by Lisa Tome
Joe and Chris Altmann had a busy Thursday at Conowingo Elementary School.
The couple, who live in Bel Air, worked to make time to visit the classrooms of three of their grandchildren. In honor of American Education Week, area schools opened their doors to visitors
The Altmanns were impressed.
"We just love this school," said Joe Altmann. We've seen a lot of good interaction. They have good teachers here. It's impressive."
Joe Altmann said that school has changed significantly since his days as a student. "It amazes me. In kindergarten, kids can read. They are so far advanced. It's truly incredible how much they know," he said.
"Schools have changed tremendously. Kids have a lot more independence and a lot more freedom of movement...And the curriculum has changed so much," said Chris Altmann. "The vocabulary has expanded so much. I think it's wonderful."
Annette Frisby was visiting her son, Trey, in kindergarten. "I love this school. The staff is amazing," said Frisby.
"I just want to see the interaction and see what his class is like."
Frisby also attended Cecil County Public Schools. She said things have changed.
"The curriculum has totally changed. The kids are smarter. My memory of kindergarten is playing. I have no memory of learning in kindergarten and they are reading and writing. I am pretty sure I was learning though," said Frisby.
Grandmother Mary Ann Lynch was visiting a first grade classroom. "I wanted to see how my (granddaughter) is doing. I worked at a school," said Lynch.
She also said her granddaughter requested that she visit. "I want to see how she interacts with the class and the teacher. I was so impressed last year. I want her to know how much I care," said Lynch.
Christa Staples was watching her daughter Jewell's first grade class. "I wanted to see how she's doing and how the day progresses," said Staples. "I'm seeing a lot of collaborative efforts between the kids and the adults."
Cindy Carr surprised her first grade granddaughter, Cheyenne Bailey.
"She is precious to me and I wanted to surprise her," said Carr. "I had four kids go through Harford County schools and I want to keep an eye on this."
Carr also said that the learning tool the Smart Board, was amazing.