Although there’s still a few weeks left before school gets under way for students across Sampson County, teachers are beginning to prepare their classrooms for the onslaught and all educators are focused on the prelude to that first day back — open houses designed to make re-entry into school a smoother transition.
Sampson County and Clinton City Schools will welcome students back to classroms on Monday, Aug. 27, with open houses being held a few days before, on Thursday, Aug. 23.
Harrells Christian Academy students return to school on Monday, Aug. 20; open houses will be the following Thursday, Aug. 23.
“We really encourage all of our parents to come out with their children on Open House night because it is a good time for them to meet their child’s teachers, ” stressed Nancy Dillman, director of Instructional programs for Clinton City Schools. “It also gives them a chance to know exactly what they will need to start and what the expectations are going to be for the year.”
Clinton City Schools will host open house for all schools on Thursday, Aug. 23 from 4 to 7:30 p.m.
“Parents should come to the open houses prepared to fill out paperwork or take it with them to bring back on the 27th,” noted Dillman. “We really do encourage parents to come out and take advantage of this night. It helps with communication and it helps us get all the necessary paperwork done so that child can begin school on a great note.”
However, Dillman added that open house events are not the proper time to discuss specific issues with their child’s educator. “It is more a meet-and-greet type of thing,” she said. “If a parent has more issues they would like to discuss with that teacher, they can make an appointment to sit down with them at a later time. That night, teachers will be trying to accommodate all the parents in a limited amount of time, so if a parent has something they need to discuss in depth, it would be better if they scheduled a meeting. This is a time just to come in and meet the teachers.”
While most school websites list items students need for their classes, Dillman said it is important to check with teachers in case other, specific items may be required.
“Specific teachers have specific things they want,”she attested. “We have had the lists up on the websites since the end of the school year, but some teachers do want specific things in their classroom, that is why it is important to get that information the night of open house, so you will know exactly what the needs are.”
System officials already implemented some schedule changes, one of the biggest ones being an earlier start for students at Sampson Middle School only. This year, school will begin at the school at 8 a.m., rather than 8:15 a.m.
Clinton High School will have orientation for freshmen from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14.
“We have also moved our JV football game to Aug. 22 to allow those students to come to the open house on Thursday, Aug. 23,” Dillman added.
Although a number of expected returning students was not available, Dillman said that most of the teaching positions are filled.
“We have a couple of positions that we are interviewing this week, but we hope to be fully staffed by the time school starts on the first day of school,” she said.
Sampson County Schools
Like Clinton City Schools, Sampson County Schools educators have been hard at work this summer preparing their classes for the upcoming school year.
With upwards of 8,600 students headed back, a completely new layout for Midway Middle School and principal meetings scheduled for the next two days, Sampson County Schools officials say they are ready for the upcoming open houses.
“We are ready and we want parents to come out to visit their schools,” said Susan Warren, public relations/student services coordinator for the system. “There are a few schedules that are different, like for the freshmen, and just one or two elementary schools, but for the most part, they are all going to be Aug. 23 from 4 to 7 p.m.”
There’s no need for parents to bring anything, Warren said, other than a desire to help their students have a successful academic year. “We just want them to bring a good attitude and have their children ready for a great school year,” she said.
Freshman orientations will be Thursday, Aug. 16, from noon to 6 p.m. for Lakewood High students; Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 1 to 3 p.m. for Midway High upcoming freshmen; and Thursday, Aug. 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., for Hobbton High freshmen.
At Union Middle School, sixth graders only will have their open house on Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
For elementary students, some schools have different times listed for their open houses. Salemburg Elementary’s will be from noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 23; Clement and Midway Elementary will be from 4 to 7 p.m. with kindergarten parents/students meeting in the gyms at 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. Plain View Elementary will host its open house from 5:30 to 7 p.m. with kindergarten parents/students meeting in the gym at 6 p.m. Union Elementary’s open house will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Aug. 23.
“We are very excited about this school year,” added Warren. “We would like to get as many parents out to the open houses as we possibly can. It is good for everyone — the parents, students and teachers.”
Warren said that although there are a few teaching positions to be filled at the middle school and high school level, the staff will be at or near full force before the first day of school.
“There are a few holes,” she noted. “But those are few and far between. We will get them in and it is going to be really exciting.”
Unlike Clinton City and Sampson County Schools, Harrells Christian Academy will have opening day of school on Aug. 20 with an early dismissal at 1:30 p.m., according to Gina Strickland, yearbook publications advisor/public relations.
With an expected 390 students returning to school Aug. 20, and a new headmaster, Marcus Skipper, Strickland said that new kindergarten/parent orientation will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m. Open houses will be held on Thursday, Aug. 23, for grades 1-5; Tuesday, Aug. 28 for middle schoolers; and Thursday, Aug. 30 for upper school students.
“Times for each night will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m.” she said.
After the first day of school, there will also be a 1:30 p.m dismissal for students on Tuesday, Aug. 21.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to email@example.com.