Students of Castle Rock Middle School arrived ready for a new school year on Aug. 9. The first order of the day was gathering the nearly 880 enrolled seventh- and eighth-graders on a field next to …
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Students of Castle Rock Middle School arrived ready for a new school year on Aug. 9. The first order of the day was gathering the nearly 880 enrolled seventh- and eighth-graders on a field next to the middle school building for some schoolwide activities, said Principal Lee-Ann Hayen.
“It's so exciting,” she said as she ushered students to the field.
Her goal, she said, is to foster an environment where her students understand empathy, taking care of each other and taking care of themselves.
The school will also be implementing its first no-phone policy. Using a program called Yondr, students will be allowed to keep their phones with them but must “lock” them in pouches provided through the program during the school day.
Hayen said she hopes this eliminates distractions in the classroom.
Among the students gathering on the field was Thomas Burch, 12, who's entering the seventh grade. Burch moved with his family from Ohio in 2018 and was looking forward to meeting more kids in his community during school, he said.
And for other students, the first day was a chance to reconnect with friends they had not seen recently.
Samantha Dena and Olivia Duffy, both 13-year-old eighth graders, said seeing friends was the most exciting part of the new school year.
“I love the idea of a fresh start,” Hayen said, “and then just building culture and climate with our kids.”
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