(HELENA) Rossiter Elementary School students and staff started classes Monday at Carroll College, their new home until the end of the school year.
Employees spent the weekend setting up classrooms in several of the college’s buildings. About 470 students and 50 staff members will occupy rooms across the campus for the next few weeks.
Rossiter has been closed since last week, when floodwaters in the Helena Valley blocked access to the building. Last week, fourth- and fifth-graders had three days of classes at Helena Middle School, but Monday was the first day younger kids were back to school.
“It was fun,” said Kristen Clausen, who teaches second grade. “It was great seeing the kids again; they were all excited to be here.”
Teachers had some time to go into the Rossiter building to collect the materials they needed to finish out the year. Clausen said she had to leave behind small items like markers and scissors, but that she got most of the students’ things out.
Clausen’s class is studying in St. Charles Hall, eating lunch in the Campus Center and taking physical education in the new Hunthausen Activity Center. It means much more walking than a normal day at Rossiter.
“Everybody’s wearing tennis shoes for the next three weeks, including the teachers,” said Clausen.
Clausen said she’s thankful for all the help Carroll College has provided.
“They’ve been so accommodating and welcoming,” she said. “They helped us move things in; they’ve asked what we need. It’s really been awesome.”
She said her class is ready to get back to a more normal routine.
“The kids enjoy the structure, we enjoy the structure, and it’s just fun to see them again,” she said. “A week out was a long time.”
Carroll leaders have asked the public to be aware of increased traffic around the campus from 8 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m., as buses and parents drop off and pick up students.