LEROY — Local residents filled Pine River High School, middle school and Pine River Area Elementary during a district-wide open house on Aug. 27, with students and parents alike adjusting to their new surroundings.

The event allows families to learn the layout of the school building, meet their teachers, receive class schedules and find their lockers. It also provided an opportunity for classmates to reunite. Staff and student volunteers were available to help things run as smooth as possible.

“It’s exciting, because students are anxious to come back to school,” Ganger said. “The open house gives everyone a chance to get settled.”

Many parents were all smiles as they escorted their children down school hallways.

Shilo Kanouse and her son, Ayden, 11, flipped through his sixth grade schedule with excitement.

“It’s middle school, he’s all grown up,” said Kanouse, a Luther resident. “It’s just another stepping stone in his journey.”

Besides learning the classes they will have in the upcoming school year, the open houses also prepared many children for the biggest change of all — a new building.

This spring, the PRAS Board of Education approved closing Tustin and Luther elementary buildings and making LeRoy Elementary School a consolidated school, which is now Pine River Area Elementary School. The elementary building will be for kindergarten through third grade students and middle school will house fourth through seventh grade students in separate wings. Parent’s opinions on the changes seemed split, and some were still nervous about the transition at the open house.

Andrea Deluge, of LeRoy, was one of those parents. Her daughter, Malana Oches, 9, is a fourth grade student this year and will be located at the middle school.

“I like the teachers, but I don’t like the thought of (Malana) being exposed to the influences of older children,” Deluge said, noting that having separate wings does not calm her fears.

However, other parents were taking the changes in stride.

“I think at first it was a shock, but I think the school will do what’s best for our children,” said LeRoy resident Katie Draper.

Draper’s daughter, Layla, 6, will be a first grade student at Pine River Area Elementary School. She said she likes play time and is excited to begin school. Draper said she shares in the excitement, but is also holding back.

“It’s hard to let your kids go,” she said. “She’s ready, but I’m not.”