continue providing them with the social and emotional support that they may need.”

Sims expressed gratitude for her fourth year as principal at the school.

“I’m just proud to be a part of Forest Oaks, I truly am,” Sims said. “To be a part of something so wonderful is such a blessing to me.”

Chelsea Park Elementary School also opened their doors to welcome children on the first day of a new school year.

Principal Mary Anderson reflected on her desires for that day.

“I was hoping to see lots of smiling faces of all our wonderful children that go to school here,” Anderson said. “I love to see the excitement in the air here among our parents and students. It’s such a great feeling on the first day of school.”

Though Chelsea elementary schools started in-person learning in 2021, this marks the first year that all other schools in Alabama have returned to in-person instruction on the first day.

“As a state that is a good feeling, to know the state values the importance of getting everyone back in class, face-to-face with a teacher,” Anderson said.

Anderson contemplated on the details that make Chelsea Park stand out amongst others, including the school’s pride in being a “family-oriented school.”

“We have so many great schools in our community, (and) we are very blessed in Chelsea as a whole and Shelby County altogether,” Anderson said.