School kicks off year with strong start

Published 8:13 pm Friday, August 7, 2009

Some local schools have already opened their doors to students, and others will begin class Monday.

But whether local children hit the books Friday or plan to next week, preparation is key to a successful school start.

Pike Liberal Arts School, which started class Friday, had a great beginning, said Headmaster Ceil Sikes.

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And pleasantly, the private school also grew in numbers.

“(Enrollment) is up,” Sikes said. “We’re very excited.”

Sikes said she doesn’t have exact numbers, but she is proud the school can continue to grow considering economic times.

“I don’t think that it’s a big surprise, but with the way everything is with the economy throughout the country it is good,” Sikes said.

In addition, PLAS had to add two teachers to accommodate the student load.

Troy City Schools and Pike County Schools will begin classes Monday, and while there’s no way to know exact enrollment until then, both systems look to stay close to last years’ figures.

“As of right now, our enrollment numbers look very close to how we ended the school year,” said Troy City Schools Superintedent Linda Felton-Smith.

“Even though we’ve had a few students withdraw, we had some students enter.”

Pike County Schools Superintendent Mark Bazzell said typically Goshen Elementary School grows every year, and he feels that number will likely grow again.

“We continue to grow in enrollment at Goshen Elementary, and right now I haven’t seen exact numbers but based on calls we’ve received, we’re not going to decline in numbers,” Bazzell said.

Both Bazzell and Felton-Smith said the school systems are prepared and ready for the first day of classes.

“We’re very excited about the first day of school on Monday,” Felton-Smith said.

“We’re looking forward to our students returning dressed in our school colors. We have worked very hard this summer preparing for our first day.”

Bazzell said teachers in Pike County Schools have spent the past week preparing for students’ returns.

“We’ve had a very good week of preparation,” Bazzell said.

“We’re ready to go.”

And with students returning to the classroom, health concerns are a key issue in preparation.

Felton-Smith and Bazzell said students should use good hygiene practices on campus.

Things like washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when with fever are some of the safety practices students and teachers can practice as flu season approaches and swine flu continues to spread.

New Life Christian Academy and Covenant Christian School will also begin classes Monday.