Ozark Kindergarteners “Practice” Before First Day

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OZARK, Mo. — Do you ever wish you could have a practice-run before some of life’s biggest moments? Incoming kindergarten students at Ozark elementary schools were allowed to do just that.

Empty school hallways can be an intimidating sight, but kindergarteners in Ozark are facing the first day of school head on.

Students like Delaney and Elliana Roussell– twin sisters, typically inseparable, will part ways this year to learn in different classrooms.

“This will give them a chance to kind of become independent and develop their own personalities and who they are without depending on each other,” said the girls’ mother Tracey Roussell.

Students rehearsed everything from hitching a ride on the bus, to making laps around the gym, to going through the cafeteria line.
“They get to come in, meet all the teachers, go through the line in the cafeteria,” explained Ozark East Elementary School principal Anna Thurman. “[Students] just get to experience in a short time what it’s like to be a kindergartener.”

Thurman wanted students to get the hang of things before the big day, and parents have expressed sincere appreciative.
“This was amazing,” said Roussell. “What a great opportunity to allow parents to come in and see what its like in the day of the life of a kindergartener.”

Kindergarteners have a busy year ahead, while their parents try not to blink
“It is going to be amazing what they will walk out of kindergarten knowing,” said Roussell. “We’ll have readers on our hands, they’ll be writing up to three sentences– it’s going to be amazing.”

In the past, students were able to locate their bus stop before the first day, but the class of 2032 is the first to make the full trip in addition to being welcomed by the staff.

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