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A fresh start

By Staff | Aug 18, 2009

Another school term begins this Wednesday, Aug. 26 in Rugby, but there already is a buzz of activity going on in preparation for students returning to class.

Teachers, administrators, secretaries, custodians and other support staff all have tasks to perform in the time leading up to the first day of school.

Student registration, which is the biggest task for administrators and secretaries, took place last week in the Rugby school district as well as Little Flower grade school.

Secretaries put together packets for parents which contain such items as a student handbook, class schedule and other important information. And there are always questions to answer, especially for parents of junior high students who are making the transition into a new building, according to Marilyn Yoder, Jr.-Sr. High secretary. Administrators are also involved with planning inservice programs with teachers, which will be held early next week. Jason Gullickson, Ely Elementary principal, said teachers will be attending a shared inservice in Bottineau on Aug. 24 and then the district’s in-house inservice will be on Aug. 25. It’s an opportunity to go over specific issues and points of emphasis for the district, including school improvement goals.

Teachers have been busy in their classrooms putting together bulletin boards, arranging desks, creating name tags for students and establishing a daily schedule of course work.

“This is the hardest part of the year for me,’ said Jessica Fritz, Ely Elementary third grade teacher. “I love the first day of school, but it’s the preparation which is the chore. There are just a lot of little things that have to get done.”

Khloe Sobolik, second grade teacher at Ely, said it’s tough to pick a starting point, but once she does, then things go fairly smoothly in getting her classroom ready.

Other tasks that are completed include reviewing new textbooks and other materials and becoming more familiar with new technology tools.

Teachers in grades K through second at Ely this year will be using Promethean boards in their classrooms which create more interactive learning. “I’m looking forward to using it,’ said Kim WillIams, Ely second grade teacher. “It’s something that will be helpful, especially with the younger levels.”

Promethean is a large board that is positioned in front of students and is connected to a computer and projector screen. That enables teachers to show pictures, video and graphs.

Students are equipped with small hand-held devices to allow them to answer questions and send their responses, which the teachers can analyze. Classrooms in grades three through six used the boards last year at Ely.

Custodians have to make sure the interiors and exteriors of the buildings are in tip-top shape, waxing floors, shampooing carpets and last-minute touch-up work, including painting. Technology coordinators make sure computers are ready for student use, and librarians have books and materials ready to be checked out.

Bruce Gannarelli, Little Flower School principal, said the days leading up to another school year are always hectic, but that work is well worth it come that first day, and teachers and administrators see the smiles on students’ faces as they begin a near year.

School at Leeds will begin on Monday, Aug. 24 while TGU-Towner will start also on Wednesday, Aug. 24. Wolford’s and Rolette’s school years began last week.

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