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Archive for Monday, August 9, 2010

First days of school multiply

Four start dates among number of district changes this term

Fifth-grade teacher Monica Dutcher searches for a letter as she tidies up a wall featuring various clues and strategies for problem solving in preparation for the first day of school, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010 at Pinckney Elementary. Dutcher, who says she will be primarily teaching math to fifth and sixth graders, is one of several new teachers to the district.

Fifth-grade teacher Monica Dutcher searches for a letter as she tidies up a wall featuring various clues and strategies for problem solving in preparation for the first day of school, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010 at Pinckney Elementary. Dutcher, who says she will be primarily teaching math to fifth and sixth graders, is one of several new teachers to the district.

August 9, 2010, 12:00 a.m. Updated August 9, 2010, 1:57 p.m.

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Wednesday is the first day of school in the Lawrence school district.

Same thing Thursday. And Friday.

First Day of School Memories

Superintendant Rick Doll describes his memories of the first day of school.

And next Monday.

That’s right: This year there will be four — yes, four — first days of school, depending on students’ grade levels. Starting Wednesday will be first- through seventh-graders, plus 10th graders. They’ll be joined the next day by half of kindergartners, along with all eighth, ninth, 11th and 12th graders; the other half of kindergartners begin Friday.

Preschoolers — more than 100 of them — are set to report Aug. 16 to Kennedy School.

Some other numbers to ponder:

District leaders reflect on first day jitters

With the summer winding down and children preparing to return to school, some district leaders took time to reflect on their first days in school. Most classes will begin during the next two weeks. Enlarge video

45

Minutes earlier that the school day will start at New York School. The daily schedule for this year runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., instead of last year’s 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

175

Total number of formal “student attendance days” in the district’s calendar for the coming year.

18

Number of school attendance days until Labor Day, the district’s first recognized holiday of the year.

86

Number of school attendance days until winter break.

250

Number of students enrolled, by Aug. 1, using the district’s month-old Welcome & Enrollment Center. The center at 110 McDonald Drive opens at 7:30 a.m. weekdays and officially closes at 4:30 but often remains open late as school approaches. Call 832-5000 to make an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome.

2

Doses of the Varicella vaccine — a.k.a. chickenpox vaccine — required for students in grades K-1 this year. Students in grades 2-10 are required to have one dose, unless a licensed health care provider documents that a student has already had chickenpox. This is new for 2010-11.

31

Date in August by which a child must turn 5 in order to enter kindergarten in Kansas.

$2.20

Price for an elementary school lunch, while secondary lunches will cost $2.45. Both are up 5 cents from this past year.

6:30

Time — this evening — for the Lawrence school board to conduct its formal public hearing regarding the district’s next budget. The meeting is at 110 McDonald Drive.

Comments

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 4 months ago

What happened to the eighth and ninth graders? Are they not going to school this year? I think a correction is in order.

mfagan 4 years, 4 months ago

Eighth and ninth graders start Thursday. On the school calendar, both Thursday and Friday are described as "Grades 1-12 Regular Schedule." Thanks for the notification... Mark Fagan Schools reporter

EarthaKitt 4 years, 4 months ago

Cait, I'm guessing you're not an 8th or 9th grader...(shhhhhhhhhh)

dragonfly0221 4 years, 4 months ago

I would like to see the numbers comparing the cost of starting school so early in August to starting after Labor day. Several districts in Kansas have chosen to wait to start to save money in the budget crunch. Would Lawrence consider that? Also I'd like to know how many districts do the early dimisal in Kansas. I know they aren't directly related to the article here but they are still numbers I would like to see.

anonyname 4 years, 4 months ago

I'm curious how you see this saving more than a few dollars, perhaps. Students will be in school for 175 days regardless of when the first or last day is. Waiting to start means less air conditioning now...but more at the end of the school year.

youngjayhawk 4 years, 4 months ago

I have wondered the same things; seems costly to cool buildings during this summer heat - why not wait until after Labor Day? Speak with any Lawrence teacher and they will tell you that Wednesday afternoons are a waste of time. Teachers would much rather maintain a consistent schedule with their students for instructional purposes. Early dismissal = administrative job justification.

Aimee Polson 4 years, 4 months ago

Whoops. I mean "I love the math wall illustrations!" I guess I was too giddy with love to bother proofing.

anonyname 4 years, 4 months ago

They're creative and well designed...but quite a few kids are going to be too distracted by how busy the wall is to pay attention to what's going on in class.

Christine Pennewell Davis 4 years, 4 months ago

anonyname the kids start so early now due to the early dismissal and wedensdays it adds on about 2 weeks to the school calander. School used to start athe wed. before labor day but then hald day wed. came and that was the end of that.

GardenMomma 4 years, 4 months ago

I think the headline is a misnomer. There have always been "multiple" start dates for the school year.

This makes it sound like this is a change from years past. As long as my kids have been going (my oldest is a 6th grader), the start dates have been that way. Not sure what East Heights did for the preschoolers as we never went there.

It kind of makes sense too, if one thinks about it. If you're starting Jr. High or High School, you get one whole day with others who are just as lost as you to figure out the lay of the land before the more experienced kids show up and crowd the halls.

If you're a kindergartner, you go for one day, then start the next week into the regular schedule. This also eases the younger students into the school routine.

igby 4 years, 4 months ago

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Sunny Parker 4 years, 4 months ago

School should not begin for another 2 weeks (like other districts). Kids summer is cut short...This needs to change!

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