Students return to D38 classrooms for a year of ‘growth, connection and innovation’

Thousands of students returned to Lewis-Palmer School District 38’s eight campuses Tuesday with all students, including those in their very first day of kindergarten all the way through seniors in high school, ready to take on the 2022-2023 school year.

At D38’s five elementary schools, including Bear Creek, Lewis-Palmer, Prairie Winds, Palmer Lake and Ray E. Kilmer Elementary School, families gathered to share final hugs and well wishes before students followed their teachers into their classrooms for the day.

Peggy Griebenow, Palmer Lake Elementary School principal, said her staff has been preparing and are ready to welcome new students with open arms, as well as new programs.

“We’re here and we’re ready to go,” Griebenow said. “New things at Palmer Lake this year include putting our 6th-grade kids into leadership and service roles within our building. The hope is also to have them do service outside of our building. When you think about the Portrait of a D38 Graduate, it doesn’t start in secondary, it really starts in elementary school. Getting 12-year-olds ready to go into the secondary level by already putting them into service in the building in which they are enrolled. We are really excited about that.

At the secondary level at Lewis-Palmer Middle School, Lewis-Palmer High School and Palmer Ridge High School, principals greeted students with hugs, high-fives and energizing music to start the day.

Seann O’Connor, Lewis-Palmer Middle School principal, motivated his staff in the days leading up to the school year, imparting a message of hope on Tuesday.

“Today we build the foundation of our future work in the classroom upon the relationships we forge starting now. Today is our day,” he said.

In a message to families to start the school year, Superintendent KC Somers, Ed.D, said the 2022-2023 School Year represents a year of Growth, Connection and Innovation.”

“The beginning of a new school year often ushers in great hope, optimism and enthusiasm with innumerous opportunities,” Somers said. “It’s exciting to tap into this energy as we work to elevate every student, every day. The new year also provides a chance for us to reflect on our challenges and recommit to our pursuit of continuous improvement and excellence in everything we do.”

Somers promised families would see continued updates on the ongoing work to update Lewis-Palmer School District 38’s mission, vision and values in tandem with its strategic plan.

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