Pike County schools open

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 16, 2000

to students in three weeks


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July 15, 2000 11 PM

Bells will be ringing signaling the start of classes in the Pike County Schools System in less than three weeks, bringing the end to a fun-filled, but hot summer for students, teachers, administrators and parents.

School kicks off for teachers on Tuesday, Aug. 1 with a Teacher Institute, and a Teacher Inservice follows on Aug. 2. Students begin filling the halls and classes on Aug. 3 which marks the first day of classes.

Superintendent Dr. John Key said they are expecting "another good school year, as always," but he said there will be a few changes this year. One that affests the students is a decision by the Pike County Board of Education pertaining to the type of book bags the students are required to use.

For the last two year students in the Pike County School System have been required to carry mesh or clear book bags, but this year the board voted to rescind the earlier decision, allowing students their choice of book bags.

"The statistics in research proved that clear or mesh books bags do not act as a deterrent for students bringing weapons to school," Key said. "It’s probably the same with or without clear book bags. If they want to bring weapons they can put it in between a book and tape up the book or put it in a sock.

"The clear or mesh book bags might act as a deterrent to some students that wouldn’t carry a gun anyway."

Although the mesh or clear book bags were initially used as a deterrent against weapons, Key said they never had any problems.

"If people wanted to bring them to school they would bring them in their coat pockets or drop them off beforehand."

Key said there were other problems with mesh and clear book bags that ended up being costly to students and parents. He said when students who carried mesh bags left their books outside while waiting for school to start of to be picked up from school often ended up with soggy books after a rain shower.

"When the books were turned back in we had to charge for damage to the books," he said. "We ended up with a few upset parents."

Clear book bags also caused problems because they were not sturdy enough to carry the books for the students.

"The clear bags would tear up easily and it was hard to find replacements once school got started," Key said. "A lot of times stores wouldn’t order enough or would reorder and it would cause problems. There were heavier models but they cost more."

While students and parents are getting ready for the return to school Key said it is important for students who were not registered at a Pike County School last year to go ahead and register now.

"It is important for new students to register right now, to save us from any surprises on the first day of school," he said. "Students or parents need to contact the principal at the school they are going to attend now."

When preparing to register Key said students need to provide the following items:

· Birth certificate

· Copy of last year’s report card

· Withdrawal slip

· Current immunization record (Blue Form)

· Social Security card

He said with any of these items missing, students will not be able to register.