For the week of September 2 thru September 8, 1998  

School’s back in session

Express Staff Writer

s2girls.gif (5347 bytes)Students gather in a tight circle to share stories of their summer vacations before the bell on the first day of school at Hemingway Elementary in Ketchum Monday. (Express photo by Willy Cook)

It was back to school Monday morning for Blaine County students. Although the school year began before Labor Day and fall weather, Blaine County School Board clerk Cathy Zaccardi said the early date is not uncommon.

"I can remember at least one other time in the last 10 years that we started early," she said.

The school-year calendar is based on national requirements for the amount of time students spend in school, and scheduling winter and spring vacations, as well as other holiday breaks.

According to Zaccardi, national standards require first through fifth graders to spend 810 hours at school; Blaine County students spend 950 hours in school. Sixth through eighth graders are required 900 hours in school, and in Blaine County spend 1,097 hours there. High school students are required to have 990 hours, and in Blaine County spend 1,113 hours at Wood River High School.

The number of students has increased slightly from the 1997-1998 school year, although numbers taken from the first day change through the week.

The number of students increased from 377 to 392 at Bellevue Elementary, decreased by one student to 261 at Carey Elementary, decreased by six students to 421 at Hailey Elementary, and increased to 447 from 437 at Hemingway Elementary. The numbers increased to 645 from 616 at Wood River Middle School, and decreased by 21 students at Wood River High School to 696 students.

"These numbers are erratic throughout the week," said Zaccardi. A count is taken each day, and a finalized count is done on Friday.

"We have kids who don’t show up, who are on our books but moved, and kids who need to be put on the books," she said.

"It was a very smooth first day of school," said Blaine County Schools Superintendent Phil Homer. "We have a veteran teaching and administrative staff, so we had a minimum of difficulties. So far, even transportation is going well."


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