Washington Blue Lions geared up and attended their first day of school for the 2019-2020 school year on Wednesday morning.
First to arrive in the Washington Court House City School District were the Washington High School (WHS) and Washington Middle School (WMS) students as both of their start times for this school year is 7:20 a.m.
WHS principal Tracy Rose said, “They all came bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as well as they could for the first day of being off their summer schedule. I think they did a fantastic job. Our attendance was wonderful.”
Something new this year is the high school students will be released from their last class at 2:05 p.m. while middle school students will be released at 2:35 p.m. This will allow the majority of high school students to ride buses separate from the middle school students.
According to Rose, the approximate number of high school students busing to and from school right now is 120. There are currently two buses transporting those students after school lets out at 2:05. The buses have “neighborhood drop-offs,” explained Rose.
High school students who stay over for office hours can get a bus pass from the teacher they are meeting with to ride a bus home with the middle school students. This will allow those students to receive academic help after school but still have a way to get home.
“This is going to be a work in progress,” Rose said.
Rose expressed a “thank you” to teaching staff, support staff, cafeteria staff and the transportation department for helping the students to become acclimated to their new schedules.
Both Rose and WMS principal Eric Wayne explained there was a conflict with transportation and traffic flow at the schools. A meeting was already held with the transportation department at the central office, and some changes they believe will be effective will immediately be taking place.
Wayne said, “From the time the students walked through the doors the relationships with our kids, our teachers and our staff were being established. We are so excited—it was a special day for everyone.”
The next group to arrive to school was the Belle Aire Intermediate fourth and fifth graders. School for them begins at 8:10 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. The Belle Aire third graders will be experiencing their first day in a new school on Monday as the district has staggered starting dates this year.
Upon arriving to Belle Aire, students were greeted with cheers and high-fives. Students who came by bus were greeted by WCHCS Superintendent Tom Bailey, Belle Aire Principal Jeff Conroy and Colleen Coole, a Belle Aire intervention fifth grade math teacher.
Bailey said, “We have great momentum in the district. Teachers and students are excited to return.”
Cherry Hill Primary held orientations on Wednesday. Those Cherry Hill kindergarten, first and second grade students will have staggered start dates. First and second graders will experience their first day of school on Monday. Kindergarten students with last names starting with A-M will have their first day on Tuesday, kindergarten students with last names starting with N-Z will have their first day on Wednesday.
Start time for Cherry Hill is 8:45 a.m. and end time is 3:10 p.m. The preschool is split into AM and PM classes: AM lasts from 8:45-11:30 while PM lasts from 12:45-3:30.
“If you’re in education this is one of the most exciting days of the school year because everything’s new. It’s a fresh start for everyone. All the students—the reason we do this job—are coming back,” said Rose.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.