school starts

El Campo ISD schools and St. Philip the Apostle Catholic School will welcome students back to class this week.

More students will grace the halls of El Campo schools, around 3,690, Wednesday, Aug. 14 when compared to the student population of 3,612 last year. That gives the high school 1,204, 835 at the middle school, 765 at Northside Elementary, 498 at Hutchins Elementary and 375 at Myatt Elementary. The district also has 13 students ages zero to three with disabilities.

All ECISD campuses start class at 8 a.m. and class is dismissed at 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and at 2:30 p.m. on Fridays. Breakfast is served from 7:15 to 8 a.m. at the high school, middle school and Northside while it is served from 7 to 8 a.m. at Hutchins and from 7 to 8:30 a.m. at Myatt.

ECISD Superintendent Kelly Waters is excited about starting the school year.

“The kids will be met with open arms. The teachers are so excited to the have the students in the classroom. We want parents to feel confident that we are not only going to take care of their child’s educational needs, but also that they will be safe and secure with us,” she said.

ECISD administrators are just as enthusiastic about the start of school and have been preparing for the first day all summer.

Hutchins Elementary

The focus at Hutchins is communication in regard to student progress information throughout the year with parents given the opportunity to share input and get involved Principal Elizabeth Tupa said. Other goals include character education and various ways students can exhibit growth beyond academics.

The campus has been updated with fresh paint in the first and second grade hallways.

“We are really looking forward to the year ahead,” Tupa said. “We have a new reading textbook adoption as well as a new reading program so we are looking forward to a smooth yet simultaneous shift.”

Teachers have spent numerous hours preparing to ensure a successful start, she added.

“There is nothing like seeing the sweet faces of our new and returning students on the first day of school,” Tupa said.

Myatt Elementary

This summer Myatt teachers took time to reflect on the past school year while training and preparing for when the first bell rings. Recruiting and hiring of teachers, planning and preparing schedules and maintaining the school facilities were among the usual preparations, according to Principal Mauri Couey.

Student desktop computers were replaced with Chrome Books that will allow for more learning flexibility in the classrooms. Myatt in coordination with Head Start will offer one more Pre-K class so more four year olds can attend school.

“The faculty and staff at Myatt are focused on not only maintaining the academic progress we made last year, but improving upon it this year,” Couey said. “Every teacher at Myatt works hours upon hours to prepare lessons that will help every student achieve personal and academic success.”

Northside Elementary

Like at Hutchins, parent involvement especially in school activities is a goal at Northside, according to Principal Rebecca Crowell.

“We have great parents at Northside, and we are grateful for the time they give us,” Crowell said. “Studies show that the more parents are involved, the better students outcome will be.”

Students and parents will notice the new window screen at the front entrance that not only shows school spirit but doubles as a safety feature where staff can see out while visitors cannot see inside the school.

“I sit eagerly thinking about the first day of school and all of the days that will follow until the end. The school year is a magical time where relationships form, risks are taken (and) lessons are learned ... Each day is comprised of unlimited potential for incredible growth and learning, and that is truly amazing. There’s just no other way to say it,” Crowell said.

El Campo High School

Like at Northside, additional safety and security is a goal at the high school.

“We have made changes here at El Campo High School to help ensure student safety with the addition of our new perimeter fencing project,” said Principal Demetric Wells. “This will help ensure the safety and security of our students and faculty throughout the day.”

Like the other district administrators, Wells is looking forward to a great start to the school year.

“Our counselors have worked very hard this summer to ensure a smooth transition into the school year. The high school administrative team along with the instructional coaches have planned at length to ensure that learning is occurring in every class every day,” he added.

St. Philip Catholic School

Gwen Edwards, principal at St. Philip’s, will greet 270 students Tuesday, Aug. 13.

Each day, students are dropped off at 7:30 a.m. at Depot Street. Prayer starts at 7:50 a.m. Doors close at 7:55 a.m. as students walk to class. Classes let out at 3:20 p.m.

On the first day of school, parents are encouraged to walk their students into class. Normal drop off procedures will start the next day, Edwards said.

“If there is a need to drop off your students, we will have teachers on duty to make sure the students get to their classrooms, especially for students who do not feel the need to be walked in by a parent,” she said.

The school also offers an after-school program that starts at 3:20 and lasts until 5:30 p.m. It includes a snack and homework and play time.

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Louise ISD students will return to the classroom Monday, Aug. 26.

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