New England Expands School - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

New England Expands School

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In just a matter of days, students will be heading back to school...

and some have already started.

One school in Western North Dakota is bringing a few changes with their first day back.

Stephanie Scheurer takes us to New England for the story.

The sound of lockers slamming, students buzzing in the hallways, and the smell of fresh school supplies fill the air.

Yes, it's the first day of school.

"We are very excited to be back in school. Yes we do start a little bit early but it's a great way to start. We do a short week. It kind of gets the kids back into the idea of being in school again," says Shellee Hanson.

But accompany these sounds with chainsaws and drills and you may wonder what's going on.

"We had an excellent first day of school. We have our building project that's also going on here in New England," says Kelly Rasch, Principal of New England Public School.

After facing declining enrollment in the past, New England is now averaging 15 to 20 new students per year the last three years.

This year, K through 12, their total enrollment is 208 students.

The city knew it was time to make some changes.

"Specifically with the new library expansion, our new 6th grade classroom and our new 5th grade classroom, and also with the safety features out front where you have to buzz in we wanted to make sure that the community was well represented so it was not a surprise to our community. This was something that they wanted as a whole," says Kelly Rasch, Principal of New England Public School.

Shellee Hanson is one of the lucky teachers who will get to experience a brand new classroom.

"It's exciting to be one of the fortunate teachers to be able to move into that area and I think it will really help us transition our fifth and sixth graders to the junior high and high school aspect because we'll be in an area together by ourselves but they'll switch classes between a couple teachers," says Shellee

Shellee says many of the students walked through the doors today assuming they'd be in a brand new classroom.

But in a matter of months, the wait will be over.

"Hopefully by the end of December we'll be able to make that transition over Christmas vacation and then they'll get to unwrap a new classroom in the new year," says Shellee Hanson, 5th and 6th grade teacher.

In New England for KX News, I'm Stephanie Scheurer.

Principal Rasch says they plan this new expansion will sustain the school for at least the next 30 to 40 years.

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