Nebraska students gearing up for first year at new school

Parents and students registered for the 2016-2017 school year at Washington Elementary Friday.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) On the first day of registration for Fort Wayne Community School’s in-school registration for next school year Nebraska Elementary sits empty.

The school closed at the end of last school year because of a drop in enrollment. Now, the more than 100 students will start the school year at Washington Elementary.

“Quite a few Nebraska families,” Washington principal DaNene Neff said about the first day of registration. “I think right now it’s about half and half.”

The district has had several events to help students with the transition, but with school just weeks away it’s still hitting some kids hard.

“She’s just so heartbroken,” Kristie Hudson said about her third-grader moving schools.

Hudson said her daughter is about the change from Nebraska to Washington, but hopes she’ll have a few familiar faces at her new school.

“They have three third grade classes so I’m hoping she gets some kids she knows in there and gets a teacher so it will be an easier transition for her,” Hudson said.

Several staff members are also making the change.

“You could definitely see some sighs of relief from those students as they knew that some of their teachers from Nebraska were coming over here,” fourth grade teacher Beth Piel said.

It’s not just the students and teachers transitioning.

“I was the PTA president last year at Nebraska, so I’m going to try to join the PTA this year and help out and make the transition easier for her,” Hudson said.

A transition that Hudson hopes teaches a life lesson that goes beyond the classroom.

“There’s change in everyday life, so they’re just learning that change starts early. Nothing ever stays the same,” Hudson said.

In-school registration continues Monday. The first day of school is August 15.

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