Before they go back to school on Monday, kids across Lubbock get to meet their teachers Thursday night. Most public elementary schools in town and even some middle schools and high schools have open house Thursday.
Lubbock Cooper West Elementary will open its doors for the first time this year. Thursday the school is welcoming its students with a program and ribbon cutting. Administrators say the school will be ready to open on Monday, but it has been a rush the past few weeks.
Lubbock Cooper West Elementary is expected to have about 380 students this year. Instead, they will have more than 520 students. With so many more students, the school needs more teachers.
Some teachers, like Kyley Gaynier were just hired in the last week, and they've had to rush to get their rooms and lesson plans ready. "It's been a whirlwind. It's been crazy, but it's been fun at the same time," said Gaynier.
"They've been burning the midnight oil. We were up here at 11 p.m. the other night, and there were still several teachers in their rooms working hard as can be, making sure that we are ready for the first day of school," said Assistant Principal Mary Satterwhite.
Gaynier is excited about the unique opportunities her students will get, like the science labs. "We will have two fully equipped science labs that would rival really any high school science lab," said Satterwhite.
"It'll all been hands on. When they come in they'll be wearing their little lab coats and their goggles," said science teacher Joe-Ann Hill.
Gaynier is also about the smart boards in every classroom and, as she puts the finishing touches on her classroom, Gaynier says the extra hours are worth it. "I'm so excited to meet these little ones. I finally get to meet them tonight. I am just eager to see their smiling faces every morning."
Administrators say they may have to hire a few more teachers still if enrollment numbers keep growing.
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