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Students and faculty gear up for 2009/10 school year

Posted by: tdt -

By Robin Scott


As summer draws to a close students are getting ready for the new school year. DISD faculty and staff have been back to school for a week preparing for the arrival of students. The new school year brings several changes to the high school and junior high campuses. Students at the high school have a revised dress code, and both campuses are changing to an eight-period school day. All campuses in the district are transitioning to a flex schedule.

Fall signals a change in weather and sparks a growing excitement for the start of school. The smells of newly sharpened pencils, three-hole punched paper and glue sticks are another welcomed sign that school is about to begin. As the students fill their backpacks with supplies and their closets with new school clothes, teachers organize their classrooms and get their lesson plans ready.

The exhilaration of a new school year is accompanied by the beginning of football and volleyball season and the mood of the city is lifted out of the dog days of summer. As anxious as students were for the lazy days of summer to begin, they are equally anxious for the new school year to begin.

This year marks the second anniversary of Dalhart High School’s new facilities. Valuable lessons were learned in its first year that should make the new year run a little more smoothly. Parents and students are reminded to follow each school’s rules for parking, visiting and picking up and dropping off children. The first few days can be somewhat chaotic as everyone becomes accustomed to and gets back into daily routines.

Students and parents are asked to honor each school’s dress codes and to arrive to school well before the first bell rings. The new school year promises to be even better than last year with the introduction of the eight-period class day. The new schedule provides students at the high school and junior high with 45-minute classes with five minute passing periods. The high school is also offering Advanced Placement classes this year, doing away with the old Honors system.

Students are also encouraged to do well in their classes, pass the TAKS tests and have good attendance so that they may take advantage of the flex schedule. Students who pass all of their classes, all of the TAKS tests and have good attendance will be dismissed from the 2009/10 school year earlier than those students who do not fulfill those requirements. This is the first year in DISD history that students have such an incentive and one that they can really take advantage of. The days following the first dismissal of the 2009/10 school year are designed to provide students who need credit recovery, or to pass a TAKS test or who did not meet the attendance requirement to complete those shortcomings.

The upcoming tax-free weekend for the purchase of clothing and school supplies truly puts the new school year into motion and is the only time each year that the State of Texas forfeits sales tax revenues. The weekend allows families to reduce their overall expenses for outfitting their children in clothes and supplies.

Area residents are asked to drive safely, respect posted school zone speeds and encourage children to enjoy the school year. Going back to school should provide many happy memories for years to come for all students.

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