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School Year Starts With Minor Changes

The corridors of the high school have been greeting students since 1963. The current building has been in use for 46 years, beating the life span of the “old high school” on North Main.

Sammie Cobern (right) helped students and parents find where they needed to be during a “meet and greet” held Thursday at Water Valley High School.

Jennifer Rotkiewics, American History Teacher, did computer work in her empty classroom as she waited for visitors during a “meet and greet” at the high school Thursday.

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – School started this week and officials say things have gone well.

“It probably went as smooth for the first day as it ever has,” said Chester Drewery, Principal of Davidson Elementary, where there are about 760 students.

The Principal said he doesn’t expect any big changes at Davidson this year, but he would like to get parents and the community “involved in our school.”

At the high school, Dr. Glen Kitchens said the biggest change is in the grading system because it affects every single student. “It better helps our kids to compete.”

The new system creates a level playing field for students seeking college scholarships and athletic opportunities. It’s a move many school districts across the state are making.

Another change, Kitchens said, is in the scheduling of athletic events. The Mississippi High School Activities Association is working to have less overlap in the various sports seasons.

Last Thursday parents and students were at the schools for a “meet and greet” and to complete registration. Before their arrival, the halls at the high school were quiet.

“The lull before the storm,” one teacher commented as she walked down the all but empty hall. “But,” she added with a grin, “it’s a good storm.”

As students began to arrive, Sammie Cobern, Librarian and Media Specialist, stood by a table in the main hall “directing traffic.” Some students and parents were sent to classrooms to meet with teachers. Others were directed to the cafeteria to complete registration.

Susie Shaw, Bookkeeper and Attendance Officer, was already at work in the cafeteria helping fill out paperwork. Parents and students searched through piles of their own papers seeking answers to the questions on the registration forms.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the main corridor, American History Teacher Jennifer Rotkiewicz (Mrs. “R” to her students) worked on her computer preparing for her second year at WVHS.

She said she was happy to be back. “It’s a good place to work and a nice community.”

Rotkiewicz added that she really likes teaching. “The kids make it worth it.”

A Reminder: School Attendance Is Compulsory

    As the new school year gets underway, the Mississippi Department of Education, Office of Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement would like to remind parents about several laws governing school attendance.

    Under the Mississippi Compulsory School Attendance law, parents and guardians are required to enroll their children in a public or private school.  This law applies to children who have reached the age of six (6) and have not exceeded seventeen (17) by September 1.

    Children who have attained or will attain the age of five (5) years on or before September 1 and have enrolled in a full-day kindergarten will be under the Compulsory School Attendance Law.

    Parents interested in teaching their children at home are required to complete a certificate of enrollment and to provide a simple description of the education that will be provided in the home.  

    Any parent or guardian who fails to comply with the state school attendance laws may be found guilty of contributing to the neglect of a child and will face criminal charges.

    Allison Crain, Yalobusha County’s School Attendance Officer, is available to assist parents and guardians of school-aged children, working to ensure that children are regularly attending school.

    For more information or assistance, please call Allison Crain at 473-3370.

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