Schools off to smooth start
There are always a few first-day-of-school kinks to work out every year, but the superintendents for both schools systems in Franklin County said the start of the new school year went as well as could be expected.
Franklin County Superintendent Gary Williams said he received good reports from each of the schools, including both Phil Campbell Elementary and Phil Campbell High schools who were facing unique issues this school year.
“Everything went great yesterday and our staff at all the schools did a great job making sure many of the problems were taken care of before classes even started,” Williams said.
“Traffic is always a problem the first couple of days and they had a little bit of an issue with that at Phil Campbell because of the situation with the mobile units, but it wasn’t anything major. Those issues should resolve themselves by the end of the week.”
Phil Campbell High School Principal Cindy Davis said the traffic issues were mainly with dismissal times and how to make their one-way traffic flow seamlessly on and off the campus.
“Everything went as well as could be expected,” Davis said. “The students and teachers were all very cooperative and the students were actually impressed with the mobile units. Several of them said the units were much better than they expected and they are enjoying the central air and quiet environment that they previously haven’t had.”
Williams said they wouldn’t have solid enrollment numbers until the third day of school, but the numbers they had show that enrollment at the county’s schools has basically stayed the same across the board except for Phil Campbell High School, which actually gained several students.
“We were thinking that we might lose students at Phil Campbell so we’re proud of that growth,” Williams said. “No one would believe the work that has gone into getting these schools ready, especially at Phil Campbell, and the teachers, administrators and staff should be commended.”
According to Superintendent Rex Mayfield, the Russellville City School System has also seen impressive growth mainly at the kindergarten level.
Mayfield said the normal registration numbers for the kindergarten class fall between 200 to 210, but this year the system had over 230 students register.
“This is the biggest kindergarten class we’ve ever had so we had to make some adjustments to accommodate that number of students,” Mayfield said. “We added one kindergarten teacher this year and we had several teachers who were willing to transfer from first or second grade to kindergarten.”
Mayfield said the Russellville Police Department helped with the traffic issues that are always present on the first day back and he thought this was the smoothest the first-day-of-school traffic had ever been.
“We didn’t seem to have any problems on Monday,” he said. “We only had half the kindergarten coming on Monday and the other half came on Tuesday, which is something we’ve done the past several years to help them transition into the new school environment, but we expect the traffic issue to continue to work out fine the rest of the week.”