Warren County schools report a smooth start

Megan Clark, of Front Royal, takes a photo of her son Braxton, 5, outside their home as he prepares for his first day of kindergarten. Rich Cooley/Daily

The new school year in Warren County marks the beginning of E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School’s participation in the Community Eligibility Program. Under that program, the Warren County Public Schools division provides students with free breakfasts and lunches through a reimbursement from the federal government for the cost of most of the meals.

SueAnn Fox, the district’s food service coordinator, said that 304 E. Wilson Morrison students received breakfast and 330 received lunches on Monday, the first day of school.

“It’s maybe a little bit higher than last year,” Fox said, adding that the first week is typically a slower week and that the school’s breakfast program is usually well attended.

Things appeared to go smoothly elsewhere in the district on Monday.

Bobby Johnston, principal at Skyline Middle School, said that sixth-grade students were getting used to the transition into middle school.

Zander Campbell, 4, waits with his mom outside Hilda J. Barbour Elementary School in Front Royal before heading in to his first day of preschool. Rich Cooley/Daily

“I talked to some sixth-graders today,” Johnston said. “They did say that everything went well; they said they loved the middle school.”

On Friday, Skyline Middle School had incoming sixth-graders visit for an orientation.

“We bring parents in; we bring students in to go over survival skills for middle school: how to open lockers, time management,” Johnston said. “We talk about Chromebooks and how to access grades; a lot of students are always very interested at the middle school level to access their grades.”

Johnston said that all of the seventh- and eighth-grade students at Skyline Middle School received Chromebooks – laptops designed to work mostly on the internet, on the first day of school.

But sixth-grade students won’t get the laptops until Aug. 21.

Breanna Spargur holds her son Jay, 1, while her daughter Alanna, 5, stands with her book bag outside Hilda J. Barbour Elementary School in Front Royal on Monday. Alanna started her first day of kindergarten. Rich Cooley/Daily

“We want to make sure that they are ready with the transition to middle school before we add just one more thing to them,” Johnston said. “Because that is an added responsibility that comes with coming to the middle school, having that Chromebook.”

Sophia Daugherty, 7, looks back before entering Hilda J. Barbour Elementary School on Monday. Sophia started her first day of second grade. Rich Cooley/Daily