Darren Doyle, story and photos
Many kids will no doubt rub their eyes in disbelief bright and early in the morning as school will back in session in Edmonson County Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016. While some might be wondering what happened to summer break, it will be a thing of the past as the 2016-17 school year gets started tomorrow.
Although it's the first day back for students, administration, faculty, and staff have been busy for the last few weeks, preparing for Wednesday and getting everything ready for another year.
Superintendent of EC Schools Patrick Waddell says the district is excited to start the new school year and the summer staff has been busy preparing schools for the past couple of months. He also is encouraging parents and guardians to get involved with your child's activities now, and stay connected throughout the year.
"I encourage all parents and community members to get involved and stay involved throughout the school year," he said. "This can be accomplished by asking open-ended questions about what your child learned in school that day, reading their homework and attending school events to learn about what their teachers expect."
Staying involved is a common theme with all schools and administrators for the upcoming year. Family Resource and Youth Service Centers have been busy gathering school supplies to accommodate all schools. Other entities, like booster clubs and PTO's have been busy as well.
Kyrock Principal Jimmy White said Blackhawk students will see some new mulch on the preschool and main playgrounds, thanks to the Kyrock PTO, as well as a new coat of paint on the school's sign, playground equipment, and some trim around the building.
"Our PTO has also ordered some new banners for our school," White said. "And we would like to thank Lowe's for a $5,000 grant to resurface our school's walking track and the DART Corporation for a $5,000 STEM grant that will help to purchase some science materials, math program and iPads."
Principal Alan Talley said the EC 5/6 Center is excited to welcome new students for the upcoming year. "It's always fun to see a new group of (5th grade) 'Wildcats' come together for the first time and have a common goal of making our school the best it can be," he said. "We encourage all parents to stay in touch regularly with teachers throughout the year. More information will come home on Wednesday about some of the opportunities for our students during the 2016-2017 school year."
SEES Principal Jamie Woosley said everything is ready to go at South, and they're extremely proud to continue to be a "Leader In Me" school. All students will receive free lunch and breakfast again this year, and he also reminds everyone of their parking lot procedures.
"Safety is always a top priority at South Edmonson, as well as all our schools," he said. "Please remember that there are no vehicles allowed in the bus parking lot during drop off and dismissal. Also, the first couple of days we do expect a long vehicle line in the afternoon, so please be patient, don't pass, and your child will be delivered to you safely."
Edmonson County Middle School is also ready for Wednesday morning, according to principal Brandon Prunty. "We have new staff members who are eager to meet their students and our veteran teachers are equally excited about the start of the year," Prunty said. "I am looking forward to getting the year started and continuing the strong academic tradition at ECMS."
Edmonson County High School Principal Tommy Hodges, now entering his third year, gave credit to a great group of people at ECHS that have worked hard all summer long to prepare for the start of this school year. "We've got a great group of faculty, staff, and volunteers here," he said. "We're excited to kick things off tomorrow and we're confident this will be another great year here at the high school."
Sheriff Shane Doyle said that law enforcement will be out keeping an eye on traffic and reminds everyone that school zones will have speed limits of 25 MPH. "Our school zones are not active during summer months, so it's easy to forget about them," he said. "The safety of our kids is extremely important, so we will be enforcing school zone traffic."
Superintendent Waddell also reminds everyone to pay special attention to school buses during the morning and afternoon route times. "We also ask for everyone to watch out for students waiting to be picked up and dropped off throughout our county. Please plan a few extra minutes for your morning commutes starting Wednesday."