Students in the Russellville Independent school district will be returning back to school for the new year on Thursday this week.
Most things will remain the same from last year, according to superintendent Leon Smith.
School at Stevenson Elementary will once again start at 7:30 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m. daily. Middle and high school students at Russellville will begin their day at 8:05 a.m. with school dismissing at 3:05 p.m.
Also, as in years past, all students in the district will be eligible to receive free breakfast and lunch at both schools.
But not everything is exactly the same as last year.
Smith was happy to report that enrollment numbers are looking up across the district.
“We’re pleased with where we are at this point with our numbers,” Smith said. “That will probably level out as the school year gets started as some students transfer out and others transfer in at the beginning of the school year, but at this point we’re at higher number than we were last year.”
One of the biggest areas of growth is in the district’s preschool program at Stevenson Elementary.
“Our preschool numbers are up over last year,” Smith said. “Last year we topped out at 60 and right now we are approaching 70 with another few students that still need to be tested.”
If those students qualify, the district may need to add another unit to the preschool at SES.
Also new this year is the Panther College Academy, which will be allowing seniors to take college classes.
“We have 16 or 17 students signed up for that right now and we’ll be transporting them to Franklin and Bowling Green for college classes,” Smith said.
The bus that will transport the students will be equipped with wifi to allow the students to work while they are being transported.
“This will allow students to take at least two classes and they could wind up with as many as 18-25 credit hours before they graduate,” Smith said. “This will provide a big boost to their college education and save parents a lot of money.”
Also this year, Russellville High School will be teaming up with Logan County to allow RHS students a chance to participate in the JROTC program. Russellville students who want to be in JROTC will be transported for one period each day to Logan County High School so that they can be a part of the JROTC there.
“We are also continuing to update our technology throughout the district this year,” Smith said. “We are also going to have a high focus on our Red 180 and System 44 reading programs and we’re excited about the potential those have to help our students.”
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