nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
      Subscribe | Special Sections


Local News arrow Education arrow Josette Keelor arrow Shenandoah County

| 1

Shenandoah students return to cool schools on first day back

2014_09_02_1stDay_School3.jpg
Steve Bowers of Edinburg has a chat with his son Evan, 6, a first grade student, outside W.W. Robinson Elementary School in Woodstock on Tuesday. Rich Cooley/Daily

(Buy Daily photos)
2014_09_02_1stDay_School5.jpg
First grade student Nykolas Bennett, 6, of Woodstock, sheds tears outside W.W. Robinson Elementary School in Woodstock on Tuesday. Rich Cooley/Daily

(Buy Daily photos) 2014_09_02_1st_Day_School2.jpg
Melissa Candy and her husband Christopher walk their son Evan, 5, a kindergarten student. outside W.W. Robinson Elementary School in Woodstock on Tuesday. Rich Cooley/Daily

(Buy Daily photos) 2014_09_02_1st_Day_School4.jpg
Kindergarten student Jazmine Sallins, 4, left, has her cousin Jalana Rucker, 7, of Woodstock, right, escort her inside W.W. Robinson Elementary School in Woodstock Tuesday morning. Rich Cooley/Daily

(Buy Daily photos) 2014_09_2_1st_Day_School1.jpg
Hunner Gregoire, 4, shows off his new shoes to W.W. Robinson Principal Melissa Foltz outside the school in Woodstock on Tuesday, which was the first day of school for Shenandoah County students. There are 1,250 students enrolled at the elementary this year. Rich Cooley/Daily

(Buy Daily photos)

By Josette Keelor

WOODSTOCK -- On the first day of school at W.W. Robinson Elementary School in Woodstock, new third grade teacher Emily Roach had a quick cure for her students' jitters.

"I gave them jitter [hand] jell to wash their jitters away," she said. She also read a couple stories with a theme of fighting off fears -- "First Day Jitters," by Julie Danneberg, and "Lacey Walker, a Nonstop Talker," by Christianne C. Jones.

But in general, she said, children were excited to be back in school, and her first day "went really well."

In kindergarten, new teacher Sara Pittella was also settling in but said she had a lot of support from more seasoned staff.

"I don't think I could have gotten a better team," she said. It's a team of 10, she said, but most of the kindergarten classrooms also have aides.

Roach, a science teacher with a plan of teaching eco-systems over the coming days and guiding students through new vocabulary words in reading class, also has a 10-member teaching team for the third grade.

Her students' first story for reading will be "A Fine, Fine School," by Sharon Creech.

Many of the students arrived at W.W. Robinson on Tuesday morning to welcome assistance from about 20 Central High School football players, who showed up before school to greet students filing off buses and to help them find their classes.

According to Principal Melissa Foltz, the football players led by Head Coach Mike Yew added a fun vibe to the morning rush.

"Our students were so excited," she said.

"The day, it was fabulous," she said -- "very smooth, lots of energy."

The school welcomed 23 new staff members this year, 15 of them teachers, and though Foltz said turnover rates fluctuate from year to year, "It's a higher turnover than usual."

Kindergarten through second grades at W.W. Robinson have 10 teachers on each team, Roach explained, and third through fifth have 8 teachers. Classrooms vary in size. Pittella said her class of 17 is the smallest of the kindergarten classes. The largest has 24.

With a classroom of 21, Roach said she plans to tie arts into her third-grade curriculum to increase interest among several students with learning disabilities.

According to Foltz, the school will have a goal of relationships and team-building this year.

"We want our classrooms to be communities," she said.

The county's 10 public schools saw a slight decrease in enrollment, according to Superintendent Jeremy Raley.

From last year's 6,186 to today's 6,160, he said, "We're down 26, but it's important that these are just day one figures."

He said he expects some more students over the next few days.

W.W. Robinson's staff turnover rate mirrored the rest of the county, which Raley said was more than 50 and is higher than usual. He said Mark Johnston, director of human resources, plans a presentation about enrollment at the School Board's meeting in the county government building in Woodstock at 7 p.m. Sept. 11.

In the heat of Tuesday's 90-degree heat, the failing chiller at W.W. Robinson "was certainly tested," but according to Raley had no apparent trouble keeping classrooms cool.

Overall, he said, the county's first day back was "a very successful day, a smooth opening."

"Students were in the classrooms and learning this morning," he said. There was minimal transition, he said, so "It appeared as if our students had never left."

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com


Keep up to date on local news

Sign up here to receive Northern Virginia Daily news delivered to your email box each morning and when breaking news occurs.

Comments

Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. View our comments/submisssions policy. Report abuse by clicking the X next to the comment.














Local News Sections

Affordable Care Act Agency on Aging Agriculture Alex Bridges Apple Blossom Festival Automotive Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Brad Fauber Breaking News Business Charities Cigarette Trafficking Civil War Clarke County Colleges Corrections & Clarifications Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Election 2013 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health Heroin in the Valley History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Jeff Nations Joe Beck Josette Keelor Katie Demeria Kim Walter Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mount Jackson New Market Page County Pet of the Week Pets & Animals Politics Progress 2013 Progress 2014 Quicksburg Recreation Religion Rockingham County RSW Jail Ryan Cornell School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Tommy Keeler Jr. Toms Brook Tourism Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review


News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Comments/Submissions Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

nvdaily.com
2014 Virginia Press Association Grand Sweepstakes Winner
The Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!


nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com