Students across Columbia County head back to class this week for the 2017-18 school year

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Columbia City Elementary School students are welcomed by staff as they get off the bus Tuesday morning, Sept. 5. Elementary school students in the St. Helens School District went back to school Tuesday, and, for the first time since 2012, Columbia City Elementary School opened its door to students. Students in the Scappoose and St. Helens school districts were back in class this week as the 2017-18 school year kicked off.

In both school districts, only a portion of students returned Tuesday, Sept. 5, with most buildings hosting grades one through six, seventh-grade and high school freshmen as a way to give new students space to familiarize themselves with their respective school buildings.

In St. Helens, high school football players greeted students on the first day back with high fives and well wishes. In Scappoose, many students were welcomed back by staff, and students at Otto Petersen Elementary School were greeted by their new, costumed campus mascot, the gray wolf.

By Wednesday, most students were back in their classrooms, already digging into the new school year. Kindergarten students in Scappoose start Monday, Sept. 11.

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