Horace Mann Elementary School teacher Kim Briggs collects school supplies from her first grade students Wednesday during the first day of school. Bill Lackey/Staff

Clark County students head back to school

Clark County students grabbed their backpacks and settled into classrooms Wednesday morning as districts opened their doors for the first day of school.

Children at Horace Mann Elementary School in Springfield put away pencils, listened to class rules and answered short survey questions about themselves.

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“I’ve got 21 homeroom teachers, three intervention specialists and seven tutors for 421 enrolled students from k through six,” Horace Mann Principal Kevin Schalnat said. “I’m glad that we have gotten started instead of sitting here thinking about whether we have everything ready. I think the teachers are also ready to go teach and not plan as much and be here for the kids.”

The first day of school always brings excitement and classrooms seemed upbeat Wednesday, Schalnat said.

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“The first hour of school where you have all these kids that are coming in can be a little crazy,” he said. “But after the first 45 minutes, when everyone finds their classroom, everyone seems to settle in.”

Parents outside of school Wednesday expressed mixed emotions about the start of school. Some were happy their kids were back in their routine while others said they were sad to see them go.

“I like having them home,” Jessica Harkins said.

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Harkins has a fourth and a fifth grader at the school.

“It’s normal. I’m used to it now,” Harkins said.

Shanna Shirk sent her second grade student to Horace Mann for the first time this year. She said she hopes her child gets the best education possible.

“Mine was ready to go this morning,” Shirk said. “They were excited to get started.”

Harkins said her children have been ready for the start of school for several days now.

“They were amped up,” Harkins said. “My girls were counting down the days asking if they could wear their new clothes yet.”

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