First day of school in Niles goes smoothly

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The first day of school after a long summer holiday seemingly went off well for Niles Community Schools.
Several principals contacted after the half day was over on Monday said students seemed to be happy to be back at school.
Amy Devos, principal at Ballard Elementary school, said the first day of school at Ballard went great.
Devos, however, said there were quite a few students without complete immunization records saying the school will have to work on getting those up to date.
Betty Perkins, the principal at Niles High School, said the first day of school at the high school also went well.
The high school has 17 new teachers and Perkins said she is excited to work with them.
Like everyone else in the school district, the high school students only had half a day of school on Monday but attended all their classes, which only lasted 15 to 20 minutes each, Perkins said.
New this year at the high school is the Michigan Virtual High School, Perkins said.
The virtual high school allows students to take advanced placement classes they otherwise wouldn't be able to fit into their regular school schedule.
At Oak Manor School, a rush of parents came to enroll their children early in the morning.
Robin Hadrick, Oak Manor's principal said the morning was the school's busiest time.
Hadrick said new this year to Oak Manor is a multi-age program in the upper elementary school.
Fourth graders will sit in with fifth graders and fifth graders will sit in with sixth graders, she said.
Hadrick said the program is being introduced to better meet students' needs and allow students to excel at their own preferred pace.
Gary Garland, Ring Lardner Middle School principal, said 20 new students enrolled at the school on Monday, which he thought was really good.
Garland said unlike last year, all students start with Palm Pilots this year.
Also new to Ring Lardner is pre-algebra for seventh graders and algebra one for eighth graders, he said.
Garland said there are six new teachers at the school: two language/arts teachers, three math teachers and one science teacher.
He said the students seemed to be happy to be back, although some of the seventh graders looked a little off at times but the teachers did their best to help them out.
Garland is pleased with how the first day of school turned out.
Bill Kennedy is the principal at Southside School, which is a full-time special education facility that caters for students from 15 county school districts.
With students from so many different school districts starting school, Kennedy said it can be somewhat hectic getting things in place.
But he was anticipating a good week of school.
Gretchen Hart is the assistant principal at Howard Ellis Schools.
Hart said the schools had a really good turnout and she watched many enthusiastic parents and children walk in through the doors to enroll.

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