Students return to classrooms soon

School is scheduled to begin in a matter of days and students from both districts are preparing for back to school activities.

District No. 1

In Big Horn County School District No. 1, teachers return to their classrooms today (Thursday) in Cowley. An open house for all grade levels will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 21, from 3 to 6 p.m.

A special orientation for sixth graders, new students and their parents will take place from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on the same date. During the orientation, parents and students will have an opportunity to meet teachers and to run through a shortened schedule. The idea behind the trial run is to simulate how things will work on the first day of school, so that new students will have an easy transition to the schedule.

There will also be a sports and physical education orientation at 5 p.m. on the same day. All students planning to participate in sports must have a sports physical before they are allowed to participate in any team sports. The first day of practice for all sports took place on Monday. Athletes from the football, cross-country, volleyball and cheerleading squads will be introduced at a special assembly on Thursday, Aug. 23, at 6 p.m. at the high school.

The first day of school for all Rocky Mountain Schools is Wednesday, Aug. 22. Rocky Mountain Elementary School students will begin classes at 8 a.m. and school will be dismissed at 3:15 p.m., except on Fridays, when students will be released at 12:20 p.m. The middle school and high school will have a similar schedule, beginning their day at 8 a.m. and ending at 3:22 p.m. These students will also have an early release on Fridays at 12:15 p.m.

Elementary school students are scheduled to have their school pictures taken on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

District No. 2

Teachers will return to their classrooms at all schools in Lovell on Tuesday, Aug. 21. New teachers will report to campus Aug. 16 and 17. All students in District No. 2 will begin the new school year by reporting to their classrooms on Tuesday, Aug. 28. Students will be released early on Friday, Aug. 31.

LES students will report for class at 8:25 a.m. and will be released at 3:10 p.m., except for Friday, where they will be released early at 1:30 p.m.

LMS students will report to school at 8 a.m. and will be released at 3:23 p.m. They will also have an early release on Fridays at 1:18 p.m.

Lovell High School students will also report to their classrooms at 8 a.m. and will be released at 3:24 p.m. They will also have an early release time on Fridays of 1:17 p.m.

The overall school calendar has been adjusted this year in response to feedback received through a questionnaire that was distributed to families with school-aged children earlier this year.

“This calendar is different than we have had in past, with the school year ending on May 31,” said Big Horn School District No. 2 Supt. Dan Coe. “We are required by law for students to have a minimum of 175 student days and 10 teacher days (for professional development) for a total of 185 days. These requirements will still be met with the new schedule.”

Coe expects all summer maintenance projects to be finished on schedule and that students and teachers will be able to enjoy the benefits of those improvements when school begins. Administrators will be conducting a final walk-through of the projects on Friday.

A new lighting system was installed at the middle school over the summer. Coe said the order for lights came in two short, but he expects to receive those lights and have the project substantially complete by the time students enter their classrooms on Aug. 28.

“The new system is really nice. It brightens up the hallways and the classrooms with a light that is more dispersed,” said Coe. “The light is less harsh and easier on the eyes.”

One wing at the elementary school has been substantially remodeled with updated cabinetry in the classrooms and new bathrooms.

All sports practices have already started. All students must have a sports physical prior to participating in any sports program.

By Patti Carpenter