There is another drastic fact that goes along with this. When I look at the current population of our school, it's a little surprising. When the dust settles - when we know who has moved away over the summer and who has opted to go virtual for the first semester - I can make the following notation:
- Kindergarten 61 students
- 1st grade 75 students
- 2nd grade 76 students
- 3rd grade 75 students
- 4th grade 58 students
- 5th grade 78 students
Do you notice what I notice? Some might have thought the storm would result in a higher population, but for some reason there were less children born in the months following the destruction. This observation, of course, does not reflect a deep scientific study that I've conducted, but it does seem like the two might be related.
This year's class also has a reputation for being a supremely nice group of young people. If the population is a result of the storm, perhaps (generally speaking) there was something in the water following the tornado that resulted in calmer, gentler babies. But I digress.
This means that we are planning to have three classes of fourth graders, this year, rather than the standard four that we usually maintain. Even then, our classes are smaller than usual (currently sitting between shy of 20 in each room. With Mr. Culbertson recently retired, that leaves us with three teachers anyway, but now Mrs. Mouton has decided to help with the virtual end of things, so the new teacher, Mrs. Graham, hired as an extra third grade teacher for 2020/1, will easily slip in as our third teacher in the fourth grade. Mrs. Stagner and I complete the staff roster for our grade level with the hopes that Mrs. Mouton will be able to return as our fourth for next year.
I like to think on the brighter side of things, and I believe this year promises to be an extraordinary adventure for all of us.