Sinclair teachers adjusting to new school
By Mathew McKay
RAWLINS — Students, staff and parents of the former Sinclair Elementary continue to adjust to their new environment at the Rawlins elementary schools, but everything seems to be coming together.
Following the closure of Sinclair Elementary approved by the Carbon County School District No. 1 Board of Trustees in March, about 40 students, as well as staff members, have transitioned to Rawlins Elementary School for this school year.
Brenda Morgan, fifth grade teacher, said the transition has gone pretty smooth for her after working at Rawlins Elementary for summer school.
“I had a chance to come over and see the building and get used to where everything was at,” Morgan said.
That consisted of something as simple as finding where the copier machine was located, but also allowed her to meet other teachers and some students.
During summer school, Morgan worked with a group of eight 5th grade students for half a day on math and science.
The biggest challenge for Morgan has been working with a program called “Reading Street.” Prior to transitioning schools, Morgan said she worked with “Reading Mastery.”
Despite the curriculum alteration, Morgan said lesson changes have made things easier as a whole.
“In Sinclair, I taught fourth and fifth grade combined classes,“ she said. “ So now I am just one grade level, which makes things a little bit easier.”
RES kindergarten teacher Angeli McCulloch, who also taught at Sinclair, said the transition has been nice for her as well. It was not so much the transition of schools that impacted her, as much as the transition from working with the special resources to being a classroom teacher.
“The kindergarten team has been great,” McCulloch said. “Anytime I have a question, I just shoot down the hall and the first classroom I come to I ask and I usually find the answer.”
In addition to making the transition herself, McCulloch said her fifth-grade daughter has also started to adjust to the changes as well.
McCulloch said like other parents with kids transitioning, she had the opportunity to choose a teacher for her child and also had the option to place her with a fellow Sinclair student.
McCulloch said she requested for Morgan to be that teacher.
At the start of school, McCulloch said her daughter was most surprised by the class size the first day of class.
“It definitely is different,” McCulloch said. “The first couple days of school she was like, ‘do you know how many kids are in my class?’”
Like other Sinclair parents likely dealing with the same feeling, McCulloch said it was hard at first knowing her child would not be right across the street from home, but said the transition to RES could not have come at a better time for her daughter.
“As a fifth grader, I would say I am actually thankful she is at that building right now,” McCulloch said. “Only because in one year she will be a Rawlins Middle School student and she will be accustomed to the larger classroom and all those kids.”
While it was convenient having the school in Sinclair, McCulloch said her daughter now just sees it as a trip into Rawlins.
“She still has her Sinclair friends, of course,” McCulloch said.” Now she has new friends as well and wants to hang out with them and that means we have to go to someone’s house in Rawlins; whereas before they were right there.”
Looking over all the changes, McCulloch said after six years at Sinclair, she has enjoyed the change of scenery.
“Had (Sinclair) not closed, I probably never would have been pushed to do something different.”