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Dawson-Bryant students back to school today

COAL GROVE — Today, summer vacation is officially over for children in the Dawson-Bryant School District.

The district has implemented a few changes and added new courses. Superintendent Dennis DeCamp said he looks forward to an exciting and positive year.

Enrollment is up, DeCamp said, especially for the kindergarten classes.

“It looks like (enrollment) is up,” he said. “But you never know until after Day One.”

DeCamp said the elementary school is expecting approximately 100 kindergartners, and the school may have to look for additional staff to help with the classes.

Lunch prices have also increased this year due to new guidelines for the menus.

“Lunches will be healthier this year,” DeCamp said of the state-mandated food program.

Regularly priced lunches for elementary students will be $2 and reduced priced is $0.40. Regularly priced lunches for middle and high school students will be $2.75 reduced priced is $0.40.

High school students will have the opportunity to participate in a new course of study starting this year. As a part of Project Lead the Way, a national career and technology education curriculum, the school is partnering with Collins Career Center to offer a biomedical program.

DeCamp said 19 freshman have signed up for the first course, Bio Med 1, which will be held at the high school and taught by teachers from CCC.

“It will give kids insight into working in a lab-type environment,” he said. He said the program is a jumpstart into the medical field.

Next year, the school will add Bio Med 2, and so forth, giving this year’s freshman an opportunity to take four levels of the program.

“Students will be in a real good position to get a job after they graduated” DeCamp said of the course.

As a continuing project, DeCamp said the district’s energy conservation project will continue to save the district thousands of dollars by making the school more energy efficient.

The project includes changes to the heating and air conditioning systems and lighting systems. The district also used stimulus funds for a new roofing project at the elementary school.

DeCamp said the project will “reduce energy costs so we can continue to employ great people for the district.”

DeCamp said the school board has done a good job for the district and hopes the district will continue to move forward and that they can face challenges in a positive way.

The last day of school is scheduled for May 25.