Nervous energy filled the air yesterday morning as students, loaded down with notebooks and room supplies, made their way to class for the first day of school.
It was an exciting time for many sixth-graders preparing for their first day at Warren County Middle School.
“I was up at 4 a.m. this morning,” said sixth-grader Gavin Myers, who woke up early in anticipation. So what did he do since he couldn’t fall back asleep? “I played video games,” he said.
WCMS assistant principal Kristie Rogers had a big smile as she stood outside the office and pointed students in the right direction.
“It’s great to be back,” she said.
It was the first day for Morrison students at their newly built school. They were greeted by the theme song from “The Jeffersons” entitled “Moving on Up” that was played before morning announcements.
“We’ve had a lot of parents come in to look around and it was the first time to see the new building for a lot of students too,” said principal Kim Cantrell. “Everybody has found their way around so far.”
School system enrollment is down by 380 students from the start of last school year. Enrollment after the first day this year was 6,156, down from 6,536 after the first day last year.
The two biggest drops came at WCHS, which was down 213 students from last year, and West Elementary, which was down 181 students.
Irving College was down 29 students to dip to 183.
Hickory Creek had the biggest gains in the system, up 49 students.
Director of Schools Bobby Cox said the fact kindergarteners are phased in gradually, with some not reporting yet, accounts for a portion of the smaller numbers. Otherwise he said the first day went well.
“There were teachers outside the high school early this morning holding signs and welcoming students so I was pleased with the good energy,” said Cox. “Overall, it’s one of the smoothest first days I’ve ever been involved with.”
Those comments were echoed by West principal Marsha Newman, who said students and teachers are happy to return.
“I saw smiling faces all day,” said Newman. “We hit the ground running.”
Newman said she’s excited about a grant West has received through the coordinated school health program that will allow fourth- and fifth-grade students to take PE classes at Gilley Pool for one month starting Monday. She said the new fifth-grade basketball league has also generated enthusiasm.