Helena Elementary welcomes back little Huskies

Published 11:34 am Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

HELENA – As the little Huskies of Helena Elementary School filed out of their parents’ cars in the carpool line, the air surrounding the school was alive with excited energy for the first day back to school.

“The first day is always exciting,” Principal of HES Genet Holcomb said. “Everyone is excited, teachers, parents, the students–it’s always a good way to start when everyone’s excited.”

Holcomb said she and her team love staggered start days as it gives them the opportunity to work out any kinks before everyone comes to school, and it allows the teachers an opportunity to better develop relationships with their students.

 “They’re able to spend more time with their teachers and develop those relationships early, and they’re able to learn the structure of the school and what the routines and expectations are better,” she said. “When you have fewer students to do all of that with, it makes it more successful.”

This year marks a particularly special year as it’s the first time since 2020 that students in Shelby County Schools are able to have all students back in person for the first day of school. With the COVID-19 pandemic, schools were only able to do partial in-person attendance. Holcomb said the return to normalcy has been incredibly uplifting for everyone involved. They were even able to finally bring back the kindergarten introduction meetings that were discontinued during the pandemic.

“It really was just so great to be able to have the parents and students in the classrooms where they can meet the teachers and get to know their environment beforehand,” she said. “Last year we did like a drive-by meet-and-greet where they could drive by, their teachers would wave at them, and they would do Google meets to actually meet the teacher, and that just wasn’t the same.”

Entering into a new school year, Holcomb said they’ll run the school the same way they always have, by abiding by the Husky Way.

“Everything is based on the concept of ‘I am kind, I am safe, I am responsible,’” Holcomb said. “We remind all the students that those rules are there for a reason, and that’s just the Husky Way.”