Archive for Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Schools prepare for new year

August 14, 2002

Officially, it's still summer. But in two days, summer will end for Baldwin students, faculty and staff.

All elementary school students start school Friday. The sixth and ninth grade students also begin school Friday allowing them a chance to get used to their new buildings before the rest of the secondary students come to school Monday.

Even though the 2002-2003 school year begins in just two days, the Baldwin School District faculty and staff have spent the last few weeks, especially the last few days, preparing for it.

"Everything we're doing is getting ready for the kids," Baldwin Junior High principal Connie Wright said. "It's just very busy right now. Exciting, but very busy."

Baldwin Elementary School principal Tom Mundinger said even though the schools started preparing for this school year last spring, the activity increased a lot toward the end of July in time for the Aug. 1 enrollment.

"After enrollment, we're figuring out who's coming to school," Mundinger said. "Who the new students are, who's moved and who we still need to contact.

"The week following enrollment, we divide classes up and assign teachers," he said.

But there's more to the preparations than the enrollment process. Wright said there are a number of items each school in the district has to accomplish to be ready for the first few days of school.

She said they check orders and materials, hire teachers and paraprofessionals, get students' records in order and make sure the buildings are ready for students.

She said part of the administrators' jobs are to make sure their teachers have what they need and are ready to start teaching.

"Our biggest job is to get the staff comfortable so the students are comfortable," she said.

Even though the teachers' first day back to school was Monday, Mundinger said many teachers came back even earlier.

"There's been quite a few people in getting their rooms prepared, getting them situated," he said. "Teachers are a pretty dedicated group."

They will also spend much of the last few days, he said, in a number of meetings like a district-wide meeting, staff meetings and school improvement meetings.

But despite all of the work, Wright said everyone's excited to start school again.

"We will be swamped," she said. "It's just a lot to get done to get everybody ready. It's hectic, but exciting.

"August is a very fun, exciting month with more than you can imagine," she said.

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