SPOKANE, Wash. — On a quiet, tree-lined street corner of 18th Avenue, children run up a hill to see their friends. The peaceful morning quickly turned to excited screams and nervous questions as the group of elementary students waited for the bus to pick them up for the first time this school year – and the first time ever.
Students at Wilson Elementary were displaced for the year because of renovation construction happening on the Wilson Building. For the 2019-2020 school year, the students have to take buses to Camp Wilson, a temporary school set up for the staff and students.
But most of those children have never taken a bus to school, so they had a practice bus ride to prepare for the first day of school on Thursday.
Second grade student Coco Young said riding the bus feels bumpy, but that didn't stop her and her friends from having fun. They sat three to a seat, playing rock paper scissors to pass the time.
Then, they arrived at their new school.
"We're all working together to make it work," Patty Seidensticker, second grade teacher at Wilson Elementary School said.
Wednesday was dedicated to letting the students explore their new school and meet their teachers in order to make them comfortable being in a different building.
Seidensticker said it was a big change for everyone.
"It took a lot of work. We had to box up our entire classroom – everything. And then they moved it here and then we had to un-box everything here," she said.
But she said having the support of their strong community and doing the practice run will make everyone feel at home for the school year.
"I'm so excited to meet all the kids and their smiling faces. They just bring light to my life. I love kids," Seidensticker said
With the excitement also came nerves. While sitting at her new desk in room 203, Young told her mom being at the new school is making her nervous – but just a little bit, she added.
That's the feeling for a lot of the children who were getting used to the change. There are seven buses going to Camp Wilson everyday, up from the one bus normally traveling to Wilson.