Westminster School District digs up time capsules from students’ past

DeMille Elementary School students and staff hold up items from the 2003 time capsule event.
DeMille Elementary School students and staff discovered items left in a 2003 time capsule. (Courtesy of the Westminster School District)

Prized possessions from decades past were rediscovered this year by students in the Westminster School District, where a pair of elementary schools dug up time capsules just before the start of summer.

In May and June, classes from DeMille and Willmore elementary schools also had the opportunity to create their own time capsules as they reflected on the relics they found dating back almost 20 years. The event placed a spotlight on the history of the district, which will soon celebrate 150 years since first opening its classroom doors.

A student from DeMille Elementary School uses a shovel to bury their time capsule in the ground.
(Courtesy of DeMille Elementary School)

“This is quite a unique time in the history of our school, our district, our world,” DeMille Elementary School Principal Shannon Villanueva said. “It was kind of thought-provoking and fun to identify artifacts to include in the DeMille time capsules that represent what is happening in our current reality.” 

To kick off the time capsule event, students from each school shoveled through small patches of dirt with the help of teachers and staff to unearth items buried back in 2003. Classmates at DeMille were surprised to find small toys, a copy of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” a standardized testing booklet, photos of past homeroom classes and even an “Arthur” cartoon figurine. 

DeMille Elementary time capsule
(Courtesy of DeMille Elementary School)

While collecting materials for their new capsules, groups of students chose to include items like cards, yearbooks, notebooks and pictures. Between May 23 and June 17, each of the campuses buried their time capsules beneath the soil outside their classrooms — to be rediscovered by future WSD students in 2032.

“It will be interesting to see how much has changed when these time capsules are dug up in 10 years,” Villanueva said.