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Carlisle students return to school

Carlisle Elementary School Principal Karen Norton welcomes students to school on Monday morning.Buy Photo
Carlisle Elementary School Principal Karen Norton welcomes students to school on Monday morning.

Despite the fall of numbers in student growth, Carlisle schools deemed the first few days a success.

Elementary school principal Karen Norton said she was amazed by how easily the first day was, especially with changes to student drop off location.

“I could not have asked for a better first day,” Norton said. “I’m really proud of the staff. They flew in when needed this morning without being asked. It really helped.”

One of the biggest change to this year is the new student drop off and pick up areas. Norton said all students will be dropped off on fifth street during the morning. During the afternoon students in kindergarten through second grade will be picked up from the car line on fifth street. Third through sixth grade students will be picked up from the gravel parking lot on the South side of the building, located on Fourth street.

According to Norton, no vehicles will be be permitted in the circle drive area of the school as it is reserved for teacher parking and as a loading area for school buses.

“No car riders will be dropped there … ever,” Norton said.

Some changes in staff for the school year include six new staff members. They are music teacher Cassandra Vanzandt, Computer lab teacher Kate Evans, sixth grade literacy teacher Holly Booth, kindergarten teacher Lindy Hearn, paraprofessional Amanda Stark and physical education teacher Lonnie Roberson.

High school principal Brad Horn said the high school also ended its first day without any major issues.

“It was awesome,” Horn said. “It was a very positive start to the school year. I’m very excited about the teachers commitment. It seems like the students had a good day. It was a very smooth transition. Everything went well.”

Horn said his new staff members include choir director Cassandra Vanzandt, family and consumer science teacher Mollie Gregory, band director Christina Bartlett, head boys basketball coach and social studies teacher Jeremiah Quattlebaum, assistant football coach and physical education teacher Lonnie Roberson, paraprofessional Amanda Stark, assistant football coach and secondary social studies teacher Blake Dorsey and head baseball coach, assistant football coach and math teacher Jack Keith.

The district has still not hired a permanent In School Suspension (ISS) teacher as of Tuesday morning. Horn said they do have someone to be used as a substitute teacher for the class room, at this time.

While no major changes have been made to the high school traffic transitions, Horn said parents and students should expect some changes once paving of the parking lot has been completed.

Superintendent Jason Clark said on Monday the numbers for the first week are down about 12 students.

“Student growth is important and are down a bit from where we were last year,” Clark said. “But I feel really great about our first day and the positive things happening at both campuses. “

Clark said the district welcomed 692 students on the first day this year. He said he believes the number are lower this year due to a smaller kindergarten class and from some students moving from the district.

“We had another small kindergarten class this year,” Clark said. “When you replace a larger graduating class, with a smaller kindergarten class the numbers are going to be less.”

According to Clark although numbers are continuing to fluctuate daily, including new student enrollment and absent students returning he does not expect to see numbers settle until after the Labor Day holiday.

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