SUN PHOTO/TOM VAUGHT
Kindergarten through second-grade students wait
in the cafeteria to be taken to classrooms on their
first day in the new school.
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
HOLMES BEACH It took some effort, but 300 students
from Anna Maria Elementary School found their classrooms
on the first day after the holiday break.
They werent returning to their old school; they
were returning to their new school with new classrooms
to find, new indoor hallways to walk and new stairs to
It took a lot of planning on the part of the schools
administration to get the children to their destinations,
but it worked.
The children who rode buses came in from the new service
driveway where the parking lot used to be. The rest rode
bikes or walked, many with their parents, to the landing
on the south west area of the new building. The formal
entrance would be to the north of this area, but it is
currently inaccessible because of the old school campus,
which is being prepped for demolition.
As the students arrived, they were stopped at the landing
by art teacher Gary Wooten. Kindergarten through second-grade
students and parents were sent to the ground-floor cafeteria
where they were sent to their new classrooms. Third- through
fifth-grade students entered the hallway and walked to
the stairs. They were sent to their classrooms located
on the second floor.
"They did a good job of organizing this," said
Michael Pierce, of Bradenton Beach, whose granddaughter
attends the school. "People think this just happens,
but it takes a lot of planning to make sure it runs smoothly."
Pierce should know. He was the parents representative
on the school construction team.
After the kids were sent to their classes, parents and
guardians were invited into the cafeteria where Principal
Kathy Hayes and Wooten led tours of the new building.
By Monday, the process was running smoothly, according
"It ran beautifully," she said. "The kids
adapted real well and we are getting requests from parents
to see the inside. If they want to stop by, we can give
them a tour. Ill show them around personally."