Niles gearing up for beginning of new school year

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Niles Community Schools is gearing up to receive new and old students when the new school year kicks off on Aug. 25.
For parents enrolling their children in the school district, that includes ensuring the future students meet the school district's enrollment requirements.
Jim Craig, the school district's curriculum development director, said there are a few important things new enrollees should be aware of.
Craig said an immunization record, a birth certificate and a social security number is required for all new students.
He also recommends new students should get a physical and a vision and hearing screening before school starts.
Following state law, the school district also requires that all students new to the school district must be immunized prior to attending school for the next school year.
Students, however, may enroll but cannot attend until proof of immunization is provided or the immunization process has begun, he said.
Craig said required vaccines for kindergarten or Begindergarten students include four doses of DTP vaccine and three doses of any appropriate polio vaccine.
In addition, students should have received two doses of measles, mumps and rubella, three doses of Hepatitis B vaccine and one dose of Varicella.
He said people seeking more information about the vaccination requirements, or who need to make vaccination appointments, can contact Berrien County's Health Department in Niles, at 1205 N. Front St, or on 684-2800.
Each shot costs $10, unless the person has Medicaid, which provides free vaccinations free, he said.
To register new students, Craig said people should contact the individual schools.
Craig said elementary school registering starts August 11 and for the middle school on July 24.
Those who wish to register at the high school can do so anytime between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday throughout the summer, Craig said.
Those who wish to register for the elementary schools and the middle school prior to the dates mentioned above can contact the superintendent's office at Westside on 683-0732.
Schools of choice students outside of the school district can also contact the superintendent's office at Westside, Craig said.
Craig said people who want more information about bus routes can call the school district's transportation department at 684-1420 or wait until the district distributes their school district information-filled calender in the first week of August.
New teachers will be starting August 18 while the other teachers will start August 21.
The first half day for students is August 25 and the first full day August 26.
Doug Law, the school district's superintendent, said the district will welcome 28 new teachers this year. Five of those teachers are Niles High School graduates, he said.

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