Back To School: 2019-20 School Year Begins In Edmonson County, Hear From Officials Regarding This Year
School Officials Discuss Additions, Expectations, More: Sheriff's Office Implements Additional School Resource Officer
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
It's back to school in Edmonson County as another school year began this morning on Wednesday, August 7, 2019.
Superintendent Patrick Waddell was greeting students at both the Middle and High School this morning. He said while many emotions come into play when a new school year begins, he feels like those are led with excitement.
"Our staff has done a wonderful job throughout the summer preparing our schools in preparation for this first day," he said. "We had a great start with all bus routes but we do need everyone to be mindful that buses are rolling throughout the county and everyone needs to be paying attention due to bus stops occurring frequently."
Lannie Deweese, Director of Transportation for Edmonson County Schools also spoke about a smooth first day for buses and encouraged drivers to be aware of not only school buses in route, but also students standing by the roadside waiting for bus pickup.
"Please watch for students that may have to cross the road," he added. "I will be going around to the schools again this year to teach bus safety to all students. I want to do everything in my power to teach bus drivers and students bus safety, our students safety is our priority."
South Edmonson Elementary:
SEES Principal Josh Long also discussed the excitement of the first day of school.
"The best part of August is seeing our big family come back together," he said. "There's nothing better than seeing over 400 smiling faces running into school and that excitement stays year round in an elementary school. I hope that we are able to meet each parent's expectations of what they want their school to be and always so glad and thankful that we have such a great community supporting us. This year will be great because of the faculty, staff, students, and parents that make up our school. The first few days our teachers are always working diligently on establishing and practicing our procedures and expectations but the real excitement starts when you walk down the hall and into classrooms and you can see kids reading and packing books around. It's a great time of year and a great day to be a Bulldog."
Shaun Stice, Principal of Kyrock, said the Blackhawks are proud to be known as a great academic school, but they are striving for even more improvements this year. "We are implementing more and more technology instruction each year and will continue to make the necessary adjustments to make sure that all of our students are prepared for the next level and success in the future," he added.
Edmonson County Middle School:
"The faculty and staff at ECMS have worked hard these last few weeks in preparation for a new school year and will continue to work hard for our students throughout the year," said ECMS Principal Brandon Prunty.
He also emphasized the importance of parents and guardians becoming more involved in their children's school work and activities. "If students see that education is important to their parents, it increases the likelihood that it will be important to the child. The support we receive from parents is greatly appreciated and a crucial part of educational success. Parents, ask your children daily about their day and help ensure they practice what they've learned by doing their homework."
Edmonson County 5/6 Center:
Principal Alan Talley said the 5/6 got off to a great start this morning.
"Our faculty and staff was excited to begin working with their students," he said. "While we had to spend some amount of time today on classroom expectations, it was great to hear numerous laughs as teachers, staff, and students were getting to know each other. Many kids told us they expect to have a great school year."
Edmonson County High School:
New ECHS Principal Brian Alexander said that in his returning as principal, he was extremely excited to see students and staff this morning.
"I hope that I can be an asset and a help to all those in the school community to make this a great year," he said. "We're working hard to cultivate a climate where students want to be at school and we hope that parents will work with us on punctual attendance so that we can make this a reality. My hope is that our students really look forward to coming to our school."
Online Registration Requirements:
Supt. Waddell said as a district, the most notable change is the online registration process that has been implemented. "This should speed the process up for parents and hopefully eliminate multiple papers that need to be signed," he said.
According to Brent Norris, Network Administration for EC Schools, said a checklist sheet for online registration that was available at the open houses and will be coming home with students simply cannot be signed and returned; but rather the steps listed online must be completed in order for the registration to be finalized.
"Parents will need to go to the link and complete all of the questions in the form before checking off the boxes on the sheet and returning it," he said. "We have had some who have simply signed and returned without completing the steps online. We have also had others leaving it all blank and signing at the bottom. It's very important to know that they need to go through the form and answer the questions. While we have nearly 50% of students registered, we've only had 75 families actually fill out the Google Form.
Added School Resource Officer and Safety:
Sheriff Shane Doyle said that school safety has never been more important than it is now. The Edmonson County Sheriff's Office has partnered with Edmonson County Schools to provide another part time school resource officer that will rove among all other county schools.
"In addition to our full time SR Officer at the high school, which is Chief Deputy Jeff Brooks, our partnership with our local school system has allowed us to provide another officer in our schools, " he said. "We were also out in school zones this morning as a reminder that school is back in session. While our limited manpower doesn't always allow us to monitor all zones during the entire time, we're asking the public to please be aware of the 25mph speed limit during school rush hours. There is no place worth rushing to that's more important than the safety of our students. In addition to another officer at schools, we're also glad that bus drivers are receiving more training this year that we feel will also increase local safety for students."
Lannie Deweese mentioned the additional training set for this year.
"The drivers will be going through an evaluation this year, they will be performing bus safety inspections and going through a driving course to improve on their loading and unload skills along with other safety measures," he said. "I do feel we have a great group of men and women transporting our children to and from school daily."