Bells ring in new school year

Published 10:22 pm Monday, August 10, 2009

When the opening day of a school year is being reviewed, even the great philosophers would say “All’s well that begins well.”

And, by all accounts, all’s well in all schools in Pike County.

Monday was the first day of the 2009-2010 school year for both the Troy City and Pike County school systems. Pike Liberal Arts School opened on Friday, Aug. 7.

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Linda Felton-Smith, superintendent of Troy City Schools, said the first day of the new school year was filled with the excitement and enthusiasm of both students and teachers.

“Our kindergarten students were eager to get to their classrooms and spend time with their teachers,” Felton-Smith said. “Overall, the students were working their way into the routine of the school year and reconnecting with friends from last year.

“The students were primarily sharing their summer activities and working on developing relationships with their teachers.”

With the first day of school coming in the waning days of summer, Felton-Smith said reactions from both students and teachers were mixed.

“Some said that they were ready to come back to school,” she said. “Others said the summer was too short. But, in order for us to have the breaks we need and then get out before Memorial Day, we have to start in early August to get in the 180 instructional days that are required.”

Enrollment for the Troy City schools is holding steady and, if the 42 students who were absent on the first day of school are in attendance this week, Felton-Smith said enrollment will be right in line with enrollment from last year at 2,232 students.

“We had a good first day of school and we want all of our students to be excited about the learning opportunities this school year offers,” Felton-Smith said.

Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of Pike County schools, said the first day of school was a quiet one, and everyone got to school safely and with no problems.

“Our students are off to a good start, and we had a good week of training for our teachers last week,” he said. “Students and teachers all seem excited about the school year and are looking forward to it.”

Enrollment for the Pike County Schools on Monday was 2,272, which was up 17 from the last day of school in 2008-2009.

“Based on conversations about staffing with principals, I would think that some of that increase would be at Goshen Elementary School but how much I don’t know just yet,” Bazzell said.

Pike County has 31 new teachers, which is about average for a new year. And the new faculty members are at various schools in the county.

“We have some new faces among our students and our faculty and we welcome them,” Bazzell said. “Everyone is enthusiastic about the 2009-2010 school year and we anticipate a good year in the Pike County School System.”

At Pike Liberal Arts School everything is off to a great start with new faces, new families and a couple of new faculty members.

Ceil Sikes, PLAS headmaster, said the opening of the 20090-10 school year has run very smoothly.

“Even the kids have commented on the smooth start to the school year,” she said. “Everything is going really well. Our enrollment is up from last year and we anticipate keeping it at a steady pace. We expect to have another great school year.”

Sikes said there will be a Back-to-School Bash for the adults on Saturday night but the really big event will be next Thursday’s Back-to-School Rally at the football stadium.