October 25, 2007 in Voices

Teachers see double, again and again

By The Spokesman-Review
Jesse Tinsley photo

These are 14 of the 16 sets of twins enrolled in the Frederick Post Kindercenter in Post Falls. Out of 425 kindergartners, 32 were the result of multiple births.
(Full-size photo)

POST FALLS – Julie Billetz, principal of Post Fall’s centralized public kindergarten, said she knew there were lots of twins coming to school this fall. But she didn’t know exactly how many until her secretary totaled them up.

“We have 16 sets of twins. That’s a huge record. We do have all our kindergartners in one building, but this is crazy,” Billetz laughed.

Last week, she rounded up as many as she could for a photo session at school. The jumpy 5-year-olds paired up in sets and took their places on a brightly colored rug in a classroom brimming with colorful artwork, tiny tables and miniature chairs.

From the back of the room, parents coached their little ones to smile, sit still and behave.

Natalee and Dennis Williams watched as their girls Mazzy and Myah posed for pictures,

Natalee joked there was something “definitely in the water” that led to all these multiples.

Some parents have chosen to place their twins in the same classroom. Others separated them.

“In kindergarten, we let the parents decide,” Billetz said. “In kindergarten you pretty much have to individualize (lessons) for your little ones,” she said, so twins get plenty of personal attention whether they’re together or not.

“You take them from where they are to where they’re going,” she said of the curriculum.

And at this age, the children don’t realize that they’re a bit unusual.

“To us, it’s really special. But they’re not really old enough to realize they’re twins because they’ve always lived as twins,” Billetz said.

The photographer zipped off about 50 photos, increasing the odds that in at least one frame most of the kids would have their eyes open.

Billetz looked on in amazement. “They’re just darling,” she cooed.

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