The first day of the Warren County School District 2009-2010 school year is in the books.
For the most part, according to Superintendent Dr. Robert Terrill, it went smoothly.
"Overall, principals expressed that the first day opening went rather smoothly," Terrill said. "Classroom walls and bulletin board were decorated, students were engaged, and teachers were well prepared."
Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry
Off to school
Jeff Nystrom holds the door of Russell Elementary School on Tuesday morning for his children, Grant and Delaney, and wife, Marcy.
One of the major concerns on the first day of any school year is transportation.
According to district Transportation Director Kimio Nelson, there were surprisingly few calls after the morning busing. He said more serious problems, if they arise, come in the afternoon.
However, according to Terrill's reports, the transportation issues for the day were minor and easily resolved.
The report from Youngsville Elementary Middle School (YEMS) shows a "few small issues (student related)" and the school is looking to fill a crossing guard position. At Allegheny Valley Elementary School, the report was "some slight transportation issues that were resolved." Other than those, only Warren County Career Center, with its more complicated transportation scheduling, reported anything. Principal Delores Berry said that "any transportation concerns are being resolved."
Terrill's reports did not include information for Sugar Grove Elementary School (SGES), Russell Elementary School, Warren Area High School (WAHS) or Beaty-Warren Middle School.
Another potential problem area on the reports was food service.
However, only YEMS reported anything other than "no concerns" and that was a "small glitch with staffing."
A few technology problems were identified, including the loss of distance learning signal during a Youngsville High School (YHS) AP European History class, and that "computer labs are not fully operable" at Sheffield Area Middle High School (SAMHS).
Officials at YHS are reporting a shortage of math books in five courses - from 30 books needed for applied algebra to two and a teacher's edition for applied algebra II.
Other than those mentioned above, there were only a few reports of any sort.
Warren Area Elementary Center Ruth Nelson reported that the "building looked great."
In the report from South Street Early Learning Center (SSELC), Principal Ann Buerkle said "kindergarten class sizes are at 20."
Some scheduling conflicts at SAMHS "will be resolved."
And, at YEMS there are "bees on the playground."
According to Terrill, teachers assisted principals in getting students to the proper classrooms and central office administrators began making rounds to the schools and observing teachers in action.
The preliminary first-day enrollment figures for the district show a loss of 146 from the first day of the 2008-2009 school year. District-wide enrollment Tuesday was 5,165, compared to 5,311 on Aug. 26, 2008. The enrollment on the last day of the last school year (June 5) was 5,187.
Sugar Grove Elementary School's enrollment was up by six students to 267, Beaty up eight to 579, and SSELC has exactly the same first day enrollment as last year - 277.
With those exceptions, every school has fewer students this year.
The schools with the biggest drops in enrollment were YEMS - down 50, from 650 to 600 - and WAHS - down 47 to a total of 839.