Back in the class

Published 11:08 pm Saturday, August 8, 2009

Jared Lancaster, of Ironton, may have been less than enthusiastic about that backpack he carried away from Sixth and Center streets Saturday. That backpack, with its load of school supplies, meant one thing, summer is, for all intents and purposes, about to come to a screeching halt.

Are Jared and little brother Jesse ready for the start of classes?

“Not really,” Jared replied.

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Ready or not, Lawrence County kids will be back in class in less than two weeks.

Ready, get set…

The first day of class for all Lawrence County public school students, Green students, and for the Ironton Catholic Schools is Aug. 19. Teachers in most districts will have gotten a one to two-day start before then.

A kids eye view

If June and July are months to enjoy, August begins that process of getting ready for that first day of class. Shopping for school clothes and supplies begins to take precedence over a game of basketball or a dip in the pool.

Joey Lancaster, Jesse and Jared’s step-mom, said a visit to the St. Paul’s Tools for School Saturday was one of the items on her must-do list. Another was the optometrist’s office.

“We need to get new eyeglasses for Jesse,” she said.

For Lisa Collins’ daughters, Erica, 8 and Erion, 5, the months of summer were a time to not only for a little R&R but also for a warmup-of-sorts before the new school year started. Interspersed with outdoor playtime, games and television were lessons from Mom and Dad on multiplication and other subjects Erica will tackle in earnest this fall.

Erion, who will enter kindergarten, got a few summer lessons, too. Education is a priority in the Collins household and Lisa and Douglas Sr., want their kids prepared when Aug. 19 rolls around. Summer was a chance for a head start.

“Erica has been on the honor roll since Kindergarten and last year she got a trophy,” Lisa Collins said proudly. “We plan for her to continue to stay on the honor roll.”

Still, Erion is sure school holds some possibility for fun, too. Asked what she looked forward to about starting Kindergarten, she replied, “Eating pizza.”

Lisa Collins said she still had some school shopping to do.

Starting next Sunday, the girls will start going to bed and getting up on a school schedule, to make sure they won’t be bleary-eyed that first day of class.

“Erion is an early bird so it won’t be too hard for her,” Lisa Collins said.

From an educator’s perspective

As principal at Dawson-Bryant High School, Steve Easterling is required to be in the office three weeks after the kids leave each spring and three weeks before the new year starts at the end of each summer.

But like many of his counterparts, summers are short and the line between one school year and the next is often a blurry one.

Kids may get the so-called three months off, but the adults often find it is more like two and sometimes not even really that.

Preparing for the New Year, Easterling said, “really starts as soon as school lets out (the year before). We spend time putting in student schedules. They sign up in the spring but then we don’t do the scheduling until school is out.

If there are any changes to the handbooks, they’re made. Then there are the teacher’s room assignments and any subject areas we’re looking at. I’ve been working on duty schedules today.”

If the start of the school year is busy for school administrators, it is for teachers as well.

Most schools have in-service days scheduled one to two days before kids return.