First Day of School at Fifth Street Elementary

Opening day in the Washington School District ran very smoothly, according to Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer.

Students returned to the classroom Tuesday and followed a full-day schedule.

“Overall, I am quite pleased with our kick-off,” VanLeer told The Missourian.

“As I visited schools, I observed students and teachers getting back into the swing of it,” she said. “On Tuesday, I visited five buildings all of which were running quite smooth.

“I appreciate our students for their exceptional behavior and eagerness to get started,” she added. “My motto is your brain is your bank so it’s time to start making deposits!”

VanLeer said she was looking forward to visiting the rest of the district schools throughout the week.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Judy Straatmann also was out at the schools opening day and said everyone was all smiles.

“Students were smiling, parents were smiling — there were a few tears from those seeing their babies off to kindergarten — and staff was smiling. It doesn’t get better than that,” she said.

“As usual, we will have fluctuation in enrollment until after Labor Day,” Straatmann was quick to point out.

“New students are still enrolling,” she said, “and just as quickly, we are getting notice that students are moving or have moved.”

Washington Middle School Principal Ron Millheiser reported no problems Tuesday.

Two new elementary principals in the district also hit the ground running.

Dr. Matt Busekrus, Clearview principal, said his staff greeted over 330 students.

“We had a very smooth running day at Clearview,” he told The Missourian. “Our staff worked diligently to prepare for the students in the days prior.

“The students began learning their teachers’ expectations, procedures and routines. As we continue to go through the first week we will be teaching all students our building level expectations through our PBS (positive behavior support) bootcamp.”

Busekrus said a special assembly was scheduled for Friday to kick off the school’s “Survivor” theme this year.

Mary K. Robertson, Ed.S., Augusta Elementary principal, said when the doors opened Tuesday she saw “a flood of children with limitless potential” entering the building.

“The teachers planned several fun learning activities that helped to smoothly transition our students back to school,” she said. “This is going to be another fantastic year filled with learning at Augusta.”

Total enrollment in the district’s eight elementary schools, the middle school and high school opening day was 3,954 students, which is down about 27 students from last year.

Enrollment by school on opening day as compared to the first day of school year is as follows:

Augusta — 151 students, up about seven students.

Campbellton — 149 students, down about eight students.

Clearview — 332 students, down about 10 students.

Fifth Street — 111 students, down about 15 students.

Labadie — 118 students, up about six students.

Marthasville — 232 students, down about 13 students.

South Point — 455 students, down about 10 students.

Washington West — 434 students, about 15 students.

Washington Middle School — 599 students, up about 22 students.

Washington High School — 1,373 students, down about 21 students.

These numbers do not reflect preschool enrollment or the Four Rivers Career Center.