IN SESSION: Troy City Schools, private schools begin new year

Published 4:00 am Thursday, August 10, 2017

All local schools are back in session with Troy City Schools (TCS) and local private schools opening their doors for the first day Wednesday.

Dr. lee Hicks, TCS superintendent, said all campuses appeared to be running smoothly during his visits.

“Visiting the campuses today and talking to the administrators, I think everything has gone very well,” Hicks said. “The parents were excited dropping their kids off this morning.”

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Some parents dropped their students off for the very first time at Troy Elementary School Wednesday morning, but principal Teresa Sims said it was a smooth and fun experience for the kids.

“We had our ”meet the teacher day” yesterday, so all they have to do the first day is go right into the classroom,” Sims said. “That makes a big difference. What made it extra special today was having the Troy University cheerleaders and Charles Henderson High (CHHS) football players and cheerleaders stationed at the different drop-off areas. They all loved that. We’re so thankful to the university and high school athletes for doing that.”

The elementary school kids were also learning some of the rules of the classroom.

“What would be a bad thing to do when you come into my classroom?” Grace Everage asked her first grade class.”

“Stomp and growl,” One student said.

“Roll your eyes,” said another.

Both things students shouldn’t do, to be sure, Everage said. She then explained to the students about what they shouldn’t be doing with their backpacks and school supplies when  coming into class.

Meanwhile, last year’s sixth graders were forging new ground at Charles Henderson Middle School (CHMS).

CHMS principal Aaron Brown said the teachers were well-prepared to usher in the new students and welcome back the ones returning to the school.

“We had a lot of excited sixth-graders transitioning to seventh grade and students that were here last year excited to be back,” Brown said. “They had a great lunch today in a brand new decorated lunchroom and got to meet their teachers and get instruction for the coming year.”

The students were also adjusting to a new schedule with eight periods instead of seven, a change made so the school could provide an extra period for a program called “Charge,” a one-on-one mentorship program.

CHHS students continued to stick to the block schedule that was implemented last year, but principal Brock Kelley said there were some new options available to students when they came back for the new school year.

“We’ve added a couple new classes such as turf maintenance, a technology class, a programming class and show choir,” Kelley said. “We also added an accounting academy through Enterprise State.”

Kelley said they had been sending students to Pike County to take part in the business and finance academy, but decided to try to bring the program to CHHS so the students didn’t have to travel.

Traffic was the only thing moving at a slow pace at Pike Liberal Arts School Wednesday. The 2017-2018 school year got off to a great start and all grade levels are in the starting blocks for a fast start to a new school year.

Headmaster Becky Baggett said opening day went as planned. The students were excited to be back in school and their parents were there in support of their children and Pike Liberal Arts School.

“Opening day was a smooth start to what we know will be a great year,” Baggett said. “We had orientation for K4 and K5 earlier in the week and that worked really well. We have three first grades this year because we had a large group of kindergarten students coming up. We also have 35 seniors and large classes in between.”

Baggett said PLAS has welcomed new coaches to the staff and is looking forward to a successful year in the sports arena.

“We are coming right out of the blocks,” Baggett said. “We have a volleyball game the first full day back at school and, of course, football practice has started. We kick off football season at home against Kingwood on Friday, August 18 and everyone is looking forward to that. Our varsity cheerleaders are state champs again this year. Football season is an exciting time for the PLAS family.”

Baggett said the PLAS faculty for the 2017-2018 school year is intact. However, some of the teachers have been given different assignments making the best use of their strengths to the benefit of the students.

“Our Anna May is the Distinguished Young Woman of Pike County and we are excited about,” she said. “Robotics and forensics continue to be of great interest to our students. We have a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to this year. We are ready to go.”

Pastor Michael Allsup of First Presbyterian Church said Covenant Christian School had a surprisingly smooth day for the first day back.

“Normally the first day has hiccups, but today didn’t have any problems,” Allsup said. “It was really encouraging. We had a lot of new families. Everything went well and the children seemed to be happy to be back.”

New Life Christian Academy principal Annie Blackmon summed up the first day of school in one word. “Busy,” she said, laughing. “But everything went fine. The children were excited to be back, especially in the pre-K program.”

Blackmon said the faculty and staff was glad to get back to work.