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Back to the books

Districts gear up for first day of school

This first day of school is no ordinary one for Freeman School District.

The old high school has been largely torn down for an “aggressive modernization,” and high school classes will be meeting in portables across the road next to the elementary school.

“We did the three-week trial last year,” Superintendent Sergio Hernandez said. “It worked very well. The students learned the routes and expectations.”

The schedules of all three schools have been tweaked a bit so the high school students can eat lunch in the elementary school gym. There will be only one high school lunch period instead of two. Parents should also remember to enter the parking lot to drop off their children at the southern entrance by the middle school.

Though construction has only been under way for a few weeks, the project is already three or four weeks behind schedule, Hernandez said. Fill dirt on the site was judged to be not stable enough, so footings had to be extended 6 to 6 feet down instead of the 2 or 3 feet expected. The concrete slab had settled in places and part of it had to be torn out and replaced. “We found vermiculite in walls we didn’t expect it in,” he said.

The Freeman and Liberty school districts are planning community events for parents and kids to help ease everyone back into the school year.

Freeman will have its usual all-school barbecue and open house Monday, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Parents can meet teachers and tour the schools. The meal is $3 per person with a maximum of $12 per family.

Liberty will have a “Boo Hoo/Yahoo Breakfast” for parents at 8:30 a.m. on the first day of school at the elementary school. The kids are usually excited to go to school, said Superintendent Bill Motsenbocker, while some first-time parents fall into the “boo hoo” category.

“It’s kind of been a tradition for a while,” he said.