Warren County students can get ready for pencils and books – maybe even a few teachers with dirty looks.
The new school year gets under way Thursday at 7:45 a.m.
Several changes are in place for the new year, including three new principals. Franklin Fisher takes the reins at Warren Academy, while Lisa Mason takes over at Dibrell and Michelle Lewis at West Elementary.
This will also be the first year for a new program called Late Thursdays. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 5, school will start two hours late on the first Thursday of each month.
“We’re going to try it and see how it works,” said Director of Schools Bobby Cox. “We want it to be a very productive time where teachers can meet and share information and the students who are here can take tutorials and enrichment programs.”
While Late Thursdays will allow students to report two hours late, those who don’t have that luxury because of their parents’ work schedule can come at the regular time.
Tighter security measures will also be implemented this year. This will include different responsibilities for two the school system’s five school resource officers.
Two SROs will continue to cover the campus of WCHS and adjacent Hickory Creek Elementary. One SRO will continue to be permanently stationed at WCMS.
The remaining two SROs will divide their time among the other schools in the county.
“We don’t want to have a set schedule and that’s by design,” said Cox. “We plan to cover every building a portion of every day.”
The security upgrade of requiring students and parents to be buzzed in after they are first seen on a surveillance monitor is in the works. School officials hoped to have this system in place for the start of the year, but there were delays in the bid process. Cox said the new equipment will be installed one school at a time.
During a countywide in-service Monday at WCMS, teachers were honored for their years in education. Atop the list with 45 years in the school system were Betty Clendenon and Linda Daniels. Clendenon has spent all 45 of her years at Irving College, while Daniels has been at West Elementary her entire career.
Cox also utilized the time in front of a countywide audience of educators to thank them for their work.
“You are building the next generation of Warren County,” said Cox. “There are 400 to 500 kindergartners who enter our school system each year and educating those students is an awesome responsibility.”