Logan County school districts will join others around the state in beginning a new school year next week.
Monday, Aug. 14 is the first day of school for the Paris and Scranton school districts and for Subiaco Academy and St. Joseph Catholic School in Paris. Students in the County Line School District report back for class on Wednesday, Aug. 16.
Teachers and staff went back to work this week.
School officials interviewed last week were cautiously optimistic that enrollments will be up this year.
“I think we’re going to see an increase,” Paris Superintendent Wayne Fawcett said. “We’ve enrolled over 80 new students. The enrollment numbers are looking better than I had anticipated.”
“We’ve gotten a lot of new enrollees but I know we’re going to lose some,” County Line Superintendent Taylor Gattis said. “We had several enroll over the summer. We won’t know for sure until school starts. I’ll be happy if we stay around 450, like last year. That’s a number we can live with.”
Kristy Koprovic, the principal at St. Joseph Catholic School, was sick Monday, but school secretary Sharon Pohlmeier said their numbers are expected to rise, as well.
“We’re going to have more than last year because we’ve started a toddler program,” she said. “We have 14 enrolled in the program now. We’ve also had some new students register in the upper grades, too.”
Mike Berry, the interim Headmaster at Subiaco Academy, said enrollment at the all-boy, Catholic school at Subiaco Abbey, will increase this year, as well.
“We’re expecting around 201 students so that’s a little bit of an increase,” he said. “Right now, we probably have between 195 and 200.”
Berry is serving until a replacement to the departed Headmaster Matt Stengel can be found.
Toby Cook, the new superintendent in the Scranton School District,said his district expects enrollment increase.
All of the officials said they expected to be ready when the new school year begins.
“We’re in good shape,” Fawcett said. “Our buildings are ready to go. Our custodial and maintenance staff does a fantastic job.”
The Paris School District will have two new principals when the new school year opens. Mike Nichols is moving to Paris High School to become principal after Bryan Hutson resigned to take over as football coach. Casey Mainer, formerly the middle school vice principal, takes the principal’s job at that school, replacing Nichols.
The Paris School District will welcome 18 new teachers this year, Fawcett said.
“That’s 18 out of a certified staff of 100,” Fawcett said. “That’s about the normal rate of turnover over the last three years.”
Students at Paris Middle School will come back to school with a newly renovated library space. That project was “about 90 percent” finished, Fawcett said last week.
Meanwhile, construction of the new Tyson-Logan County Career Center on the Paris High School Campus proceeds, Fawcett said. Fawcett had hoped the construction project would be finished in September, but said last week “October is more realistic.”
The school district’s career education program teaches skills to students and adults and is operated in cooperation with Arkansas Tech University’s Ozark campus.