One school day down, 179 more to go.
Summer is officially over for Warren County School District students as they returned to classrooms on the first official day of school on Tuesday.
Parents and students at Russell Elementary School encountered a detour to the school as a result of road work on Route 62 and had to enter and exit from Woodland Drive.
Times Observer photo by Ben Klein
Back to school
Students at Warren Area Elementary Center board buses after the first day of school on Tuesday.
A concrete barrier separates construction on a left-turn lane for southbound traffic from north of the school entrance to Woodland Drive.
Russell Elementary Principal Patricia Horner said there were "no issues, everything went absolutely smooth" Tuesday morning with the traffic from the construction.
Horner said Warren-based state police, PennDOT workers and extra district staff were at the school Tuesday morning and helped with the traffic flow on the first day back since there is no bus exit until construction is complete.
"Parents who need to drop off and pick up their children from school should pay careful attention to the appropriate signage and traffic pattern in the parking lot," Amy Stewart, Warren County School District director of administrative support services, said. "No parking zones are marked and need to be clear in order to allow for efficient traffic flow of both cars and buses."
Drivers are asked not to pull up in front of the school to wait for their children. "Parents waiting to pick up students should park in the lined parking spaces," Stewart said. "The oval car driveway is designed to be utilized as a single car entry-exit. Cars should not park in this area or pass other cars as this creates a dangerous situation for the students."
Parents should walk to the front of the school to pick up and drop off their children, then return to their vehicles to enter traffic.
"We had a excellent start, everything went very very smoothly," Youngsville High School Principal Dr. Darrell Jaskolka said.
Jaskolka said the school staff prepared the students for the school year by reviewing the homeroom policy and rules and regulations.
"I compliment the staff," he said. "I think it was a very good start."
Warren Area Elementary Center Assistant Principal Ann Ryan said they "had a full day" with 850 students at the school. For the 2012-2013 school year, WAEC has added sixth grade because of construction at Beaty-Warren Middle School that has shut down almost half of that building.
"That went well, we are always concerned with lunches and so are the kids," she said. "Lunch went perfectly."
Ryan said she visited each table during lunch to talk to the students and said "they all seem to like their teachers and are excited to be here."
First days always have kinks to iron out, but on Tuesday two events left some phones shut down and buses running late. A recent thunderstorm knocked out all but one of Russell Elementary School's phones. Horner said until the phone system is fixed, parents can also reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dismissals at South Street Early Learning Center, Beaty and WAEC were delayed to due a manhunt by local law enforcement for a suspect wanted in connection with a stolen vehicle.
Instead of being dismissed all at once, students were loaded one bus at a time, which meant some buses were running late.
"It did disrupt our dismissal. We had some buses that have been quite late," Ryan said. "Everybody got where they need to be eventually."