First day of school at Freedom Elementary - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

First day of school at Freedom Elementary

FORT SILL, Okla._After years of planning, building and preparing, class was finally in session for the first time at Freedom Elementary.

Nearly 1,100 students and 160 staff took to the hallways, merging two schools on Fort Sill and entering a brand new era for Lawton Public Schools.

The sounds of construction still linger at Freedom Elementary as small touches are finished, but it's the sound of students and teachers that are the new permanent fixture for the new hallways.

"It's like we've been here all year long."

It's been a busy day one for Freedom Elementary principal Mikel Shanklin, who's made sure the transition for two student bodies from two separate schools was as seamless as possible.

"We only have three weeks of school left and to change all the paperwork and all, for example the lunch accounts into one, it's easier to keep it separated into the two separate schools," said Shanklin.

As construction has become a running theme for several students who attend, teachers have teaching them flexibility. The first day may have come at the end of the school year, but Shanklin says for many, it turned out to be perfect timing.

"It was very important for the Sheridan Road students, but especially the Geronimo Road students who have, from the first shovel of dirt, watched this building go up right in our backyard. We've not had a playground all year, they've made sacrifices. A lot of them are leaving. Now they have the opportunity to say I've to gone to Freedom," said Shanklin.

Students aren't just eager to be in a new school, they're excited to see what the state-of-the-art could mean for their futures.

"It's May 1, school's almost out, you should be excited for summer, and they're excited to be here," said Michelle Harrison, 4th-grade teacher.

"One of the kids said, ‘I think this is going to prepare me for high school.' And I think they're right. I think we're going to have their computer skills where they need to be for middle school and high school and get them ready for their careers because they're career-bound citizens," said Angie Wilmoth, computers teacher.

Superintendent Tom Deighan says they will use the last two weeks of the school year to iron out all of the difficulties so come August, Freedom Elementary families and teachers can start out on the right foot.

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