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Inspiration View Opens Doors for Academic Excellence in D49

Callan Willis, third-grader, first student through the doors first day of school Before the first wave of students and families arrived, the front door of Inspiration View Elementary School swung wide, and a third-grader crossed the threshold. Callan Willis officially became the first student to start a school day at IVES, August 2. 


Callan shook off a few jitters as he looked around the gallery of the new school. “It’s your first day of school, and you don’t know everyone,” he remarked.


At first bell, traditional first-day activities started at the new school. Teachers explained expectations and took their classes on tours of the building. 


“We have students and families here and it’s so exciting to see all of the energy and excitement with the kids and the staff,” said Principal Kristy Rigdon. 


Students learned how to use the Actor’s Toolbox to begin their journey within the arts-integrated focus of the new school. They practiced an exercise that reminds them actors use their bodies, voices and imaginations along with concentration and cooperation as tools to be successful. 


With fingers pressed to their foreheads at one point during the exercise, IVES students imagined themselves working through a given scenario. Teachers anticipate the method will help students stay calm and focused actors in the learning process, and commit to using the steps to be cooperative in the classroom.    


“The nice thing about opening a school is that people are choosing to be here and with our unique arts integration approach,” noted Rigdon. “It’s a deliberate choice to be a teacher in this building.”


D49 School Board Secretary Dave Cruson also toured IVES on the first day of class to see the vision of a new school taking shape made possible with overwhelming support of 2016’s 3B MLO.


“The community is saying ‘We are trusting you to build this. We are trusting you to take our school district to new heights,” Cruson said. “We are saying thank you for the opportunity to serve you in this way.”  


In the meantime, Callan Willis’ nerves faded quickly as he took in the bursts of color incorporated into the school’s design. 


“It makes it bright and happy,” he explained. “It gets students happy, and they want to work.” 

Third-graders at IVES participate in group activity on the first day of school, August 2  Third-grade student Johnathan Romero practices the Actor's Toolbox method of imagination, August 2  Students tour IVES on first day of school, August 2

David Nancarrow