Washington High School: Home of the Blue Jays

Washington Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer said the district had a great opening week.

“The buildings are in full swing, back in rhythm and running smoothly,” VanLeer told The Missourian.

Students returned to the classroom Tuesday.

VanLeer said she visited schools all week and observed “great kids, many smiles and super great behavior.”

She noted the school buses always take a little longer the first week as students get settled in and used to their bus assignments, expectations and route changes.

“Our incoming freshmen at Washington High School worked through finding their classes for the first time and our seventh-graders got used to changing classes each hour,” she said. “Overall, we’ve had a great start.”

Enrollment

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Judy Straatmann said enrollment is “fluid” at this time due to some students still being in the district’s system, but have not shown up nor have they enrolled in another district.

“Usually, just after Labor Day, we will have a more stable enrollment count,” she said.

Straatmann said class sizes will be monitored the next few weeks to determine if staff changes are needed.

At Washington High School, there were approximately 1,315 students enrolled as of Tuesday, which is up 63 students from the end of last school year.

Washington Middle School reported an enrollment of 610 students, up 29.

Elementary enrollment numbers opening day as compared to the end of the 2016-17 school year are as follows:

Augusta Elementary — 145 students, up one.

Campbellton Elementary — 142 students, down eight.

Clearview Elementary — 340 students, up three.

Labadie Elementary — 135 students, up one.

Marthasville Elementary — 210 students, down three.

South Point Elementary — 437 students, up five.

Washington West Elementary — 551 students, up seven.

Total elementary enrollment opening day was about 1,961, up six students.

Districtwide, the district reported approximately 3,886 students Tuesday, up 98.

Freshman Orientation

Freshman orientation took place Monday at Washington High School. There are approximately 330 freshman students enrolled.

Katie Sandoval, WHS guidance counselor, served as the master of ceremonies at orientation, and guidance staff members assisted.

There also were approximately 60 Link Crew members on hand, who are juniors and seniors at WHS, helping with the orientation.

The freshmen gathered in the Blue Jay Gymnasium for the introduction, games and activities before breaking off into groups to go through the school with Link Crew students.

WHS Principal Kellee McCallum said it was fantastic to see the halls filled this week with smiling faces who are ready to learn and participate in all the extracurricular activities.  

“We are looking forward to a great year,” she said. “We continue to explore ways to help our students reach their potential.”  

McCallum said the staff is looking forward to greeting parents at the open house Wednesday, Aug. 23. 

“We will host two parent meetings at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.,” she said. “Parents should attend at the time that is the most convenient for them. Our presentation includes an update of programs and offerings at WHS. Parents may visit teacher classrooms anytime between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.”

Seventh-Grade Welcome

Washington Middle School’s seventh-grade WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) orientation also took place Monday.

There are approximately 320 seventh-grade students this year. Another 60 eighth-grade WEB leaders helped with the orientation, which was run by staff members Shelly Struckhoff and Makenzie Ellis.

The students participated in educational games and activities to get them familiar with their new surroundings.

Principal Ron Millheiser said the middle school had a very smooth first day and opening week.

“Our staff put in lots of extra time prior to opening day to make sure the students had a successful first few days,” he said.

Smooth Start

Aimee Harty, South Point Elementary principal, also said everything ran smoothly at her school.

“It was as if students had only been gone for the weekend and not a whole summer,” she said. “There were only a few tears from kindergarten students and mommies, and sixth-graders are enjoying being the big kids on campus. I am really looking forward to this school year.”

Campbellton Elementary Principal Jennifer Meyer said opening week went very well.

“We have had a great start at Campbellton,” she said. “If the rest of the year goes like this first week it is going to be the best year ever.”

Meyer said students have returned refreshed, smiling and ready to learn.

“Many of the teachers here have implemented flexible seating this year for the first time and the students are loving being able to choose seating that is comfortable for them,” she noted. “The flexible seating also increases our student engagement during  classwork.”