School started on a good note around the county. 

Superintendent David Westenhover of the Guy Perkins School District said it was exciting to have the students back in the hallways of the school.

"It is great to have them back," Westenhover said.

Even with the opening of a new elementary school, Westenhover said the first day of classes went smoothly. 

Things were also going smoothly at Greenbrier according to Superintendent Scott Spainhour. 

In all three districts, an increase of enrollment is expected. 

"We expect we are going to grow enrollment," Spainhour said, noting that several students who are new to the district had enrolled prior to the first day of classes. "We will see who actually shows up."

Westenhover estimated about 20 new students to the district.

Mayflower Superintendent John Gray expected a 3- to 4-percent increase in enrollment. 

"We are doing well," Gray said.

In addition to a number of new students, districts also offered new programs and new buildings for their students. In the Guy Perkins district, a new elementary school and cafeteria was available for the students. 

Becky Gray, an employee at Guy Perkins, who helped to get children to their parents’ cars after school, said all the elementary students were able to eat at one time. 

"It is the first time in a long time that all the elementary students were able to eat at the same time. They got in and out in good time," Gray said.

Guy Perkins will also soon have a new day care in the former cafeteria and new roofs to replace asphalt shingles.

Stimulus money was used for this upgrade as well as for more laptop computers for the students.

"We are excited to have the kids back and are hoping for an exciting school year," Westenhover said.

In Mayflower, parents and students will both benefit from a new parent center. The center features a homework hot line as well as textbooks that are used in school. The center will offer after-hours support until 7 p.m.

"Parents asked for more help with their children’s homework at home so we put this together for them," Gray said. 

Stimulus funds were used to upgrade three science laboratories at the high school. The Mayflower district is working to improve the resources for its special education department as well. Teachers have also benefited from funds. Gray said teachers attended a professional development retreat.

"They worked especially in the high-need areas of math and literature," Gray said.

Gray said a new parking lot was designed to make traffic flow easier at the high school. Renovations have been ongoing over the past three years at the district’s elementary school. A new wing and cafeteria were opened this year. At the middle school a new rubber floor replaced a floor that was a little too hard for the students, according to Gray.

Greenbrier will have a new child care facility complete by November 2009 and a new middle school by July 2010. The district’s football field will also be equipped with a synthetic turf, according to Spainhour. 

The Greenbrier district will be using their stimulus funds to help in the study of animal science.

"We have been pretty busy, but it was a good busy," Spainhour said.