USD 377 school leaders have determined after consultation with Board of Education members that no classes would be in session Thursday, Oct. 7, Superintendent Andrew Gaddis announced in a letter to patrons on Monday.
The decision was made to allow all students and staff the ability to attend the services and pay respect to family members due to the unexpected death of an Atchison County Community High School student.
District leaders provided counselors and social workers for any students and staff members who have felt the need, Gaddis wrote. Please encourage your students to reach out for the assistance they might need and to communicate their needs during this time of loss.
Sunday evening time was provided for students and staff to be together prior to their return to school. The time allowed for parents, students, and staff to be together to support one another during the difficult time after hearing the passing of a fellow student.
Colby Gregory Smith, 17, of Cummings, died Saturday, Oct. 2. Colby was a senior at ACCHS. Colby was involved in football and wrestling athletics. He became involved in the Effingham Wrestling Club when he was a very young child and was part of the Kansas National Wrestling Team, according to his obituary. When he was middle school-aged, Colby became known as the “Lunch Box Kid”. He also wrestled on several traveling teams, including the O-Team.
Visitation with family commenced at noon and a celebration of Colby’s life followed at 2 p.m. Thursday at ACCHS, 908 Tiger Road located in Effingham. Interment followed in Spring Hill Cemetery.
Colby’s parents, Greg and Stacy Smith, and siblings, Austin and Lauren Smith survive him, according to his obituary posted online at arensbergpruett.com.
“Our district was provided overwhelming support from area schools and agencies in assisting our students and staff with counselors and social workers,” Gaddis said. “We have and will continue to support our students through the grieving process and provide them with the support they need.”
Memorials contributions in Colby’s name will be put forth toward the construction of the new gymnasium and may be left in the care of the Arensberg-Pruett Funeral Home, 208 North Fifth Street, Atchison, KS 66002.