Wayne school open houses scheduled for this week
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 20, 2012 1:46 PM
Karen Helms, an art teacher at Mount Olive Middle School, works this morning to get her classroom ready for students returning to class. Most Wayne County schools will be holding open houses this week in advance of the return of students next week.
Three little words are in the air, signaling the end of the summer -- back to school.
While two public schools are already in session, and most private schools have resumed as well, the bulk of Wayne County Public Schools start next week.
Teachers return today, as educators begin readying for the return of students.
Wayne Early/Middle College High and Wayne School of Engineering began Aug. 6. Dillard Middle and Goldsboro High schools start a few days earlier than the rest, on Thursday.
Officials offered several last-minute reminders and information for parents as well as the public, as the big yellow buses begin to hit the roadways and traffic becomes more congested at certain times of the day.
Open houses this week officially usher in the season, providing families an opportunity to meet teachers, pick up supply and class lists or become familiar with a new school.
The district events start Tuesday, when Dillard and Goldsboro host open houses from 5 until 7 p.m. Eastern Wayne and Rosewood middle schools will also hold open house for sixth grade students at 5 p.m.
Open house for middle and high school students in traditional schools will be Wednesday, from 5 until 7 p.m. At Rosewood High School, a freshman open house will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and from 6:30-7:30 p.m., for those in grades 10-12.
The exception is Grantham School, which has grades K-8. Open house for all students there will be on Thursday from 5-7 p.m.
All elementary schools on the traditional calendar will also host open house on Thursday from 5 until 7 p.m.
Edgewood Community Developmental School offers open house conferences all day Thursday, from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m., by appointment only. Parents are asked to contact the child's teacher to schedule a conference.
Parents of kindergartners are reminded that those students will start school on a staggered schedule during the first week of school. Families will be notified which day their child will start and attend one full day of school. Then on Friday, Aug. 31, all kindergartners will report to class.
Other pertinent information -- such as school supply lists, enrollment and district policies -- can be found on the district's website, www.waynecountyschools.org. The site also includes links to individual schools for updated announcements throughout the school year.
Technology also affords parents many options when it comes to paying for school meals, receiving automated notifications and even accessing the child's grades, said Ken Derksen, director of communication services and public information officer.
The online meal payment system, LunchPrepay.com, allows families to apply funds directly into an account by computer or Internet-connected device. Details can also be found at the district website.
The district subscribes to AlertNow, which primarily provides instant messages on such things as school closures or delays and other information. Parents can sign up and request a Parent Portal account to receive messages via phone, text or email.
The Parent Assistant Module is another valuable tool to keep track of grades and attendance throughout the year. It is also a good way for parents who are deployed to stay current on the child's progress and performance in school.
Transportation is another area the district works on, providing regular bus service for its more than 19,000 students. The transportation department is currently putting the finishing touches on bus stops and makes every effort to accommodate requests, Derksen said, noting that unless it is a safety issue, changes to a route will not be made until after the tenth day of school, when the final enrollment figures are in.
"Drivers are also encouraged to use the following tips to help ensure students safely arrive to and from school," Derksen said.
*Never pass a school bus while its amber lights are flashing
*Give yourself extra time in the morning and afternoon to compensate for bus slowdowns
*Always keep an eye out for children at bus stops
*Slow down when passing students on the side of the road
*Watch out for students walking to or from school in the morning and afternoon
*Slow down for crosswalks and school zones
*Never pass a stopped school bus.