School starts for Troutville Elementary School students

Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 5:33 PM EDT
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BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Many students across our hometowns stepped back to the classroom Wednesday.

“It’s just a fresh beginning for everyone and the building has such an energy when the kids come back that just really gets everyone energized for the year,” said Audrey Osborne, a fifth grade teacher at Troutville Elementary School.

At Troutville Elementary School the nerves and excitement could be felt from students, teachers and staff. Students like Caroline Powell are ready to learn new things.

“A lot of Virginia studies, reading, and mostly get better at division,” said Powell.

“Fifth grade is a big grade, so there’s all sorts of things that happen this year. Lots of reading, writing, math, science is a really big year in fifth grade,” said Osborne.

The Superintendent of Botetourt County Public Schools, Jonathan Russ, said safety is always top of mind.

“A lot of work this summer on our crisis plan and safety plan. We have some construction work getting ready to start at a few of our buildings that we’re working on the foyers and the entrance, but we’re always looking at ways to improve safety for our students and our faculty,” said Russ.

Russ said the district is fully staffed when it comes to teachers.

“We’re actually starting this school year with zero teacher vacancies, which is unheard of in the state,” said Russ.

He had a message for parents on the first day.

“We have great parents here in Botetourt County... Please be patient, especially drop-off and pickup, bus routes. There’s always going to be glitches in bus routes this early on,” said Russ.

Powell is looking to improve her school.

“I really want to create a buddy system where everyone feels welcomed and loved and I really just want to meet a lot of new friends,” said Powell.