EDMOND — A crowd of 5-year-olds filled the halls of the new Frontier Elementary School on Tuesday morning.
For many, it was their first time not only in the school, which is still partially under construction, but their first time in any school at all.
Emotions ran high for parents and students.
“I'm nervous and excited for her,” Margaret Algarin, mother of kindergartner Marissa, said as the girl clung to her mother's hand. “She's just nervous.”
Algarin said she and her husband moved from Arkansas recently for work and chose to enroll their daughter at Frontier, 4901 Explorer Drive, after searching for a school they believed would offer their daughter an exceptional education and safe environment.
“Everyone's been so friendly. The teachers make you feel welcomed and special,” she said.
Marissa and her parents picked out her first-day-of-school outfit the night before and enjoyed a special breakfast of waffles and bacon before school.
Across the hall, Kenetha Jakubiaka's son, Kadyn, 6, enjoyed apple juice and cereal. “I'm excited to learn,” he said between spoonfuls.
Jakubiaka said she loved the look of the new school but was concerned about its development.
“I love the school. I'm just worried that it's not finished. I don't know where they'll play with no gym or playground,” Jakubiaka said.
A school district spokeswoman said an area has been blocked off to allow the children to have outdoor recess.
Principal Cara Jernigan said she expects construction at the school, which is near Pennsylvania Avenue and Covell Road, to be complete this fall.
For now, she said, the classrooms on the school's west side are housing all students.
“Our classrooms are full right now, but they're holding everyone that needs to be here,” Jernigan said. “Everyone has such a positive attitude about it. We've had an outpouring of support not only from the teachers and students, but from the community as a whole.”
Acts II Church hosted an information day for the school last week and provided lunch for those who attended.
“I have been waiting for this day for a long time,” Jernigan said.
She said her excitement led her to skip a sit-down breakfast Tuesday and opt for a granola bar as she headed out the door.
“I was so excited to meet everyone. In a way I guess I felt just like them,” she said of her students. “So far, we've been off to the best start.”