Early Learning Center traffic runs smoothly

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 6, 2000

Managing Editor

Despite re-routing traffic for picking up and dropping off students at Troy Elementary School, Principal Geoffrey Spann said the first day of school was "as smooth as could be expected."

With the opening of the new Early Learning Center, a building addition to the TES campus that houses Kindergarten classes and parking and traffic flow changes that accompanied it, Spann said the new year started "pretty seamlessly."

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"There were a few minor traffic flow problems related to people not being in the routine of timing the best time to drop off and pick up students," Spann said. "Other than that, there were no problems."

Pickup of children at the front entrance of the school has been eliminated. Cars are routed to other locations to pick up children based on the grade of the child in question. Though there was a little confusion over pick-up points, Spann said there were few problems at all.

"I can’t imagine things could have been any smoother based on the changes that we have experienced," he said. "Really, we didn’t see any problems that we did not anticipate. I can honestly say that this was the easiest day I have had this week."

Spann reported that early estimates show a rise in enrollment this year at TES of about 125 students, with increases being noticed in every grade.

"It has been well-distributed throughout the grades," Spann said. "We have seen increases in every grade."

Despite the heightened numbers, there was little problem with registration today.

"We only registered one student today," he said. "That’s a first. Usually there are several every year."

Spann believes there are several reasons for the fortunate shortage of problems.

Having two days of in-service for teachers, allowing them adequate time to prepare for the new year, is one of those things. Other factors include a shorter vacation period due to the move to year-round schooling which prevents people from "getting out of their routine for an extended period of time," Spann said. Another contributor, Spann believes, are summer programs at TES, such as the Alabama Reading Initiative which brought in teachers from throughout the state and kept school on the minds of local teachers and administrators.

"All of these things served to help make the year begin on a positive note," Spann said. "We also had teacher skits and did other fun activities to make the first day enjoyable for the students."

Spann also praised teachers, students and the parents for making the day a good one.

"We have a terrific group of kids here, and our teachers came in prepared and knew what they had to do," he said. "Parents were also understanding and made good efforts to get their kids here on time and make sure their children were prepared. We appreciate all of the effort that went into making it a successful first day."