These fourth graders got together for breakfast on the first day of school at F. E. Burleson Elementary School. Pictured, from left, are Mithias Goodwin, Migel Gonzalez and Jennifer Soto-Jose. | Clif Knight
These fourth graders got together for breakfast on the first day of school at F. E. Burleson Elementary School. Pictured, from left, are Mithias Goodwin, Migel Gonzalez and Jennifer Soto-Jose. | Clif Knight

Archived Story

School days get off to good start

Published 12:48pm Thursday, August 22, 2013

Problems were rare Monday as Hartselle City and Morgan County Schools got off to a smooth start, according to administrators for both systems.

“It was a great day,” said Hartselle Schools Superintendent Vic Wilson, “I had the opportunity to visit all six schools and everybody was off and running. That’s a testament to all of our administrators, teachers, students and parents. It showed great teamwork.”

“Everything seemed to go very well for a first day of school,” said Lee Willis, deputy superintendent of Morgan County Schools. “If there were any problems I’m not aware of them. Our superintendent (Bill Hopkins Jr.) had a busy day as he challenged himself to make an appearance at each one of our 18 schools.”

Student enrollment in both school systems was down slightly compared to the same day last year.

Hartselle schools reported an enrollment of 3,034, or 62 fewer than the 3,096 students who reported for classes on the same day in 2012. Hartselle High counted 962, or 12 fewer than a year ago. Barkley Bridge Elementary had the lowest number, 319.

Morgan County’s total enrollment reached 7,611, or 76 fewer that the number counted on the first day a year ago.

Officials for both systems said they expect enrollment to gradually increase over the next few days and top out at about where it was last school year.

“For funding purposes, the State Department of Education uses enrollment figures on the first day of the second 20-day portion of the school year,” Willis said.

Wilson said some first day jitters showed up at Hartselle Intermedi-ate School because all of the students (fifth and sixth graders) are new and were not familiar with how to use their lockers.

“That was a temporary thing and has already been resolved,” he said.

He also pointed to slight traffic congestion at the new Hartselle Junior High School as another temporary difficulty.

“Some parents were delayed getting on and off campus while dropping off and picking up their children,” Wilson said. “That’s because we’re in the process of making repairs and improvements to parking areas. When that work is done, traffic movement will improve.”

Wilson said movement of traffic on Bethel Road was great.

“We appreciate so much the work of Jeff Johnson and the city’s Department of Development in managing upgrades to the road and ensuring that the work was completed before the start of school,” Wilson stated.

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