School districts around the county reported a successful first day of school.
Dr. Greg Murry, superintendent of the Conway School District, said everything went well in the county’s largest district on Monday.
"Our teachers and principals have done excellent work, especially at our elementary schools, to make sure those kids are having a good transition and a good first day. We’ve done a lot of that ahead of time through open houses, and we think we’ve done a good job. There’s always a few crying babies in kindergarten. There’s always a few crying mamas. That’s just the way it is the first day of school."
Murry said the district’s enrollment numbers will be finalized over the next couple of weeks, but noted he expects the numbers to be up from last year.
As far as any problems on the first day, Murry said there was nothing worth mentioning.
"There may be some unhappiness with where their kid’s going to school because of a forced transfer, but in general, I think things are going quite well," he said.
In Greenbrier, Superintendent Scott Spainhour reported a similarly seamless transition.
"Everybody was excited to be here. The bus routes ran smoothly. The traffic lines weren’t too bad for the first day. We had a lot of excited kindergarteners and parents. It’s been a very good day; a very successful day," he said.
He continued, "We’ve had some new kids come and register today, which is great. Most everyone on our roster is here today. It was just a good first day. It was like we never left."
He said the most difficult thing to deal with all day was the traffic, but everyone was patient, and all the campuses were clear of traffic by 8 a.m., so he was pleased.
Dr. David Stephens, superintendent of Vilonia School District, said, "We’ve had a really good first day. Our enrollment seems a little up, which is good, considering the tornado."
Only one bus route changed, so there was not much trouble there, he said.
"Getting the kindergarteners acclimated to school is always fun. Sometimes the hardest part is for the parents. I was in the building visiting with some kindergarteners. I think our staff does a great job of making the kids feel welcome, so it went well," he said.
He continued, "The only problem was at our primary building we had some problems with the septic tank. But as far as the daily schedule and instruction, it seemed to go really well."
Regarding the new building that was destroyed by the April 27 tornado and was to open this school year, Stephens said, "Obviously we’re disappointed that we’re not in our new building, but we’ll be there next year."
John Gray, superintendent of Mayflower Schools, said of the first day of school, "It went very well. It was a very smooth start. Everyone was excited to start back. Everyone was settling into a routine. Everything went well. We had a bit of traffic congestion this afternoon, but that’s fairly normal (the first few days). We’re started off for an excellent school year."
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