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Kids head back to school as weather cools

Giant "Welcome back to school" signs greeted returning Churchill Elementary School students Wednesday, providing the perfect photo opp for family members as they said goodbye to children and summer in the cooler weather.

Staff were ready and waiting inside and out, lined up along the hallways to greet students as they disembarked from buses rolling in on the building's west side, or piling out of cars or walking at the main entrance.

"We got the first crew in," said American Indian Ed teacher Phil Beadle, following the first wave of buses.

"Check, check," responded school social worker Don Gentellini. "I saw a lot of familiar faces."

Churchill Elementary School principal David Wangen was the third person hopping onto each bus as it arrived, explaining that kids could go inside and eat breakfast - breakfast and lunch are now free for all students thanks to new legislation - or play on the playground until the 8 a.m. bell rang.

There were a few tears, but even more high fives and hugs and kids returned to familiar hallways and new teachers.