GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Second graders at Fort Howard Elementary took time Friday morning to write letters to their peers at Jefferson Elementary.
In October, the Green Bay School Board voted to close Jefferson Elementary and send those students to Fort Howard next school year.
“We’re hoping to build relationships right now,” DeAnn Lehman, Principal of Fort Howard Elementary said, “so when they meet, it’s not a panic of ‘here are these strangers.'”
This is the first that the school’s second graders have communicated with the Jefferson students, but other grades have already established lines of communication.
The students are expected to talk online and possibly over video before meeting in person in 2020.
Geographically, not much separates the schools.
“We’re eight blocks away from each other,” Lehman said, “but they [the students] are still like, ‘they might look really different than us.'”
To dispell those beliefs, Fort Howard students drew pictures of themselves to include in their letters, along with listing their favorite things and asking Jefferson students what their favorites are.
About 90 students and seven teachers from Jefferson Elementary are expected to make the move to Fort Howard next school year, enough kids to add an extra classroom to each grade level.
“We’ve really talked to them that they now need to be the leader, and kind of talk about what Fort Howard’s about,” Lehman said. “They’ll need to be role models for them.”