All three area school districts resumed session Wednesday morning, with each using their own way to welcome students back for another year. Owensboro Times was there to cover a few of those moments.
At Foust Elementary School, men lined both sides of the front entryway as part of the Million Man March, a tradition in its third year that encourages men in the community to help welcome children on their first day.
“We love the first day of school,” said FES Principal Janie Moseley. “We had the Million Man March going on out front. We think that’s a great opportunity for people in the community to come out and see our kids and for our kids to see great role models.”
Inside, students and parents were greeted by dozens of teachers and school employees helping make sure everything ran smoothly.
“It’s all hands on deck this morning to help people get their supplies unloaded and make parents of students feel welcome,” Mosely said. “We’re just excited about a great new year.”
Moseley said she is excited to bring fifth-graders back for the second year. Owensboro Public Schools made the academic change to move fifth grade to the elementary level last year, and according to school administration, it was a positive decision.
“Last year was a learning year with (the 5th-graders), so we think this year things will take off,” Moseley said. “We also have a brand new playground, and we’re extremely excited about getting that going.”
Down the road at Daviess County Middle School, buses lined the front parking lot in front of teachers waiting to greet their new and returning students.
“All of our teachers are really excited about the year starting,” said DCMS Assistant Principal Valerie Jones. “We’ve got plans for the kids. We’re really big on culture here and making sure kids feel welcomed back into the building. We’re all pumped to start another year.”
Today, DCMS students in each grade will be divided into two teams that consist of home rooms, which Jones said are called houses.
“They start to get together with their houses and really build a relationship,” Jones said. “It really sets the tone for the whole year as we start to do cool competitions and fun things with the students. Kids love that.”
While they want to create a fun environment, Jones said the school is still focused on development in the classroom.
“I think our school is extremely instructionally focused this year as they always have been,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of programs in place and we’re trying to do different things to really get more academic growth with groups of students.”