08/25/14 — First bells ring

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First bells ring

By From staff reports
Published in News on August 25, 2014 1:46 PM

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Carver Elementary teacher Candice Outlaw talks to Carolina Joyner and Hayden Waller about their summer fun on their first day back in school. Thousands of Wayne County children put on their new clothes and smiles to head back to the classroom today.

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Brice Edwards, 6, right, walks into Spring Creek Elementary School for his first day of first grade with his mother Mary Edwards, sister Emily Edwards, 4, and his father Chris Edwards (not pictured).

The school year officially began today for students and staff in Wayne County Public Schools, with the typical adjustments, said Ken Derksen, director of communication services.

All 29 district schools got off to a good start this morning, he said.

Two other schools, Wayne Early/Middle College High School and Wayne School of Engineering, started classes earlier in the month.

"We're going to continue seeing how things go through the day, but everything appears to have run smoothly," he said this morning.

First day numbers are estimated to be around 19,000 students.

Additional buses and vehicles on the road and learning new traffic patterns, particularly in school zones, and parents becoming more familiar with schools are the usual challenges this time of year, he said.

There are also the typical traffic situations, Derksen said, referring to schools that have historically had more congestion at start and dismissal times.

"Spring Creek Elementary had a pretty long backup getting into the school this morning," he said.

Assistant Superintendent for Human Resource Services Dr. Marvin McCoy, responsible for the transportation and buses, said it's always a "fantastic start, whenever I don't get any calls" about bus issues.

McCoy was also on site at Dillard Middle School, where a dozen men from the global organization "Men Who Care" were on hand to greet families and to show support. The group plans to implement a mentoring program at the school this year.

"We were there, just seeing some of the children that we already know and then those new single parents coming in," he said. "We were giving them cards -- we're here to be helping with your son -- coming off the bus, getting to know the kids."