The heat soars into triple digits as two-a-days begin. A 150-sheet pack of loose leaf paper is purchased for 35 cents. Families go on last minute weekend getaways -- one last hurrah to commemorate the waning summer.
It's all a sign of the times; school is here.
Though kids might moan and groan about the fast approaching 2007-2008 school year, local school administrators and faculty said they are ready.
Salem School Superintendent Ken Rich said he is excited for the new year.
Rich said parents should expect the same high quality education that has put them among the elite Golden Apple Award winners for the past three years.
High School Principal Wayne Guiltner said though there are few changes within either the elementary or high schools' curriculums, the seventh and eighth grade teachers are implementing a new system in the math department. "We will be using the Saxon Curriculum this year. This curriculum uses the spiraling learning technique which is what we use in the elementary school," Guiltner said.
He said with this learning technique students are taught skills in steps. So, when one skill is learned, the next lesson incorporates information that adds to the previous lesson. "This way students don't forget everything they learned," Guiltner said. "Everything builds on (the lesson learned) before."
The parents also have something to look forward to this year. Rich said the school will be implementing two new Internet-based programs that will enable parents to monitor their children's progress as well as lunch expenditures.
The first of these programs called Renaissance Place works in conjunction with the school library. This program allows parents to log into an account that shows them what books their child is reading based on what they check out from the school library, Rich said.
Rich said Edline, which was offered to parents last year, is still available. By establishing an Edline account, parents can go online to view their child's current academic scores, as well as any campus news and information.
The other new Internet program Salem schools will offer to parents is called Parent Aware, according to Rich.
He said this enables all of Salem students' lunch accounts to be maintained electronically on a computer system. With Parent Aware parents can log into an account to view their child's lunch room record. Parents can see what days their child ate breakfast/lunch in the school cafeteria and if any money is owed. "We are really big on working to keep parents informed," Rich said.
The Salem School District also has some new faculty and staff members. Rhonda Huddleston will work in the high school with family health and consumer science classes. Cody Curtis will teach high school health and physical education classes as well as elementary physical education classes. Curtis will also be working as an assistant football and baseball coach. Brandon Skelton will be in charge of teaching junior high science classes. Skelton will be Salem's head baseball coach and an assistant football coach. Rob Long will be teaching high school and junior high science classes. LeAnn McHenry will join the school staff serving as the elementary custodian.
Viola Superintendent John May said the Viola School District is looking forward to offering students a wider variety of classes throughout the upcoming school year. "We will be offering a CNA?class through Ozarka that's worth nine college hours ... we will also have (English Composition) I and II for college credit," May said.
In addition to the new opportunities to earn college credit at Viola, the school has added advanced placement classes in biology, calculus and world history, May said.
Students and parents can also look forward to physical improvements at the Izard County Consolidated School District facilities.
According to Superintendent Fred Walker, a new playing surface with four new basketball goals has been installed for middle school students.
Walker said window panels at the K-3 building and at the elementary gymnasium have been replaced, and the middle and high school buildings' hallways and bathrooms have been repainted.
In addition to these building improvements, the school district purchased two new buses, one of which seats 48 and the other 65, Walker said.
The ICC School District will also have some new faculty members for the upcoming year. Elizabeth Cowan will teach high school English and oral communication courses. Karen Brewer will teach middle school and high school math classes. Kari Sylvia will work with elementary and middle school level students. Karl March will teach middle school students, and Missy McBride will work as the district's speech pathologist.
Melbourne Superintendent Gerald Cooper said the district's faculty and staff are excited about the progress being made at the new facility that will house the Melbourne and Mount Pleasant consolidated high schools in the 2008-2009 school year. "This year we're leading up to the big change," Cooper said.
He said, in preparation for the growing student body, the district will be increasing some of their academic programs and offering a wider variety of classes. "We're really focusing on math and science right now," Cooper said.