Longfellow students return for new year in new building

Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 4:03 AM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Longfellow Elementary students in Rochester returned for a new year of learning Wednesday.

They will kick off the 2022-2023 year in a brand new and larger school building. It was built just a short distance from the former school.

In early June, students said goodbye to that building at a special Break the Bricks event.

According to Longfellow principal Amy Adams, the school has increased enrollment from 300 students to 370. She said the new building has the capacity for 720 students.

It has more green space, more natural light and new learning pods where children can collaborate with their peers and teachers.

The building also has solar panels which are integrated into the curriculum.

“We do have solar panels here at Longfellow,” Adams said. “Our fourth graders will be involved in science curriculum where they will be tracking the data with the solar panels and sharing that with the state of Minnesota.”

Longfellow Elementary follows a 45/15 calendar. This means students go to school for 45 days and then get a three week break. Students also get at least six weeks off during the summer months.

“We are so excited for the new school and to see all the students’ faces,” Adams said. “We are hoping for a great year.”

Dr. Priyank Shah and his wife Dr. Eleshia Morrison-Shah’s daughter Sanjana is starting kindergarten.

“We’re excited,” Dr. Shah said. “She just turned fives yesterday. She’s starting her first day of kindergarten. We are excited and a little nervous. Big changes, big back pack.”

Sanjana said she’s excited to bring her own lunch to school.

Both parents said they feel year-round school is very beneficial to a child’s learning and development.

“We know that the year-round program is good for the kids’ cognitive development,” Dr. Shah said. “The school offers a lot of diversity, and that’s important to us. The teachers here are very intentional because they choose to be at a school that’s year-round.”

KTTC staff hope that all Longfellow Leopards have a great first day!

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