First Day at Danville's Gibson Elementary School - WSET.com - ABC13

First Day at Danville's Gibson Elementary School

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Danville, VA - Monday was the first day of school for many kids in our area, but some Danville students are facing some big changes this year.

Last year, three elementary schools closed because of budget issues, and one middle school took in many of the kids.

Parents in Danville were very upset about the closures. This year, however, many say they are onboard and upbeat about the new school year.

For years, Gibson Elementary had been a local middle school.

 For the most part, the structure remains the same and kids still shuffle through the classrooms. Now, Gibson has taken in students from Glenwood, Woodberry, I.W. Taylor, and Schoolfield Elementaries.

"We've tried to make that a very positive experience for them and to explain this is a great time for all of us because we are all new this year," said principal Kim Agnor.

Agnor may be one of the most familiar with the building, she taught middle schoolers for years. Agnor says they had to make some adjustments to make it elementary-friendly.

"Our library has gone through a massive transformation," said Agnor.

One of the biggest changes is the addition of the playground. All day teachers gave students the grand tour.

"They were very nervous before, I think they feel a lot better now that they've taken the tour. They've learned where everything is," said Andrea Wheat, a third grade teacher.

Wheat hopes her students see the good in the school shuffles.

"I think it will be positive because they are being introduced to children of different neighborhoods and children that they wouldn't have known otherwise," said Wheat.

"I think it's easier for them than it is for adults," said Agnor.

Agnor says the class sizes are still small, between 15 and 19 students per classroom. Meanwhile, students from Woodrow Wilson Elementary, which also closed, are divided among other elementary schools. 

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