Kalispell Schools Grow With Growing Student Body - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Kalispell Schools Grow With Growing Student Body

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KALISPELL -

Two elementary schools in Kalispell have opened several new classrooms just in time for the first school bell today, and some people say they think the expansion will not end there.

Not every classroom in Montana hosted students today. Kindergarten at Edgerton Elementary school in Kalispell does not start until this Tuesday, but Allison Hawes, a new teacher who student taught at Edgerton, has plenty to keep her busy since she will be teaching in one of four new classrooms opened just weeks ago.

"I think it's a double treat to be honest with you because I can make it my own," said Hawes.

A clean slate can be exciting, but also stressful. Hawes even has her husband helping her hang posters in his free time. All of this so she can be ready for her class of twenty.

"There's so many things to remember and so many things going through my head right now that I'm trying to get them all in order, but I think I'm more excited than I am nervous," said Hawes.

In fact, that number--twenty--is the reason construction began at Edgerton in the first place. More classrooms were built to keep the class size down to meet accreditation standards. This might not be enough though, since three kindergarten teachers already have twenty-one students enrolled, with the potential for more on the way.

"I think in the future we're probably going to have to build another elementary school," predicted Merisa Murray, the principal of Edgerton Elementary School, "because there's still kids enrolling in school and coming and at this point Edgerton is just about full as far as meeting accreditation standards."

Edgerton Elementary is not the only public school expanding in Kalispell. Lilian Peterson Elementary just added four new classrooms as well as a multipurpose room.

As of August 28, Edgerton Elementary has almost six-hundred students enrolled in pre-kindergarten up through fifth grade.

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